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Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme

The 2nd round of loan applications for the Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme in Victoria has opened. Rural Finance is acting as the delivery agent on behalf of the government for this scheme in Victoria.

The scheme aims to assist Australian farmers who are currently struggling with high levels of debt by refinancing existing debt and/or providing new loans to fund productivity enhancement activities that will help farmers to better manage their debt in the future.

Minimum amounts for the loans start at $100,000 up to a maximum of $650,000 with a very enticing interest rate of 4.5%.

Additional information along with guidelines & application forms can be found directly on Rural Finance's website.

If you think that you could benefit from one of these Farm Finance Concessional Loans or would just like some advice on business related finances, please call the office on 0350329422 or email us at contact@gmgfg.com.au.

The Challenge of Reinvention


Over the last six months, I have  been working with a business on a business plan predominantly to re-energize the business by improving its public perception, skills, communication, culture, systems, procedures and ultimately profitability. Invariably, this process requires a business (regardless of its size) to go back to basics and look at Why, When, Where, Who and How they do things - as well as identifying a profile of what the business owners would like the business to be. These missions and goals which should be formed from their own principles and values should be documented as a constant reminder of the purpose of the business.

An enthusiastic principal of that business recently sent me the following article on David Koch's role in the resurgence of the Port Adelaide Football Club. It is an excellent read with many of the points equally applicable to small business as it is to a major sporting club.


 

The Gap between Online & Offline.

I read with interest recently an industry article that suggested the gap between online-savvy small businesses and those which are online-cautious is widening. The article indicated both sales growth for the past 12 months and future projected sales growth was proportionately higher for on line savvy businesses than it was for those without an online presence. Almost 50% of SME's that use cloud technology (online shop/outlet) reported increased sales or work, whilst 40% of SME's with a website and social media presence reported similar growth. This contrasts to only 25% of businesses without some form of online presence reporting growth in sales or work.

The proportion of businesses willing to jump into the online arena continues to grow at some pace. The proportion of businesses with a website has increased 4% to 42% over the past 6 months with a similar increase in businesses using social media.

Interestingly females lead the charge in an online presence amongst business owners with 9% more female owners more likely to have invested in the resource than their male counterparts.

Certainly social media (Facebook, Twitter etc) has a very active role in online advertising and ultimately sales growth.  I am a strong advocate of businesses finding a way to embrace the trend if they wish to grow or even maintain their market share. It is interesting to see how different businesses face this challenge in recent times in particular the increase in sponsored celebrity postings. More and more businesses are turning to celebrities with large social media followings to promote their products and services. The question in my mind is how much further can product advertising - both direct and indirect- go on social media outlets before consumers numbed by information overload and disconnect or seek new social media platforms?

CoINVEST

 

CoINVEST – Employers & Working Subcontractors obligations 

Under the Construction Industry Long Service Leave Act 1997, employers & working subcontractors in the building, construction, electrical and metal works industries must register with Co Invest. Employers are required to provide details of their workers days & wages each quarter & contribute 2.7% of the total of their gross wages. Note this is not deducted from workers wages.

Working subcontractors can pay between $30 and $100 per month on behalf of themselves to gain service credits towards long service leave. You can recommence contributions for yourself to CoINVEST.

Please refer to the below link for additional information about your obligations, phone CoInvest on (03) 9664 7677 or contact our office for more info.

https://www.coinvest.com.au/

 

Money Matters




Feel like you don't know where your money is disappearing to?

As a 19 year old in my first year as a full time employee, I was often left wondering what my money was going towards. From not having to worry about what I was spending whilst at school to having to save money for the necessities such as rent, bills and food while still trying to spare some for weekends out with friends, the word 'overwhelmed' comes to mind.

Fortunately for me, GMG have started offering a "Money Matters" program to our clients. They suggested I download a handy app called 'Track my Spend' (free from the App Store). This app allows you to record each little thing you spend money on for a period of time and it's surprising how quickly the little things add up. From that I was able to have a go at our Money Matters Project – helping me to figure out where my money was going and redirect some of it into a savings account.

If you are tired of stressing about money and want to feel like you are in control of your finances, give us a call on 5032 9422 and make a "Money Matters" appointment.

Do You Reckon?


Last week I attended a Reckon training course and conference in Melbourne.

We covered many features currently available and also learned about some new features and programs Reckon is planning to release in the near future.

Did you know you can process credit card payments through Reckon Accounts? 
If you don't have a credit card machine, the credit card payment can be processed through PayPal.  All you need is an internet merchant account to subscribe to this service.

You can also process superannuation payment for your employees using SuperLink.  SuperLink gives you the option of processing and paying superannuation contributions for all your employees, eliminating the need to process and pay to multiple funds.

Reckon Hosted (commonly known as Quickbooks Online) is receiving an update soon.  This should provide easier connection and faster processing time.  An option will also be provided if your internet connection is slow.

Two new products to be released soon are Reckon One and Reckon Pay.

Reckon One will be an simple online accounting program, where users are able to select which modules they need (eg  payroll and invoices) and at what level or choice a package with a preselected range of modules.   Live bank feeds are also available to cut down on processing times.

Reckon Pay is another way of receiving and processing payments, but this time whilst working out in the field.

You will be able to purchase hardware (similar to a small EFTPOS machine) which will connect to their mobile phone or tablet.  Once you have downloaded the app, you will be able to process credit card or EFTPOS payment instantly.  If using Reckon One, this information will then integrate into the software.

If you would like any further information or assistance with the Reckon product range available please contact us.

There have been many changes to the program, with each update, and you may find some features that will make the processing and reporting work better for your business.

Entertaining Clients


We, Rosalie, Jacqueline and Kathleen AKA 'The Three Wise Monkeys' were given a task to organise the SMSF seminar which was held at the Swan Hill Club on the 22nd of last month. The three of us really got our teeth into it as we wanted to make this an enjoyable evening for our Clients, rather than something boring put on by Accountants. 

During the preparation our competitive sides really kicked in. It became a competition of who could get the most acceptances on their list with the winner not having to clean up at the end of the night. Now without saying who, one of us took the initiative of asking all staff members if they were attending the seminar which made them the overall winner with a total of 44 attendees.

On the night we decided to have dinner before the seminar. As it turned out a number of Clients had the same idea. Some tried investing their money in those noisy flashing machines, but with not much luck. Good thing Hamish shared his wisdom and had some alternatives for us all. 

Following the seminar, most stayed on to enjoy a cuppa, a bite to eat and a good catch up. We really enjoyed putting names to faces and can't wait for the next seminar. We think the only thing that could have made it more enjoyable for us is if we won Tatts Lotto and had money to invest!     

The Admin Team: (The Three Wise Monkeys)

Kathleen, Jacqueline and Rosalie

Team Bonding


Being a new year Justin thought this year we should do some team bonding sessions. A good way to get us away from our desks, become closer as a team and in the end result in more productivity. What a great idea, we could go out for lunch together, go to a seminar together…

Noooo we all did a boot camp session together!

Justin asked me to run a boot camp for our team, I thought great a chance to yell at my bosses and tell them what to do. As young energetic accountants we accepted the challenge, even some of the mature accountants joined in for the fun.

On Tuesday morning 5th March I took Justin's team for a team bonding boot camp class. Bright and early (pardon the pun, it was actually pretty dark) Justin, Daniel, Ash, Andy, Bev and Rosalie joined me down at Riverside park for their first boot camp. I was immediately impressed that everyone actually turned up.

I told everyone that was not a class to see who was the fittest/best it was more about encouraging each other and having fun. We stated off with a short warm up run/walk. Well the boys all took off quickly out in front to show off who was the best. While Bev and Rosalie paced them selves and when the boys turned to come back the girls ran to the finish line and beat the boys! After stretching (getting their breaths back) for 5 minutes we moved onto the torture of 10 steps. We warmed our arms and legs up a bit more with some step ups and dips. We then paired up for the next activity, one which was meant to be a good encouraging activity. One person was in plank position while the other had to run up and down the 10 steps 3 times. The person in plank was meant to encourage the person running but as they were all out of breath for most of the activity not much encouragement was heard. It was then time to get a bit wet & dirty on the grass. I had everyone at a different station doing different exercises after so many we would swap and run to the next station. It's good to know even accountants hate burpees!!

After trying to do team encouragement activities I could see everyone was more interested in winning. So it was time to bring out some challenges… Everyone had to army crawl 100 meters the first one to the end won. I also would yell out random commands that they had to get up and do. A close finish between Andy, Ash & Daniel, however Andy was crowned the winner of that challenge. Everyone looked to be pretty exhausted so it was time to sit on our towels… and work our abs!! When everyone that wasn't asleep had warmed up their core I set another challenge. Who could hold a plank for the longest? The end came down to Andy & Ash. After 1 minute and 35 seconds Ash dropped to crown Andy the champion once again. I told Andy to keep holding and make 2 minutes but he dropped telling me that it's not about self satisfaction it's about winning!! Mmmm make us feel real good being beaten by a 60 year old! Finally the session was over and it was time to stretch. I asked everyone to give a different stretch we all had to do, not sure if just laying there was stretch?? A solid 50 minutes of boot camp and everyone was keen to get away from me.

Overall our team boot camp was a great team bonding session! A good way to do a bit of physical activity, some encouragement for each other, a few laughs and lots of sore muscles. I think it was fair to say not many were talking to me Wednesday! Although the pain was quickly forgotten, most of them are keen to do it again!

Call us.... Call us now!


We would like to introduce the administration team at GMG accounting: We are your first point of contact.

Rosalie has been with the firm for 10 years and is Rick, Geoff, Justin, Shaun & Rene's CSO.
Belinda has been with the firm for 7 years and is Andy & Ash's CSO.
Linda has been with the firm for 13 months and is our receptionist and last and by no means least Jacqueline who has been with the  firm for 9 ½  months, she is our debtor controller, so if you don't pay your accounts on time, you no doubt will get a call from Jacqueline. If you have any account queries, please feel free to contact her.

 

THINGS WE CAN DO FOR YOU:

  • Any of us can make appointments for our Swan Hill, Balranald or Charlton Offices.
  • We can send financial statements and tax returns to banks, finance companies, Centrelink
  • We can apply for business names, ABN's and TFN
  • We can contact the ATO with your tax and or payment queries
  • We can contact ASIC with any of your company queries
  • We can accept payment of your accounts over the phone with credit cards & eftpos
  • We can liaise with the partners if they are unavailable, feel free to discuss any issues with us. We will get back to you.
  • When you come in for your appointment, we will even make you  cuppa if you wish.

 

Hope to see you soon.

 

ATSA 2012 - A Wealth Of Knowledge

For the earlier part of this week, Justin Toomey and myself were at the annual ATSA (Accountants Technology Showcase Australia) conference in Sydney.

 

The 2 day conference is based on seeing the latest IT developments within the Accounting Industry.  It not only looks at what Accounting Firms can implement within their own practices, but also what  software vendors are offering SME's (small medium enterprises) that will assist them in creating further efficiencies within their own business systems.

 

Software vendors such as MYOB, Reckon, Xero, Banklink showcased what advancements they have made within their particular programs as well as giving us an insight into what they will be striving for in the next 12 months.

 

Stay tuned as we plan to upload more blogs on the conference over the next couple of weeks.

 

In the meantime, should you wish to discuss how your business systems can be streamlined and greater efficiencies can be achieved, please contact our office to make an appointment.

 

 

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