Workplace Gender Equality Agency Reporting

Workplace Gender Equality Agency Reporting

WGEA Reporting or Pay Secrecy

Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has published the 2022-2023 median gender pay gaps for private sector businesses with 100 or more employees, encompassing both base salary and total remuneration.

Some notable findings include:

  • 30% of employers have a median gender pay gap between the target range of -5% and +5%
  • 62% of median employer gender pay gaps are over 5% and in favour of men
  • The remaining (8%) are less than -5% and in favour of women
  • Across all employers, 50% have a gender pay gap of over 9.1%. 

The above findings suggest that there is still a large gap between gender pay equality with only 30% of businesses within the target range. This is largely demonstrated by the statistic that 62% of employers are currently paying men over 5% more than women across the business. 

Who needs to complete an annual WGEA report?

All private sector businesses with 100 or more employees are required to complete their WGEA report between 1 April and 31 May of each year. The report must provide data from the previous year for the date ranges of 1 April through to 31 March. 

For more information about who needs to report and how to complete the WGEA report, please click:

Even if your company has fewer than 100 employees, it is important to be proactive in identifying potential inequalities within the workplace. Conducting a payroll audit and internal salary benchmarking are important steps to take. 

How does pay secrecy impact gender pay inequality? 

Pay secrecy can play a big part when it comes to gender inequality in the workplace. Pay secrecy, where employees are prohibited from discussing their pay, hampers transparency and can conceal gender-based pay disparities. For this reason, changes have been made from 7 December 2022 to remove the permittance of pay secrecy clauses within contractual agreements. This change aims to advocate for transparency in pay practices to ensure that all employees, regardless of gender, are fairly compensated for their work. 

Need HR Assistance?

At Allan Hall HR, we have a team of experienced HR consultants. To learn more about our services, please click here. Alternatively, please feel free to call us on 1300 916 764 or contact us to discuss any questions you may have in regard to WGEA Reporting or Pay Secrecy.

cash in a hessian sack

SMSF record-keeping best practices

ATO reminds SMSFs to keep good records

How self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees can meet their responsibility to keep accurate tax and super records.

Keeping good records

Keeping good records is more than just knowing which records to keep and for how long. It involves having a system for organising and maintaining records that makes it easier for you, and any SMSF professional you use, to:

  • complete the fund’s independent audit each year
  • lodge your fund’s annual return.

It may also help reduce audit and administration costs for your fund.

To help keep your records organised, you may want create separate files for your fund’s more permanent records, and for records that relate to a specific financial year.

For example, in your permanent file you may want to keep:

  • the fund’s trust deed
  • the fund’s investment strategy
  • details of the regular reviews of the fund’s investment strategy, including the consideration of insurance for members of the fund
  • reasons for decisions on the storage of collectables and personal use assets
  • minutes of trustee meetings
  • all signed trustee declarations
  • records of trustees consenting to their appointment as a fund trustee
  • records of all changes in fund members and trustees.

As each SMSF is unique, with its own investment strategies to achieve its objectives, you should consult with a professional licensed adviser when setting up a record-keeping system that suits your fund.

Keeping all relevant records together will simplify the process of compiling the records you need to give to your fund’s independent auditor. If your fund regularly holds trustee meetings, you could create a separate folder for them, and sort them by date.

Take minutes of all investment decisions

You should take minutes of all investment decisions, including:

  • why a particular investment was chosen
  • whether all trustees agreed with the decision.

This is because if you, as one of the fund’s trustees, invest the SMSF’s money in an investment that fails, the other trustees could take action against you for failing to be diligent in your duties.

However, if your investment decision was recorded in meeting minutes signed by the other trustees, you will have a record to show that they agreed with your actions.

Signature requirements for financial statements

Under Australia’s super laws, SMSF trustees must sign their SMSF’s financial statements before finalising their annual audit. This includes an operating statement and a statement of financial position which must be signed by the required number of trustees or directors of the corporate trustee.

Minimum record-keeping requirements

The most important reason for keeping good records is that it’s a legal requirement for you to do so. You may also need to provide accurate records to us if we ask to see them.

You need to keep any SMSF records for a minimum of 5 years.

Despite what you may have heard or read elsewhere, you cannot access your super before you retire unless you meet one of the very few exceptions to this fundamental rule of super law. Read more »


audit & assurance

Safeguard Your Affairs with Audit Insurance

Audit Insurance: A different perspective on a wise investment

In the dynamic world of business, facing an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) audit can be a daunting and costly experience for both business owners and individual taxpayers alike.

However, did you know that already 15% of Allan Hall business clients have chosen to secure their financial well-being by opting for audit insurance?

This strategic decision is not just about protecting finances; it’s about ensuring peace of mind during potential ATO reviews.

The Cost of an ATO Audit

The average cost for professional fees associated with a standard ATO review of a proprietary limited (Pty Ltd) company can be as high as $18,000. This figure includes the expenses incurred in navigating through the intricacies of tax regulations, responding to ATO queries, and addressing any discrepancies that may arise during the audit process.

The Affordable Solution

Enter audit insurance — a financial safety net designed to alleviate the burden of exorbitant audit-related expenses. For an average annual cost of around $600, businesses can secure comprehensive coverage that not only shields them from the financial impact of an ATO audit but also allows them to navigate the process with professional support.

Why Choose Audit Insurance?

1. Cost Mitigation:

  • Shield your business from hefty expenses associated with ATO audits, including accounting and legal fees.
  • The annual investment in audit insurance is minimal compared to the potential costs of an unexpected ATO review.

2. Peace of Mind:

  • Focus on running your business without fear of unexpected financial setbacks due to audits.
  • Audit insurance provides peace of mind, allowing you to concentrate on growth and development rather than compliance concerns.

3. Professional Support:

  • Freedom to access our team of experts to assist in handling ATO audit queries ensures that your business is in capable hands.
  • Receive guidance throughout the audit process, ensuring compliance and minimising the risk of financial penalties.

Being prepared for unforeseen challenges is a mark of a prudent entrepreneur. Audit insurance emerges as a sensible investment, providing a safety net against the potential financial impact of ATO audits.

With an average annual cost that pales in comparison to the potential expenses of an initial review or an extensive audit, business owners can make an informed decision to safeguard their financial health. In the end, the choice is yours but with audit insurance, you can make that choice with confidence and financial security.


company tax return

Business debt on ATO’s watchlist

The five types of business debt at the top of the tax office’s watchlist

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has unveiled the top five categories of business debt that have captured its attention, signalling the end of the unprecedented leniency extended to late payers during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Speaking at the Tax Institute Tax Summit in Melbourne, Vivek Chaudhary, the ATO’s deputy commissioner of lodge and pay, emphasised the necessity of offering substantial support to taxpayers, including small businesses, amidst lockdowns and stringent public health measures.

The ATO’s arsenal during the pandemic included payment plans, deferred deadlines, waived penalties and interest, and the option to file without immediate payment, all aimed at aiding businesses during challenging times. Chaudhary acknowledged the positive outcomes of these measures but also pointed out their impact on payment behaviour, with an increasing number of businesses failing to meet tax deadlines compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Chaudhary identified five priority payment categories where the ATO’s renewed focus will be most evident:

  1. Topping the list is the unpaid Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC), a penalty imposed on businesses that fail to fulfil their Superannuation Guarantee obligations. Notably, small businesses owe the majority of this debt, totalling $1.8 billion. To ensure compliance, the ATO has equipped itself with tools such as garnishee notices, payment directives, Director Penalty Notices, and potential legal actions to secure SGC payments.
  2. Chaudhary expressed concerns about new self-assessed debts raised by employers, suggesting that taxpayers might be waiting for the ATO to prompt payment before taking action.
  3. Refund fraud remains a significant worry, with fraudsters siphoning billions of dollars from the tax system through counterfeit GST refunds.
  4. The ATO is also monitoring substantial aged debts exceeding $100,000, and
  5. Debts arising from audit actions initiated by the ATO. Chaudhary emphasised that while some audit adjustments stem from genuine errors, others result from negligence, recklessness, or deliberate attempts to evade tax payments, and such cases will receive no leniency, with heightened expectations for debt settlement.

Consequently, the ATO is reverting to its pre-pandemic compliance strategies to transition from the COVID-induced payment culture to a more standard payment approach. ATO commissioner Chris Jordan revealed that the ATO is pursuing approximately $50.2 billion in collectable debt, with small businesses accountable for over $33 billion of this total.

Read the full speech Addressing collectable tax debt – Tax Institute’s Tax Summit 2023 here »



Federal Budget weight behind tax audits

The 2023 Federal Budget included $1 billion for audits of taxpayers over the next 4 years.

Therefore all taxpayers have an increased chance of a tax office review of their returns in the near future.

Did you know that our costs for assisting you with the management and supply of information to the ATO for their reviews can be insured?

We’ve partnered with AuditCover to share their offer with our clients.  AuditCover covers the professional fees you may incur when responding to a tax audit, review, investigation or enquiry from the ATO or state-based authorities and agencies.

If you haven’t already done so, please consider getting an online quote below.

If you’d like assistance with generating a quote, please let us know and we will be happy to help.

If you have any questions, you can call AuditCover on 1300 895 797 or email them at [email protected]. Need more info? Read more here »


Compliance cogs

Federal Budget ATO compliance crackdown

Increased number of reviews

The importance of audit insurance in the wake of the Federal Budget – did you know that you can get insurance that covers the costs of professional fees incurred to respond to an ATO audit?

The recently announced Federal Budget 2023 has unveiled significant funding increases ($588M) in the government’s stance towards tax compliance, particularly through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). GST compliance,and Personal income tax deductions have been specifically named by the government as areas of risk.

If you are in business, audit insurance is an often-overlooked component of business insurance, however in an environment where compliance scrutiny is intensifying, having audit insurance serves as a proactive measure to safeguard one’s financial interests.

Extended audit scope

Even if you are not in business, you may be a high-income earner, or have investment properties, the scope for an ATO review is much greater than in the past. You should be aware of safeguarding your financial well-being and know that you are not immune to tax compliance scrutiny (and review).

As complexities within our tax system increase, the time and expertise required to respond effectively to ATO reviews also escalate, resulting in more costs to simply respond to the review, not including ongoing management of the ‘case’ to completion. The potential cost of such services is increasing, with accountants needing to spend many hours (at hourly rates) to address detailed audit correspondence and liaise with clients.

Audit insurance offers coverage for professional fees incurred in responding to ATO and other government department reviews.

Investing in audit insurance ensures that individuals are also financially prepared to handle these reviews without incurring a significant cost burden.

With a substantial allocation of government funding towards tax compliance, the ATO aims to enhance its ability to address emerging risks and generate additional revenue. In light of these developments, it becomes increasingly crucial for businesses and many other taxpayers to consider the importance of audit insurance as a protective measure.



Insurance for tax audit costs

Limit your costs in the event of an audit with tailored coverage

The ATO has been funded with an additional $1.5 billion to increase the volume of audits and reviews, making it more likely that businesses and individuals will be audited. 

Considerable costs can be involved in responding to an ATO tax audit, as you may need your accountants to prepare detailed responses and compile supporting documentation.

The costs can quickly add up to significant levels for the work involved. 

AuditCover audit insurance covers professional fees in the event of an audit. Policies are available starting from $99 for individuals and $150 for businesses and groups, and the premium is tax deductible.

AuditCover audit insurance covers audits and reviews for: 

  • Capital Gains Tax 
  • Income Tax 
  • Land Tax 
  • Payroll Tax 
  • Workers Compensation 
  • BAS/GST Compliance 
  • Superannuation Guarantee 
  • Fringe Benefits Tax 
  • Stamp Duty and more…

For any questions please call AuditCover on 1300 895 797 or read more here. Allan Hall clients are invited to obtain a quote from AuditCover.

DISCLAIMER: As with any insurance, it is important that you read the Policy Wording and ensure that the product is right for you. This page is intended to provide general information about tax audits and AuditCover and does not constitute advice.


AHBA CCA 3x Winners

Allan Hall named Client Choice award winners

Client Choice Awards 2022

We are delighted to announce that Allan Hall Business Advisors has been named Winners in three Client Choice Award specialist categories for firms with up to $30M revenue:

  1. Best Business Advice Firm
  2. Best Self-Managed Super Fund Firm
  3. Best Auditing Firm

FirmChecker Reviews are conducted as part of our annual client review process to canvass feedback on our performance across a range of criteria. The Awards are open to firms of all sizes operating in Australia and New Zealand and are independently researched and judged by Beaton Research and Consulting.

Scott Jago said the team was ecstatic about receiving such a huge honour!

“We believe it shows our willingness to continually develop and evolve. Our efforts get recognised because we’re consciously improving and progressing as a business. For clients, we think that’s a key characteristic to consider when choosing an accounting firm.”   

“Our clients do notice and are positive about our achievements. We see them as part of our business, in a familiar way, much like a family.”

It was a highly competitive year that saw hundreds of professional firms enter across Australia and New Zealand, with over 15,000 survey responses submitted.

Committing Allan Hall to client service and honest feedback through FirmChecker is an annual initiative. By submitting our performance to external scrutiny, we believe, only benefits our standards and enhances our client service.

We are delighted to stand as 2022 winners amongst such esteemed company – listed here on the FirmChecker website.

FirmChecker CEO and Founder Ben Farrow added, “Congratulations to your entire team on being named a Winner in Client Choice Awards 2022. To be recognised as a winner is a big achievement. To win 3 specialist categories is super exciting.”


Since 2005, FirmChecker has received over 370,000 client ratings and scored more than 650 professional firms. Read more at


Stay safe over Christmas

Cybersafety and your business: is your data secure?

The ACCC’s Scamwatch has reported that losses to online shopping scams have increased 42 per cent this year, and they are warning Australians to be careful over the Christmas and holiday period.

There is no underestimating that cybercriminals are hyper-aware of small business and consumer spending habits, particularly exploiting Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping channels. It, therefore, is critical for businesses to revisit cybersecurity measures.

Data loss can be a costly nightmare for a business. In particular, businesses that invest significant time and capital into their budgets for the holiday season and marketing efforts respectively are at increased risk during the merriest of seasons.

Unfortunately, cyber attackers increasingly target businesses that are less likely to have extensive security protection in place. Cyber attacks are also on the rise due to businesses continually transforming their workplace, enabling and promoting a digital first approach.

Personal identifiable information, account details, credit card information, as well as digital activity and geographic location are at risk of exposure, with recovery efforts and delays due to data loss grinding productivity to a halt, during the busiest of seasons.

Could your business be at risk of a cyber attack? Follow these simple tips to increase cybersafety and security for your business.

my online shopping account

1.Educate your team

Nearly half of data loss happens when employees don’t know how to protect company data or are guilty of being careless. Ensure your employees do not use their business email address or passwords for online shopping. For any corporate personal technology such as a business laptop, mobile phone or tablet, all devices should have passcodes or passwords.

Let staff know how important data security is to your business. Discuss potential security risks and restrictions on employee access to HR, customer and financial data. Go over specific strategies for keeping paper and computer files secure – such as enabling 2-step authentication (2SA), restricting access to sensitive data with security passwords and taking care not to download apps that might carry malware.

2. Plan for security

Does your business have a customised plan in place which outlines your information assets, identifies potential security risks and the specific steps your organisation will take to mitigate those risks? Think of your data security plan as a living document; it will need to be updated regularly to keep up with shifts in digital technology as well as changes in personnel. A key aspect of your security plan is to outline how you ensure employee access to data terminates when they leave your company.

Conduct regular audits to test the effectiveness of your security plan, by monitoring how well your staff follow protocol. Following an audit, you’ll be able to address and fine tune strategies to keep your business safe and your data secure.

As part of your security plan, ensure that you work closely with your internal or external IT company and that they are aware of your security process and plans should a cyber attack occur.

3. Include a device policy

It’s hard to imagine small businesses functioning without mobile devices. The reality is, many small business employees work from home or remotely, staying in contact via a tablet, laptop computer or mobile phone. Unfortunately, the risk of a mobile device being lost, stolen or damaged is high. Protect your company data by requiring staff to keep company data off their personal devices – and set up work devices to be wiped remotely in the case of theft or loss.

Other key security measures are data encryption, up to date anti-virus protection and tracking software – as well as a system of regularly scheduled, automatic back-ups.

Your data security plan is only as good as how well it is followed.

Invest time to meet as a team to discuss security planning and address any questions about protocol. Be clear on the consequences of a data security breach should it be discovered the cause was due to employee negligence or outright theft. Think about how you can reward your staff for their efforts to protect your business by strictly following security protocols.

With more people shopping online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions,  the ACCC’s Scamwatch reports that scammers are now targeting Christmas shoppers. You can read their full article here.