Proposed changes to super

In early April the federal government announced various changes to how superannuation will be managed, taxed and paid over the coming years – some changes not coming into effect until 2024.

However, it’s important to remember that these changes will not come into effect until they are passed by both Houses of Parliament and receive the Governor General’s assent. In most cases, if this takes longer than a proposed start date, ie. if it takes more than three months (and sometimes it can take many months) to pass these changes and a proposed start date is 1 July 2013, it may be backdated.

No doubt there will be much public debate and media attention placed on these proposed changes, particularly in association with the upcoming federal election. But until we advise you that the changes have become law and the actual effects they will have on your super, we just have to wait and see.

Stay tuned…

Xero Accounting Software Demonstration

Xero have just released the attached video offering an insight as to how their software works and the benefits for your business. We have been using it ourselves for some time now and have been impressed by some of the time saving features in particular the bank feeds and ability to create rules for repeating transactions.

If you are already thinking of updating your software or interested in ways of increasing the efficiency of your accounting systems then I strongly recommend you take a look. If you would like any further information please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Business Planning – The unique needs of small business owners

The main reason people go into business for themselves is quite simple – to have more control. For others, wealth creation is the main focus, although small business also brings with it the higher chance of failure and loss. Is the hard work and extra risk worth it?

If you are a small business owner or have dreams of becoming one, consider the following and how it might apply to you.

Earn less now to create future wealth

Research suggests that the average Australian small business owner works in excess of 35 hours per week – much more than their employed counterparts of similar age – but despite these hours, small business owners have lower levels of income. Continue reading

Living away from home arrangements in the spotlight

The living away from home allowance (LAFHA) is a payment made to an employee who is living away from their usual residence due to work commitments.

The attraction of this benefit is that if you meet the criteria, it’s effectively tax-free.  It doesn’t count as assessable income, and although it’s classified as a fringe benefit, it’s not taxed which means your employer doesn’t pay tax either.

“Fly-in-fly-out” workers such as those who work in remote mines or employees working on interstate infrastructure projects, are often paid LAFHA to compensate them for additional expenses incurred and any disadvantages suffered due to living away from their homes in order to do their job. Continue reading

Make the most of your business planning in the new financial year

Business PlanningAs a business owner, there is always something to do, however many owners often spend more time working in the business than they do on managing the business.

Here are ten business management tips to help make the new financial year a successful and profitable one for you.

  1. Watch trends in your industry.  Compare your business performance with your competitors and to performance in previous years.
  2. Review your financial management.  Timely accurate reporting is vital to the success of any business. Continue reading

End of Year Tax Tips

Year End Tax PlanningThe end of the tax year is edging closer.  If you haven’t planned how you will maximise your income and save some tax, take note! The most effective strategies are often the simplest and can be applied before 30 June this year whilst others should be considered for next year. Here are both categories to consider:

Pre 30 June

  • Defer non-essential income until the new financial year.
  • Review your investment portfolio prior to 30 June to determine whether investments should be sold to offset any capital gains or losses made throughout the year. Continue reading

Federal Budget Update 2012

Federal BudgetThe federal budget was released last week. Generally there was a lot of belt tightening with the government supposedly determined to return the budget to surplus. Whilst there wasn’t a lot of upside for most of us there are some important changes that you may have missed. These include:


  • Introduction of the ability to claim back tax paid in prior years against current year losses for companies from the 1st July 2012. One of the few wins for small business but as it only applies to companies and only 20% of small business are operated through companies it is expected to have limited application.
  • Proposed reduction of company tax rate has been abandoned. Rate to stay at 30% for the foreseeable future.
  • Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) has been overhauled and is now more limited in its application. Continue reading

Employee Engagement: Do you have the right people on the bus?

Employee EngagementOn a recent trip to Tasmania I found myself at Melbourne airport, in a hurry as usual, trying to grab a quick bite before my flight. It was a particularly busy time and there were lengthy queues at all the various outlets. I lined up at one of the fast food outlets (yes my healthy eating campaign was also on holidays!) where after a short wait I was greeted by a young woman who according to her name badge was a team leader at the store.

She was clearly disinterested in her role and going through the motions, only just! She incorrectly took my order, a fellow customer’s complaint was met with a blank stare and forced smile and the card facilities were working intermittently depending it seemed on who the customer was. What this lead to was a completely unsatisfying experience for all the customers she served. Continue reading

Business Planning: Do you have a business plan and the courage to stick to it during tough times?

Business PlanningIt has been a tough period for the Melbourne Football Club. The death of their much loved former president and club stalwart, followed by allegations against their new coach and then most recently a scandal involving the CEO of their major sponsor that involved the posting of sexist and racist comment on his Facebook page. Whilst all of this was outside of their control, the Melbourne board members must have been wondering what they had done to deserve all this. It’s what they did do though that says so much about them as an organisation. Despite not being one of the most financially secure clubs in the league and not having secured a co-major sponsor they terminated their agreement with the major sponsor they did have. This cost the club a reported $2 million in sponsorship and left a large hole in their budget. A brave and bold decision no doubt but did they do the right thing? The short answer is absolutely. Continue reading

Business Management: Building a Championship Team

It’s that time of the year again –  the start of the season for most of the football codes. That time when after a long summer where every team speaks optimistically of their chances for the season ahead.  The time when we finally begin to find out who is going to live up to their hype. However, as the season passes and we come to the end of the year there will be only one champion team. Who will it be you may well ask? There are plenty of analysts and arm chair critics speculating over this very point as they will for most of the season. Before you race off to the bookies with a fist full of your hard earned I am not going to speculate over who it might be but rather at what qualities they will invariably possess:

  • Leadership – They will have strong leadership at all levels. Whether it’s at the board room table, in the coaches box or on the field there will be clear leaders who lead by example, mentor their counterparts, and are willing to get their hands dirty to do whatever it takes. Continue reading