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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.

 

Wouldn't It Be Nice!


It is good to break the routine of a working day.  Being one of the OLDER members of the firm, no longer having my life revolve around children, I now have the freedom to do my own thing.

What a wonderful way to start the day, being part of a crowd of people watching the Adelaide steam paddle boat go under the bridge.

Then a walk along the river and through the wetlands, it is very peaceful with the birds singing and the shrubs out in flower.

Try something different at the start or end of the day to enjoy life and break the day to day routine.

ATO Are Cracking Down


Someone very wise once said something along the lines of "There are only two certainties in life. Death & Taxes!"  I think it was that Churchill fella.  He's absolutely right too.  No matter how long you try to put paying your taxes off,  they will always catch up with you.

Business owners are quite prone to procrastinate with preparing their BAS and some wage earners can be quite lax with lodging their individual tax returns too, particularly if you know there's a bill coming.  No one likes parting with their hard earned cash,  however,  we all get a sense of satisfaction when we get on top of our bills and those things on our "to do" list!

The Australian Tax Office has been cracking down on these businesses and individuals who have been sitting on their tasks lately.  Maybe the government does need some extra cash so they're chasing up their debtors, however this means one thing for you if you've been putting it off.

In the infamous words of that shoe brand - Just do it.  Its like ripping off a band aid,  the anticipation is probably worse than the event, so just make an appointment with one of our expert tax agents and we will hold your hand through the whole event!

With some of our technololgies like Banklink and Xero, we can even make it as quick and easy as ripping off a band aid too so you needn't worry about it in the future.

The ATO knows that you're procrastinating,  they're like big brother,  so just get it over and done with.

Call us and make an appointment today!
 

Footy Finals - Who Will Fly The Flag?


When competing in any team sport only the strongest, fastest and fittest teams qualify for their leagues finals series, and every team, no matter what division, strives to be a part of it. I am fortunate enough to be a part of the Swan Hill Football Club's reserves side who is in the finals this year.

Since Swan Hill's final series in the reserves had begun 2 and a half weeks ago the intensity and importance of being around the club has increased with 31 players to pick from on a team of 22. Everyone was now turning up to every training and pushing to impress the selectors and coaches to make sure they held their spot. Finishing 4th meant that we would take part in the elimination final so it is do or die time for us now.

On game day of the elimination final, the build up of excitement and anxiety was greater than before any game of football I've seen or played in, I even found it more nerve racking than my first senior game. Once the game begun the sense of urgency became even more clear as the skill level & physicality was well above its usual standard. The Swans fought valiantly and won relatively easily and would play again next week in the semi final.

The semi final was a similar feeling but a little more relaxed than last week although when the match begun it was just as hard hitting as the previous game, the Swans however seemed settled & more focused on getting the job done than the week before. Swan Hill managed to win again meaning we will play against Woorineen this weekend and the winner of that game will advance to the Grand final where they will play the Mallee Eagles.

After playing a few games in the finals it seems like a whole different game compared to normal. Nobody gives an inch because we have worked all year to get where we are now and we don't want to throw it all away at the end of the season. As the last two games have both been on a Sunday rolling up to work the next day has been a battle but with coach Blohmy on our backs, for the first time in my reserves career we held recovery after work on a Monday night for ice and muscle rehab for those who are a bit sore.

The environment around the club is uplifting at the moment with 4 or more netball sides also in the finals which creates a buzz amongst players and supporters. Hopefully we all have another two weeks left in us and can come home with the premierships.

Carn the Swanners!!

Murrabit - The Best Bit



Participating in community events is a great way to meet new people and to become accustomed to living in a new town, as I learnt almost three years ago when I made the move from Shepparton, in North East Victoria, all the way up to sunny Swan Hill. As Chrissie detailed in last weeks' blog, through working at GMG we participate in Relay for Life each year. We are also actively involved in Meals on Wheels, and sponsorship of a number of sporting clubs.

I personally have been lucky enough to be a member of the Murrabit Football Netball Club since I moved to Swan Hill. I've always been an avid netballer, and when the opportunity arose to accompany my boyfriend to the footy one weekend, it ignited my passion to participate again. I was welcomed into the club with open arms and a place on the court, and was lucky enough to qualify for finals in A and B Grade that year.

One of the many exceptional qualities of the Murrabit Football Netball Club is their acceptance of every girl who is looking for a game. In 2011, our B Reserve team was made up of 16 girls. It was a tough gig for the coaches when it came time to pick teams for finals, but the resilience of the girls who sat on the sidelines and their elation when the final whistle blew and they'd won the premiership was undeniable. 

It is not only the coaches who take on the high pressure positions for the netball season. I was appointed treasurer of the netball club this year, and being a committee member has really opened my eyes to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep the club running. Our president and secretary are two of the most patient and hard working people I have met. Not only do they take on their official duties with ease, but they solve a myriad of problems that are way beyond their job descriptions. Their willingness to take on any task they are presented with is very humbling. Without these volunteers and the many others who give up their time to help out, the club would not be the success that it is today.

The true success of the Murrabit Football Netball Club can be seen through it's players and supporters, who in their large numbers come back each year to participate and strive towards the elusive premiership. This year we had our three senior netball grades make the finals, along with our Seniors, Reserves and Under 17's football. Unfortunately our B Grade netball teams'  journey is over, but the other five teams dreams are still alive. This weekend we have our preliminary final, where our A Grade netball, Senior and Under 17's footy will compete to win a place alongside the B Reserve netball and Reserves footy in the grand final. The nerves are there, but I'm excited and very proud to be representing my club with some of the best people I know.

GO BLUES!


(Photo's are: First photo A Grade Premiership Team 2010; Second Photo B Reserve Premiership 2011)

          

Number Nerds


GMG has been supporting and participating in the Relay for Life since the event began in Swan Hill many years ago. As most people are aware Relay for Life is a team event dedicated to raising funds for cancer research. Every October, in rain hail or shine, teams get together to walk around the Tyntynder oval for 24 hours, not only to support cancer research but to celebrate and remember the lives of those who have battled cancer.

 

We fundraise for Relay for Life during the year through a number of different ways. $1 chocolates is always popular, with every member of staff given a box of chocolates to sell, or in most cases to buy and leave at home for the family. I bought the box and gave it to my mother and father in law for their Easter present, it was a big hit. I'm looking forward to a good Easter present next year!

This year we also tried selling for the first time Billy G's Cookie Dough. We sold 80 tubs all up, and are hoping that if people come back for seconds we can make it one of our annual fundraisers.

 

Over the year we also create social events for the firm that also incorporate some form of fundraising. Previously we have held cocktail parties where we set a price on the drinks. Our most successful event was a cocktail party at Geoff Hinton's where we also held a mystery goods and services auction. Prior to the night everyone was asked to donate or re-gift something, and we wrapped them up in boxes and auctioned them off. This year we held a Poker night at Rick Pickering's and Rick came out with a box of golf balls and asked everyone to donate $10, and whoever could hit the ball the furthest got half the money and the other half was for Relay for Life.

 

We have held mystery bus trips, ten pin bowling nights, 10kg chocolate block raffles. We will continue to create as many social  and fundraising events as we can to raise money for this great cause.

 

Once again on the 19th & 20th of October the GMG 'Number Nerds' will be there to support the event.

The Riddle Of Risk & Return




Winston Churchill once described Russia as " a riddle , wrapped in a mystery , inside an enigma " 

In today's world we are faced with a similar riddle, that of  risk versus return . This relates to so many 
decisions we make in our businesses , farms and investments generally.

Generally people belong in one of the 4 categories of risk style;
* cautious 
* daredevil 
* adventurer 
* calculator 

How you fit into these categories can change over time .
Any business / financial decision is usually made using a calculation of balancing the risk of an action 
against the expected return . Often the higher the risk the greater the return.

How can you measure the risk? How can you manage the risk ? Are questions we are often asked 
We can't solve the riddle but we can unwrap the mystery and help you through the puzzle 



Contractors Vs Employees

The ATO have signalled an intention to target employers who hire workers as contractors even though they are legally their employee.

We have experienced first hand the wrath of the ATO when it comes to this matter, having dealt with one recent audit in this area. 

The ATO argue that employers are engaging full time contractors in an attempt to avoid paying tax and superannuation, and annual and sick leave entitlements.

Contractors who invoice based on hours worked are to be particularly wary.  Not supplying materials for set jobs, an in some cases not using their own tools only add fuel to the fire that they are in fact an employee. 

The ATO argue that if a contractor is engaged, they should be contracted for a specific job/task, including the provision of materials and the responsibility to rectify defects.

In several cases, the ATO has forced employers to pay 9% superannuation in addition to the amount already paid to these contractors which they ATO deed to be employees.

One measure introduced by the ATO in the building and construction industry from 1 July 2012 is that an annual report will need to be lodged by the business operator specifically identifying every contractor used during the year.  Details required to be reported include on each contractor include:

·         Contractors ABN

·         Name

·         Address

·         Gross amount paid

·         Total GST

This report will provide the ATO with a reliable database whereby they will know which businesses to target.  

Beware,if you get a questionnaire in this field, its not random.  The ATO's data matching has found anomalies in your reporting and are confident they will find something.

In addition to the above, the industries being targeted for unpaid superannuation include all trades, cafes and restaurants, while also targeting the cash economy in these fields also.

The extent the ATO are willing to go in the Cafe industry involves ATO auditors going back to wholesalers, determining how much coffee a business has acquired, and determining how many cups they should have produced and at what price, and attempting to match this to sales.

You Can't Stop Progress



If you want your business to grow, you have to be committed to moving with that growth.
This little pearl of wisdom could be directed at the new digital age with the internet, smart phones and social media.
It could be directed at being flexible in your business planning and moving with the times and trends.
It also can be directed at your physical location, and being willing to move to where you are needed.

GMG Accounting have done just that.  As our firm continues to grow in terms of client base, employees, and development, we have also recognised that we are needed a little further afield.  With this in mind, we have opened an office in Charlton.

Myself and colleague Jess Round, a former Charlton local, are now available for appointments each and every Tuesday.  We can assist with your farm accounting, business accounting, individual tax, succession planning, estate planning, self managed super funds and anything else that you might want to discuss with a CPA.  We are even more than happy to talk about the weather, footy, netball, hockey and this month's blue moon, or the Olympics.

We are now open at the Circle in the old Globe building but will be opening our new premises at 17 High Street next month, so make an appointment today by calling 50329422
 

A Grain Of Knowledge

 

A recent session at the GRDC advisers update raised some interesting views . I was suggested that most farmers spend more time looking how to sell their crop than focussing on when to sell .

 

Suggested steps to developing a marketing plan include

  • Calculate the gross margin of the crop i.e. your breakeven price , which becomes your initial target
  • Create a cash flow budget the will tell you when receipts from sales are required
  • Determine when to sell in relation to the production cycle , pre planting , post planting , pre harvest , at harvest , post harvest
  • Determine how much to be sold /priced at these periods
  • Determine how to sell/price any sales before harvest ; swaps, options or forward physical sales
  • Determine what price to be targeted
  • Determine how much will be carried over to the next crop and how long this will be held for

 

It was also suggested that farmers should consider forward selling 2014 now as well.

 

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