When starting a business, it's important to have a good team supporting you.

Professional finance advisers and service providers can help you with your business finances.

You may want to consider using these professionals:

  • Accountant – to help with your business financial needs like preparing financial statements, managing your tax and providing you with financial and business advice.
  • Bookkeeper – to keep track of your day-to-day financial transactions, look after your banking, chase overdue payments, pay wages and prepare some financial statements.
  • Business activity statement (BAS) agent – to help you prepare and lodge your BAS so you get it right the first time. They're registered professionals who are specialists in their field. You can find registered BAS agents on the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) register.

There are many costs that come with setting up a business and different businesses have different setup costs. Understanding start-up costs can help you to plan ahead, seek finance and increase your chances of business success.

Budgets are essential for tracking the financial health of your business. Your budget is your planned income and spending. It helps you to allocate funds for particular items and activities.

Your budget also helps you to:

  • set business goals
  • make good business decisions
  • get finance.


When you’re starting out in business, there are things you’ll need to include when preparing your budget. This includes:

  • a time frame
  • your fixed costs
  • your variable costs
  • income.

Learn what you need to include and create your own budget using our template.

Keeping your private and business transactions recorded separately can save you time and money when it comes to preparing financial documents, activity statements and tax returns, but it's not a requirement for all businesses.

If you're operating as a:

  • sole trader – you don't have to have a business bank account, but it's a good idea to
  • partnership, company or a trust – you must have a separate bank account for tax purposes.

There are many payment methods to consider when setting up your business. This is an important part of managing your business cash flow and meeting your customer's needs.

No one type of payment is best – it will depend on the needs of your business.

Different payment method types

Different payment methods include:

  • EFTPOS payments
  • credit and debit card
  • direct debit
  • online payments
  • cash
  • cheque
  • money order payments
  • gift cards and vouchers
  • bitcoin and digital currencies.

Follow our five steps to choose the payment methods that best suit your business.

Cash and accrual accounting are two different methods of managing your books.

  • Cash accounting - expenses and sales are recorded when the money changes hands.
  • Accrual accounting - expenses and sales are recorded when they take place.

Understand more about cash and accrual accounting, including the differences, pros and cons and which method is best suited for your business. If you're still not sure, talk to a professional.

Setting up a good record-keeping system can make running a business much easier. Keeping good records may also help you to:

  • keep track of your business’ health, so you’re able to make good business decisions
  • meet your tax and superannuation obligations
  • manage your cash flow
  • demonstrate your financial position to banks or other lenders.

Record keeping obligations

It is also a legal requirement that you keep certain types of records.

The records you need to keep depend on the tax and superannuation obligations of your business and the structure of your business (sole trader, partnership, company or trust).

Use the Australian Tax Office record keeping evaluation tool to decide what records your business needs to keep as well as to check how well your business is currently keeping your records.

Financial language can be confusing. We have collected a glossary of the key financial terms you might come across when setting up your business finances, dealing with accountants and financial services or while running your business.

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