Financial Plans Are COOL

IT IS PRETTY COOL TO HAVE AN ACTUAL FINANCIAL PLAN AND NOT JUST ‘ONE IN YOUR HEAD’

Whilst seeing a client, our discussion often turns to managing personal cash flow.  Some people are happy just living from pay-to-pay and don’t give much consideration to plans for the medium or long term.  Others haven’t really given the idea any thought but think it will all be “OK”.  However, more and more people are thinking about this, but don’t know where to start.

Financial management and retirement planning help people determine their personal saving targets, what they can afford to spend, and how best to arrange their financial affairs.  Retirement planning can quantify how much you need to have saved to retire.  When you are years away from retirement and your personal finances are ever-changing, this can seem like a challenging concept, but it is important to remember that a financial plan is a process, not a product.  It is something that requires discipline to start and at least annual maintenance and review.

A financial plan should include:

  • INVESTMENT PLANNING;
  • INSURANCE + RISK MANAGEMENT;
  • FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT;
  • RETIREMENT PLANNING;
  • TAX PLANNING; +
  • ESTATE PLANNING + LEGAL ASPECTS

Most people insure against at least some of the risks of financial loss due to death, medical issues and damage to property.  You could look at a well-structured and maintained financial plan as insuring against financial difficulty later in life.

Estate planning may also be an overlooked financial planning exercise.  The thing about estate planning is that it should go beyond simply preparing a will just to check off a box and say that it is done.  In a financial planning context, it is important to consider things like who your beneficiaries will be, joint asset ownership, income tax liabilities.  In the same way a married couple may plan for retirement together, it is important to consider what might happen if one spouse or the other died prematurely.  This may be as much a financial planning exercise as an estate law one.

Our financial planners – Samantha Butcher and Helen Yau can get you started on this journey and will assist and advise along the way.  Why don’t you call and make an appointment today, it’s that easy!

 

Amanda Wilkens – Director

B.Comm CPA

State of Wellness Summit

STATE OF WELLNESS SUMMIT // Creating Sustainable Positive Changes In The Lives of Women

We are honored to be sponsoring this amazing wellness movement that is all about creating sustainable positive changes in the lives of women.

You will be able to find our team on Thursday 10th October at GMHBA stadium sharing our knowledge with everyone on how NOT to sweat your finances.

Hosted by Geelong’s charismatic and life-changer Roxie Bennett, there will also be speakers including:
LAUREN BURNS // Olympic Gold Medalist, Naturopath/Nutritionist
JANE KINNEAR // Positive Change Coach, Speaker + Registered Nurse
REBECCA WINKLER // Naturopath + GAPS Practitioner
JO SURKITT // Though Leader, Speaker, Leader + Positive Change Creator
CAL STEWART // Feng Shui Consultant
MADELINE WEST // Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University
KIM BYRNE // Female Mentor, Author + Acclaimed Surfer
AMANDA WILKENS // Canny Group Director, CPA, Chief Financial Operator + Supporter of Women in Business
SAMANTHA BUTCHER // Financial Adviser
DR. CAROLINE TAYLOR-WALKER // Principal Doctor + Lecturer

THURSDAY 10TH OCTOBER 2019
HIGHER MARK @ GMHBA STADIUM GEELONG

Director Amanda Wilkens along financial adviser Samantha Butcher are going to be on stage from 3.30pm for the Q+A Expert Panel answering all of the questions related to women finances.

By using the following link, https://www.stateofwellness.com.au/ we are lucky enough to be able to offer a $50 discount on all tickets that are purchased, just enter CannyFriend as the promo code to apply your discount.

Deceased Estates

There are no inheritance or estate taxes in Australia.  The person responsible for administering a deceased estate is most commonly referred to as an executor, but could also be an administrator where letters of administration are granted by a court.  Both are considered a legal personal representative by us.

When a person dies, there are some important tax and superannuation issues for the executor and the beneficiaries, including:

 

IF YOU ARE A BENEFICIARY OF A DECEASED ESTATE

There may be some tax obligations for beneficiaries, depending on the nature of any distribution they may receive:

RECEIVING SUPER BENEFITS

If the deceased person had super, the super fund’s trustee will work out who to pay any benefit to [either as a lump sum or an income stream].  Super paid after a person’s death is called a ‘super death benefit’.  The tax on a super death benefit depends on:

  • WHETHER YOU WERE A DEPENDENT OF THE DECEASED UNDER TAXATION LAW
  • WHETHER IT IS PAID AS A LUMP SUM OR INCOME STREAM
  • WHETHER THE SUPER IS TAX-FREE OR TAXABLE AND WHETHER THE SUPER FUND HAS ALREADY PAID TAX ON THE TAXABLE COMPONENT
  • YOUR AGE AND THE AGE OF THE DECEASED PERSON WHEN THEY DIED (FOR INCOME STREAMS).

RECEIVING ASSETS

Capital gains tax (CGT) applies to the disposal of an asset; so if you receive an asset you are not affected by CGT.  If you later sell that asset, CGT may apply.

EARNING INCOME

If you as a beneficiary are presently entitled to income of the deceased estate, the income is assessable in the year your present entitlement arose, not in the year the amount is received.

For example, if you were presently entitled to the deceased estate income on 30 June 2018 but did not receive it until September 2018, you are personally assessable on that amount in the year ended 30 June 2018, not in the year ended 30 June 2019.

COMPLETING YOUR TAX RETURN

As a beneficiary, you need the following information:

  • YOUR SHARE OF TRUST INCOME TO WHICH YOU ARE PRESENTLY ENTITLED
  • THE AMOUNT OF YOUR ENTITLEMENT THAT WAS PAID TO SOMEONE ELSE FOR YOUR BENEFIT
  • THE ASSESSABLE INCOME AMOUNT
  • YOUR SHARE OF FRANKING CREDITS ASSOCIATED WITH ANY DIVIDENDS IN THE TRUST DISTRIBUTION
    • THIS MEANS THAT THE COMPANY PAYING THE DIVIDENDS HAS PAID INCOME TAX FOR THE AMOUNT.
    • IF YOU ARE AN AUSTRALIAN RESIDENT BENEFICIARY, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO THE ASSOCIATED FRANKING CREDIT WHEN THE INCOME DISTRIBUTION IS INCLUDED IN YOUR TAX RETURN FOR INDIVIDUALS.

BENEFICIARIES PRESENTLY ENTITLED BUT UNDER A LEGAL DISABILITY

If you are a beneficiary presently entitled but under a legal disability you also need to know the amount of tax the trust paid on your behalf.  If you need to lodge your own tax return you are entitled to receive a tax credit for this so that the same amount isn’t taxed twice.

NON-RESIDENT BENEFICIARIES

If you are a non-resident beneficiary, you will also need to know the amount of:

  • INTEREST IN YOUR DISTRIBUTION AND THE WITHHOLDING TAX PAID
  • UNFRANKED DIVIDENDS IN YOUR DISTRIBUTION AND THE WITHHOLDING TAX PAID
  • FRANKED DIVIDENDS IN YOUR DISTRIBUTION
  • TAX THE TRUST PAID ON YOUR BEHALF

 

Kim Sandhu – Senior Accountant

CPA – B.Com M.Acc

Financial Savvy

Mark it in your diaries ladies.. FRIDAY 31ST MAY + FRIDAY 21ST JUNE!

We are hosting a FREE seminar for women who would like some education on their finances + most importantly their financial security!

Our in-house Financial Planner, Samantha Butcher will be covering topics such as:

  • Women’s Money Challenges
  • Life Events + Women
  • Women’s Money Goals
  • The Need for Insurance
  • Tax Effective Ways to Contribute to Superannuation
  • Superannuation Beneficiaries
  • Superannuation Investment Options
  • Budgeting/Credit Card Debts
  • Wills + Powers of Attorney

Refreshments included + all children welcome!

LIMITED TICKETS VIA EVENTBRITE: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/financial-savvy-tickets-62243498981

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

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

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