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Accounting for Registered Training Organisations (RTO's)

Here at Hyde Cooper Wells Accounting 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 Hyde Cooper Wells 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


As a business start-up specialist Mal Wells and his 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.

A ccounting 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 Hyde Cooper Wells 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.


Your marketing could be the difference between gloom and boom and one of our biggest points of difference compared to traditional accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We view the tax return and compliance as the start of the client process, not the end and we aim to simplify the bookkeeping function so together we can spend more time working on your business and your marketing.  

We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan) and help you create a corporate brochure and harness the power of social media to win more referrals. To generate leads your website must appear at the top of page one in a Google search and the good news is, most of your competitor's websites are nothing more than electronic billboards that list the who, what and where of the business. Over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create quality affordable websites that pay for themselves many times over. Your website should be the heart of your marketing and you need to look at it as an investment not a cost. We can offer you advice and assistance with your content, search engine optimisation and video production plus we'll make sure your website is responsive to mobile devices and contains calls to action.

Here at Hyde Cooper Wells our mission is to help you build your RTO business and grow your wealth. We offer registered training organisationss a range of tailored tax, accounting, financial and marketing solutions including:

  • Start-Up Business Advice for RTO's
  • Advice regarding the Purchase or Sale of your RTO Business
  • Tools including the Start-Up Expense Checklist and Cash Flow Budget Template
  • Templates for a Business Plan, Letterhead and Business Card
  • Advice and Assistance with the Establishment of Your Business Structure
  • Tax Registrations including ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
  • Preparation of Business Plans, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
  • Application for Funding & Government Grants
  • Accounting Software Selection and Training – Bookkeeping, Invoicing & Payroll
  • Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
  • Preparation of Finance Applications
  • Audit Services for RTOs
  • Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
  • Tax Planning Strategies
  • Assistance with your Marketing including your Branding, Corporate Brochure etc.
  • Advice and Assistance with your Website Development, Content and SEO
  • Wealth Creation Strategies and Financial Planning Services
  • Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
  • Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Chattel Mortgage & Lease)
  • Monitoring and Controlling Labour and Sub-Contractor Costs
  • Advice & Assistance with Pricing your Services
  • Recession Survival Strategies
  • Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
  • Business & Risk Insurances (Income Protection, Life Insurance etc.)
  • Business Succession Planning

In summary, Hyde Cooper Wells are a unique accounting and business advisory firm who service the needs of a number of RTOs from all around Australia. We are recognised as ‘business and profit builders’ who offer you cost and tax effective business solutions. 

If you're an ambitious business owner looking to boost your current results or if you're looking to get your RTO business off to a flying start we invite you to contact us today. You can expect practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a profound effect on your future business profits. To book your FREE, one hour introductory consultation simply call us on (03) 5995 3466 or complete your details in the box at the top right hand side of this page and we will be in touch.

Hyde Cooper Wells - Accountants & Business Advisors