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In this issue Win a tablet!

Like us on Facebook for your chance to win a DXtreme tablet computer!

Our clients shine Powers clients make their mark in national awards

Questions answered Do you really need tax audit insurance?

Last chance

Make the most of flood assistance grants before January ends

Merry Christmas everyone!

DECEMBER 2011

In the LOOP The Quarterly Newsletter for clients of Powers Financial Group

Directors’ Message THANK you to all our clients who have been with us throughout 2011. We feel very lucky to have such wonderful clients, and you can see a great example of client achievement inside this issue on page 3. We’ve also had some achievements of our own this year. We joined the Proactive Accountants Network, were named as one of Queensland’s top 400 privately-owned businesses, and once again made the BRW Top 100 Accounting Firms list. We look forward to seeing you in 2012, but please note that our offices will be closed from Friday December 23 and will re-open on Tuesday January 3.

Plan for your family’s future now By CHRISTIAN CAPP 3251 4444

SUCCESSION, retirement and estate planning are critical issues for many farming enterprises as baby boomer parents transition to retirement. Talking about succession well ahead of retirement is probably the best thing you can do to avoid family conflicts and to make sure your family wealth ultimately ends up where you want it to. At Powers we offer our farming clients a carefully structured succession planning process, starting with each family group (current owners and generational successors) completing their own Farm Growth and Succession Assessment. These assessments will help identify the needs of all family members and provide

a new framework for valuable family discussions to mitigate the fears and uncertainties about the succession planning process. The Family Will tends to be the ‘default’ farm succession plan, but it tends to be the least favourable succession planning option for generational successors wanting to create a more certain future for their family and the farm. Rather than waiting for the events that lead to the reading of the Family Will, we encourage those on the land, particularly generational successors, to more proactively participate in the farm’s succession planning process. ■■ For more information, phone Christian on 3251 4444.


WIN

us on Facebook for your chance to win a DXtreme tablet TO celebrate the launch of Powers Superannuation Services’ Facebook page and Twitter feed, we are giving away a DXtreme tablet. Valued at $379.95, this lightweight, attractive tablet computer will come

Staff news

Q&A

in handy around the home and office. With the latest touchscreen technology, you can surf the web, create Word documents, chat with friends on Facebook, and much more. Visit our Facebook page at

Farewell Fergus

With Joyanne Kington

JOYANNE joined our team in September as Client Services Officer in our Investment and Finance section.

Q: Dream holiday? A: Touring Europe with river cruises included, or African Safari checking out all the native animals.

IN November we sadly said goodbye to Fergus Bell who moved on from Powers after 15 years of service. Fergus was an integral part of the Powers team, starting in 1996 and becoming a director from 2001 to 2008. In recent years he worked as a senior consultant and was well liked by clients and work colleagues alike. We will especially miss Fergus for his friendly and jovial personality, and his reputation as a hard worker. We are doing all we can to make sure all of Fergus’ clients are smoothly transitioned to a new client manager, but if you have any concerns about the process please call our office.

Jaymie wears a different suit

Q: If I won the lotto I would... A: Pay off my loans, help out family, donate to charity and have some fun. Husband would like a fast car and motorbike no doubt.

ACCOUNTANT Jaymie Bethel braved 29 degree heat to run as Santa in the 2011 Variety Santa Fun Run. To donate to the cause visit Jaymie’s page at http://tinyurl. com/6rxk5v7

Q: Favourite thing about working at Powers? A: All the friendly staff and clients I get to associate with.

New graduates

www.facebook.com/powerSMSF before February 29, 2012 to enter. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter (@Think_SMSF) to keep up to date with the latest tips and advice on self managed super.

WE have recently welcomed two new graduate accountants to our team in Brisbane - David Lucas and Tom Hayler.

Study results

ACCOUNTANTS Jaymie, Elena and David passed their Audit and Assurance module of the Chartered Accountants program.

Wedding bells for Amy CONGRATULATIONS to support accountant Amy Green who married Gavin Brooks in October.

Baby News

SUPPORT accountant Samm Szelag-Bath and her husband Kerry are expecting their first child in February.


Powers clients national finalists CHRISTMAS came early for our clients - the Andersons of Theodore when they were announced as finalists in this year’s NAB Agribusiness Awards for Excellence. Cotton farmers Harrod and Penny Anderson and their son and daughterin-law Kirk and Fleur were one of only four finalists in the national Primary Producer of the Year award, for which Powers nominated them. The Andersons were the only Queensland finalists in the category and went to Melbourne for the awards gala dinner on December 1, along with Powers managing director Ian Congram and his wife Kylie. While they didn’t walk away with the winner’s title, the Andersons impressed the judges with their innovation and community leadership - the very things which led Powers to nominate them. Despite losing their cotton crops for

AWARDS: Fleur and Kirk Anderson at the gala dinner with Powers managing director Ian Congram and INSET the cotton trash that the family turns into fertiliser.

the past two years in a row due to flooding, the Andersons have perfected the design of a specialised machine to make their own compost fertiliser from the 2000 tonnes of cotton trash produced by the Moura gin each year, saving the farm 30 per cent of fertiliser costs.

Superannuation

Agribusiness

What should you be doing with your Superannuation? By CHARLES PAGE 3251 4444

MOST Superannuation fund members are likely to be disappointed when they receive their annual statements showing returns have not recovered from the financial crisis. This situation has not improved since July 1 either... so what should you be doing? Here are five superannuation issues that you should think about:

1. Look at your member statement

to see where your superannuation is actually invested. As a member you can choose where you would like your superannuation invested.

They also acted as the voice of the Theodore farming community during the 2011 floods, securing much needed funding for the area. Needless to say, we are very proud to have them as clients.

2. Are you over 55 and able to com-

mence a pension to take advantage of the concessional tax treatment of a pension? It makes even more sense if you are over 60. 3. Look at the benefits provided by your superannuation fund such as the level of life insurance - is it enough life insurance? 4. Think about establishing a self managed fund. If you have a large enough balance, this may allow your superannuation to be used for borrowing to acquire a property. 5. Make sure you have no “lost superannuation”. The government says there is $13b in lost super waiting to be claimed. Is any of it your superannuation?

Want all the latest up-to-date super news? Follow Charles on twitter on @Think_SMSF

Deadline looms for flood recovery assistance By MURRAY DAVIS 4995 6677

THERE is not much time left for primary producers and small businesses to apply for the government’s flood assistance, with the deadline on January 31, 2012. If you need help to get your application in, remember that at Powers we are offering free advice and assistance. To date we have helped more than 150 businesses and primary producers apply for the QRAA’s initial special disaster flood assistance $5000 grant, and there are further grants of up to $20,000 which we can help you apply for. This service is not just for Powers clients, so if you know of anyone who has been affected by floods and not yet applied for assistance, please let them know before the January deadline. ■■ For more information, phone Murray on 4995 6677.


Investment & Finance

Maximise your age pension IF you are considering applying for the age pension or any other Centrelink benefit in the future, there are strategies we can put in place to increase your rate of pension.

the assets test. So try to include sheds and other improvements in the 5 acres. The remaining area is held as an asset at market value (not rateable).

If you are completing an application for

Being able to receive a pension entitles you to receive Pension Concession Card which provides many discounts such as:

Centrelink, remember the following points:

• The value for your home contents is not the insured value, but the market value being the value you would receive if you sold them secondhand. Usually Centrelink use $10,000. • Vehicles, caravans and boats are market value, not purchase price or insured value. Also if you have a loan against that item, the value is reduced by the loan amount. • If your home is on acreage, the home and surrounding 5 acres is exempt from

• • • •

public transport prescription medicines on the PBS council rates electricity/gas

These discounts can extend to the spouse and children and when added together can provide considerable savings. ■■ For more information, phone us on 4995 6655.

NEW Workplace Health and Safety laws will come into effect across all Australian states from January 1, 2012. The new nationally uniform Act will cover rural industry as well, with all previous rural industry exemptions being removed. For the complete guide to the Work Place Health and Safety Act 2011 visit www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/

Diary Dates December 21 Monthly Activity Statements due for November

Ask the experts

Q. A.

Did you know?

Do I really need tax audit insurance? Now more than ever, individuals, businesses and self managed superannuation funds are at risk of being elected for a random audit or review. If your business or individual return is subjected to a random audit, you are responsible for the costs involved in providing the required information and this can be expensive. In the 2010-2011 tax year, our clients who were selected for a random audit and had tax audit insurance collectively saved almost $6500, with one client alone saving $1942. It only costs $90 to get insurance for a standard salary and wage return, and $295 for a business with a turnover less than $500K, but you can contact our office for a full list of cover types and prices. A tax deduction can be claimed on taking out insurance.

January 21 Monthly Activity Statements due for December 21 December Quarter PAYG instalment due 28 Super guarantee contributions due for December Quarter

February 21 Monthly Activity Statements due for January 28 Quarterly BAS due for December Quarter

The Powers Christmas tree at the Biloela Christmas tree festival.

www.powers.net.au mail@powers.net.au Biloela: 07 4995 6677

Brisbane: 07 3251 4444

The information in this document is of a general nature and is provided for information purposes only. It does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs and should not be used as a substitute for independent advice from a qualified professional. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation, except where financial services are provided by Authorised Representatives of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd (PIS) AFSL 234951 ABN 11 074 608 558. *Financial Planning services provided by Authorised Representatives of PIS. #Valuation services provided by NPR Valuers Biloela Pty Ltd ABN 47141679576

In the Loop December 2011  

The Quarterly Newsletter for clients of Powers Financial Group.

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