Remember Stevie Wonder’s classic song from 1984, “I just called to say I love you”? Well, while your superannuation fund does not have a phone, it is time to tell it you love it. Why? Due to the deal done between the Palmer United party and the coalition to remove the Carbon Tax, there is now a freeze on the Super Guarantee (SG) contribution rate, which was previously planned to increase under the previous government.
With the cost of living and property prices in major capital cities staying high, wages flat lining and inflation rising, you need to understand the implications of compulsory superannuation contributions being frozen for the next 5-6 years at 9.5%.
Now for many employees and small business owners, superannuation is forever a pain and confusing. I am sure the government does not mean to make superannuation confusing, but unfortunately that is the way both employees and employers look at it.
Under the previous Labour government, effective the 1st of July 2013, SG contributions increased to 9.25%, with plans to rise to 12% in stages until July 2019. However, changes under the new government now show you what you are entitled to and when.
Superannuation Guarantee rate
SG contribution rate
2015 – 2020
And that’s where the joy ends — the proposed increase in SG contribution rate, is now on hold or frozen. The compulsory increase planned under the previous government would give a 30-year old on average full-time wages an extra $108,000 in retirement savings just by turning up for work.
What now for employers?
With the current government freezing the SGC at 9.5% SGC until 2020, what does it mean for small businesses? There has been, and will continue to be, some resistance from employers — especially small business employers — to this policy. Check out the ATO website to keep abreast of your obligations as an employer. Make sure you’re paying the right amount of SG for your staff.
Meanwhile, employees who are relying on superannuation to retire now need to be aware of the implication, and take Stevie Wonder’s advice! Make sure you plan your financial future wisely.
If business is looking a little slow and you need some quick sales to keep things heading in the right direction, take action. Here are five things you can do to get the sales sheet to a healthy state.
1. Reconnect with your existing customers
Pick up the phone and ring your customers to see if there is anything you can help them with. They might need a reorder of products, and you could add a special promotion such as free delivery to encourage sales. Often customers will respond: “I’m so glad you called — I was running out of that!” You end up doing them a favour.
Job satisfaction surveys have consistently concluded that the rate and level of remuneration is only a moderately useful indicator of employee engagement, with other factors frequently playing a greater role in making employees happy.
So, the boisterous end of financial year jamboree and outrageous office Christmas celebration may soon become a thing of the past. While parties can doubtlessly be riotous fun, tales of suboptimal outcomes from such lively jaunts are also (unfortunately) enduring.
How can small business owners look to reward their staff effectively without generating too significant a hit to the bottom line of the business? Considered below are five economical ways in which you might look to reward your staff.
The smell of freshly ground coffee beans hits you as soon as you enter. Steam hisses and cups clink as baristas in green aprons froth milk and extract that golden brown crema from a perfect shot of espresso. I find a table, tucked away from the main thoroughfare of the coffee shop and sit down. I feel safe and secure in these familiar surrounds. My weekly ritual has begun.
For the next hour or so, with pen and paper in hand, I do nothing else but drink my favorite coffee and think about ideas and strategies on how to grow and improve my business. This is my Sunday morning ritual, and I feel lost without it.
Daily and weekly rituals, when consistently followed will create focus, enhance your productivity and make your business accelerate past your competitors. We all set goals. Each New Year’s Eve we promise that we will lose weight, get fit or stop our bad habits. But after only a few weeks into the New Year, we stop going to the gym, slide back into bad eating habits, and before we know it, our resolutions have gone out the door.
Cloud accounting is a hot topic right now, and with good reason. Just as online banking revolutionised the way in which we undertake our banking operations (starting in the mid-90s and becoming accepted as mainstream perhaps 10 years later, despite lots of scaremongering around security) cloud accounting is doing the same.
It’s estimated that fewer than 20% of businesses currently use a cloud accounting system, but already studies are showing that those that do are more likely to achieve better results (see the 2013 MYOB Business Monitor for one example of such a study). Here are five reasons why I think cloud accounting can not only he …
Megan Iemma is a tech geek and productivity guru. With a background in training and coaching, she founded Tech Coach HQ to work with businesses to improve their processes and boost productivity by using simple and cost effective technologies.
In today's episode, host Jim Stewart chats to Megan about her top 10 favourite productivity apps for running a business, which is useful for accountants. It's worth investing the time to watch or listen on iTunes for the time saving you'll reap later on!
How do you share documents with your clients?
I ask the question because the process still becomes a bottleneck for many accounting practices. What’s the point of having finely optimised processes that grind to a standstill because you’re still waiting for your clients to email you their latest zipped file?
Think about your workflow with your clients. It’s linear, isn’t it? You do your work step-by-step and then suddenly you’re just twiddling your thumbs waiting for clients to respond or contribute. And then you to kick-start the process again when you receive something back from them. And then … oh no, they’ve signed the …
“The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.” - Mark Twain
Using the sharp wit of Mark Twain, I’ve adapted the quote above to say: Love your vocation, but take a vacation. Business owners and the self-employed need vacations, even if we are firmly wedded to our vocation.
However, it is rarely easy for the self-employed to take adequate breaks, and the smaller the business, the less likely the owner-manager is inclined to ‘get away from it all’. After all, your clients may not be taking a break; there will always be those pesky invoices to pay; and the bank accounts still need to be reconciled.
Besides, who is …
Setting yourself up as an expert in your niche — be it a particular profession, trade, market, area of the country or industry — takes time and effort. You may have made a huge investment into learning your trade and profession to start a business or freelance, so how do you get that message out there that you are the go-to person?
To get noticed, you have to build your profile, which takes time, persistence and focus. I think it takes roughly two years. There are plenty of articles on building a brand, but how do you build your professional credibility? Here are some tips to get you ahead of the pack.
The Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia (ATSA) is Australia’s only dedicated independent technology event for accountants in practice. I like to call it ‘speed dating’ for accountants and tech companies. Held in Melbourne over 2 days from October 20, you get to meet around 50 tech companies with all the major accounting software providers on board. Here I’d like to introduce 3 presenters, each with an interesting proposition for accountants in practice.