every step BMO BUSINESS CENTRE
Focussing on your FINANCIAL F IT NE ss
WORDS OF INSPIRATION
How to : prepare for climbing interest rates
Myth busting employee VS contractor
Turning donations into partnerships Retirement villages looking beyond the brochure
hey say that time flies when you’re having fun and we have to say 2017 has soared! We kicked off our year by hitting the road for our famous ‘The Farmer Wants a Life’, this time with the inspirational Robyn Moore on board with us. We continued with the theme of positivity with Bruce Sullivan’s ‘Your Best You’ and Chris Haseman’s ‘Winning Formula’ events (p9). In amongst all this, we worked with clients on all-important tax planning, budgets and business strategies, developed marketing plans, secured loans and helped with HR and payroll; we travelled to Moonie, Weengallon, St George, Longreach and many places in between; we put teams in the local triathlons, netball and touch footy competitions; we hosted a regional Queensland first with an accounting software expo here in Dalby; we’ve said goodbye to special team members whose life circumstances took them to new locations and welcomed fresh faces to our team; and we even launched a new YouTube video! (Check it out at www.youtube.com/bmodalby) Our year climaxed with the honour of winning the Dalby Business of the Year award and Judge’s Choice for Professional Services, as well as being recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a Top 100 Australian Accounting Firm. These achievements are only possible because we have a genuine passion for making a difference in people’s lives. We’ve been prepared to try new things, to be nimble. We know we don’t always get it right, and we are willing to continuously learn and grow. With every step we take we continue to be so grateful for the opportunities we have to walk alongside our clients and our community. We hope through the pages of Every Step, you’ll get a glimpse into the many areas we work in and enjoy a peak behind the scenes of BMO. Happy reading,
The BMO Team
BMO is an awardwinning 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. We are based in Dalby, with a satellite office in Brisbane.
Magazine Published: December 2017. Cover Photo: BMO Financial Solutions Partner Shane Lee at the Dalby Aquatic Centre. Image courtesy of Fiona Carson. Disclaimer – This magazine has been written and produced by BMO, 178 Drayton Street Dalby Qld 4405. Information provided in this magazine is general in nature. Some information in this document has been sourced from the Australian Taxation Office. In preparing information BMO Accountants, BMO Financial Solutions and BMO Lending Services have not taken into account any particular person’s 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. Principal Wealth Management Pty Ltd trading as BMO Financial Solutions is a corporate authorised representative of McPherson & Associates Pty Ltd. AFSL Number 229883.
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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 four times (2003, 2009, 2015 and 2017). With over 50 professionals in 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 www.bmo.com.au 8 firstname.lastname@example.org
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''Why do I do it? I want to set an example for m y kids, that if you work hard, you can achieve almost anything you set your mind to.''
is heart is pounding and his legs are burning, but as Shane Lee reaches the crest of the hill in the Cairns Half-Ironman event, he takes a moment to breathe in the amazing setting before him. The sun dances across the blue ocean, and it’s surprisingly quiet and serene. All of a sudden the pain of swimming 1.9km, cycling 90km and the 21.1km run that is yet to come, disappear as the feeling of complete contentment takes hold.
Shane, a partner of BMO Financial Solutions, has become something of an accidental triathlete. “It wasn’t something I really set out to do. I was always a swimmer, and throughout my childhood competed at club and school events. When I found myself beside the pool again marshalling for my daughters’ swim club, I started chatting with a few local triathletes and decided to give it a go.” Now, having notched up 25 races in just four years, he admits being very nervous when lining up for his first event at Kawana in 2013. “It was only a 200m swim, a 7.5km ride and a 2km run and I was terrified… But when I crossed that finish line, it was such a great feeling. I was hooked.” Shane says the training for his cycling leg
started back when he was 12 years old doing a newspaper run around his home town of Rosewood delivering the afternoon edition of the paper. It was the start of a work ethic that has carried into adulthood. His finance career kicked off in the banking sector, but when he felt the culture of the banks had become too sales-focussed, he made the move to financial planning, drawn to the idea of helping people manage debt and build their wealth. In 2002, he joined the BMO team to head up its first financial planning division.
These days it’s a busy life intermingling daily investment strategies and insurance protection plans, with early morning training runs, art show events with wife Barb (a talented local artist), and the school, sport and extra-curricular activities of teenage daughters’ Grace, 17 and Lexie, 14. When it comes down to it, Shane’s girls are his daily motivation. “Why do I do it? I want to set an example for my kids, that if you work hard, you can achieve almost anything you set your mind to.”
The parallels between his hobby and his professional life aren’t lost on Shane, who says he often thinks about how building wealth is so much like building fitness. “There’s no short cut to a half-ironman. It’s the same with your financial ambitions, there’s no get rich quick scheme. It’s about setting an end goal and steadily working towards it, celebrating milestones along the way, and being ready to adapt if the situation changes. “It’s also important to have a coach to be accountable to. A financial planner is just like my tri coach. It’s having someone to check in on you to make sure you’re on track.”
Taking the leap into a new Business
Six things you must do
David Briese, BMO Partner
ew business is risky. The dictionary says an entrepreneur is “a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit”. To start your own business, you often have to be prepared to put a steady job, your personal finances, and even your family life on the line. The key is to know what steps to put in place so that when you take the leap, you will have the skills and tools to build a success story. Here are six tips that will help you unleash your entrepreneurial spirit: 1. Have an inspiring (but realistic) plan. You need to “begin with the end in mind” as Stephen Covey author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says. “You can’t just have an ‘idea’, you must articulate what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it. Plans will need to be adapted as you go, but you have to start with your end goal in your sights”. 2. Prepare a budget and use it. Sounds obvious, but people still seem to think they can kick off a new business with a chunk of money or an overdraft and hope it’ll be ok. Budgets are challenging, but they are essential. You need to understand your income, expenses, your profit margin and your breakeven point. Importantly, you need to plan and monitor cash flow. Focussing on profit without managing cash flow is like going for a drive and
keeping your eye so closely on the speedometer that you don’t realise when you’re running out of petrol. Use accounting software to your advantage. 3. Have a support team. Don’t rely on what you hear from your mates at the pub. Instead, surround yourself with advisers like accountants, solicitors and HR experts who can ensure you know your legislative requirements and get your structures right from the beginning. Successful entrepreneurs will also have family support, business networks, mentors and friends who will help them manage challenging times. Even one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, Elle Macpherson, whose net worth is estimated at US$95 Million, makes a point of surrounding herself with experts. She’s been known to say “if I’m the smartest person in the room, I’m in the wrong room”. 4. Hire the right people the right way. People are not your most important asset - the RIGHT people are. It’s important that you hire for attitude, not just skill. Find people who will uphold your values.
“AN ENTREPRENEUR IS SOMEONE WHO JUMPS OFF A CLIFF AND BUILDS A PLANE ON THE WAY DOWN” (REID HOFFMAN).
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As Jim Collins author of Good to Great says “get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, the right people in the right seats”. Then point your bus in the direction you are heading. 5. Understand your point of difference. Remember that your business must be solving a problem for people. Look at your business from your customer’s view point and remember to ‘sell the sizzle, not the steak’; that is, sell the benefits not just the features. For example, McDonalds doesn’t sell burgers, it sells convenience. Nike doesn’t sell shoes, it sells the promise that you can ‘just do it’ and your potential will be ‘unlimited’. Keep focussed on how your product or service makes your customer’s life better and make that your point of difference from your competitors. 6. Embrace your passion. Don’t let money be your only motivator. As the saying goes “choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. If your business is something that brings you joy, that passion will flow on to motivate and inspire your employees and your customers. And that will lead to success. David Briese is a partner at BMO with close to 30 years accounting experience. David, together with BMO Marketing Manager Megan James, were invited to present the Six Steps to Successful New Business at the WDRC’s “Entrepreneurs EXPOsed” event in Dalby in July 2017.
Which Business structure is right for me?
Co mpan y
Adrian Rasmussen, BMO Partner
So le Tra de r
Pa rtn ers hip ?
o you're thinking of starting a business? You’ll need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each different business structure and work out which structure best suits your needs.
There are many considerations to take into account when deciding on a structure for your business. While it is possible to change structures as your business grows, getting it right from the outset can reduce complications and challenges down the track. When you are first setting up your new business, it’s important to think about your future plans, such as your growth strategy and possible entry and exit of business partners and family members. Communicating any potential future plans to your accountant is essential.
In Australia, there are four general types of business structures – sole trader, partnership, company and trust. Within each of these there are different complexities. The type of structure you use will vary depending on your circumstances and preferences in relation to ownership, the set-up costs, taxation minimisation, control, asset protection, employment arrangements and administration requirements. The most important thing is to work closely with your accountant in setting up a structure that’s right for your circumstances. Your accountant will then work with you and your solicitor to get the necessary documentation completed.
A sole trader business structure is a person trading as the individual legally responsible for all aspects of the business. This includes any debts and losses, which can’t be shared with others. This is the simplest, and relatively inexpensive business structure that you can choose when starting a business in Australia. As a sole trader, you’ll generally make all the decisions about starting and running your business, although you can employ people to help you.
A partnership is a business structure that involves a number of people who carry on a business together. You may choose a partnership over a sole trader structure for example, if you'll be jointly running the business with another person or a number of people (up to 20). There are two types of partnerships general and limited. Partnerships are governed by the relevant law depending on your state or territory.
A company is a separate legal entity, unlike a sole trader or a partnership, meaning the company has the same rights as a natural person and can incur debt, sue and be sued. The company’s owners (the shareholders) can limit their personal liability and are generally not liable for company debts. This is a complex business structure, with higher set-up and administrative costs because of additional reporting requirements. You need to register a company with ASIC. Company officers and directors must comply with legal obligations under the Corporations Act 2001.
A trust is an obligation imposed on a person - a trustee - to hold property or assets (such as business assets) for the benefit of others, known as beneficiaries. The trustee can also be a company. Beneficiaries declare their share of the trust’s net income in their own tax returns. There are special rules for some types of trust including family trusts, deceased estates and super funds.
Shane Lee, BMO Financial Solutions Partner
hey are marketed as being the optimum lifestyle choice for recent retirees, often in ideal locations with all the facilities for a stress-free lifestyle. But with complex fee structures and inconsistent regulation, retirement village living should be approached with caution. Before becoming emotionally attached to the idea of living next to a golf course or an ocean, or the prospect of no more home maintenance, consider how long you are going to be able to enjoy all the lifestyle options and whether you can afford it. Affordability is impacted by the way operators build into a contract the cost of living in a village, recurrent charges, and the cost when it comes time to sell. In some cases the fee retained by the operator is 30% or more of the value of the unit.
The retirement village sector is complicated further with each state and territory having its own legislation. For these reasons reading and understanding any retirement village contract – which may be as long as 100 pages or more – is a must. While the primary reason for entering a retirement village is often lifestyle choice, it’s important to understand where the value lies in making that choice. Clients considering purchasing a residence in a retirement village need to carefully consider their exit strategy should they need to access a higher level of supported aged care living. The market for retirement village units is limited and, in some cases, the only option for selling the unit is through the operator of the facility.
When deciding on a retirement village, make sure you: 1. Understand the contract and have it reviewed by a professional. 2. Know something about the operator and their experience. 3. Know how village budgets are presented. 4. Know how the operator reacts to residents who query how money is being spent. 5. Are happy with how the residents’ committee works. Once you are comfortable that the choice is right for you and you have sought advice from your accountant, financial planner and solicitor, then grab your golf clubs and beach gear and get ready to settle in to the happy days ahead!
When is the right TIME to retire? Retirement age will be different for everyone, but there are two things you should have in place before retirement: 1. You have company - Being on the same page as your spouse and/or having good social networks in place is vital to enjoying a healthy and happy retirement. Having a partner who is keen to travel or garden with you, joining a local club or doing volunteer work to stay active and connected are some options. Those who retire without any social connections may feel isolated which can be detrimental to your mental health. 2. You have funds - Before hanging up your working hat for the last time, you must make sure you have enough super/savings to sustain you comfortably. Sounds obvious, but people often underestimate how much they need to live. Remember, we are all living longer meaning you need to really consider what budget you’ll be working with. You could even trial your retirement budget for a few months to make sure you can manage.
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It’s essential that you get advice on your retirement plans from a qualified financial planner before you make the break from working life.
Cover Yourself Mal Smith, BMO Financial Solutions Partner
ruce and Sally were in their 30s. Sally was taking time off from her job to look after their 3-year-old son and was 8 months pregnant with their second child, while Bruce worked as a highly paid construction worker. They had talked about life insurance once, when one of those ads came on TV, but they never bothered to do anything about it. Only a few months later, Sally received the call that no one ever wants to receive. Bruce had been killed in an accident. Sally was left raising their children on her own and along with that, a sizeable mortgage to pay, car payments, medical bills, living expenses and more. Her ability to earn her own income was drastically reduced by her commitment to their children and Centrelink wasn’t enough for the house payments. She was forced to downsize the family car and sell the family home. Losing a partner is emotionally devastating… Adding financial pressure can be horrific. The good news is this story is fictional, but the bad news is - this scenario happens all too often. People just don’t realise how important life insurance is until it’s too late.
Most people will not think twice about insuring their car, boat, house, machinery, even their pets… For some reason, we sometimes baulk at insuring ourselves. It’s not just life insurance. There are several types of personal insurance that we recommend you consider. In our story, if Bruce had adequate life insurance, Sally could have paid off the mortgage, paid off the car and invested the rest to give her and their children an income stream while coming to terms with the personal loss. Money will never bring back your loved one, but it takes pressure off at a time when you really don’t need extra stress. Don’t be Bruce and Sally. Make the call to protect yourself and your family.
TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABLEMENT
TRAUMA / CRITICAL ILLNESS
You and your family depend on your income for everyday living. Sick pay only helps you for a few weeks. Could you survive if you had no income for a few months or a couple of years?
TPD insurance helps you modify your lifestyle and your home, helps with medical expenses or care, and gives you options if you’re left without the ability to work.
Cancer and cardiovascular disease are all too common. So trauma insurance is used to provide a financial cushion in the event of a major illness.
• Pays a benefit (normally 75% of salary) if the insured person is unable to work due to sickness or injury. • Pays an income stream over the selected benefit period chosen (can be 2 or 5 years or to age 60 or 65).
• Pays an agreed lump sum on the insured being classified as never being able to work again. • TPD is normally combined with life insurance to provide additional security in the case of severe disability.
• Pays a lump sum when the insured person suffers a specified medical condition. Most policies have around 40 specified. The big four - cancer, stroke, heart attack and coronary artery surgery are usually included. • Can cover costs like medical and rehabilitation, modifying home/vehicle, travel to seek specialised medical assistance.
LIFE / TERM
Life insurance insures a person in the event of death. • Pays a specified lump sum on death of the insured person or if they are deemed terminally ill. • Getting a policy while you’re still young will actually be cheaper over your lifetime than starting a cover in your 50s. • Don’t just insure the primary income earner. Consider the impact of losing a spouse or partner who provides care for the children or domestic duties.
Turn donation$ into partnerships Chelsea Wyatt, BMO Communications Officer
any small businesses struggle with the never-ending stream of requests from every charity, pony club, school fete and footy team. But what does it mean for a business to be a good corporate citizen? One definition says “the commitment of a business to contribute to sustainable economic development, working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of life”. For small businesses this might sound like a nice thought but forking out cash and product donations can impact your profit margin and there is often very little gain. Here are three things you should do to become a good corporate citizen: 1. Make a real connection. Don’t just hand over cash and never speak to the charity or club again. Look for ways to partner with community organisations and get involved in the way they’re spending your money. Getting a logo on an invitation is great, but developing a relationship with the group you are supporting can be emotionally and financially rewarding for you and your business.
2. Get it right on the inside. There’s nothing more contradictory than a business that supports community groups and charities but treats its employees badly. Invest in your team morale and employee benefits. You can then take it a step further and encourage your team members to get involved in community groups that your business supports. 3. Align your contributions to your values. One of the BMO values is “understanding”. Through listening to our clients, especially business owners and farmers, we could sense a real strain on them. So this year we ran several seminars centered on dealing with stress, keeping positive and being resilient. We know that we can give our clients all the best accounting, financial and business advice, but by supporting their well-being as a person, we develop a real connection with our clients and our community. Look for ways you can contribute to your clients’ quality of life.
Here are some of the clubs, associations and community events that BMO has contributed to over the past year: Dalby Swans AFL, Jandowae Show, Wandoan Show, Dalby Bowls Club, Bell State School, Condamine Cods, Jandowae Pony Club, Dalby Picnic Races, Worlds Greatest Shave, Beef Bonanza, Inglestone CWA, Cecil Plains School, Dalby Eisteddfod, Dalby Art Group, Jandowae Races, Greg McVeigh Mates Golf Day, St George Golden Acres Gala, Dalby Drama Festival, Dalby Open Tennis, South West Queensland Football U15s, OLSCC Saints Race Day, Dalby State High School, Dalby Daycare KAOS, Snow White Kindy, Lions Club Dalby, Dalby Crimestoppers, Bell Show, Rotary Dalby, Dalby Rugby Union, Dalby Golf Club, Dalby State School, Meandarra Show, Cancer Council Qld, Heart of Australia, Donate Life, Dalby Crisis Support, Black Dog Institute.
Girls Got Heart
White Ribbon Blokes Breakfast
Relay for Life Dalby Rugby Union
Rotary BBQ at ASH Sale
INSPIRATION upporting the health and well-being of our team, our clients and our community is important to BMO. We turned to three keynote speakers for inspiration in 2017. Here’s what we learnt.
Put On Your Happy Pants, Bruce Sullivan, ‘Your Best You
Reclaim the person you were when you went on your first date or went to your job interview, was the message from Bruce Sullivan, one of Australia’s most sought-after keynote speakers. On your first date or your job interview, you were helpful, patient, enthusiastic, curious, grateful, a problem solver, a listener and keen to learn. Over time where does that person go? We let the best version of ourselves slip into someone who complains, is tired, whinging and doesn’t make an effort. Bruce encouraged us to live life by grasping the characteristics of a four-year-old, to live with more forgiveness and less grudges, be more curious and less critical, be more grateful and less cynical, and to ensure that we follow our good intentions with action. It’s no good if we intend to do something about our health, our job, or our relationship unless we follow it with the right behaviour. Bruce used hilarious stories and life experiences to challenge us to get perspective (If you’re out of milk in the staff room, is it really the end of the world?). When you are faced with a difficult task or situation, you can reach for the top drawer and put on your happy pants or reach for the bottom drawer and go through life with your cranky pants on. The choice is yours.
Who's Coming Home Tonight? Robyn Moore, ‘ The Power of the Word
So often we get home to the people we love in the evening and start complaining about our day. We come home tired and grumpy or tired and overworked (whingeing until everyone feels responsible that you have a job). Robyn, one of Australia’s most well-known voice-over artists and Make-aWish patron reminded us (she says she’s not a motivational speaker, she’s a ‘remindavator’) that we are the author of our own behaviour. So next time you put the key in the door after a long day’s work, ask yourself who’s coming home tonight? What word are you going to choose to be? Tired and loving, tired and satisfied, tired and appreciative? You can put an empowering word next to tired and your life will be transformed. Robyn shared with us amazing stories about her work with terminally ill children with an authenticity and humility that reminded us that real riches have nothing to do with money or material things. She told us stories until our cheeks hurt from laughing or we were unable to hold back tears of empathy. She encouraged us to recognise when negative things like cynicism, resignation, anger and procrastination are ‘stealing’ our happiness and contentment and gave us strategies to stay on the rollercoaster ride of life. She dared us to dream, to find our life’s purpose. She reminded us that we are all “extraordinary”. Robyn Moore will be visiting Dalby again in February 2018. Keep a lookout on the BMO website and Facebook page for details.
Put Your Big Rocks In First, Chris Haseman, ‘ Winning Formula
We get so busy in our daily lives that we fill our jars up with sand and pebbles, and then realise that we don’t have room for the ‘big rocks’. Chris, a leading fitness trainer, who has fought on the world stage in mixed martial arts, trained Queensland police recruits, served in war zones for coalition forces, and trained the Broncos, the Wallabies and the Australian Cricket team, had some hard truths to share with us. You need to decide what is most important to you – your big rocks – and put them in your jar first. ‘Big rocks’ will be different for everyone, it might be a family holiday, study you want to complete or a health and fitness goal. Make those things your priority and don’t compromise, then fit the other ‘smaller’ things around them. Chris taught us about how the body works and how to create habits or break old ones to help you achieve your goals. He warned us about sugar (especially to not eat sugar after dinner), and reminded us of the importance of sleep. He told us stories about teamwork and leadership, and very generously shared personal life lessons from his amazing wife, who passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2017. Most life-changing was her instruction ‘be sure to live at least one perfect day’. Now that’s a big rock we should all put in our jar of life.
Myth busting the employee or contractor debate
Kelvin Tyler, BMO Partner
orking out whether you are hiring an employee or simply engaging an independent contractor is not always straightforward. Getting it wrong can be costly, as recent court rulings have shown. The difference between an employee and a contractor is that an employee works in the business and is part of it, while independent contractors run their own businesses and are only supplying a service. They can choose their own hours of work and must pay for their own insurance, sick leave and holidays.
If you try to engage someone as a contractor when they are really deemed an employee, it could be a considered a sham contract. Stating that an individual is a contractor does not override the true employment relationship and relevant legislation. It also doesn’t remove pay-as-you-go tax withholding and super obligations.
Unfortunately ignorance of the law is not a defence. Both the ATO and Fair Work Ombudsman can impose significant penalties if they determine the worker is an employee. Businesses also run the risk of having to fork out significant back-pay to cover the employee’s unpaid leave and other employment entitlements.
Sometimes businesses intentionally try to disguise an employment relationship as a contract, to avoid paying the required employee entitlements, and sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding of the rules.
Don’t rely on what your mate told you about the rules for being a subbie, get advice from a qualified accountant or HR advisor so that you are engaging people correctly and not putting yourself and your business at risk.
Myth Busters an Australian Business Number (ABN) - Having an ABN or a registered business name does not automatically make a person a ( Having contractor. In fact, having an ABN or being paid after submitting an invoice makes no difference to whether an employment arrangement is a contract or employment.
length of a job – How long the job goes for, or how regular the work is, does not determine whether someone is an employee or a ( The contractor. Both employees and contractors can be used for casual, temporary, on-call or infrequent work. 80-20 rule – Businesses sometimes think if they pay less than 80 percent of an employee’s annual income they’re not their ( The employer. This so-called ‘80 percent rule’ is only relevant for the ATO’s assessment of Personal Services Income (PSI) and whether or not a contractor can claim business tax deductions. It has no bearing on employee entitlements.
preference - Legally, it’s not a matter of choice as employment status is determined by the working arrangement and specific ( Personal terms and conditions of the job.
Businesses will need to go digital for payroll Sarah Shaw, BMO Human Resources
mployers will need to review their payroll procedures to get ready for the ATO’s Single Touch Payroll (STP) system, which aims for more accurate and timely reporting on wages and superannuation information.
STP means employers will need to report payments to employees such as salary and wages, pay-as-you-go withholding, and superannuation information through some form of software at the same time as you pay your employees. The idea is to give the ATO access to more accurate figures in ‘real time’.
Some of the technical details are still being finalised, however on 1 April 2018 businesses will need to do a headcount of employees. If you have 20 or more, you’ll need to start using a digital system for reporting employees’ tax and superannuation information from 1 July 2018. If you have less than 20, we’re anticipating that you’ll have to be STP compliant from 1 July 2019. If you are already using a payroll software program, check with your provider to find out what they are putting in place to help you meet this ATO obligation. If you really aren’t comfortable changing to a STP-enabled system, there will be options to have a third-party (like your accountant) report electronically for you. We encourage all businesses to start preparing as early as you can. If you’re not sure what this means for your business, ask your accountant or payroll service provider about what options you have so that you are compliant by the deadline. While it might seem daunting, the hope is that if it’s set up correctly, it will provide businesses with a time-saving streamlined approach to reporting.
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Catching up with the Zs
Megan James, BMO Marketing & Communications Manager
tep aside Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, the Zs have arrived. Born between 1995 and 2009, there are 4.6 million Gen Zs in Australia who are now aged from their tweens to early 20s. They are in high school, driving cars, heading off to university and will soon be entering the workforce in droves. Touted as the education generation, Gen Z are entrepreneurial, creative and driven. Leading social research company McCrindle describes them as the “most materially endowed, technological saturated, formally educated generation our world has ever seen”(i). And it’s time we took notice. According to the “Rethink Success” whitepaper(ii), Gen Zs want to have a job that makes a difference, where they are constantly learning new things and feel passionate about work. Most Gen Zs do not know life without the internet and smartphones have been around since the oldest Gen Zs were 12, so it goes without saying that they are highly adept at using technology and navigating the digital world. They seek validation on social media platforms; but if you think having an attachment to their device will prevent them from succeeding, think again. The report revealed Gen Zs are actually “more focussed than other generations on feeling a sense of achievement, having a purpose and being agile – traits they believe to be essential in building success”(iii).
Interestingly, 77 percent agree with the statement “success is important to me”, while that same statement only resonated with 62 percent across all the generations. “Achieving my personal goals” was the second top thing that defined success for Gen Zs coming only after “be happy”. “Achieving personal goals” didn’t even make the top seven list for all generations.
“GEN ZS ARE ENTREPRENEURIAL, CREATIVE AND DRIVEN.” If you consider this drive for success in the context of the other generations’ characteristics, there is a theory that Gen Zs will become our next band of strong leaders. With Gen Y (aged mid 20s to late 30s) tending to lead collaboratively and avoiding hierarchical style, Gen X (late 30s to early 50s) focussed on achieving work-life balance, and baby boomers (mid 50s to early 70s) reaching the retirement phase of life, there will be nothing stopping Gen Z from stepping in to lead. We are embarking on new territory. For the first time in history, it will be commonplace to have four generations working together. Understanding the role generations play in your workplace (and in your families) is vital if you want to achieve a productive, positive culture. The views and styles of communication and work habits of each generation are shaped by the experiences of their formative years. They are not likely
to change. So don’t think you’re going to mould them to be like you, just like you didn’t grow up to be just like your parents or grandparents. It’s not to say that businesses have to indulge every expectation of Gen Z, but understanding their cray cray* style and embracing their strengths will defs* help your business and probs* make your workplace more effective. Trust me it will be LIT!* *Cray Cray = Crazy. Defs = Definitely. Probs = Probably. Lit = Exciting/Amazing.
Who are the different generations? Traditionalists
(i) http://generationz.com.au/trends/. (ii) http://morethanmoney.nab.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/FINAL_Rethink_Success_Chapter_2.pdf. (iii) http://anthillonline.com/ australian-gen-zs-will-drive-innovation-australian-business 11
Forecasting the Future H
Michelle McVeigh, BMO Partner
ave you ever wished you could see into the future? Then budgeting is the secret. Ok, don’t roll your eyes.
At BMO we’re on a mission to encourage everyone, individuals and businesses, to think about budgeting as an empowering process. Actively preparing and reviewing your cash flow budget, and comparing it to your actuals, can help you plan for business growth and enhance profitability. Having a cash flow forecast will help you see how your incomings and outgoings are expected to flow month-to-month. It helps you identify when you may have a shortfall, so you can put strategies in place months prior. That might mean going to a lender, cutting some costs, looking for additional revenue streams, or changing the terms of your customer or supplier payments. Cash flow forecasts don’t need to be difficult, and can often be developed using your accounting software package. You can also model for different scenarios so you can see how your business will be positioned depending on different seasonal or economic variabilities. If you’re already actively using a cash flow budget, then you might be keen to take it a step further. There’s a growing trend on the horizon that gives businesses even more control over their business goals and direction… Three-way forecasting. This style of budgeting is about integrating your forecasts for profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow. According to Castaway, one of the leading three-way forecasting platform providers, the aim of forecasting is not to predict the future perfectly. “Rather it is about working out what the future would look like if a given set of assumptions were to take place and then figuring out a game plan to deal with the situation.” If you’re serious about improving your business, and working smarter not harder, then talk to us about three-way forecasting.
How to prepare for climbing Paul Logan, BMO Lending Services Manager
nterest rates have been low for so long it’s tempting to think low rates are the new normal. So when the Reserve Bank suggests that a cash rate of 3.5 percent is the new ‘neutral’, people take notice. Even the Prime Minister warned Australian householders to prepare for higher interest rates ahead(i). The official cash rate has been held at a record low of 1.5 percent since August 2016, but in recent months the Reserve Bank has begun preparing the ground for higher rates. The Reserve Bank says it now considers the ‘neutral’ cash rate to be 3.5 percent. Neutral is central bank-speak for the sweet spot where growth is supported without pushing inflation too high. In a speech on July 26, Reserve Bank Governor, Philip Lowe made it clear that rates will only rise once there’s a gradual lift
12 l EVERY STEP l WWW.BMO.COM.AU
in wages growth and inflation(ii). As things stand, he’s in no hurry.
“RATES WILL ONLY RISE ONCE THERE’S A GRADUAL LIFT IN WAGES GROWTH AND INFLATION.” So what can you do to make the most of today’s low rates and soften the impact of higher rates in future? Quit the bad debt habit - Make the most of low interest rates to pay down expensive debt such as credit cards and personal loans. Lock in fixed rates - If you have a mortgage and an increase in interest rates would blow a hole in your budget, then think about fixing all or part of your loan. The best fixed rates for two and three-year terms are currently around 4 percent, not much more than the best variable rates on offer.
Make extra repayments - If you have a variable rate mortgage, then it’s a good strategy to use any extra savings or lump sums to reduce your loan while rates are at historic lows. Catch the rising tide - Higher interest rates are not all bad news. If you’re a saver or depend on income from investments, higher rates can’t come quick enough. If you would like to discuss ways to reduce debt or look at loan options, please don’t hesitate to call. (i) ‘Prepare for interest rates to climb, Malcolm Turnbull warns’, by David Ross, The New Daily 20 July 2017, http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/financenews/2017/07/20/malcolm-turnbull-warning-interestrates/ (ii) “The labour market and monetary policy’, speech by RBA Governor Philip Lowe, 26 July 2017, http:// www.rba.gov.au/speeches/2017/sp-gov-2017-07-26.html
BRINGING THE CLOUD TO GROUND LEVEL
Oliver Holcombe, BMO Accountant
ow that the NBN (National Broadband Network) is becoming a reality in regional communities across Australia, more businesses finally have the internet quality to use cloud accounting. Some people find this very daunting, while others can’t wait to embrace the new technology and systems. Let’s take away some of the mystery. In simple terms, using “the Cloud” means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet, instead of your computer’s hard drive. One thing is for sure; desktop software is out and cloud software is in… But there’s more to it than being able to ‘do your bookwork’ while sitting on the beach. Some of the business advantages include real time financial information from direct bank feeds, on-the-go invoicing, better communication with your accountant and advisers, and the ability to view your accounting files from anywhere in the world. It means saying goodbye to memory sticks and emailing files. It also allows you to integrate other processes like payroll systems, stock control, invoicing and farm management.
Despite what you might think, you don’t have to be a technical guru to use cloud products. Even businesses who are quite traditional in their bookkeeping, using paper reporting, can switch to a cloud-based product and experience the ease of use and lifestyle benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. In June 2017, BMO hosted a regional Queensland first – a free accounting software expo where all the big players including Xero, MYOB, Intuit Quickbooks Online, Phoenix by AgData and Reckon offered demonstrations and one-on-one sessions to help people better appreciate the different packages on offer and how they work. If you didn’t get to this event, don’t despair - each software package provides access to demo files to help you get a feel for how
their platform works. BMO has put together a guide to help you familiarise yourself with each of the different programs in your own time at your own pace. Download our guide at www.bmo.com.au/resources. If you would like to chat to someone about the solutions that are best suited to you and your needs, please contact BMO and arrange a time with one of our Accounting Partners or Cloud Specialists.
r The future is here. It comes with flexibility and freedom. Let us help you embrace it.
Representatives from all the major accounting software providers took part in the BMO Accounting Expo in 2017.
Earning While You're Learning A few decades ago, when you left school choices were more black and white - university or a job. Fast forward to today and the pathway to a career and qualifications can be paved in many different ways. Making the choice to study externally while working full time can provide benefits including financial security, support from co-workers and study leave. But it doesn’t come without a little bit of hard work. Here’s some tips from our team members who are studying while they work:
“When studying remember to take regular breaks, organise study groups and snack on brain food.” Ryan Troe - Bachelor of Commerce.
“Allow time during the week so you don’t have to do it on weekends and study with others.” Ash Peltz - Bachelor of Commerce.
“Set aside a time to study and minimise distractions like TV, social media, etc. Use the support around you by studying with others in order to keep you accountable and on top of everything.” Oliver Holcombe - Bachelor of Commerce.
“Just get in and get it done – avoid procrastinating! I generally finish work and get straight into uni – you’re still in the mindset to work.” Tiffany Schelberg - Bachelor of Business and Commerce.
“Stay balanced – you need to look after yourself and have free time to yourself as well as working and studying.” Kim Clark - Bachelor of Commerce.
“It helps having so many others in the office studying. We help motivate each other and don’t have to study alone.” Tayla Bolam - Bachelor of Commerce.
“Study at work after 5, I seem to find that my brain is still in work mode so it is easier to focus, whereas when I am home my brain shuts off.” Kiara Pethybridge - Bachelor of Commerce.
“Setting small goals, if behind, it’s one page at a time and eventually you get there; learning to say no to outside influences; focussing on the end goal.” Chris Town - Bachelor of Commerce.
As the days go by... Q&A
with Tanya Berderow Senior Accountant Tanya Berderow celebrated 20 years with BMO in 2017. Since joining BMO as a trainee accountant she has gone on to achieve her Bachelor of Commerce, her CPA status and advance to a senior accountancy role. Tanya has a strong connection with her client base and a particular interest in working with small business clients. In the last two decades she has also married and had two daughters. The girls Dana (10) and Addi (8) keep her busy, she also enjoys baking and a little cake-icing business on the side, while helping husband Brad with their own pest control business. The family enjoys camping and visiting their favourite relaxation destination at Woodgate when they can. We asked Tanya to share with us a little bit about her journey on the BMO team from 1997 to now.
What made you first move into accounting?
I always loved Accounting at school. Numbers just came naturally to me and I thought it was something I could do to help other people. Joining BMO as a trainee was a great way I could work and study, gaining valuable experience on the job while working towards completing my degree.
What are the biggest changes that have happened in the accounting landscape?
Technology and the automation of previous manual tasks are the biggest changes. I used to look after the monthly BankLink download. We had to wait for the BankLink floppy disk to come in the mail with a report. It would then take me a full day to print all the BankLink reports, manually entering in the closing balance of every client’s bank account so that the report would print out. Now the BankLink reporting happens at the start of each month with an on-line download. Many of our clients are using cloud-based systems that provide real-time data so it can be all done electronically. No need to wait for the mail anymore!
What’s one thing you miss that used to happen (in the ol’ days)?
A full night’s sleep! Sometimes my brain just doesn’t want to shut off at night when I’m trying to find a creative way to solve a tax issue.
What hasn’t changed?
I still love helping people, my clients and the people I work with (BMO team). When you love what you do each day it doesn’t feel like work so you just keep doing it.
What do you love most about what you do these days?
I still love the relationships I build with my clients and being able to make their lives easier assisting with current tax and GST issues. My clients are not just another ‘job’, they are my friends.
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Put your best foot forward
Whether you are just starting out in your first job, heading into retirement, or anywhere in between… For people on the land, for those in small business and big business… BMO is so much more than your accountant. For more than 25 years, we’ve been walking alongside you to help you achieve your goals. When it comes to tax, we know our stuff and we’ll get you the best result we can. But we don’t just do tax. You’re not just a number on a page. Every individual’s situation is different. People and businesses don’t all fit into one template. That’s why we’re your adviser and sounding board offering a range of business and financial services all under the one roof.
We’re with you every step of the way. We specialise in: Accounting & Taxation l Financial Planning l Succession Planning Human Resources l Loans & Leasing l Marketing & Communications Conference Facilities l Business Development l Self Managed Super Funds
www.bmo.com.au l 178 Drayton Street Dalby l 07 4662 3722 l
We hope you enjoy “Every Step” magazine. It’s our way of sharing a little more about BMO and offering you some helpful tips for business and...
Published on Dec 19, 2017
We hope you enjoy “Every Step” magazine. It’s our way of sharing a little more about BMO and offering you some helpful tips for business and...