5 Ways how Cloud Technology & Block Chain Can Help your Business

5 Ways how Cloud Technology & Block Chain Can Help your Business

Accounting, Uncategorized

Keeping up with Block Chain and Cloud Technology for your Business

Block chain and cloud technology have been a common buzz word in today’s business context. These technology enablers has provided much disruption to how businesses operate and altered the fabric of how businesses grow.

So what are the implications of this technology and how can businesses tap onto this new wave of technology. In this article, we will share 5 tips as to how businesses can benefit with the use of block chain and cloud technology for your business.


1. Take Advantage of Singapore Electronics Act –  Have records Signed anywhere
Saves time for your business on the collection of source documents. The legislation in Singapore; the Singapore Transactions Act has enabled businesses to take advantage of using mediums like block chain e-document signing and adoption of paperless record keeping; doing away the need to schedule signatory meetings or worry about fading and misplaced receipts.


2. Going Paperless – Save that Storage
Saves storage due to the Singapore mandatory requirement of having records kept for 5 years, with the aid of cloud technology, businesses can operate without worrying about missing documents or the task of retrieving dated records on customer disputes or vendor payment. Imagine a e-library where records are kept and indexed accordingly to date and supplier or category. Having your business on cloud will enable better indexing and ease of document retrieval with a simple click of a button.


3. Milking Cash With the Cloud
Cash flow improvement will come along when you use cloud technology, with payments with banks and supplier payments and sales transactions; the cloud allows seamless coordination and matching of payments and collections. You can opt for prompts suggestions or set it to auto reminders; like those you see by telecommunications providers on repeated mails on outstanding payments to your customers.


4. Automating Emails Invoices
Lets be honest, how many times do you actually delete your mails; well I don’t. With the expansive growth of data storage and accessibility, we have come to terms of the “archival mentality”, a need to keep everything just in case. This can pose as an issue when searching for documents at a later date. With the aid of cloud technology, you can set rules on vendors or expense mails so that they do not get missed. Imagine having to go by vendors across users and downloading attachments, and later or discovering a missing attachment a few months later. The cloud helps to put things in order.


5. Run your Business Everywhere and Anywhere
Being able to operate your business on the go is great if you intent to separate yourself from being on the business rather than being in the business. The dream for every entrepreneur is to have their business run by itself and grow exponentially; obviously being able to sell the business at the end of the day for good money should be the aim of every business. Using the cloud enables connectivity anywhere on the go, and unlike conventional desktop operations, this enables multiple users to access and work on the operations of the business at the same time. This promotes real time involvement and supply live feeds on the activities that affects business success.


Tapping onto innovation for small and medium business was an expensive affair in the past; high cost in customization and heavy investment on costly in-house servers. But with advent pace of technology, cloud storage is quickly replacing the use of costly severs and a host of app developers providing browser base applications that is industry specific and affordable with pay as you use models. Find out on how to stay ahead of competition and grow you business, reach out to us for a non obligatory discussion on how to improve your business with technology.

Posted on August 10, 2018 by Stephan Yeong

About Us:

At Gauge and Company, we are leading provider of Accounting, Taxation and Corporate Secretary Services in Singapore for SMEs and Startups. We offer high service quality, a commitment that we promise to you and our clients. We are here to answer your Business Tax and Financial questions and welcome you to Contact Us!

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Tax Evasion can put you in trouble

Tax Evasion can put you in trouble


Singapore Tax Authorities Recovered 35 million

In 2017, there were cases 243 cases investigated and this accounts for more than double compared to 2016. Tax evasion is a serious offence in Singapore, and in cases of serious tax crimes, IRAS performs on premise raids and arrest on tax evaders. A total of 60 to 70 raids are carried out in a year. 

With the aid of data analytics, it is becoming easier for tax authorities to be more aware of activities of business and transactions. Activities such as inflating Goods and Services refunds, falsification on transactions, PIC misuse and setting up of shell companies.

In a recent case involving an eatery, investigators with Iras vest infiltrated into their office gathering the business physical and electronic records. The operation was conducted across the restaurant home, workplace and supplier simultaneously. During the 4 hours operation, ledgers, smartphones, and laptops were seized in the process. A total of 70 boxes and 15 bags of accounting records were seized as well.

Some of the Cases in Singapore
One of the high profile case of tax evasion in Singapore was by Chwee Guan Paper Sticks & Candles Trading Co, where the profits were under-declared  and the GST amount was understated. This resulted in a penalty of $2.3 million of penalties as well as imprisonment for the offence. Another case would be Kay Lee Roast which was fined over $329k and were jailed for 4 weeks under the court for tax evasion.

Tax Evasion versus Non Compliant
It was also indicated by IRAS that evasion is commonly found in businesses with substantial cash transactions, poor internal controls and the absence of proper record keeping. In 2017, there was a total of 10,726 cases if non-compliant cases. Surprisingly, omission do commonly occur among the self employed individuals like doctors, lawyers housing agents and insurance agents as this is due to knowledge in the area of proper record keeping and documentation. Another group that are commonly know for mistakes and omissions are family run businesses where many of times record keeping is done in house or internally. However, it is noted that all cases that are investigated does not necessary lead to prosecution. It is entirely based on the facts of the situation and at times, warnings or a lower composition charge may be imposed.

Penalties and Possible Outcomes
In Asia, Singapore has one of the lowest rates on corporate and personal tax in the world. However, being fair to those that are meeting their tax obligations, the government enforces upon non compliant taxpayers in Singapore. In terms of monetary compensation, this would be up to four times the amount that was undercharged. Tax evasion is seen as a form of criminal office and is taken seriously, those found guilty on acts of evasion may result in imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.

Record Keeping and 5 Years Time Frame
Businesses are individuals are still within the jurisdiction of the tax authorities for a period of 5 years from the point of transaction, so any records that are not kept properly could result in being non compliant and in some cases seen as a form of tax evasion. As such, it is important to maintain proper records of transactions and activities. Knowing your tax obligations and safeguarding your interest is key, in staying afloat and away from the tax authorities.

Posted on July 19, 2018 by Stephan Yeong

About Us:

At Gauge and Company, we are leading provider of Accounting, Taxation and Corporate Secretary Services in Singapore for SMEs and Startups. We offer high service quality, a commitment that we promise to you and our clients. We are here to answer your Business Tax and Financial questions and welcome you to Contact Us!

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Singapore 2018 SMEs Outlook

Singapore 2018 SMEs Outlook


SME Outlook on Remainder of 2018

small business singaporeSMEs in Singapore Outlook and Trends

SMEs in Singapore are the main driving force of the economy and contributes significantly to growth of the nation. According to the latest Government Budget Review, two thirds of the workforce in Singapore accounts for half of the GDP in Singapore. In the recent media release by Singapore Business Federation, there is optimism for SMEs in the remanding of 2018 especially in the F&B sector.

In this article we will look at the overview industry performance outlook and the performance expectations of the various sectors from 2015 to 2018. The data is based on the collection over 3600 SMEs operating in Singapore during the period of April and May 2018.

This article will cover 3 segments related to business in areas of
– Sales and Revenue Outlook,
– Profit Expectation
– Hiring Expectations

small business SME Growth

Market Outlook Across Sectors in Singapore

According to the general outlook across the sectors, there is a general decline in the commerce and trading sector. Construction and Engineering business are fairly optimistic in the remainder of 2018. However, this is slightly dampen by the roll out of government measures in the residential market on additional buyer stamp duty and lowering of loan financing allowance.

F&B business owners are experiencing better outlook and this can be due to the increasing adoption of online delivery complimented with major sporting events. Also, higher confidence towards the last quarter as business approaches the end year festive seasons.

SMEs Outlook

Sales Outlook for SMEs Singapore (Period of 2015 – 2018) -The stability of sales can be seen in the year of 2018 after bottoming out in 2017 and gradually increasing across the industry sectors for SMEs in Singapore. The sector benefiting the most in terms of growth is the Business services sector, consisting of consultancy services and training services. This is fueled by the support of incentives in training by the government and higher emphasis on skills development.  The next trending sector in revenue can be seen under the Retail and F&B sector. This is strongly attributed to the sporting season and returns from the adoption of growth and expansion strategies.

sme singapore

Profit Outlook for SMEs Singapore (Period of 2015 – 2018)
– The highest growth in profit can be seen in the Business services sector, this is mainly due to the low cost structure of setup and low operating cost model enabling higher margins relative to the other sectors. Retail and F&B sector emerges next in term of profitability growth compared to the other sectors, a key contributing factor is brought about by higher consumers spending and higher cost efficiencies obtained from the growth and expansion efforts on operations. The Construction sector is generally on the uptrend since 2017 but is begins flat-lining in the later 2 quarter of the year in 2018 due to cooling down measures by the government and lower expectation due to weaker market sentiments.

Hiring Outlook for SMEs Singapore (Period of 2015 – 2018) – There is a slight increase in hiring among business in Singapore since the end of 2016 and this is followed by a normalization between 2017 and 2018. The sector deriving the highest growth is from the Retail and F&B sector, with the increase in hiring to support the expansion and growth. Under the Commerce and Trading sector, there is a decline in the later of 2018 as pressures are mounting from the increasing conversions between physical and online purchasing behaviors patterns of the market.  External influences from a potential fall out of a potential trade war out between US and China further weights on expectation of hiring for 2018 for the trading sector.

Market Expectations for the future

Businesses in Singapore can expect a reasonable growth in the near future based on overall market performances and expectations. However, there is a need to better safeguard and prepare against negative cross border influences such as trade tensions between China and US and the eminent intervention of market disruptors affecting the way businesses operate. Businesses can better equip themselves by keeping up with the market trends, plan the use of their resources effectively by project wisely on their cash-flow and business funding needs.

Posted on July 06, 2018 by Stephan Yeong

About Us:

At Gauge and Company, we are leading provider of Accounting, Taxation and Corporate Secretary Services in Singapore for SMEs and Startups. We offer high service quality, a commitment that we promise to you and our clients. We are here to answer your Business Tax and Financial questions and welcome you to Contact Us!

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Consolidation of Accounts for SMEs Singapore

Consolidation of Accounts for SMEs Singapore


Practical guide on Consolidation – Singapore

As businesses grow, many are involved in investment activities to grow or diversify their operations, this can include acquisition or setting up businesses and other entities.

Forms of acquisition can be established in a myriad of ways and the focus in this guide is to touch on the more common options:

– Parent Subsidiary Relationship
– Setting up a Joint Arrangement or Joint Venture
– Investment in Associates

Steps on Consolidation Process

To break it down, consolidation process can be look at 3 steps.

  1. Combine: Combining balance sheet items like assets, liabilities equity, income and cash flow between parent and subsidiaries.
  2. Offsetting: Remove the carrying amount on parent’s investment in the subsidiaries and the parent equity holdings in each subsidiaries.
  3. Elimination: To remove all inter-company assets, liabilities and equity in the balance sheet. Expenses and transactional flows between entities of the group.

Lets use the concept of a Parent and a fully owned subsidiary for simple illustration. We will cover on the Balance sheet in the part 1 series. This will be followed up with the next segment on the consolidated P&L.

Firstly is to formalize the accounting captions across subsidiaries and align consistency according to the parent. This will ease the process and make it quicker to combine the figures into the respective buckets. (Note: Do ensure that the period of combination is similar)

The next process is to remove key items like investment, goodwill acquired in business combination and non controlling interest. Under the parent, items to remove are investment in subsidiary (under non current assets), and correspondingly the subsidiary should see the removal of equity under non current liabilities.

Lastly, is to take out all the inter dealings between both parent and subsidiary –  this will include transactions such as receivables and payable. The net impact you should end up with is zero across the both parent and subsidiary under consolidation.

Overview Frameworks and Consolidation Standards

The applicable standards for consolidation are FRS110 Consolidated Financial statements, FRS111 Investment in Associates and Joint venture, FRS28 on Joint Arrangements, FRS27 on Separate financial statements, and FRS112 on disclosure in other entities. The diagram illustrates an overview on the regulatory standards in Singapore on consolidation and disclosure requirements for consolidated companies:


Do also actively discuss your accountant if there are anything that can help run your business efficiently and effectively. They should be able to offer you a wealth of information obtained from experiences from handling accounts of other or related industries that they have worked with.

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Stephan Yeong

About Us:

At Gauge and Company, we are leading provider of Accounting, Taxation and Corporate Secretary Services in Singapore for SMEs and Startups. We offer high service quality, a commitment that we promise to you and our clients. We are here to answer your Business Tax and Financial questions and welcome you to Contact Us!

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Must know for Business Owners Operating in Singapore

Must know for Business Owners Operating in Singapore


Must Know and Having your Accounts Done Right

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Stephan Yeong

accounts are done rightAre you safe in terms of what is being reported for your business

Quite frankly, if you do not have a finance or accounting background, it can be quite difficult to actually understand what is presented on the financial statements. But do you know that as business owner or director in Singapore, you are held responsible for what is being reported. And many times, what we hear from business owners are “we didn’t know” or “we thought that our accountant were doing it correctly”. But do you know what once you sign off on the Annual reports at the end of the year, it basically means that you are holding yourself responsible for what is printed on the report and yes, your accountant may have prepared the reports, but ultimately, you are responsible! In this article, we will share with you a simple accounting check list for entrepreneur and what to look out for and having your accounts done right.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack in will.

Vince Lombardi

As Easy as it can be, Simple

As difficult as it sounds, no it isn’t, if your accounts are done externally or by your accountant, this will be heaps easier as a reviewer. If not, not to worry as well, this article keep things order and point out what to take note off before it brews into something else later on. Let’s break it down into 3 simple portions,

  • Profit or Loss Statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow Statement

After reading this, you should be on your way on being better prepared on your business financial health.


1. What to look out for in the Profit and Loss

Breaking it down, let’s focus on the usual and routine items then move off to areas that you as a business owner should be careful about.

Regular Repeating Items
Firstly, you would need to start with the easiest, that being said, it would be the regular items like monthly rent and utilities, depending on whether it is a monthly or yearly reporting, the figures should align according to what you are regularly billed.

General Expenses (or commonly known as Other Expenses or Miscellaneous expenses)
Commonly labelled as general expenses or other expenses, it is crucial to know what this amount is made up of, if you see a balance here, do check what it is. This amount will eventually be placed into your tax filing and be mindful that this cost will not  be allowed to reduce the tax you are paying, therefore, you might be off paying more tax when you shouldn’t be. This also extends out to items that you are not commonly sure of that pertains to your business.

Also be sure to look out for items like suspense, contra or clearing expenses, this are methods that accountants use to assist in doing the accounts and at the end of the day there should be zero balances in these areas. Do ask your accountant for more information if you see this appearing, it may have been overlooked and may result in issues later on.

Reviewing the trends
It is good practice and will provide you with the understanding if there is any issues or inconsistencies. More often then not, we would advise businesses to have a monthly reporting, this will ensure that records such as invoices and cheques(issued/received) are kept in order. Comparing the monthly trends will also help you better understand the business performance as well as address ways to better improve profitability. If you are doing a yearly reporting,  keeping tabs on yearly performances will also serve as a good check on any irregularities and also serves as a good comparative to understand the performance of your business.


2. What to look out for in the Balance sheet

Moving on to the least looked report at by business owners. This is actually an important report that you should have some understanding. The impact it may have is possibly affecting your tax and future compilations with the reporting authorities like ACRA or IRAS.

Items Worth Spotting
This can be a fun exercise, to quickly glance at the accounts reported, anything that is on the assets (top section) and liabilities & equities (bottom half) should have the same signage, if not there might me abnormalities which shouldn’t occur. Do seek further clarifications. It’s always good practice to ask your accountant, “please explain to me what my balance sheet is showing”, you may be surprise at what you can learn from it. In many cases, we have seen issues on handing over of accounts with balances and that could result in unnecessary amendments leading to rework on prior year accounts or worse, result in paying higher tax and potential fines.

Amounts Due to/From Directors (Director’s Pockets)
This is the infamous buckets that accountants like to use to place items that they are unsure of. Be very wary on this balances and always ask what does it pertain to, a common way inexperience bookkeepers or accountants may use this as a way to balance the accounts and this doesn’t go away, it just keeps building up year after year.

Liabilities – Payable (Amount you owe to others)
Liabilities are amounts owed to others by the business and there should always be liabilities regardless if it is monthly or at year end. Key items that should be included are salary or CPF as this amounts are normally paid one month after, therefore, you should see balances here. If not, that may result in means higher tax paid for the current year for not recognizing salary or other costs.

Accrual balances relates less common items owed to others, examples include staff bonuses, tax or GST to local authorities. Having this reflected will keep you aware on the cash you will need to set aside.

For GST registered businesses, GST payable should be reflected at the end of every quarter and reversed out once the payment is made 2 months after.

Current assets – Receivables (Amounts that others owe you)
This are items that others owe you. Usage of through common payment gateways like Paypal, Stripe, Nets, Visa or Matercard, there will definately to be balances withheld and reimbursed at a later period. So there should be balances reflected from using any of this payment platforms. Other common items would include payments pending from your customer on services or products you provided.

Cash in hand
This is another common bucket that is usually misused. Do question yourself, if you see 10,000 here, do you have this amount in your wallet or in the safe? Be comfortable with this amount as this represents that amount that you have collected on behalf of the business and has not been banked in.

Bank Balances (DBS, UOB, OCBC or etc)
Always ensure that the amount here agrees to your bank statement. Differences are usually caused by:

– Cheques that you issued out (but not banked in yet)
– Cheques you received (you have not to be banked in)

It is key to keep a monthly tracking (in accounting terms it is called a Bank Reconciliation) on cheques as they do have an expiry of 6 months. This is to reduce the emotional stress on having to request for a reissue of cheque on payment made or received after half a year later. Take note that amounts that are owing to others are still enforceable legally even though the cheque is expired. This items should be properly reflected under the books of the business.


3. What to look out for in the Cash flow Statement

This is the least understood item among business owners. To sum up simply, this is the cash movements that occurred during the year. But more importantly, it tells

• a story on the cash activity of the business and
• the difference between Cash vs Profit

And if you have the question on how come I have this much of profit but my cash is showing otherwise. This is the report that helps you understand why. Key items you should check first is the ending balances should agree back to the bank balance reflected in the balance sheet to ensure it is accurate to begin with.

Quick key items that to take note of are:
Activities in Inventory or Stock: to monitor the inventory movements, this is usually a result of sales and if it does not follow the moment in sales, there is probably some ongoing inefficiencies.

Activities in Payable: items owing to others whether it is higher or lower relative to the previous year, tells if there is higher or lower obligation that business need to have in terms of cash available to meet the obligations.

Activities in Receivables: tells if the business is slower or faster at sales collection. Do take note that this has to be assessed along with sales to have a more accurate reading of the situation.

Activities in Purchasing of New Assets: a total on all the new assets purchases that you have made for the year

Other Activities would include items like dividends (if declared) or income tax paid for the year.

Do note that this is a non exhaustive list but it will tantalize your knowledge glands in wanting to know more after learning the basics. 


4. What are the items you must ask for or should be provided

Things that you should request for should be supporting schedules that the accounts are being made up of. This will provide you a sense of assurance on the items that are being recorded.

Should have items

  • Balance sheet
  • Profit and Loss
  • Cash flow statement
  • Statement of Equity
  • Notes (indicating the breakdown of the figures in the above statements)

Things you should request for if not provided:

Accounts Payable or Creditor Listing (people you owe to)
Accounts Receivables or Debtors Listing(people that owes you)
Bank Reconciliation (a list of uncleared cheques issued and received)


5. Trust your instincts

Lastly, as a business owner, you will have a better sense of the operating activities of your business. If you sense that there are any issues or things that you are unsure of, do make sure that you have it clarified. Being proactive will not only help you to better safeguard yourself against later troubles but also enable your accountant to better understand your business as well as serve you better.

Do also actively discuss your accountant if there are anything that can help run your business efficiently and effectively. They should be able to offer you a wealth of information obtained from experiences from handling accounts of other or related industries that they have worked with.


About Us:

At Gauge and Company, we are leading provider of Accounting, Taxation and Corporate Secretary Services in Singapore for SMEs and Startups. We offer high service quality, a commitment that we promise to you and our clients. We are here to answer your Business Tax and Financial questions and welcome you to Contact Us!

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