Page 1


Timing is everything when transitioning to retirement

small biz

tax break

reap the rewards with a SMSF


Tips to move more, sit less Nurturing

Your Employees

tHE to creating a memorable event

Learning from the past when investing BMO‘s YEAR OF CELEBRATION

Welcome Do you ever stop to think – what are your

lifetime dreams? A few of us went to a conference recently where we were challenged to create our list of lifetime dreams. The presenter asked us to consider ‘25 questions’* including what we’d like to learn, what concerts and sporting events we’d like to attend, hobbies we’d like to pursue, things we’d like to build, where we wanted to travel, what we’d like to own, things we’d like to do for our community, and what health and financial milestones we’d like to achieve. It was a challenging exercise, but it really made us stop and think about why we do what we do and what we are aiming to achieve both as individuals and as a business.

Dave, Shane, Mich

elle, Peter, Mal, Ke

lvin and Adrian.

Throughout this issue we will give you some tips and ideas about various areas of your business and life, such as how you look after employees (p4-5), considerations in aged care (p7) strategic planning and cashflow planning (p10) and tips for travelling (p15). Along this journey of life, we genuinely believe that you have to love what you’re doing and understand the reasons behind why you are doing it in order to truly be successful. We certainly love what we do and we hope this issue of ‘Every Step’ gives you some ideas for your business and some clarity about the future. Our warmest wishes,

BMO Partners


What’s Inside

About Us


Partner Profile




Financial Planning

BMO is an award-winning accounting, business advisory and financial services firm with a strong focus on building relationships and supporting growth for local businesses and wealth creation for individuals.


Year of Celebration




Succession Planning


Tax & Finance




Marketing & IT



Disclaimer – This magazine has been written and produced by BMO Accountants, 178 Drayton Street Dalby Qld 4405. Information provided in this magazine is general in nature. In preparing information BMO Accountants, BMO Financial Solutions and BMO Lending Services have not taken into account any particular persons objectives, financial situation or needs. Readers should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend obtaining financial advice specific to your situation before making any financial decisions or investments. BMO Financial Solutions is a corporate authorised representative of McPherson & Associates Pty Ltd. AFSL Number 229883.


BMO is a BRW Top 100 Australian Accounting firm, is highly ranked (at 58) in the ATO tax agents program, and has been awarded Dalby Business of the Year three times (2003, 2009 and 2015). With around 60 professionals on our team, BMO offers a full range of business and financial services. We don’t just ‘do your tax’, we’re your adviser and your sounding board. Whether you’re a student working your first part-time job or a multi-million dollar business, we’re with you every step of the way.

0 PO Box 180 Dalby Qld 4405 1 07 4662 3722 5 8

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Magazine Published: December 2015 Cover Photo: Peter and Jenny McKinnon at Jimbour House. Image courtesy of Fee Turner Photography.

TIMING is EVERYTHING Reflecting back, BMO Partner Peter

McKinnon attributes much of his success to being “in the right place at the right time”. It’s this characteristic modesty that has endeared Peter to so many. “I was born to be an accountant in Dalby. I sincerely believe that,” Peter says. Peter moved to Dalby from Brisbane with his family as an eight-year-old. He started writing up cash books for his accountant father [the late Tud McKinnon] at 14. “Working with numbers was second nature to me. I followed in my father’s footsteps, as did four of my five siblings who are also accountants.” Peter was the only one to pursue his career in Dalby. “My mother always encouraged us in our education. Her father, who was a High Court Judge, always said there were two things that were important as a parent - educate your children and make sure they practice their faith.” When Peter finished school, he laboured at the local Wheat Board to save up money to go to Uni. “I had all this money when I started at USQ and thought ‘This will last a long time’, but after one term, the money ran out!” He laughs. “So I had a change of plans… I took a job at the Commercial Bank of Australia.” It was lucky timing that allowed him to meet Jenny “on the 8th of August 1979”, who was also working in a Toowoomba bank at the time.

“By 1980, I was able to go back to Uni. Also by this time I was playing football for the Oakey Bears and being paid for it, which also assisted the cash situation!” With a degree under his belt, Peter returned to Dalby in 1983 and worked as the company accountant at Farmer’s Centre. He and Jenny married in 1984. They went on to have four sons, Alexander, Jeremy, Andrew and Sam who are now all grown up and living “around the globe” in London, Canada and Brisbane. In the mid-80s, Peter commenced working with his father who had semi-retired. In 1990, Peter’s father sadly passed away and an opportunity arose for Peter to join the accountancy practice with Martin Browne and Martin Moynihan…and BMO was born. A passion for his local community and a desire to drive change at a grassroots level saw Peter delve into local politics. He was elected a Councillor for the Dalby Town Council in 1994-1997 and again from 20002004. He was instrumental in the town’s beautification project, a legacy that lives on today. He was a key driver for promoting growth in the town through the Tourism and Economic Development Board, and the Dalby Chamber of Commerce (of which he is now a Life Member), and he was part of the team behind the original launch of the Dalby Business Excellence Awards. Today he continues his role in the community as Treasurer of the Dalby Golf Club and attending Chamber and community events.


Keeping active is important. These days it’s morning laps at the Dalby Aquatic Centre and a daily stroll along the banks of the Myall Creek. This is a change of pace for Peter who spent most of the 70s and 80s as a hard-hitting rugby league second rower for Dalby, Oakey and representative teams. He was captain-coach (and later president) of Dalby Colts and rounded off his footballing “life” as Coach of Brothers A-Grade. As an accountant and business owner Peter has always been genuinely interested in achieving the best he can for his clients and his team. “BMO has grown bigger than I ever imagined, but I’m so proud that the way we treat our clients remains the same. We have always had a great team culture at BMO. Nothing makes me happier than when I hear laughter throughout the office.” Having steered BMO, alongside his business partners, through the past 25 years it’s time for Peter to hang up his calculator. “The timing feels right. One of the thrills of being an accountant has been helping clients work towards their future goals. So by moving onto the next phase of life I am really ‘practicing what I preach’.” As Peter looks towards retirement in July 2016, it’s the quality time with Jenny (“my rock”) and his four adult sons that he is craving the most. That, and a few extra rounds of golf.


c mY


Every Step magazine sat down with our

in-house Human Resources expert Alex Gee Kee to find out more about challenges and opportunities for employers.

What do you see as an opportunity to build and develop great workplaces around our region?

What are the biggest challenges facing small businesses when it comes to employing people?

Putting your staff first is the best thing you can do for your workplace. If you look after and treat your staff right then they will do the same for your clients or customers and their work quality will most likely improve as well. Most of the time it isn’t the financial incentives that push your team to success. Simple things such as, providing free tea and coffee, congratulating them on their work anniversary, saying happy birthday and acknowledging the small wins, not just the big ones, can go a long way in improving team morale.

In my experience, it’s the little things that catch businesses off-guard such as minimum wage increases each year, superannuation guarantee increases and due dates, introduction of new anti-bullying laws, adverse action claims or various amendments to the Modern Awards. You’ll find that these changes aren’t overly televised or promoted so it’s important that businesses have a trusted HR advisor that they can turn to for the most up-to-date information. Most contracts, processes and policies businesses put into motion five years ago would be out of date today. For most employers, it’s a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Not staying abreast of current legislation, rules and regulations means businesses could face some nasty fines and penalties.

“If you look after and treat your staff right than they will do the same for your clients”


How has the recent growth in technology and social media impacted on HR? Technology has become ingrained in our daily lives. While providing some great tools and benefits to assist with streamlining processes and creating efficiency, there can also be negative outcomes. It’s important for business owners to understand the risks that arise from both technology use and social media. Employers should be vigilant in ensuring employees understand what is and is not acceptable on Social Media. Laying down the ground rules first, will help employers avoid bullying or harassment claims down the track.

W If you’d like advice on any of the above BMO’s HR Services can assist.

Invest in Your Employees for the Future Sarah Shaw, BMO Human Resources Consultant

Nuturing employer-employee relationships

is important. We recommend taking the time to invest in your employees, be it through training, expanding their skills and knowledge base, social activities, having relatable and shared experiences, or increasing an employee’s responsibilities when suitable. In turn, having employees who enjoy their roles and working in your organisation will mean you are surrounded by a happy and productive workforce. Hopefully this would convert into a lower annual staff turnover, as it can be costly to have a high turnover of labour. Before you think – ‘but I can’t afford

to give my employees perks and incentives’, remember, replacing an employee can be a time consuming and expensive exercise, especially when you consider:

Investing in your employees now can save you time, money and heartache down the track.

• Lost productivity if it takes time to replace the employee. • Time taken to change banking passwords. • Purchasing new uniforms and PPE gear. • Cost of advertising for the new position. • Time taken in screening, interviewing and appointing the new applicant. • Time taken in training and getting the new employee up to speed. • Payments of any leave entitlements (as an immediate lump sum payment).

Nurturing your employees = A happy workforce = Lower turnover of staff = Increased productivity = Reduced cost of running a business. 4 l EVERY STEP l WWW.BMO.COM.AU

Sitting is the NEW sm]king

BMO has a daily 10 minute stand up ‘work in progress’ meeting.

Tips to move more, sit less With researchers claiming that sitting for

seven hours or more a day can have significant negative impacts on your cardiovascular health and how long you’ll live, BMO team members have made a commitment to move a little more and sit a little less. “We recognise that excessive sitting is a key issue. In fact, many are saying that ‘sitting is the new smoking’,” said Partner Adrian Rasmussen. “As a result we have kicked off stand-up meetings and are trialling stand-up desks to help ensure we are doing what we can to improve health outcomes for our team.” On top of this, BMO’s culture encourages participation in physical activities. Many of our team members have formed netball, touch football and triathlon teams. Our 2015 staff Christmas party even included a “beach” volleyball tournament (on our front lawn).

BMO is trialling a new stand-up desk (which can be lowered to normal desk height when required).

“BMO team members have made a commitment to move a little more and sit a little less.” Here’s some tips your business can implement to improve health outcomes: • Try standing meetings – when you stand up during a meeting, meeting times go down and productivity goes up . • If there are less than three people try a walking meeting. • Stand up when taking a phone call. • Imagine there is a torch inside your chest. When you sit and walk, shine your light, i.e be up straight not hunched over. • Get sleep. Less than 8 hours sleep a night on a regular basis increases chances of poor health. • Turn off the screens. Using screens within 2 hours of bed decreases your sleep quality. • Find ways to laugh more and have fun!

Disclaimer: The above tips have been gathered from and from a seminar presented by Troy Morgan for the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation Resilience Roadshow. We recommend readers seek medical advice from a qualified medical practitioner. 5


e h t m o r f g n g i n n i r t s a e Le v n i n e h w t pas

Mal Smith, Principal BMO Financial Solutions


n the words of American business magnate Warren Buffett, “in the business world, the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield”. This is also true for the investment market. When the future gets a little foggy for investors, it’s important to remember that what has happened in the past can help to guide you. When we start watching daily market movements, we can get caught up in the noise and emotion. Even if you’re an experienced investor, it can be hard to block out the chatter around boom and bust speculations.

That’s why we recommend looking back over investment markets over at least a 30 year period. Examining how shares, bonds, property and cash have moved over the long term can help clarify your own strategy going forward. The things that stand out for me when I look at a long term view are: Markets are unpredictable. Even if you spend hours analysing all the possible political, social, demographic and economic factors that impact markets, sometimes markets just do weird things.

Reap the rewards with a SMSF Michelle McVeigh, BMO Partner


elf Managed Super Funds (SMSF) can be very attractive as they offer choice, control, flexibility, lower fees and tax effectiveness, but you need to make sure it’s the right choice for you. SMSFs have some ‘sexy’ features that allow you to manage your pensions and investments to achieve your personal objectives, minimise tax, do clever estate planning, and fund your retirement. However, if you are going into an SMSF, you have to be prepared to take control. You need to have a strategy for how you will invest and use the funds. Make sure you consider all the ongoing accounting and auditing costs. Be aware, if you intend to borrow in the fund there will be even more costs. Ask your advisor to fully explain the rules and regulations around SMSFs. Remember, ultimately you are responsible for your own fund and if you fail to comply with your legal duties, you may face severe penalties. With good advice, astute planning and discipline, a SMSF could be a great way to build wealth and finance your future. 6 l EVERY STEP l WWW.BMO.COM.AU

You need to keep emotion out of it. Investors who succeed tend to be those who are patient, disciplined and focussed on long term goals. Diversification spreads risk. Investing across different asset classes gives you protection. If you have a poor performing asset, chances are it will balanced out by other high performing assets over time. You must know your own long term goals. What are your financial goals, what timeframe are you working with, and what level of risk are you prepared to take? Investors who are clear about why they are investing have a better chance of success.

Plan ahead for the aged care you


Shane Lee, Principal, BMO Financial Solutions

Early planning can take away a lot of

the stress and uncertainty that can arise when considering aged care at home or a residential aged care facility.


Know what your options are

The first option that probably comes to mind is a residential aged care facility. These facilities provide accommodation and care depending on your personal needs. Care can range from personal care, such as help with showering and dressing, together with occasional nursing care, to continuous nursing care for those with a greater degree of frailty. What you may not realise, however, is that there are also Home Care Packages that provide access to services that can help you to stay at home for longer. Support services may include cleaning, meal preparation and transport for shopping or appointments.

2 Start planning early

There are a number of reasons why you should plan ahead and well before the need for aged care is imminent. For example: ◊ in many cases, the need to move into residential care can be sudden due to a serious illness or injury, or another unexpected event.

◊ it’s not uncommon to find there are significant waitlists for residential care. ◊ regardless of which option you choose, if you wait until the last minute to speak to a financial adviser, you may not be able to minimise the fees you may have to pay and/or maximise the social security benefits you may receive.

3 Visit local facilities

Ideally you should plan to visit a range of facilities in your chosen area, earlier rather than later. Becoming familiar with the alternatives can enable you and your family to have meaningful conversations regarding your options and make more informed lifestyle and financial decisions. Importantly, with assistance from a financial adviser, you can: ◊ determine whether care in your preferred facility is affordable, and ◊ potentially start restructuring your assets to improve your financial position.

“there are also Home Care Packages that provide access to services that can help you to stay at home for as long as possible.”

4 Assess affordability

A range of fees may be payable when accessing care services. One of the key payments when moving into residential care is the accommodation payment. This amount is: ◊ subject to certain limits, ◊ paid as a lump sum, in regular instalments, or a combination of a lump sum and regular instalments, and ◊ published on the facilities website and at for potential residents to consider. It’s therefore important to ensure you have sufficient assets to pay the accommodation payment required to secure yourself a spot in the facility of your choice when the time comes, as well as cover the ongoing aged care fees and your living expenses.

5 Understand the trade-off

There are a range of strategies that can be used to reduce aged care fees. However, caution needs to be exercised to ensure you have enough money to afford the care you’d want. A financial adviser can help you to address this complex issue. They can also assist in many other ways. This includes helping to address your estate planning needs, in conjunction with your lawyer.


BMO’s Year of Celebration

It’s shaping up to be a big year of milestones for BMO, so we’ve dubbed 2015-16 our Year of Celebration.

BMO turns 25 July 1 marked the 25th anniversary of the accounting practice. It was in 1990, when Peter McKinnon joined forces with Martin Browne to create the beginnings of what was to later become BMO.

Peter announces retirement plans In August, Partner Peter McKinnon announced his intention to retire on 1 July 2016 saying he was proud of how BMO has always remained true to it’s values and he looks forward to seeing the next generation of our business emerge and grow into our future leaders. Peter deliberately allowed a 10-month lead time from the announcement to his retirement date to ensure a smooth transition for clients to their new partner. You can read Peter’s retirement speech at

Business After Hours September saw BMO play host to the Dalby Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours. It was a great opportunity to network with other local businesses and provide an insight into our journey over the past 25 years.

New lease of life for Financial P lanning BMO Financial Solutions commenced a new licensing arrangement, becoming a corporate authorised representative of McPherson & Associates Pty Ltd, on October 6. The arrangement ensures the client is always at the centre of our decision making. It gives us more flexibility in the products and services we can offer, while ensuring we maintain procedures and policies to the highest professional standards.

Merger with McP herson This year, we also joined forces with McPherson’s Accounting arm. It was humbling to think that out of all of the accounting practices in Queensland, McPhersons chose BMO as their accounting business partner going forward. Through the merger, we have gained the expertise of a very experienced accountant in Melissa Klingwort. Melissa is based in a home-office in Brisbane and pops out to Dalby when she can. We also welcomed a number of new Brisbane-based clients who Melissa will continue to work closely with.

Business of the Year In October, BMO was honoured to be named the Dalby Business of the Year! BMO also won the Judge’s choice of the Professional and Business Services Category and was named a finalist for the People’s Choice of this category. The Business Excellence Awards, with its 1920’s theme, was a credit to the Chamber of Commerce. One of our proudest moments on the awards night, was seeing so many of our clients named as finalists and winners of their own industry categories. We are very fortunate to have support from our great team, our clients and our families, and are grateful to be a part of the vibrant Dalby Business community.

Tax Agent ranking out of 12,000 registered agents.

Figures correct as at 1/12/2015.



The year BMO officially commenced business.

Drayton Street is the location of the BMO Business Centre.

Team members including full time, part time and casual.


Number of likes for our Facebook Page.

5+ 2

Partners own BMO Accountants, Peter McKinnon, Adrian Rasmussen, Kelvin Tyler, Michelle McVeigh, David Briese, with two additional partners in BMO Financial Solutions Shane Lee & Mal Smith.

Services areas including: Accounting & Taxation, Business Development, Succession Planning, Financial Planning, Human Resources, Loans & Leasing, IT, Self Managed Super Funds, Workplace Health & Safety, Marketing & Communications, Conference Centre Facilities.




Number of times BMO has been awarded Business of the Year (2003, 2009 & 2015).


Dollars on average contributed to local community groups, events & schools through sponsorship, donations & in-kind support each year.



BMO By The Numbers

People attended BMO events at our premises this year.



Mistakes we make when Strategic Planning David Briese, BMO Partner

For some small business owners the idea of strategic planning can be a daunting task. We get so busy working IN our business that we

forget to work ON our business. As an accountant, I’ll admit I prefer numbers to words. But writing up your plan is a vital part of business. It doesn’t have to be a written like an assignment. It can be as simple as putting down a few points about where you want the business to be heading and how you think you’re going to get there. Here are a few common mistakes that people make when it comes to strategic planning: 1.

STOPPING AT THE SWOT - Many people are familiar with doing a SWOT analysis where you brainstorm all of your business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. But unfortunately many people stop there. When you’ve done the SWOT, you need to analyse it, select areas that you want to prioritise, look for common themes and address it directly in the plan.


NOT USING THE PLAN TO DRIVE DECISION MAKING - As a business owner, there will often be new opportunities coming your way, but unless you are really focused on your vision and goals you may end up chasing opportunities that aren’t right for your business and take you off track.


WRITING A ‘TEXT-BOOK’ PLAN THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS - Generally a plan will have a VISION, MISSION, GOALS and/or STRATEGIES and ACTION PLANS. However, your plan is individual to your business. So do it your way. Don’t copy a strategic plan out of a text-book using corporate jargon. Write your plan in words that make sense to you, your team and your customers. The right plan is one that you believe, and you actually use to help you to focus your actions.


IGNORING THE NUMBERS - You can’t do a strategic plan properly unless you have a good handle on your business’ financial indicators. Don’t let the numbers hinder how high you want to aim, but don’t disregard them either. Good financial governance should always go hand-in-hand with vision and creativity.


NOT PUTTING THE PLAN INTO ACTION - If you think about your vision as your ultimate destination, then your business mission statement is like the road map showing you how to get there and your goals and strategies provide you with the specific directions. However, there is no point having a destination, a map and directions, if you’re never going to get in the car! Make sure you put the plan into action.

Ca$hflow is KING Kelvin Tyler, BMO Partner

Cashflow. Some people may hear that word and get a cold shiver up their spine, some may resort to alcohol, others think it is an extremely important part of everyday life and business, and some will not care, because as long as they still have chequeleaves in the cheque book they believe they still have money in the bank. However you may feel about it, managing cashflow is important.

You need a plan – the plan really is a cashflow budget. Before the start of the financial year, you need to put down all your projections on paper to see what results are possible and test some ideas. You need to be prepared to adapt – The most important thing with a budget is to detect the ups and downs of your cashflow so you can be prepared. The next most important thing is to NOT throw the budget away. Even if the only reason you did the budget in the first place was to keep your bank manager happy at review time, keep it,

bring it out often and learn from it. The best way to make sure you don’t get out of control, is to constantly check the plan and reassess. You need the right guidance – Get the right people to assist you with your budgets, bookkeeping and monitoring your budget. Accountants, Financial Planners, Banks and Lenders are there if you are looking at making a change, making a decision, buying something, selling something, or changing your budget significantly. You need the right program – Banklink, Xero, Quickbooks, MYOB, Phoenix…At the end of the day no matter what system you use, make sure you set it up the way that suits you. We love working with “in the cloud” software like Xero and Banklink at BMO because of the convenience, but we always make sure that the program is the one that best suits your needs. You need the right protection – Your assets must be insured, as unexpected accidents really hurt the cashflow if insurance is not there. Also, remember to protect yourself using the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), personal insurance, the right entity structures, off farm investments and income, monitoring your liquidity and equity, and succession planning.

Bridging the Generation Gap Megan James, BMO Communications Manager

Australians are living longer and retiring

later. By 2023 the official retirement age will be 67, meaning more and more businesses will have multiple generations working together. Responsibility and transfer of capital from the older generation to the next is taking longer.

Let’s take a family farming business for example. Let’s say you have grandfather (of the traditionalist generation) in his 70s pottering around on the farm, Dad is in his 50s (a baby boomer) and is still steering the business, while his son in his 30s (Gen X) is working alongside him. There’s a younger son in his 20s (Gen Y) who still lives at home and the Gen X has a couple of kids (Gen Z) who help out on weekends.

So, what happens when a multiplegeneration business like this decides to undertake succession planning? One word. Conflict. Unless each generation..

takes time to appreciate each other, recognises where the gaps are, and takes steps to bridge the gaps. Our shared experiences, particularly those of our youth - like what kind of books, movies or music influenced us, what major political or economic events happened or what technological advances have occurred, tend to unite and shape a generation. There are two key things we encourage our clients to consider when it comes to generation gaps:

Which generation are you?

Quiz Time

3. My attitude to my work life is…

1. When it comes to money I am… A. Thrifty and frugal. B. I’m used to ‘buy now and pay later’, especially big ticket items like houses and cars. C. Am likely to pop something unplanned on the credit card. D. Enjoy spending the money I earn on fun stuff. E. Try to get as much pocket money as I can out of mum and dad.

2. The work style I prefer is…

A. Authoritian – where the boss calls the shots and others respect him. B. Linear style - where you know who is in charge of what. C. Flat structure - where hierarchy isn’t so obvious. D. Collaborative team approach where everyone gets a say. E. I’m still at school, but I think work should be flexible.

A. Show up on time and work hard until quitting time. B. Work hard during my set hours each day, work longer if needed. C. I like to achieve work-life balance. D. I’d prefer to work flexible hours. E. I’m expecting to have a gap year then university before I get a job.

4. In my youth, the major

technological advances were… A. Getting electricity in our home. B. Getting television in our home. C. Getting a personal computer at home and access to the internet. D. Getting a smart phone. E. Changing every week…ie iPhone 4, 5, 6, 6plus, apple watch, iPad.

5. I was born…

A. Before 1946. B. Between 1946-1964. C. Between 1965-1979. D. Between 1980-1994. E. Between 1995-2004.

Mostly As: Traditionalist Generation. Mostly Bs: Baby-Boomer. Mostly Cs: Generation X. Mostly Ds: Generation Y. Mostly Es: Generation Z.

1. They’ re not going to “grow out of it”. Older generations often think the young ones will grow up to be just like them…but you didn’t grow up to be just like your parents did you? It’s not a phase. Generational characteristics aren’t just a stage they will outgrow as they age. The younger generation’s focus on flexibility and access to information are likely to continue to be priorities. 2. It’s not wrong, it’s just different. Gaps need to be bridged from both sides. Take time to appreciate the differences and strengths of each generational group and look for how these characteristics can be harnessed for the greater good of the business or family farm.

on Generati ey Y are th ? like that

Gen Y is one of the most misunderstood generations. They are often thought to be self-focused, flippant and lacking in work ethic. However, they are a reflection of their time. They are keenly aware that economic cycles come and go, jobs aren’t guaranteed, and businesses will cut people to increase profits. They crave change; change in technology, where they live, educational choices and work experiences. Harnessed in the right way, their adaptability can be an asset. They enjoy working in teams and thrive in a relaxed harmonious group. In succession planning, we find Gen Ys help facilitate a collaborative approach to achieving outcomes. After Generation Z comes the Alpha Generation, they are the most technically saavy and globally connected. Right now, they’re less than five years old.



Instant write-off helps small business Adrian Rasmussen, BMO Partner

A ‘tax-break’ giving an instant write off for depreciable assets under $20,000 is proving beneficial for small business owners.

Under the ruling, depreciable items that cost less than $20,000 each (excluding GST) qualify for an immediate 100% deduction, rather than being depreciated over a number of years, provided the asset is acquired and installed ready for use between 12 May 2015 and 30 June 2017. In taking advantage of the tax break, business owners need to consider:

Does the asset qualify? A depreciating asset is an asset used in a business that has a limited effective life and is expected to decline in value over the period you use it. Vehicles, office furniture and equipment are depreciating assets. Land, computer software and trading stock are not depreciating assets. Am I a “small business”? To qualify for these concessions, businesses must come under the ATO definition of a small business, which is an individual, partnership, trust or company with an aggregated turnover of less than two million dollars. If your business consists of a group of entities, you need to

be aware that an aggregated turnover is the annual turnover of any business that an individual is connected or associated with. Do I really need this asset? Don’t allow tax incentives to be the sole driver for your business decisions. Remember, this is a deduction not a rebate or grant, so if you aren’t making a profit, there’s unlikely to be a tax advantage as a result of buying the asset. Before you rush out and buy, we’d encourage you to talk to your accountant about how it fits with your cash flow, overall growth strategy and your tax planning.

Banks tighten the belt on property investors Paul Logan, BMO Lending Manager

Locals are now finding it harder and more expensive to borrow money for investment properties as the banks roll out tightened investment lending criteria across Australia.

While property prices in the Western Downs region have slumped after the downturn of the mining and CSG boom, the property market in big cities across Australia have seen prices sky rocketing. High prices in places like Sydney and Melbourne are making it near impossible for new home owners to purchase a property. As a result, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which is responsible for regulating our banking and insurance industries, has put pressure on banks to introduce policies to put the brakes on the property pricing hikes. The aim is to achieve sustainable growth and create a bigger buffer for banks should there be a property collapse. The big banks have responded by increasing the borrowing rates for investment properties, getting rid of mortgage discounts, and asking for a larger deposit from investors to secure their loan. While these tougher policies were initially affecting investors in metropolitan areas, they have now been extended to regional areas.


So if you are considering a new property investment, I would urge you to discuss all your options with your finance broker or financial planner, as you may require a larger deposit than initially expected. And remember, it pays to shop around for the best finance deal.



t was a mix of music, laughter, tears, frivolity and quiet moments of grief as the BMO “Good as Gold” team took to the track in September 2015 for the Dalby Relay for Life. Over 18 hours, our team walked to fight back against cancer, to celebrate survivors and to remember those we have lost. However, our journey really began six months before the relay when we committed to the challenge and started fundraising.

BMO Good as Gold Relay Team

A sincere thank you to all our clients and friends who supported our Relay for Life quest. If you came to our garage sale, our comedy night, participated in our ‘Pass The Footy’ game, bought raffle tickets or made donations, you played an important part in helping us raise over $7,600 to go to the Cancer Council Queensland. Thanks to you, we had the honour of being named the top fundraising team for 2015. Every cent helps make a difference.

Ang Bradley, Megan James, Steph Smart, Rebecca Gleeson and Georgie Gibson at the Cocktails, Canapes & Comedy night.

Alex Gee Kee, Cate Turner & Bennett Turner at Relay for Life.

Pam Teale, Kelsey Meacham, Jude Kleinschmidt & Tiffany Schelberg work the cake stall at the BMO Garage Sale.

Jasmine Gash competing in the footy passing comp.

BMO in the Community

Over the past year BMO has also proudly supported... Dalby Golf Club - Jandowae Show Society - Dalby Rugby Union Dalby South State School - Dalby Daycare Centre - Meandarra Show Our Lady of the Southern Cross College - Cecil Plains Golf Club Dalby Picnic Races - Inglestone Golf Day - Moonie Sports Club Tara Polocrosse Club - Cecil Plains State School - Bell State School Dalby Art Group - Jimbour State School - Dalby State School Hannaford Gymkhana - Taroom Show - Bell Show Society Dalby Chamber of Commerce - Basin Sustainability Alliance Dalby Ladies Bowling Club - Think Local, Love Dalby Dalby Swimming Club - Dalby Rotary Club - AFL Dalby Swans Condamine Rugby Club - Tara Campdraft - Bell Golf Club Mothers Day Classic - Jandowae Race Club - Dalby Bowls Club

Mal Smith, Barry Jordan, Paul Logan, Shane Lee & Oliver Holcombe on the BBQ at BMO Garage Sale. 13


Creating a memorable event for the right reasons

Chelsea Wyatt, BMO Events Manager & Communications Officer


f you’ve ever been thrown in the deep end to help organise an event, you’ll know that it can be a huge ask! Getting it right can bring great results for businesses by attracting new customers, rewarding existing customers, and keeping your team positive. So what is the key to successful event management? It comes down to five Ws.

WHO – Think about your audience and tailor the event to suit their interests and current trends.


WHAT – What is going to draw the

interest? Use a theme, music, decorations, guest speakers. Food is also important. WHERE – Get the venue right. Indoors or outdoors? Remembering your climate variables – weather, insects, wind and dust. WHEN – Get the time of year right. For example, don’t hold a big fundraiser just before Christmas when people are already cash-poor. Have a detailed run sheet outlining what is to happen when.

Get connected!

If your business is still not on Facebook, it’s time to reconsider.

• • • • • •

There are 14 million Facebook users in Australia Facebook users spend an average of 8.5hrs on facebook per week. It’s estimated people check the platform about 14 times a day. Every day, 10 million Australians are active on Facebook. About 5 million Australians watch a video on Facebook everyday When people discover new information on Facebook - 60% will go on to learn more, and about 35% will share it.

Despite all of the above, only about a third of small-medium businesses in Australia are actively using social media to engage consumers. BMO’s Communications Manager Megan James says having a Facebook presence allows you to connect with your customers, attract new customers, and achieve a broad reach for limited dollars. However, she warns, don’t be mistaken for thinking Facebook is free and easy. “You need to be using Facebook as part of a broader marketing strategy. It’s no good having a great post that links back to your website if your website is outdated. “Posting effectively takes time and creativity. But if you are clever enough to create a viral video that translates to sales, you could be laughing all the way to the bank! Remember the ice bucket challenge? It raised $100 million for ALS research in the US and over $1 million for MND in Australia. That’s the power of social media.” Mention this article and your business will be eligible for a Facebook starter package including a one-on-one session to set up your business page and two hours of training for just $220 (inc gst). Sources: Sensis Social Media Report May 2015; Social Media News Australia, Business Insider Australia. 14 l EVERY STEP l WWW.BMO.COM.AU


WHY – Don’t forget WHY you are doing the event and make it special. Use theming and special touches to make a difference.

Above all, be prepared. Set up early, have your checklists and consider what could go wrong! You must be prepared for anything – a technical glitch, a clash of events, bad weather or a food shortage. Some things are just out of our control, so just do your best, keep calm and find a way for the show to go on!

things every business owner must do to protect their computer system Hayden Spence, IT Administrator

Technology is an incredible tool for any business. However, if you

are not using or protecting your computer systems properly, you might be putting your business at significant risk of suffering lost time and dollars. If you are a small to medium sized enterprise, with a business computer system, here are five things you must do:


Set recovery goals. So many businesses underestimate just how important their data backup and restore systems are. We recommend creating backups daily using reliable and automated software.


Do your updates. Making sure that automatic updates are configured properly so that all your software updates and patches occur regularly and at a time that is convenient to your business is very important.


Have a back up power supply. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is critical. A UPS protects your computer system from power outages, brownouts and power surges.


Put in a firewall. If you have more than five computers it is worth investing in a Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance. This is usually a piece of hardware that can block inbound spam emails, handle malicious attacks and can be configured to improve the performance and reliability of your network.

advice. If you are ever in doubt about a software or [ Get hardware upgrade, how to achieve computer efficiencies, or have security concerns, seek professional help.



BMO’s Barry Jordan recently clocked up 10 years at BMO and celebrated by using his long service leave to take his wife Maree overseas to experience the history and culture of Europe. Here’s what they learnt...

My wife and I recently returned from a

5. Be prepared for very hard beds and pillows, particularly in Europe.

Travelling through Europe was a wonderful holiday choice and seeing some of the ruins and architecture from BCE and early CE was a truly enlightening experience.

6. Be aware, most people who approach you, will know you are a tourist (they can tell a mile away). They may appear to be genuinely interested in helping or just chatting, but most of the time this is because there is another motive, such as to sell you something, guide you around and then ask for a tip, or maybe rob you.

lengthy trip overseas visiting Hong Kong, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Dubai.

However, there were some challenges. Our personal experiences may offer you some insights into what to expect and how you can avoid some of the difficulties in your own travels. 1. Good preparation and planning is essential. Make sure you have your wills and insurances up to date. Use the Internet to research your planned accommodation, tourist attractions and how you will get around. Also talk to people who have been there, because the internet pictures can be misleading. 2. Having access to a variety of money options. Always take some cash (currency of the country you are visiting), credit cards and a global currency card. The trip is guaranteed to cost you more than you expect. 3. Try to avoid using Credit Cards. The chances of misuse and fraud are very high. In my opinion, cash is a better option. Use room safes if available or have the money hidden on a money belt under your clothes. 4. Learn how to say a few words in the local language (Yes, No, Thanks, Morning, Toilet, Please and ‘Where To’).

10. Just do it. If you have worked hard for many years and are in a financial position to do so, I highly recommend travelling. Visiting new places and different cultures gives you a new perspective on life. Barry is BMO’s Practice Manager and Human Resources Adviser. He’s happy to chat with our readers about his travel experiences.

7. Having a good ‘computer tablet’ is very useful. Buy a local ‘sim’ card in each country you visit. Don’t rely on Wi Fi. Google Maps will be a valuable resource in helping you get around. 8. If you hire a car and you want a GPS, it will cost you a lot more, yet we found the GPS maps to be out of date. That’s why you need a ‘tablet’. Driving in Europe is not for the feint-hearted. Most European drivers enjoy honking their horn, tail gating and overtaking on hillcrests and double white lines! The streets are often very narrow and parking is generally very hard to find. So if you are a thrill seeker, hire a car. Otherwise, you may be better off taking a bus or a train. Learning to follow timetables is part of the experience. 9. The food in Greece is fantastic. I’m not sure I would say the same for Italy and Spain. But it’s all about personal taste. Restaurant menus are generally only written in the local language. It may be worth getting some basic words translated before you leave, especially if you have food intolerances.


P lanning for the future?

At BMO, we work with you to build your business, grow your wealth and achieve your goals. We don’t just offer a once-a-year taxation service, we’re here for you through every part of your journey. We’re with you in the good times, and we’ll stand beside you when the going gets tough. We have the latest technology, a commitment to training our team, and a strong focus on people. You will receive technical expertise delivered in an honest and genuine way. No matter what life stage you are at, you need to plan ahead to be ready for the future. We’re not just accountants. We’re your business adviser and your sounding board.

We’re with you every step of the way. Accounting & Taxation l Financial Planning l Loans & Leasing Business Development l Human Resources l Conference Facilities Marketing & Communication l Workplace Health & Safety Succession Planning l Self Managed Super Funds l IT Services l 178 Drayton Street Dalby l 07 4662 3722

BMO Every Step Magazine 2015  

BMO is an award-winning accounting, business advisory and financial services firm with a strong focus on building relationships and supporti...

BMO Every Step Magazine 2015  

BMO is an award-winning accounting, business advisory and financial services firm with a strong focus on building relationships and supporti...