QBCC – Do you really know your obligations?

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QBCC – Do you really know your obligations?

QBCC obliations

I have been dealing with QBCC obligations for quite some time, (well before they changed from BSA to QBCC in fact). And it’s been an up and down journey for me as an advisory.

For those that do not know the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (or QBCC) is the building industry regulator in Queensland and deals with setting up licences contractors, resolve defective building work disputes and provide insurance to protect home builders. So if you do not deal with QBCC, you can stop reading now!

The QBCC has attempted to simplify their reporting requirements but so many builders are still being caught out. Here are the five most common areas where our clients in the building and construction industry are being caught out.

Which QBCC obligations do you need to be aware of?

  1. Current Ratio

If you don’t know what this is, you’re likely under $600,000 in revenue. But an oversimplification is basically current assets divided by current liabilities.

The ratio is required to be equal to or greater than 1:1. As a builder, you’ll need to provide a Minimum Financial Requirements (MFR) Report that shows that you meet the current ratio.

There are a few assets and liabilities that are excluded or included that could catch you out. Be sure to have your advisor keep on top of this!

Please note that if you do not meet this requirement, your licence is likely to be suspended.

  1. Net Tangible Assets

Net Tangible Assets (NTA) is effectively total assets less tangible assets and total liabilities.

The QBCC provides a very useful calculator to assist with this calculation found HERE, which we recommend using regularly to make sure that your business aligns with your NTA.

Your NTA helps to determine how much revenue you can push through your business, or your Allowable Annual Turnover (AATO) figure.

 

  1. Regularity of Reviews

It is a requirement to produce a MFR report every time you need to change your AATO, which used to be an annual report.

The QBCC expects that all businesses exceeding a certain licence limit is required to maintain quarterly management reports that they can call upon at their leisure. If the QBCC calls upon these reports, you are required to provide fairly quickly. The QBCC will not provide leniency here and audit activity in the QBCC has definitely increased

My recommendation is that all QBCC licensors maintain quarterly management accounts which are reviewed to determine the following with their advisor:

  1. Current Ratio;
  2. NTA;
  3. AATO; and
  4. Budget/Forecast Review.

 

  1. When do you need to change your AATO

The followings circumstances means that you are required to lodge a new AATO report:

  1. When you exceed your AATO by 10%;
  2. When your NTA decreases by 30%;
  3. If you don’t meet the Current Ratio; or
  4. If the QBCC request it (which is becoming quite frequent).

 

  1. Trust vs Company

In the last few years, almost every QBCC client that has come to Walker Hill has been in a trust structure. I have restructured all of them into companies for the following reasons:

a. Asset Protection

In the eyes of QBCC, a trust is not an entity of its own.

The trustee is the holder of the licence and as a result the trustee is the one reviewed. As a result, the QBCC requires a deed of covenant over personal assets which puts all personal assets at risk and if someone pursues legal action with the QBCC.

b. Simplified Reporting

With a trust, a deed of covenant is required over personal assets. This comes with additional legal costs as a solicitor is required to sign this off with you.

If you are in a trust structure and hold a QBCC licence, you may want to consider changing to another structure. Seek legal advice and look at a better solution.

There are many other areas where the QBCC have hidden obligations that are expected to be ticked off. A trusted advisor who specialises in this area can help you make sure you’ve met your obligations. If you would like to find out more, please touch base with Nick Hill at nick@walkerhill.com.au.