Perth 15th June 2011
Financial years are funny things, but every professional company has somehow to deal with it. In Australia we are generally running from July to June, so this is the last month of the financial year. We have to “close” our books by the end of the month and get our accountants to work out our final year end accounts for tax auditing. Most countries have invested lots of money in their tax department as it is a legal way to get money from people. And under the umbrella of “law enforcement” they can bully you to pay your tax. As an anecdote: I had a little fight with the Singapore tax department earlier this year as their system showed I still owed them money from financial year 1998 (!). Considering I left Singapore for Australia in 1997 there was obviously some mistake. But rather than suspending the payment demand pending my appeal and investigation, they persisted and forced me into paying first simply because their system was set up that way. After 2 months of communications back and forth I finally was proven right and my moneys were returned. No apologies….
Another interesting phenomenon of a financial year, specifically with government department that work on yearly allocated budgets (certainly in Australia), is that budgets have to be used up otherwise it goes back to the state coffers. So we find many of these departments and city councils pushing for works to be completed and their admin asking the consultants and contractors to invoice before financial year end. Today I had two of those projects where the clients asked us if we could invoice before months end to clear the allocated budgets! Now you don’t object to clients asking you to invoice, do you! 🙂 The thing is that if they don’t use up their allocated budget for the year it will look like they over budgeted and risk to be cut in budget allocation next financial year! Works for us!
In Light Watch today it is the Icelandic volcanic ash clouds 2010 all over again…now Australia is under threat from the Chilean volcano eruption that has seen huge ash clouds drift into Australian airspace. Today Perth airport closed temporarily as the ash clouds drifts over. It seems however that it is of short duration and that flights will resume in 24 hours. For the moment my travel plans are not (yet?) in jeopardy.
Light Watch 111: Ash cloud on the way to Perth