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Boost employee engagement

Posted on January 27, 2017 by admin


Employee engagement is more vital than ever before to a business’s success and competitive advantage. Workers who are not motivated to work convey a bad impression to customers and are more likely to make mistakes. Employees who are engaged significantly outperform those who are not engaged. Employees are no longer spending their careers working at one company until their retirement. In today’s business environment employees often have many jobs in their working life. Employees also have greater flexibility on where, when and how they are working, so businesses need to keep their workers motivated and engaged. It is also more cost-efficient for businesses to retain valuable employees, rather than having to pay the prices associated with recruiting new workers. There are many factors that can impact an employee’s engagement; however, there are three key drivers. Engagement is affected by the employees: ƒƒrelationship with the immediate supervisor belief in senior leadership pride in working for the company There are five key areas that managers can focus on daily to encourage employee engagement: treat all employees with respect give credit when it is due communicate clearly, consistently and oftenƒƒ offer benefits provide an optimal workplace environment for them to thrive. Employees should […]


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Improving productivity

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Staying productive in the workplace can be challenging – whether it’s interruptions from colleagues, unnecessary meetings or simply distractions such as social media, it is hard to stay focused on the task at hand. Here are three ways to be more productive in your work day: Take more breaks Although taking more breaks sounds counterintuitive to productivity; breaks provide time to refresh and therefore can improve performance. Break up long tasks by taking a short break at least every hour or so to maintain concentration. Reduce time of meetings Meetings can take up a large part of your work day; stealing many of your most productive hours. Effective meetings usually have a strict end time, only include essential staff members and stick to an agenda. Before organising your next meeting, consider which staff members are necessary (and which can afford not to go) and write up an agenda prior to the meeting. Break up big tasks into small parts It can be easy to procrastinate when it comes to a large project, as the prospect of starting the task may seem overwhelming. One way to combat procrastination is to break up the task into smaller, more manageable parts. Breaking up […]


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SuperStream checklist

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All businesses should now be SuperStream compliant. SuperStream is a standard for processing superannuation data and payments electronically. Employers must pay employee super contributions electronically (EFT or BPAY) and send the associated data electronically under SuperStream. SuperStream ensures the data is in a standard format so it can be transmitted consistently across the super system – between employers, funds, service providers and the Tax Office. For those businesses who have not made the switch, here is a guide to be SuperStream ready: Choose an option SuperStream requires you to pay super and send employee information electronically. If you already do this, you may only need to refine your system to send the contribution data in the standard format. You can use: a payroll system that meets the SuperStream standard your super fund’s online system a super clearing house a messaging portal If you are unsure of which option to choose, contact one of our accountants to help you select the most suitable option for your business. Collect information and update your records You may need to collect additional information from your employees, including: employee tax file number fund ABN fund unique superannuation identifier (USI) For employees with a self-managed super […]


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ATO targeting online selling and ride-sourcing

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The Australian Tax Office is collecting data from financial institutions and online selling sites as part of their data matching programs for credit and debit cards, online selling and ride-sourcing. The data will include: the total amount of credit and debit card payments businesses received online sellers who have sold at least $12,000 worth of goods or services payments made to ride-sourcing drivers from accounts held by the ride-sourcing facilitator The ATO will match this data with information from income tax returns, activity statements and other ATO records to identify any discrepancies. Data matching helps the Tax Office to identify businesses that need help and those that may not be reporting all their income or meeting their registration, lodgment or payment obligations. Business owners who think they might have made a mistake or left something out are urged to contact our office to correct your mistake, amend your return or make a voluntary disclosure. The ATO may reduce or even waive penalties if you make a disclosure before the Tax Office contacts you.


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2017 Business Resolutions

Posted on January 19, 2017 by admin


The start of the New Year is generally a time to reflect on the previous year’s achievements and challenges and work towards setting new goals. The New Year can offer business owners a powerful motivation for business growth. Whether you want to expand your business or increase your network; goal-setting plays a critical role in achieving success. Here are three business resolutions to consider for 2017: Network, network, network Consider joining a professional networking group or new business organisation to meet like-minded individuals in your industry. A large networking circle can help you access new business opportunities, expand your knowledge within a field and raise your professional profile. Participating in networking activities and events often leads to more connections, which can help generate referrals and word-of-mouth marketing. Create a productive work space The physical characteristics of a work space can have an enormous impact on productivity, health and safety, and comfort. A well-planned office space can assist employees to carry out their daily task effectively. Elements such as lighting, colour, layout and noise all contribute to a positive and productive work environment. Ideal work environments are exposed to a significant amount of natural light, are free from clutter and control […]


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Overview of the transfer balance cap

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The transfer balance cap was introduced as part of the reforms to superannuation in the 2016 Federal Budget and will commence on 1 July 2017. The cap applies to the total amount of super that has been transferred into the retirement phase. The cap will start at $1.6 million, and will be indexed periodically in $100,000 increments in line with CPI. If, at any time, you meet or exceed your cap, you will not be entitled to indexation. Each individual with super interests in the retirement phase has a personal transfer balance cap that cannot be shared with anyone else. Individuals will have a transfer balance account which tracks the net amounts transferred to the retirement phase. Individuals who currently receive a pension or annuity income stream that is close to or in excess of the cap, or start a retirement phase income stream after 1 July 2017 will be affected by the transfer balance cap. Those affected should seek advice as to how to reduce the value of their income stream before 1 July 2017 to ensure there is not an excess. For those who will commence a retirement phase income stream after 1 July 2017, you must ensure: […]


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Changes to tax rates for working holiday makers

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Tax rates for working holiday makers who are in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa have changed. From 1 January 2017, employers who employ a working holiday maker in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa: – Must withhold 15 per cent from every dollar earned up to $37,000 with foreign resident tax rates applying from $37,001. – Must register with the Australian Tax Office by 31 January 2017 to withhold at the working holiday maker tax rate. – If you do not register, you will need to withhold at the foreign resident tax rate of 32.5 per cent. – Penalties may apply if you employ holiday makers but do not register. For employers who already employ working holiday makers, you will need to issue two payment summaries (with different rates) this year – one for the period to 31 December 2016 and a second for any period from 1 January 2017.


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Employee or contractor: Know the difference

Posted on January 12, 2017 by admin


Employers that incorrectly treat employees as contractors can face hefty penalties and charges as well as claims for entitlements and superannuation contributions. Sham contracting arrangements, where an employer attempts to disguise an employment relationship as an independent contracting arrangement, are illegal and breach the Fair Work Act 2009. Under the sham contracting provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009, an employer cannot: misrepresent an employment relationship or a proposed employed arrangement as an independent contracting arrangement dismiss or threaten to dismiss an employee for the purpose of engaging them as an independent contractor make a knowingly false statement to persuade or influence an employee to become an independent contractor Employers who engage in sham contracting arrangements can face serious penalties for contraventions of these provisions. The courts may impose a maximum penalty of $54,000 per contravention. These businesses also risk penalties and charges from the Tax Office, including: PAYG withholding penalty for failing to deduct tax from worker payments Super guarantee charge, made up of super guarantee shortfall amounts, interest charges and an administration fee Additional super guarantee charge of up to 200 per cent The ATO provides guidance to work out if a worker is an employee or contractor […]


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How to build employee trust

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Cultivating employee trust is a key principle of effective communication, leadership and teamwork. A lack of employee trust can be damaging to levels of employee engagement and overall business outcomes. Here are three ways to foster employee trust and boost performance: Be honest Open and honest communication helps to create trust as employees are informed of any changes that affect them and what is happening in the business. Creating a transparent culture where business leaders acknowledge their shortcomings as much as their successes helps to gain employee respect and boost confidence. Recognise efforts Recognition of good work is a surefire way to promote trust. Acknowledging efforts, especially in public, can help motivate employees to continually strive to do better and also inspires other team members to aim high. Providing frequent recognition helps employees to feel valued and certain about their performance and therefore, more likely to stay with your business. Encourage autonomy Show employees they are trusted by providing them with greater autonomy in their work. Autonomy provides employees with a sense of control, responsibility and ownership over their work. High levels of autonomy are associated with higher levels of job satisfaction and motivation.


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Strategies to manage investment risk

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Exposure to risk is a big part of investing and although individuals cannot eliminate risk completely, they can implement strategies to manage risk and achieve their financial goals. Managing investment risk is particularly beneficial in times of increased volatility and unfavourable economic conditions as well as ensuring investors meet their long-term investment goals. Here are three ways to manage investment risk: Asset allocation Including different asset classes (i.e shares, cash, property) in your portfolio can help to balance risk and return based on an individual’s age, risk tolerance, goals and investment time frame. As different asset classes will perform better at different times depending on the underlying economic conditions at the time, it is important for a fund to invest in a diverse mix of assets. Diversification Diversification aims to maximise an individual’s return by investing in different asset classes that react differently to the same event. Although it does not guarantee avoiding a loss, diversification is an important component of reaching long-term financial goals while minimising risk. Regularly monitor investments Be sure to regularly monitor each investment in your portfolio. This helps to ensure your investment goals are on track and remain in line with your risk profile. Keep […]


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SMSF annual return for pension phase trustees

November 15, 2017

Self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees who are in pension phase must lodge their SMSF annual returns if they remain active, or choose to wind up the fund.

The ATO is warning SMSF trustees about their regulatory obligations and is paying close attention to those SMSFs that are not meeting their lodgment obligations.

Trustees must lodge a Self-managed superannuation fund annual return 2017 if it was a self-managed super fund on 30 June 2017, or a self-managed super fund that was wound up during 2016-17.

Super funds that are not SMSFs at the end of 2016-17 must use the fund income tax return 2017 and, where required, a separate super member contributions statement.

Even if your fund does not have a tax liability, your SMSF must lodge an SMSF annual return.