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Unwrap the Jobkeeper 2.0 with the Director of Hopscotch Accounting

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Third Sector news caught up with Brendan to unrap the latest details of the Federal Government’s updated JobKeeper package and its relevance to the resilience of Australia’s not-for-profit and charity sector.

Brendan Lucas is an experienced Chartered Accountant who works with a wide range of clients across the business and not-for-profit sectors. For the past five years Brendan has been a Director of Hopscotch Accounting. The company provides outsourced Australian-based cloud accounting services and advice to NFPs.

Under Brendan’s co-leadership, the company continues to grow and expand. It now provides services across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Do you think the latest details of the Federal Government’s updated JobKeeper package is enough to assist Australia’s not-for-profit and charity sector?  

For those NFP’s that rely on employees, it’s pleasing to see the 15% rate for decline in turnover test will stay.  We have been working with clients on cashflow projections on the assumption that JobKeeper would not continue past 27 September, so its continuation in some ways could be seen as a “bonus”.

In contrast, there are many NFPs that rely on volunteers so the extension will provide little, if any, financial support despite their increased demand for services in the community.

What part of the new reporting and administration requirements should the government be lenient on? 

Many NFPs had a major one-off drive for donations in June hoping to build up some cash reserves for the challenging period ahead. Increased revenue from this fundraising may rule some NFPs out as the 15% decline in turnover needs to be satisfied for both the June and September quarters. I would like to see NFPs have the option to include or exclude donations from decline in turnover calculations, but I’m not confident this will occur.

There will also be a real challenge for many organisations to confirm hours worked in February, which is relevant for the two-tiered payment system for JobKeeper 2.0.  We are waiting on alternative tests to cover off people on leave or organisations impacted by the bushfires, and we hope impacted employees are given a fair opportunity to receive the top tiered payment.

How can the for-purpose sector plan for a post JobKeeper environment? 

Government stimulus cannot continue forever. Ideally, organisation should have already started planning for the end of JobKeeper. It’s a different and difficult world out there and will be for many months ahead.

Now is the time to review your organisation top-to-bottom, thinking strategically and setting your organisation up for long term success. You need to start asking questions to determine where you get your income from, reviewing your staffing mix, analysing the demand for your goods/services now and in the future and well as finding out what costs are no longer required.

Any additional comment you would want to add?

In a highly emotional environment, it’s the numbers that can provide an organisation with the keys to understand what’s possible now and how they can boost their resilience into the future.

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