Just One Thing. Imagine (jot.I)

Kim Bradbury isn’t just a mum-preneur, she isn’t just our very own Business Manager AND she’s featured on Domain.com.  Determined to provide a real solution to our worlds waste problem.  That is the driving force behind Just One Thing. Imagine (jot.I) and believing in the most ordinary products that can make the biggest impact.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO AT JOT.I? – where did you start to where you are now?

At jot.I, I take unloved and unwanted pieces of clothing and turn them into something completely new…bags.  One of my favourite things when designing a new bag, is to make sure it retains a piece of what it once was – which I hope brings a smile to my customers.

I started with a small idea for a shopping bag – supermarkets were advertising that they were going to stop single use plastic bags, but would replace them with a different type of manufactured bag, which seemed a little counterproductive to the environmental problems that the world is facing – and I knew that I didn’t want to manufacture a bag in a factory, I wanted to create something that might make a difference to the world in which we live.  So I thought about fashion waste and how we as a country discard on average 23kg of textile waste per year, much of which ends up in landfill, despite donations to charity shops; and so, I looked for a way that I could use clothing to make a shopping bag, that might in some small way, leave a positive impact on the world.  That’s how Just One Thing. Imagine (or jot.I for short) was born.

The solution I came up with, was a shopping bag made entirely from a men’s shirt.  It still has the placket and the pocket, which I think is fun and it wraps up neatly to fit in a handbag or sit in your car, and is secured by the cuff of the shirt, making it 100% recycled.

From this one idea, I now make satchels, totes, lunch bags, phone stands, sunglass cases…anything I can think of to make sure I use every scrap of material and ensure I am a true zero waste business.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN UPCYCLING/RECYCLING + REDUCING WASTE… and making master pieces?

This question was a bit of an eye opener for me, because I officially started upcycling when I started my business in October 2018.  However, when I look back, I have been doing this since I was a little girl.

One of my strongest memories as a child is sitting with scraps of material that were left over from garments that my Mum would sew (I am lucky by the way, to have a very talented seamstress for a Mum) and I would wrap the scraps around my dolls to create what I thought was the most wonderful couture outfits.

Then when I was a teenager,  before I threw out any clothes, I would always try them on and consider if they could be re-vamped with the talents of my Mum, before I threw them out.  This often meant that dresses became a top, or a long skirt became a mini and I always had a wardrobe that was filled with one of a kind pieces.

So, looking back, I guess I have been upcycling all of my life, but now I have a child of my own, I take it a little more serious as I want to leave a legacy for him that we can be proud of.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

In one word… creating and problem solving.  I love looking at an unloved piece of clothing and then turning that into as many useful everyday pieces as I can.

My favourite so far has been coming up with the idea to use the extra men’s shirt cuffs that I had left over from my shopping bags and to incorporate them into a functional part of the design for my sunglasses cases.

WHAT IS your SECRET.. to being a mum-preneur?

Family and friends.  Without their honest feedback, encouragement and support – I wouldn’t have had the courage to become a mum-preneur.

 

To check out Kim Bradbury’s website to go: https://justonethingimagine.com.au/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jot.imagine/

OR have a read of Kim’s feature on domain.com.au : https://www.domain.com.au/living/the-rise-of-the-hobbyist-796778/?utm_campaign=strap-masthead&utm_source=domain-homepage&utm_medium=link

Cars + Running Expenses

Did you know transport is the second largest expense after housing, equating to almost 14% of household budgets?  As this cost continues to climb, people are looking for more effective ways to reduce their daily bills.  A Novated Lease on a new or existing vehicle may be the solution, providing significant tax savings on the purchase price and running costs of a vehicle.

BE SURE TO CONSIDER ALL YOUR OPTIONS..

Have you consulted with Canny Group about a smarter way to purchase your next vehicle?  Or if there is a more financially sound way to run your existing one?

As transport costs continue to climb, people are looking for more effective ways to reduce their daily bills.  On average individuals spend over $17,000 annually on transportation, equating to almost 14% of household budgets^.

A Novated Lease on a new or existing vehicle may be a solution to ease transport bills.  It is a three-way agreement between you, the financier and your employer, consisting of a vehicle salary packaging arrangement to pay a large portion of the finance and running costs using your pre-tax income. No business-use is required.

There is no other product or method in Australia that allows tax savings on the personal-use of a vehicle.

And whilst business-use can be taken into account, because of the way the ATO have catered for this concession, unless significant, business-use likely won’t increase the saving any further.

Novated Lease savings come from four key areas:

  • PAYG TAX ON VEHICLE REPAYMENTS + RUNNING COSTS – Australian tax law allows you to salary package a significant portion of the total finance repayments and anything the ATO deems to be a necessary vehicle running cost.
  • GST ON FINANCE REPAYMENTS + RUNNING COSTS – In addition to saving on PAYG tax, you also have the ability to save the GST on the salary packaged portion of finance repayments and running costs (i.e. an additional 10%).
  • REDUCED VEHICLE PURCHASE PRICE – Leasing providers like FleetChoice have purchasing power, resulting in significant discounts on the price of a new vehicle.
  • NO GST ON VEHICLE PURCHASE PRICE – If you purchase the vehicle from a GST-registered vendor (e.g. A fleet provider, a new/used car dealership or a GST registered business), you have the opportunity to not pay GST on the purchase price of the vehicle.  The vendor is paid the full price for the vehicle however you will only finance the GST exclusive price of the vehicle.

Put simply, a Novated Lease allows you to drive the car you want and pay for it in a cost effective way.  It’s also common for families to take advantage of multiple Novated Leases as the lease holder does not need to be the main driver of the vehicle.

Whether you travel 0km or 50,000km per year, the total cost of ownership under a novated lease is more often than not, much cheaper than had you paid cash for the vehicle.

Significant discounts on new cars are accessible via a Fleet Provider because of the sheer volume of vehicles they purchase each year.  And whilst a used or demo vehicle could be put into a Novated Lease agreement, it’s a good idea to get a comparative lease quote on the brand new equivalent.  In some cases, a year old used vehicle or demo model may come in at the same lease cost, or more!

Alternatively, if you aren’t ready to say goodbye to your existing car, you can have a Novated Leasing Consultant run the numbers on packaging your existing vehicle and running costs into a Novated Lease agreement.

Whilst fleet pricing is just as good all year round, May-June can provide that little bit of extra saving.  With EOFY knocking down the door, if you find you are in the market for a car, it might be a good idea to enquire into a Novated Lease soon, so you have enough time to compare your vehicle options wisely.

Most people don’t realise the amount of money they spend on getting from A to B, including to and from work.  It’s the second largest expense after housing, so it’s not surprising that 48% of employees are stressed about the cost of transport^.

If this sounds like something you are interested in knowing more about, get in touch here or speak to a Novated Specialist on 1300 34 33 88.

Alternatively if you would like to understand more about the benefits Novated Leasing can bring to your business, at no cost, download a free copy of The Forgotten Employer Initiative whitepaper.

FleetChoice specialise in the SME market and we make it easy for the employer because ultimately they do have to agree to be a part of the employees Novated Leasing agreement.

 

By Ellen Jessop

After a long 10+ years in the industry, Ellen has a passionate focus and demonstrated history in Income Tax Law, Fringe Benefits and more specifically Novated Leasing.  Enjoyer of expensive things like Reformer Pilates and our good old friend interior design, she currently helps pay for her fabulous Art Deco apartment renovation and ongoing exercise classes using the savings she enjoys on leasing her car.

 

*(FY19; 32.5% for those on $37,001-$90,000 annual Income, 37% for those on $90,001-$180,000 annual income). ^Source: 2018 Employer Talent Investment index. A national study conducted by Mantis Research.

 

 

Cyber Security – How Not To Be An April Fool

Do you know how valuable you are?  Identity thieves do!

Every year thousands of Australians have their identities stolen.  Criminals use stolen personal information to commit identity crimes.  This can leave their victims with a bad credit rating and impact their ability to gain finance, run a business, or access government services.

Once your identity is stolen it can take a long time to recover.  The same goes for your business, staff and client information and ensuring that this is also secure.  If your data is lost or compromised, it can be extremely difficult as well as very costly to recover.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) along with the leading industry bodies, consultation with the Cyber Security Working Group (CSWG), a group of tax practitioner industry groups and other partners, such as software developer associations have created a list of top identity security tips to help keep you, your information and your business safe.

Some tips and tricks for Individuals to consider:

TREAT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION LIKE CASH

Do not leave your personal information lying around. If your personal information is stole, it is very difficult to get back.  Keep your personal information private.  Only share it when you are required to, and only share it through authorised processes and to authorised people.

Some tips and tricks for Businesses to consider:

REMOVE SYSTEM ACCESS FROM PEOPLE WHO NO LONGER NEED IT

Immediately remove access for people who; no longer work for your business or have changed positions and no longer require access.  Unauthorised access to systems by past employees is a common cause of identity security or fraud issues for businesses.

DO NOT USE USBS OR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES FROM AN UNFAMILIAR SOURCE

USBs and external hard drives may contain malware, which can infect your business computers without you noticing.  It can cost your business a lot of money to repair the damage.  Stolen information could be used to commit crimes, often in your business’s name.

Some tips and tricks for both individuals and businesses to consider:

ENSURE YOUR PASSWORDS ARE STRONG AND SECURE

Use multi-factor authentication where possible.  Regularly change passwords, and do not share them.  Multi-factor authentication required used to provide multiple pieces of information to authenticate themselves – for example, a text message sent to your phone when logging in to a website.  An additional layer of security on your accounts can make it harder for others to access your accounts.  Strong passwords with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols also make your accounts harder to hack.

ENSURE ALL DEVICES HAVE THE LATEST AVAILABLE SECURITY UPDATES

Run weekly anti-virus and malware scans and have up-to-date security software.  Instances of malicious software (malware) are increasing.  It can be easy to accidentally click on an email or website link which can infect your computer.  In some instances, your device may be impacted by ransomware.  Ransomeware can; lock your computer until you pay a fee to criminal and/or install software which provides access to your bank accounts, allowing criminals to steal your money.

USE A SPAM FILTER ON YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNT

Always use a spam filter on your email account and do not open unsolicited messages.  Be wary of downloading attachments or opening email links you receive, even if they are from a person or a business you know.  They can infect your computer with malware and lead to your business or client information being used to commit fraud.  Spam emails can be embedded with malware and/or used to trick you into providing information, paying fraudulent invoices or buying non-legitimate goods.

SECURE YOUR WIRELESS NETWORK

Be vigilant when using public wireless networks.  Avoid making online transactions while using public or complimentary wi-fi.  Not all wi-fi access points are secure.  By making online transactions (such as online banking) on an unsecured network, you can put your information and money at risk.

BE VIGILANT ABOUT WHAT YOU SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Keep personal information private and be aware of who you are interacting with.  People are accustomed to sharing personal information on social media.  The same goes for many businesses as they also now have a social media presence.  However, before sharing ask yourself if it is information you want strangers to have access to.  It is very easy for information on social media sites to be shared outside of your network, even when your security settings are set to private.  Scammers can take information you publicly display and impersonate you or your business.  Impersonators may send emails to trick your staff into providing valuable information or releasing funds.

MONITOR YOUR ACCOUNTS FOR UNUSUAL ACTIVITY OR TRANSACTIONS

Check your accounts (including bank accounts, digital portals and social media) for transactions or interactions you did not make, or content you did not post.  If an organisation you deal with sends you an email alerting you to unexpected changes on your account, do not; click on included hyperlinks or open any attachments.  You should immediately; check your account and contact the organisation by phone.

ENSURE YOUR MAIL IS SECURE

Ensure your mail is secure and consider using a secure PO Box.  Mail theft is a leading cause of personal information security breaches.

DO NOT DOWNLOAD PROGRAMS OR OPEN ATTACHMENTS

Some programs contain malware that can infect your computer, or be used to harvest your personal and business information.  Be sure you are downloading authorised and legitimate programs.  Unless you know the program is legitimate, do not open attachments or download it.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR INFORMATION UNATTENDED

Secure your electronic devices wherever you are.  Your personal information can be taken in an instant.  In some situations, you won’t even know it was stolen.  Make sure you; do not leave electronic devices unattended, secure your electronic devices with passcodes and securely store portable storage devices (such as thumb and hard drives) when not in use.

 

Source: Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

Ivy Recruitment Partners

Ivy Recruitment Partners is a niche boutique recruitment consultancy specialising in financial planning recruitment for boutique to medium sized financial planning firms across Melbourne and Kim Eveleigh is the powerhouse behind it all.

 

How did Ivy Recruitment Partners come to life?

I owned another recruitment agency for nine years and after returning from maternity leave with my third child, my then business partner and I decided it was time to go our separate ways.  This is when I met Mandy from Canny Group who assisted through the sales process (she was amazing!).  When we settled I sold my shares, established Ivy Recruitment Partners and I haven’t looked back!

How long has Ivy Recruitment Partners been up and running for?

Seven amazing months!  As part of the sale I was able to take my clients with me and I anticipated just working on those roles.  However it has absolutely taken off and completely surpassed any of my expectations that I previously had.

What do you love about your job?

The relationships most of all!  I have amazing relationships with my clients and due to this they always give me repeat business which is incredible.  Some of my clients are like friends now.  Because of the relationships I have built, I get many referrals which means I regularly get new financial planning businesses contacting me off the back of my existing relationships.

I love dealing with candidates.  There are some candidates that I placed many years ago in junior roles who have worked their way up and are now my clients!

I also wouldn’t be a recruiter if I didn’t enjoy the satisfaction of making placements – it’s not only the thrill of placing a great candidate (particularly the junior candidates when you hear them squeal with delight that they’ve been offered their dream role), but also the praise the client gives when you’ve secured them their ideal candidate and how pleased they are that they’re been provided a great service.

It’s a pretty lucrative career as well.  If you love it… you do it well.

Is your job exciting or do you just look at peoples resumes all day?

It has its highs and lows.  One day you have multiple roles on with candidates going out to interviews and making placements and it’s so motivating!  Then the next day, you might have a candidate withdraw or another agency fills the role you are working on (as there are a few businesses that use several agencies for one role), or it could be that something else happens and the placement you thought you were to to make just simply doesn’t happen.  That’s when you turn it up a notch and go into overdrive to fill the roles for your clients.

You certainly do look at a lot of resumes, but having been in recruitment for 13 years now, it’s second nature and I can easily pick a top candidate out of 50 applications through quick screening.

What’s planned for the future of Ivy Recruitment Partners?

At the moment, I absolutely love having the flexibility and freedom of working for myself around the kids as life is busy with three!  However, I have so much business coming through, much more so than I had anticipated, that I might need to look at bringing on another consultant sooner rather than later.  Ideally, I’d like to continue as I am until my littlest reaches kinder and hopefully I am able to do that.  At that point, I’ll be back talk to Mandy about how to build the business and put a plan into place.

How do I get into contact or find our more about Ivy Recruitment Partners?

You can e-mail me directly at kim@ivyrecruitmentpartners.com.au.

I am always on LinkedIn as well so that’s another good way to make contact!

 

Kim Eveleigh – Director

Ivy Recruitment Partners

Casual Conversion Rights

Often our business clients want advice on putting into place employment arrangements that are flexible in the form of casual employment arrangements that may also suit employees.

At times the business may want confidence in the employee’s performance before considering a full time contract or the business may be approached by a casual employee who seeks to be converted to full time employment after working regular hours.

In September 2018 the Fair Work Commission (FWC) turned its attention to the question of “Casual Conversion” and the employer’s obligation to convert a causal employee working regular hours to full time or part time permanent employment.  From 1 October 2018 the FWC varied many awards to include this right.  Subject to certain prerequisites in many circumstances (that is 84 Modern Awards in addition some 28 Modern Awards that already contain the right) an employee has a right to request casual conversion to permanent employment.

The rights is subject to the casual employee working a pattern of hours over the previous 12 months that they could continue to perform on a full time or part time basis under the provision of the applicable award.

Subject to the formalities such as the request being in writing the employer may refuse only on reasonable grounds such as: the employee is not working regular hours; it is known or reasonably foreseeable the employee’s position will end; it is known that the employee’s hours will significantly reduce in the next 12 months.  Any such ground must be provided to the employee in writing in 21 days of the request being made.  If the employee disputes the alleged facts or claimed reasonable bases, the dispute will be heard at FWC.

Accordingly business are not required to offer employees under relevant Modern Awards permanent employment and the casual employee’s right depends on the facts determining regular employment over the preceding 12 months.  If casual employees prefer flexibility and 25% higher pay they will not exercise this right.

If you would like more information, or to find our how we can help – please get in touch with our team.

 

Richard Pinkstone – Principal Solicitor

BA, LLB

Discretionary Trusts + Keeping It In The Family

A family trust is a form of a Discretionary Trust and one of the most important investment vehicles that individuals can look at starting.  They are very useful in particular for building wealth for the benefit of future generations, flexibility in daily operations, family investments, holding and protecting your family’s properties and other assets.  These assets could include investment properties, share portfolios, personal use assets (holiday homes, boats, land, antiques etc.).

Many of our clients also prefer to keep properties used in their business under a trust structure while carrying on their operations from other business entities under a rental agreement to protect their assets from creditors and other third party legal action.

The purpose of a trust is to hold these assets and cash flow for the benefit of the members of the “family group”.  Their operation is for the most part subject to the terms of the trust deed which is prepared when a trust is established.  This makes the trust deed the single most important document for this structure.  It dictates various things including:

  • Who is the Trustee (who looks after the legal property of the trust for the benefit of the family members and decide on annual distributions – generally mum and/or dad)
  • Who is the Appointor (Person in charge of selecting the trustee)
  • Who will be the beneficiaries (those entitled to the trust’s income and/or those who have right to trust’s assets)
  • Definition of trust income including how, to whom and what type of income will be distributed.
  • What happens when a trust vests or ends.

 

Due to the fact that the trust deed of the trust defines who the potential recipients of trust income will be on formation (usually family members), trust is a structure very much favored by family businesses (I.e. a Family Trust) who can provide capital if expansion is required in the future, investments need to be purchased or excess cash of family members needs to be loaned to the trust.  This is because, besides commercial loans, it is not possible to pursue external investor capital as a family trust.

If succession planning and keeping the business with in the family is the main goal, then this is the ideal business structure.  Discretionary trusts allow the business to be passed down to the next generation of family members.  In this case, the trust deed must allow for the change of Appointor or Trustee.  As there is no change in beneficial ownership of the trust and given all family members are beneficiaries of the trust, the changeover in the control of business within the family is not subject to any CGT implications.

This trust structure offers various benefits such as:

  • Being an ideal tool for succession planning and transferring within the family without immediate tax implications.  For example, when you want to hand down the family business to your next generation while avoiding any CGT implications.  This is true, as long as they are deemed to be beneficiaries as per the trust deed which also needs to be carefully drafted.
  • Strong asset protection is provided from creditors (for instance, in the event a family member experiences bankruptcy or a related entity is going through insolvency).  This requires that the trustee is a company and trust deed limits the trustee’s liability upon being sued to the share capital invested in the trustee company.  Please note that exceptions do apply when it comes to family law.
  • High degree of flexibility in distribution of income to various beneficiaries in the most tax effective way including family and friends ensuring all the family members tax free thresholds are fully utilized.

Distributions can also be varied every year to reflect changing income of family members.

  • Access to various small business Capital Gains Tax (CGT) concessions on sale, restructure of and retirement from business.  The individual also receives a 50% CGT discount when distribution is received from the trust.
  • Overall flexibility in operation of trust as it is mainly governed by the trust deed.

One of the main drawbacks of a trust structure would be that losses cannot be distributed and there are substantial hurdles to recoup such losses.  However, trust losses can be carried forward to future years and offset against future tax income.

Due to the trust offering such significant benefits and potential tax savings, the ATO have been looking more closely into them recently.  Recent changes included reduction in distributions to minor members of the family (usually under 18 years old).

All in all, it can be quite complex and challenging to identify your business needs and selecting the appropriate business structure or combination of entities.  Furthermore there are various commercial and taxation implications when it comes to family trusts.

Keeping your business circumstances in mind, and to ensure there is a seamless transfer of wealth between generations, it is recommended to get professional advice before making any such decision so you can customise your entity structure to your business needs.

 

Humam Siddiqui – Accountant

BComm

We Bring Home an International Award

The PANALITIX conference is a premier annual even where accountants from across the globe converge to learn on accounting best practice from industry influencers, thought leaders, technology and solution providers as well as international outstanding accounting firms.

Directors, Amanda Wilkens and Krystine Canny-Smith and Manager Helen Yau travelled across the globe to San Diego in November to take part in the conference.  Not only bringing back extra suitcases and excess baggage, they also managed to bring home the Best in Team Development Annual Award for 2018 from 12 awards.

The ‘Best in Team Development’ category aims to reward those who strive to create an amiable work environment for their team, while consequently providing continuous team development and engagement, resulting in business growth.

http://atthepac.com/thepac-awards/

How To Set New Year Resolutions and Stick To Them

So 1st January you have your list of resolutions and you are completely committed… 2nd January you are distracted with ‘life’ and by 7th January they are in the ‘too hard, stinks of effort’ basket if you haven’t forgotten about them already.

Well this year is going to be different and this is how;

1. Think of the top 3 things you want to change in your life – business or personal.  Any more than this and it gets too complicated and overwhelming and this is where the failure rate creeps in.

2. Think about the length of time you need to achieve each goal and diarise the date that they each need to be completed by. Be realistic here but it must be within the year.

3. Contact the people or business that will help you achieve your 3 goals.  If it is getting your Will done, call your lawyer and make the appointment.  If it is getting fit, call a Personal trainer.  If it is starting a new business or expanding, call your Accountant.  If it is making more time to see your parents or friends get on the phone now and just do it!

4. Decide on the reward you will give yourself when these are completed.

It is likely that you can’t do all this alone so don’t be afraid to delegate to the experts who can help you.

Business goals are no different to personal goals in terms of the way you should ‘attack’ them.  You must be methodical and committed otherwise you are wasting your time, money and that of those that are prepared to help you.

We have many clients who say at the beginning of the year that they want to ‘increase their income’ or ‘decrease their costs’.  These are sweeping statements and we can help you do this, but first we will help you determine what the figure is and what and how they can be achieved.  It takes time and thought to plan this.

 

In 2019 we will be holding our popular ‘One Day Plan sessions’ each month commencing in March in our new premises at the Federal Mill.

These whole day sessions are designed to establish what your goals are and we work with you to determine the path you will take to achieve them.  So it doesn’t just have to be at New Year that you can make resolutions!

The dates for these sessions will be released in our February Newsletter and are open to existing clients or new.

 

Amanda Wilkens – Director

B.Comm CPA

Making Sure Your Small Business Doesn’t Break the Bank these Holidays

If you are like most small businesses, you may find Christmas and January the hardest time of year for cash flow!

Tradies find there is no income as building ceases and materials that haven’t already been received aren’t available until February.  This effects not only those directly in the building trade, but also concreters, plasterers, glaziers and everyone who supports the building trade.

For small businesses like ours, who support other small businesses, we find our clients close over the New Year and January.  It’s not just accountants though who are effected by this, it’s commercial cleaners, security firms, lawyers and all whose services support small businesses.

And if you support the education sector, then you can look forward to closing shop for around six weeks!  Small businesses that run schools (sport, art, dancing and music schools come to mind) or support education (cleaning, security or education providers) can be confident there won’t be much hitting their bank account in January!

Yes, things get hard when cash flow is tight, but there are a few simple things you can do to help manage it.  Remember that forewarned is forearmed!

  1. Talk to your clients/customers and let them know you need them to pay before Christmas. If you are able to reduce your outstanding debtors and get this money in the bank, it will help cover the Christmas wages and also January when receipts are low.  Ideally, all your customers should finalise all accounts that are over 30 days before Christmas.  This will make an enormous difference to your cash flow.
  2. If possible, invoice clients in advance.  A very clever client of ours (who shall remain nameless and who knows exactly what work will be provided in January), offered her customers the opportunity to pay in advance.  If you operate a larger business, it may be convenient to pay January in advance to your suppliers.  Then you won’t have to worry about bills over the holiday period.  If some of your customers fall in this category, consider invoicing in advance.
  3. Speak to your bank about an overdraft.  Although we generally like to avoid overdrafts and minimise borrowing, there are times each year when you may need extra help to meet the bills.  If you can get approval for an overdraft this is a good safety net.
  4. Last, but not least, put off paying any creditors you can.  Naturally it feels bad putting off paying our suppliers.  However, if we contact them in advance and let them know how much we will be paying and when they are usually happy to accommodate.  We all know from our businesses, that if we know when someone is paying and how much they are paying, we feel more comfortable than if we don’t hear from them or they avoid our calls.

Don’t forget that the superannuation for your employees is due before 28th January 2019, so make sure you have enough in your account to cover that.  Your BAS will generally be due before 25th February 2019 (unless you are a monthly BAS lodger), so thankfully cash flow should return to normal by then.

In the meantime, if you need any help with cash flow or want any information to help you budget over Christmas and January, please don’t hesitate to contact our Accounting team.

 

Krys Canny-Smith

Director – CPA, BComm

Fairwork Announces New Flexible Working Arrangements

Have you heard of the flexible working arrangements that have now become law in Australia?

Flexible working arrangements may allow an employee to make arrangements with their employer to have work conditions that better suit their needs.  This may allow the employee to have a better work/life balance and can even help the employer improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

The employee and employer can negotiate the flexibility of either working hours and where the work is performed, for example, at home.

There are 2 formal ways employers and employees can make their workplace more flexible:

  • Flexible working arrangements – certain employees have the right to request flexible working arrangements,
  • Individual flexibility arrangements – employers and employees can negotiate to change how certain terms in an award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement apply to them.

 

Flexible working arrangements are only available to certain employees.  The must have worked with the same employer for at least 12 months, and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are a parent or are responsible for the care of a child who is school age or younger,
  • Are a carer,
  • Have a disability,
  • Are 55 years of age or older,
  • Are experiencing family or domestic violence, or
  • Provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who require care and support because of family or domestic violence.

 

The request for flexible working arrangements must be in writing, explain what changes are being requested and explain the reasons for the request.

Employers can only refuse a request for flexible working arrangements on reasonable business grounds.  These may include the following:

  • The arrangement would be too costly,
  • Other employees’ working conditions can’t be changed to accommodate the request,
  • It would result in a significant loss to productivity or have a negative impact on the business.

 

For more information on flexible working arrangements and individual flexibility arrangements, visit the Fairwork website, via the link https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/flexibility-in-the-workplace

 

Danny Grigg – Senior Accountant

B.Comm, CA

5 steps to help you understand if your business if performing

It is important to understand if your business is actually profitable or not.  It is easy to be trapped into thinking you are making money whilst there are lots of transactions both in and out and you get caught up in the day to day operations of your small business.

Visibility is one of the keys to managing profitability and making sure that your business growth is sustainable.  What I mean by that is, that it is easy as a small business owner to lose track of the true performance as the business grows and activity increases.

  1. You must maintain good and accurate records of your daily transactions.  It doesn’t matter if these are recorded manually or by a software package, it is essential that you understand what you are looking at.  If your profits vary from say month to month, you should be able to spot the reason and have clarity around how you are performing and why.  Properly constructed financial reports are a must!
  2. Targets and forecasts are an invaluable tool to measure your performance against.  Preparing a budget for both income and expenditure and then comparing actual transactions against the budgeted figures will give you a guide on how you are travelling and will make any ’overspending’ or any unexpected costs standout.
  3. You should know and understand how each product line or service is performing.  Don’t let the high performing areas of your business cover up the under performers.
  4. It is important to manage working capital.  If your business is not generating enough profit it will run out of cash.
  5. Many small businesses have good growth opportunities and it takes skill to manage this.  Having a clear financial plan will help guide you and ensure that you are not making economic commitments that can’t be supported.

If you would like to discuss how to set up your financial reporting or understand the information contained in financial statements, budgets or plans we would be happy to help.

Should you require further information, please get in touch with our team.

 

Amanda Wilkens – Director

B.Comm CPA