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Finding the right cultural fit

Posted on February 22, 2017 by admin


Cultural fit should be considered just as important as competency when making recruitment decisions to benefit your long-term business. Failing to consider cultural fit can lead to plummeting business productivity, poor performance, lost opportunities, poor public relations and high staff turnover. Successful recruitment judges applicants on more than qualifications and experience alone – it extends to assess cultural fit through personality traits and values. To best assess whether a candidate will fit into your business’s culture you must understand your business’s culture in terms of values and expectations towards teamwork, communication, customer focus, integrity, respect and so forth. Knowing your business’s vision and values will help set a precedent when making hiring decisions. Culture can be communicated at the beginning of the hiring process through criteria in the job advertisement, for example, working well under pressure may be a necessity. However, the interview often enables the interviewer to best assess the potential cultural fit, as their CV may not accurately reflect the candidate. When interviewing applicants, use behavioural style questions to gauge cultural attributes. Behavioural questions, such as “Give me some examples of how you resolved conflict at work,” or “Describe a work environment where you had the most success,” […]


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Boost your retirement savings

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Pre-retirees can take advantage of a range of strategies to boost their nest egg. Here are three popular ways to top up your retirement savings: Maximise contributions Take advantage of the concessional (pre-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions by contributing as much as you can afford before reaching the caps. From 1 July 2017, the annual concessional contributions cap will be $25,000 for all age groups. Consider spouse contributions Spouse contributions are super contributions made on behalf of your spouse. Generally, you can claim a tax offset of up to $540 per year if your spouse is a low-income earner or is not working. From 1 July 2017, the spouse’s income threshold will be increased to $40,000 to assist more couples to support each other in saving for retirement. Keep on working The longer you work means more time to leave your savings untouched and additional time to contribute to super. Delaying retirement leads to a shorter retirement and hence more savings. You may also consider working part-time to enjoy income while waiting until Age pension age.


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Clarification on ride-sourcing

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The Federal Court has recently agreed that ride-sourcing is taxi travel. For GST purposes, the word taxi means a car (vehicle) made available for public hire that is used to transport passengers for fares. State and territory laws regulating transportation of passengers contain specific definitions of the term taxi. A vehicle can be considered a taxi for GST purposes, but not for state and territory regulatory purposes. The ATO defines ride-sourcing as an ongoing arrangement where a driver makes a car available for public hire; a passenger uses, for example, a website or smartphone app provided by a third party to request a ride, i.e. Uber, GoCar and the driver uses the car to transport the passenger for payment with a view to profit. For those who provide ride-sourcing services, you are most likely to be running a business and therefore, you must: – keep records – have an Australian Business Number (ABN) – be registered for GST, regardless how much you earn – lodge Business Activity Statements (BAS) – pay the GST portion of the full fare received from passengers for each trip – include income from ride-sourcing in your income tax returns.


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Working with online influencers

Posted on February 17, 2017 by admin


Influencer marketing may seem like a “buzz” term; however, the movement is providing more businesses with online opportunities to expand their customer base. Online influencers are generally prominent individuals within an industry with large social media followings, i.e bloggers and celebrities. Small businesses can work with online influencers to promote their products and services. One of the primary reasons businesses may choose to start a working relationship with an influencer is customer acquisition. As online influencers have a large active and engaged following, their exposure to potential target markets is expansive. Influencers tend to have a loyal social following and their followers are generally interested and trust their content. For businesses who do choose to go down the road of influencer marketing, it is important to establish some base rules with the influencer. For instance, many social users expect influencers such as bloggers to disclose when a social post is an advertisement/paid post for a business. Creating a transparent environment is key to savouring relationships with loyal followers. It is usually good practice to draft content for the influencer to ensure your business is portrayed in the correct manner. However, this does not mean the influencer has no creativity in […]


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Marketing habits to ditch in 2017

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Ever-changing trends, increasing competition and changes in customer buying patterns are just a few reasons why business owners should review marketing efforts regularly. Past marketing activities that were once successful can easily go out of date. There are always new marketing techniques to experiment with but first it is important to let go of the marketing activities that are holding your business back. Here are three marketing habits to ditch in 2017: Wasting time on certain social channels Not all social media channels will deliver results. The reality is your target customers will most likely have a preference for certain channels over others. For example, Facebook and Instagram may be better-suited mediums than Twitter and Snapchat for real estate agents; however, fashion retailers may utilise Instagram and Snapchat. The key is to experiment with different social channels to gauge levels of interest and engagement from followers, then decide on which channels are best to primarily market your business. Failing to update your goals It is common for small business owners to use the same marketing plan they created years ago. This can be quite problemsome especially if marketing tactics are not accurately reflecting your business’ current goals. Take the time […]


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Overview of the upcoming super reforms

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The reforms to superannuation made in the 2016 Federal Budget are on their way with most of the changes commencing from 1 July 2017. Some of the changes to take place from 1 July 2017 onwards will include: Lowering the concessional and non-concessional contribution caps The cap on concessional (before-tax) contributions will be decreased from $30,000 (for those under the age of 50) or $35,000 (for those aged 50 years old and over) to the flat rate of $25,000 per year for all age groups. The new annual cap for non-concessional (after-tax) contributions will be reduced from $180,000 to $100,000. This will remain available to individuals between 65 and 74 years old if they meet the work test. Individuals under the age of 65 will be able to bring-forward three years of contributions, i.e. $300,000. Transfer balance cap The introduction of a $1.6 million cap on the total amount that can be transferred into the tax-free retirement phase for account-based pensions. These pensions are commonly provided to defined benefit funds but may be provided to other funds, including some self-managed super funds. Reduction of Division 293 threshold The Division 293 threshold will be lowered from $300,000 to $250,000. Individuals with […]


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Rates increase for fuel tax credits

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Fuel tax credit rates increased on 1 February 2017. These rates are indexed twice a year, in February and August, in line with the consumer price index (CPI). The rates vary depending on when you acquire the fuel, what fuel you use and the activity you use it for. Rates may also change for fuel used in a heavy vehicle for travelling on public roads. This is due to changes to the road user charge which is reviewed annually. If you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, there are now simpler ways to record and calculate your claim. For the BAS period ending 31 March 2016 and onwards, you can: – Use one rate in a BAS period – the rate that applies at the end of the BAS period – Work out your litre based on the cost of the fuel you purchased. To check which rate applies for your business, visit the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website or contact our office. Remember, there are time limits for claiming fuel tax credits, making adjustments and correcting errors – generally, you must claim or amend your claim within four years.


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Protecting your finances after separation

Posted on February 9, 2017 by admin


The end of a relationship is a particularly difficult time for most individuals – among the emotional pain comes the burdensome administrative tasks such as sorting out finances. Although these tasks may seem tortuous/complicated; it is best to promptly address financial issues to safeguard your finances against misuse and ensure a piece of mind. Here are three things to consider when protecting your finances after separation: Joint accounts If you think your former partner may exploit your finances, it is worth considering closing your joint accounts. Both account holders need to agree that the accounts should be closed. You will need to discuss how the remaining balance will be divided with your former partner, as you must have zero funds in the account before closing it. It is then necessary to establish your own account and redirect any direct debits or credits from your joint account to your new account (or make alternative arrangements). Your will and power of attorney Your will may not be the first thing to come to mind after a breakup, however, it is a critical document that needs to be reviewed, especially if your former partner is listed as a beneficiary or executor. After separating, […]


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Keeping in touch with old staff members

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Many employers will simply lose touch with an old employee once they have left the workplace. And while individual staff members may stay in touch via social media sites, especially LinkedIn, it is communication from the business itself that will often be left wanting. By sending out alumni newsletters, holding annual events that ex-employees are invited to or just dropping the occasional email you can go a long way in maintaining relationship that may prove valuable down the track. Ex-employees with whom your business is still on active and amicable terms are valuable assets. They make up a unique network who can recommend potential future employees to you or might be willing to come back to work for you in the future. Additionally, many of your old staff members will have expertise about your business that can not be found anywhere else, making them an amazing knowledge pool. Treating old staff members with ongoing respect and attention will also improve the image of your company to current staff members, potentially improving your retention rates.


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Tips to get out of debt faster

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An overwhelming majority of people will face debt at some point in their life. Uncontrolled debt can easily snowball and severely impact an individual’s lifestyle and financial freedom. Fortunately, debt is manageable and is often contingent upon an individual’s motivation to get rid of debt fast. Tackling debt is often a process of managing expenses against income and formulating a plan of attack. Here are three ways to get out of debt faster: Stick to a budget If you are looking to get out of debt quickly, it is critical to stick to a budget. A budget can help you achieve your financial goals and ensure you do not spend more money than you earn. Budgeting is a great way to review your current expenses and see where you can realistically cut costs. It is also a good way of allocating money for an emergency fund i.e savings for a medical emergency etc. Don’t borrow more money Although it seems glaringly obvious, it can be tempting to continue down the borrowing spiral. Avoid getting into any further debt by holding off financing more items, signing up for credit cards etc. Instead, focus on paying off your current debts and necessary […]


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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.