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Good Decision Making

 
 As advisers we often witness or are directly involved with the decision making process of our clients.
Whether that decision is merely the purchase or sale of some shareholdings or a significant property purchase the process to reach that decision varies from client to client.

There are basically two kinds of decision making processes.

   Justified - Decision already made just need to justify it.

   Selective - Gathering Facts and assessing alternatives.

Whilst many good gut decisions are made and then justified after the event by far the more consistent and considered approach particularly to those who are risk adverse is the selective approach.

The steps to a selective approach are relatively simple to implement

  • Gather the Facts
  • Identify a number of alternatives
  • Assess those alternatives
  • Decide

 Personalities and emotions often influence decision making but if you consider the four steps to the selective approach poor decisions are likely to be less.

Centrelink & Child Payments

Centrelink provides several payments to families to help support their income and reduce or subsidise child care costs. However, the eligibility requirements and what the payments actually provide a family can become very confusing.

As a young mother I encountered this when I decided to return to work. Many people gave me their opinion that child care was so expensive that it wasn't worth returning to work. However, I found this not to be the case, but understood how people may come to this conclusion.

Centrelink provides two main payments when it comes to child care. They are Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.

The Child Care Benefit (or CCB) is entirely dependent on your family income, whether you are single or partnered. It is calculated as a percentage based on your annual income and is given to you in the form of a weekly reduction in your child care fees.
As an example, if the weekly cost of child care is $400 and Centrelink assesses you to receive 50% of CCB, your weekly child care costs are reduced by $200, so that you only pay $200 per week.

The Child Care Rebate (or CCR) is 50% of all your out of pocket child care costs up to $7,500 per year per child, and you can receive it weekly, quarterly  or annually.
Carrying on from the previous example, if after CCB you pay $200 in child care costs for the week CCR then reduces this to only $100 per week.

Child care costs do look expensive if you think that you are going to be paying $400 for the week. However, depending on your individual circumstances, Centrelink does provide some worthwhile benefits to reduce these costs and you may be surprised by how little you actually end up paying.

If you are confused by the child care benefits provided by Centrelink, or you are considering returning to the workforce and would like some further information, please contact us, we would be happy to help.

Health & Fitness. It benefits everyone

Are you struggling to get out of bed with these cold mornings?  
Do you sit for most of the time while you're at work?
Is the option of a hot pie more appealing than a cold salad?
 And is it just too much effort to go to the gym or do physical activity after work?
You find most your excuses include, It's to cold.
It's easier to cook bad foods.
I don't want to get sick and get a cold.
I don't have the time. It's too dark.
It's raining.
I can't be bothered.

It's time to wipe those excuses because there is an answer for all of them. Hate it when your kids back chat you? Now it's time to back chat your excuses.

With these cold winter months it is easy to fall off the track as far as your health is concerned. As the saying goes many grow that extra winter coat. Then by the time summer approaches many freak out and go on a strict diet to get that summer body, which many don't end up sticking to.

It doesn't have to be like that. It is much easier and fun to stay healthy and active the whole year through. By making small changes and encouraging yourself and people around you, you will find it's not that hard. It will be rewarding not only to yourself but to your workplace as well because you will be more productive.

Eating:

Does your work have a weekly morning tea? Encourage people to bring in healthy food or healthier options. Some ideas could be a fruit platter, yogurt dip, carrot, celery and capsicum sticks, zucchini slice, fruit sewers and veggie muffins.

Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Write a healthy weekly meal plan. Know all the ingredients you need and go shopping in preparation for the week ahead. Know everyday what you're going to have and prepare it that morning or the night before. If it's not in the cupboard, fridge or freezer you can't eat/cook it. And after all you don't have time to go shopping during the week.

Take snacks and your lunch to work with you. If you have food at work with you to eat you won't have the temptations of other foods. Keep a bag of unsalted mixed nuts in your handbag/esky/lunchbox as they are easy to snack on wherever you are.

Exercise:

 Have your workplace encourage you do physical activity. Go for a walk around the block for 10 minutes during morning and afternoon breaks. Eat your lunch outside if possible and go for a walk during your lunch break, this can include window shopping!

Take your sports clothes to work with you and get changed at work if possible. That way you can go straight to the gym or for a walk from work. You don't have to go home and won't be distracted by something at home.

The best time to do physical activity is in the morning before breakfast. It will get your metabolism going and give you a positive attitude for the day. Rug up when walking outside during winter, wear a beanie, scarf, gloves. Maybe invest in some thermal wear or skin's, these will prevent injures and keep you warm.

If you struggle to commit to doing exercise then do it with a friend. Plan to meet up and go for a walk or go to the gym together. This way you have to go otherwise you're letting your friend down. It's also a great chance to catch up on all each other's gossip. Another idea is to go to a gym class. Most classes are for 1 hour and when you're having fun that hour will go really quick. It is always a great way to meet new people and have everyone encouraging you.

When you're healthy you're happy. When you're happy you're productive. Everybody benefits! 


New ATO reporting requirements have been put in place regarding you and your contractors.

Effected businesses in the Building & Construction Industry are required to keep track of and
report the following details for each and every one of their contractors:

  • ABN
  • Name
  • Address
  • Gross amount paid (including GST)
  • Total GST paid

 

These reporting requirements have been put in place as of July 1 2012.

 

This requirement extends to all businesses in the Building & construction industries, The ATO have singled out over 70 different business types, so if you think this does not effect you, you may have to think again.

 

These industries include some of the following:

  • Bricklaying
  • Cabinet making
  • Earthworks
  • Engineering
  • Glass and glazing work
  • Irrigation system construction
  • Roofing and guttering
  • And many more - A full list is available at our resources page.

 

If you are concerned about exactly how you will have to report these payments, contact us at the office for more information.

Banking On Your Smartphone

 With the constant developments in today's technological environment, it is estimated that approximately 60 per cent of Australia's population will be using smartphones by the end of the year. If you're yet to jump on the iPhone or Android bandwagon, the benefits of the banking apps that are now available may have you convinced. If you're a fan of internet banking, the banking apps take the concept one step further, enabling customers to check their balances, make transfers and pay bills when they don't have access to their computers. The big four banks all have apps on the market, however CBA and ANZ have taken the notion one step further for those who are willing:

ANZ Mobile Payments - need to transfer money but not sure of the recipients bank account details? No worries. So long as they have an Australian bank account, you can simply type in their mobile number and send them through the money. Or, if you're feeling particularly brave.

Commbank Kaching -  With CBA's new app, they boast that you can 'leave your wallet at home'; there is no longer a need for cash or cards, only your smartphone. Kaching offers the same mobile payment feature as ANZ, but the real highlight is having the ability to pay for purchases under $100 by simply waving your phone over a PayPass terminal at participating stores. This requires the purchase of an iCarte case to fit to your smartphone, but otherwise it really is as simple as it sounds. CBA ensures that this feature is completely safe, but as to whether it will take over the use of cash and cards, is yet to be seen.

While these features are available to all customers, they do not necessarily have to be utilised; simply having the ability to transfer money from your savings to your cheque account while in line at the supermarket may be benefit enough for most. All of the bank apps are free to download, simple to use, and could be of benefit to your business or personal banking for those prepared to take the next step. If you'd like to find out more about smartphones, apps and all they have to offer, please give us a call.

Welcome to the new GMG Accounting website

As you may have noticed, we have recently revamped our website look. This website design change has been in the pipeline for a little while now so we are glad to see it has hit the light of day. We have updated a lot of our information and hope to be keeping everything fresh from now on. You can also look forward to more of the same handy tidbits of information that we are currently publishing in our latest blog posts. 

We would love for you to give us your opinion on the new look and website format.... you can drop us a line at contact@gmgfg.com.au  

Want to improve your cashflow??? 

Budgets are a great way to improve and monitor your business cashflow during the year. 

Now is the ideal time to get your budget prepared for the new financial year. 

Read more…

Plan for your Taxes and Reap the Rewards.

Some small business owners and employees neglect to plan for their taxes and end up missing tax planning opportunities. By having a thorough and tailored tax strategy and a commitment to its implementation you will notice a reduction in the tax you pay each year. The taxation system can be complex but it can be navigated to ensure you never pay more tax than necessary. 

Don't get caught out!!   Be proactive your accountant can help you with setting strategies which help keep your taxes under control and allow you to better grow your business and increase personal investments without having any unnecessary tax burdens. 

Some of the following strategies are often considered during the tax planning process. 

Read more…

Introduction to Fuel Tax Credits

Many of our clients currently claim credits on their Business activity statements for the tax they have paid on fuels such as diesel and petrol. This rebate can quite significantly reduce a client's GST liability or be returned to them as a refund if no GST is payable. 

The most common claims are for: 

  • Fuel used in a vehicle weighing more than 4.5 tonnes (truck) on a public road 
  • Fuel used in agricultural activities, fishing & forestry 
  • Fuel used in machinery for other activities including mining, construction & manufacturing 

There are a number of other uses of fuel that could make you eligible for a fuel tax credit. So if you think you might be eligible please give us a call. 

Read more…

The Carbon Tax - will you see any benefits?

The Gillard government's carbon tax is set to come in on July 1 2012 and indications are that it will lead to an increase in prices.

Reports suggest that prices will increase by only 0.7% and it is expected that most businesses will pass this increase in costs on to their customers. 

The government has brought in various solutions to help ease the pain on households and business. 

There will be an increase in payments to pensioners, families and those on government allowances. The Clean Energy assistance supplements may also be paid to those in this group. 

Read more…



 
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