Here at Certum Accountants we deal with a number of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) who are recognised as providers of quality-assured and nationally recognised training and qualifications.
Understandably, it is a highly regulated industry and establishing an RTO is quite a process. You need an understanding of the Australian Quality Training Framework and the registration procedures. You must satisfy quality assured national standards and can be eligible to apply for State and Commonwealth Government funding.
The costs involved in becoming a RTO range from registration and renewal fees, compliance and infrastructure costs and the purchase of training packages and relevant training and assessment resources. Any organisation applying to become an RTO, or renewing registration must pay an application fee to the relevant state or territory registration body and there are so many other fees including accreditation fees, registration fees and audit fees.
On an operational level you generally need training rooms and a database to maintain student records plus public liability insurance. Our business start-up expense checklist is a very useful starting point to identify your costs and over the years we have helped clients with the registration and submission process. The assessment of an RTO application may take up to 6 months so cashflow planning is critical as you may not be accredited to receive any income in this period.
When you finally get your accreditation it’s only the beginning of the journey! Each year you will be required to have your financials prepared and audited. That audit process is required to maintain your accreditation and here at Certum Accountants we are totally across the reporting requirements. We understand the scoring process in order to maintain your registration and ensure ongoing funding.
We are able to work to the tight deadlines to ensure that your financials are prepared in a timely fashion so that they can be audited and lodged with the appropriate authorities. Regular consultations during the year and guidance in relation to your structure are designed to make sure your financials are prepared on time and that you reach the required score to maintain your registration.
Part of our brief with our RTO clients is to assist you with your ongoing budgets and cashflow forecasts plus ensure compliance with the various tests including solvency, liquidity, operating results, economic dependency and statutory compliance. Failure to obtain an adequate score on these tests will result in you being unable to deliver Government subsidised nationally recognized training programs
THINKING OF STARTING AN RTO?
As a business start-up specialist our team of accountants have helped several RTO’s launch their business. As such, we offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of your industry.
Starting a business is a bit like building a house. You need solid foundations including the right business structure, accounting software, adequate and appropriate insurances, marketing, branding, a website and social media channels. Your choice of business structure is critical and there are a number of different options such as sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Asset protection is a key consideration when selecting a business structure and when deciding on the right business structure you also need to take into account your family situation, forecast level of profit and your future plans regarding admission of new business partners.
Accounting software is another brick in the wall of your business foundations. Again, the wrong choice can be catastrophic because poor business records are one of the biggest causes of business failure in this country. You need up to date, accurate financial records to make informed business decisions which is why we insist your accounting software matches your business needs and level of accounting skill. Using a sophisticated double entry accounting software program without a reasonable level of accounting skill can create a ‘computerised shoebox’ and you also need to consider cloud accounting options. Here at Certum Accountants we aim to minimise the cost of compliance for you but shoebox records defeat the purpose. For that reason, once we evaluate your business needs and skills we then train you to use the software.
As you know, to build a house you also need the right tools. When ‘constructing’ your business we also use a number of tools including our start up expense checklist to identify all your potential establishment costs. It dissects your start up costs into several categories including leasehold improvements, IT, marketing, equipment, furniture & fittings, professional services, licenses and working capital. These figures then automatically feed into a cash flow budget template to help you identify any finance requirements and they can also tuck neatly into your business plan. If you run a fleet of cars in your training organisation, through one of our our affiliate partners we can assist you with with vehicle finance (chattel mortgage, CHP or lease) and also get you fleet pricing on your new cars that could save you thousands of dollars.
That’s just the beginning because as accountants we can do some financial modelling and prepare some ‘what if’ scenarios to identify your best and worst case profit scenarios. As you would expect, we can also offer you advice on a range of issues including site selection, tax registrations, insurances, HR matters, payroll and the preparation of a business plan.