Issue 110 - December 2016
We are often so busy, it is easy to burnout and lose focus on the important things in our lives.
It is estimated that a female born in 2012 will, on average, live for 94.4 years; a male 91.6 years. During that period, both men and women will have multiple careers, and working lives that may stretch well into their 70s.
Renowned commentator, Bernard Salt, once said in relation to us living and working longer "This changes the way we think about growing up, retiring, and the entire approach to work and career. We should have more fun; take time out to refresh and learn, and expect that our old ideas about how work and life progress are in for big changes."
So we need to pace ourselves to avoid burnout and create some recharge rituals to manage the demands of our modern lives. Our current daily routines adds pressure to our minds, bodies and souls, however to ensure that our long lives are enjoyed, it would be wise to slow the pace down a little.
Tips for avoiding burnout are aplenty, so we thought to share a few that you could build into your weekly routine:
- Spend time nurturing positive relationships - you know who they are, so give them a call.
- Saying "no" – this is one we are constantly reminded to do, with the silly season upon us, now is the time to give it a try.
- Go device-free – we spend a great deal of time in front of screens big and small – try a screen-free hour and then build up to a screen-free day!
- Connect with nature – on that 'screen-free day' go for a walk in a national park or along the beach. Many medical studies prove that spending time with nature has major health benefits.
- Take one bite at a time – as the saying goes 'How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time", life is overwhelming with so much to do, so write a list and break it down – just the act of writing these down takes the pressure off.
- Breathe slowly – its well documented that busy humans only shallow breathe, but to gain the full quota of oxygen into our bloodstream and brain we need to do deep diaphragmatic breathing. Just 2 to 10 minutes of deep breathing helps you manage stress a lot better.
Follow these simple techniques to enjoy a long, healthy, relaxed, life!
The festive season is upon us and many businesses provide various types of gifts to staff and clients.
Tax laws regarding gifts to employees and clients can be complex, so having some understanding of these laws will ensure the gift giving is enjoyed by all.
The Fringe Benefit Tax rules mean that it's actually more tax effective to both give a gift and hold a Christmas party, rather than hosting a more elaborate party. A gift and the party are viewed as separate benefits for the $300 minor benefits limit, which means employees can have twice the fun without FBT applying.
Non-entertainment gifts provided to employees are usually exempt from FBT where the total value is less than $300 inclusive of GST. These include skincare and beauty products, flowers, wine, perfumes, gift vouchers and hampers for example. A tax deduction and GST credit can also be claimed.
Providing entertainment gifts has different tax implications, examples include tickets to the theatre, a movie, sporting event or providing a holiday. If the cost for each employee is less than $300 GST inclusive, FBT is not payable, but no tax deduction or GST credit can be claimed.
If you provide an employee a non-entertainment gift that is more than $300 GST inclusive, FBT may be payable at the rate of 49% on the grossed-up value but a tax deduction and GST credit can still be claimed.
Non-entertainment gifts given to clients and suppliers do not fall within the FBT rules. Generally a tax deduction and GST credit can be claimed for gifts to clients, provided they are not excessive. The idea of gift giving to clients is usually something that will promote the business and create goodwill, leading to further business being generated in future.
It is important that businesses maintain separate accounts in the general ledger for recording the above transactions to ensure that the correct income tax, GST and FBT treatment is applied.
The best tax outcome for your business this Christmas is keeping to the $300 rule and to give staff, customers and suppliers non-entertainment type gifts.
Contact our office if you have any questions.
Australian Consumer Law now protects small businesses from unfair terms in standard contracts.
As of 12 November 2016, the unfair contract terms legislation extends beyond protection for individuals to include small businesses entering a new standard form contract, or renewing or varying an existing standard form contract.
The key changes where the law applies*:
- it is for the supply of goods or services or the sale or grant of an interest in land
- at least one of the parties is a small business (defined as employing less than 20 people, including casual employees employed on a regular and systematic basis)
- the upfront price payable under the contract is no more than $300 000 or $1 million if the contract is for more than 12 months.
There are exclusions, including those contracts entered into before 12 November (unless renewed after this date), shipping contracts and certain insurance contracts (i.e. car insurance).
The ACCC does regulate this law however only a court or tribunal can determine if a contract term is unfair.
For more information regarding these changes go to the *ACCC website's Unfair Contract terms here.
As of 1 January 2017, the way in which reportable fringe benefits are calculated as income for family assistance is changing.
Centrelink will use 100% of your reportable fringe benefits, instead of the current 51% per cent, to calculate your payment rates. This will affect payments for the following:
- Family Tax Benefit Part A & B
- Child Care Benefit
- Stillborn Baby Payment
- Parental Leave Pay, and
- Dad & Partner Pay
If you work for a not-for-profit organisation which is eligible for a fringe benefits tax exemption, the changes may not affect your payment, some of these include:
- public benevolent institutions
- health promotion charities
- some hospitals and public ambulance service
If you are unsure about your organisation's status, chat with your employer. To read more about these changes visit the Department of Human Services website here.
Scam emails looking identical to your bank, service utility or other businesses you deal with are on the rise. Recently, a nasty virus was spread by email that resembled Australia Post. When opening the infected link in the email it rapidly deleted data and brought some businesses to a standstill.
Email has been a part of our world for over 30 years and the scammers are getting smarter in how they are tricking the everyday email user.
We saw this recently demonstrated by some businesses reporting that emailed invoices to their customers were intercepted, bank account details changed, and then funds re-directed into fraudsters bank accounts. The fake invoices were sent from bogus email addresses closely resembling the legitimate address of the businesses targeted. It was only detected when the suppliers were chasing up the unpaid invoices.
Combating this type of fraud requires both suppliers and customers being diligent in managing information and cross-checking that details are reflective of the businesses usual practice. For example, if as a customer you notice a bank account is completely different, contact the business directly to check if anything has changed. Note also that the businesses contact details on the fake invoice may be different, so contact the business with the previous contact details you have for them. Being extra cautious assists the business monitor suspicious activity and to ensure that your money does not end up in the hands of fraudsters.
Incorporating vigilant IT security and financial management procedures will help detect fraud attempts early, well before payments are made.
Scams or viruses affecting businesses are costly in time and money. For more information on invoice email scams and managing them, visit the ScamWatch website.
What is it?
Salesforce is a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System. It is a business tool that allows you to manage all your customers, partners and prospects information in one place.
Who can it help?
Salesforce can help any business with a significant customer base which would benefit from nurturing and retaining existing customers and winning new customers.
Small businesses often have the problem of too much information stored in employee's heads with sales and customer notes travelling around in the backseat of cars. Salesforce can ensure that all customer relationship information is centralised and available throughout the organisation. Integrated information on customers and leads allows management to have a clear picture of current opportunities, close rates and team performance to make better decisions.
Up-to-date information about your current and potential customers together with social insights also allows you to:
- better understand your customer needs;
- identify new opportunities;
- track and nurture current leads; and
- address problems fast.
Reporting functionality and dashboards within Salesforce allows you to get timely information about performance, leads, conversion rates, marketing campaign success rates, sales forecasts and pipelines allowing you to make decisions faster and drive team performance.
Salesforce is a powerful tool which can assist with increasing customer loyalty, retention and satisfaction as well as assisting businesses to increase sales productivity, lead generation and conversion rates.
The complete CRM Professional plan is priced at $105 per user per month and includes account and contact management, opportunity and lead management, customisable reports and dashboards and email integration.
Deeply customisable options are also available for more complex CRM requirements.
Congratulations to Tridente Architects on winning the David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture in the recent 2016 National Architecture Awards.
Congratulations to Daniel Schell from Ray White Clare Valley on being awarded SA's best rural salesperson at the SA Real Estate Industry Awards.
This month we are supporting Kickstart for Kids, a not-for-profit charity which helps disadvantaged school children in South Australia by providing breakfast and lunch programs and a mentoring program.
Today KickStart for Kids supports over 300 South Australian Schools, providing around 40,000 breakfasts and 10,000 lunches per week.
We would like to advise that our Office will be closed for Christmas and New Year from Thursday 22nd December 2016 at 12 noon and will re-open on Wednesday 4th January 2017.
Congratulations to Danny Haydon, who was recently re-appointed as National President of the Australian Association of Practice Management (AAPM) for another year.
Congratulations to Sarah Hall and her husband Aidan on the birth of their son Oscar Francis.
Congratulations to all our students on their recent exams particularly those completing their university degrees this year.
We welcome Matthew Merrett who has joined us as an Intermediate Accountant.
Congratulations to Jerome Steele and his wife Shantelle on their recent wedding.
We farewell Andrew Danvers and take this opportunity to thank him for all of his good work over the past 4 years.
Congratulations to Linda Fidge on reaching 10 years at Brentnalls SA.
I found Brentnalls SA nearly two and a half years ago through the now Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Student Achiever program and since then have enjoyed working here whilst I study at the University of Adelaide.
Outside of business hours you can find me playing football for the Lockley's Demons, Skiing on the Murray, falling off my dirt bikes and snowboarding which is what I'll be doing in a few months when I head to Hakuba in Japan.
The diverse clientele at Brentnalls SA has led me to collaborate with businesses in a range of different industries from investment to medical to agriculture, each with their own challenges. As an accounting professional I hope to help my clients gain a better financial understanding of their businesses.