Why seeking a second opinion pays off handsomely

After serving in the Australian Defence Force for 12 years, all Dale Saville wanted was a nook in the world and to get on with the next chapter of his life
Part of the transition meant getting his most recent tax return in order. In military style, he forwarded his papers to his accountants in advance so there'd be plenty of time to prepare for no surprises.

What they had to say didn't sit well with Dale, "Despite sending everything to them six weeks beforehand and giving them a personal heads-up of my case, they basically said I was liable for a tax bill."

Fortunately Dale was astute enough to seek a second opinion and had heard good things about Shane Bartrim at Collins Hume who had done some work for a friend who was a policeman.

Wondering if Dale might be eligible to receive part of his superannuation as a tax-free payout, Shane followed his hunch and delved into a particular part of the Tax Act.

Shane found that, as Dale had already received a payout, the problem lay with the super fund not treating any of the payout amount as tax free. Based on the way the payout was reported, on the face of it, Dale was indeed up to pay tax.

The first step was to talk with Dale's super fund – a notoriously tricky negotiation, especially being a corrective one.

After discovering that their procedures wouldn't allow for such a change, Shane took matters to the top and applied for a private ruling stating Dale's case with the ATO.

The good news is that the ATO's private ruling came back in Dale's favour; instead of an unwanted tax bill, Dale received a very healthy tax refund! Read more…

Mapped out your FY14 sales strategy yet?

Sales Planning - What do you want to achieve next financial year?  How are you going to make that happen?

It is May and, with the financial year-end so near, it's an appropriate time to plan your sales strategies for 2013/14.

You need to look at what will help to create improvements in sales strategies for your business.  What you need to consider is what it is going to take, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, to make sales planning come to fruition?  If changes are going to be made, the changes need to be made on a timely basis.  It is a good time to plan now for new sales strategies to operate from the 1 July, rather than wait until July has arrived. 

If you are having problems in achieving your sales target, it is best to go back to the core of your business.  What products are being produced?  What is the marketplace reaction to those products/services?  Is the individual selling value realistic?  What is the sales team's behaviour relative to achieving these targets?

The key thing is to recognise what the problems are and fix them by installing new behaviour patterns before the end of June.  You might require: Read more…

Coming from a linguistic background, Antje Moore, an immigrant from beautiful Germany, started accounting life in the Australian community not for profit (NFP) sector and immediately was impassioned...
...about the people, the spirit and the contribution made to society by a willing, synergistic collective.

Antje subsequently completed formal accounting studies during which time she developed a keen interest in auditing which, she is the first to admit, was out of the ordinary. After being the sole volunteer for an internal audit role for a local company, Antje was on an upward trajectory to an auditing career.

In 2001 Antje entered public practice and found her niche at Collins Hume, "It was pretty much my experience and interest in NFP accounting that allowed me to specialise in the audit division. I worked under the firm's registered auditor John Hume who mentored me over many years which was wonderful."

During her tutelage Antje qualified with CPA Australia, further nurturing her audit forte, and worked her way up to become Collins Hume's Audit Manager.

These days, Antje is as passionate about auditing as she ever was; to her, auditing is not just assurance of the past, but an opportunity to review and look forward for improvement. When it comes to audit, there is no short-cutting on the broad cross section of Collins Hume clients with whom she enjoys working immensely:
  • NFP clubs, associations and clubs incorporated under the various state incorporations acts
  • State Government Entities
  • School P&C associations
  • Public companies / clubs registered under the Corporations Act
  • State licensees in NSW and QLD (Real Estate Agents, Conveyancers)
  • Strata agents
  • Religious organisations (churches and special religious education organisations) with very specific rules including FBT as set by the ATO
  • Travel agency licensees (Participants in the Travel Compensation Fund)
  • Financial services licensees
  • Law practitioners who require 'external examination' Read more…

Why ignoring general business skills leads to problems for small businesses

Managing your small business - how Collins Hume can help
The management of a small business causes some real concerns for many small business operators. 

As accountants and business advisers, Collins Hume can assist you in developing an understanding of those areas of business operations which are not part of your current skills and knowledge. 

Most small business operators do not have general business skills when they commence business. Unfortunately, some believe they can ignore the general business skills of cash flow management, budgeting, planning, risk, etc, because they have specific skills relating to the business or trade.

Unfortunately, ignoring the general business skills can lead to business problems for a significant number of small business operators.

We can assist you in developing your 'general business knowledge' by advising you on:

We can supply you with leading edge resources, present business seminars and give you advice so you and your team have a greater appreciation on how these individual business tools contribute to the overall effective management of small and medium enterprises.

If you are interested in tapping into Collins Hume's business knowledge bank to assist you in your business operation, please do not hesitate to contact us in Ballina or Byron Bay on 02 6686 3000.
Shine a light on strategy in your business by joining the discussion at SS Strategy 

Super guarantee rate increasing to 9.25% on 1 July 2013 and 12% by 2020

Measure to increase future retirement incomes for Australian workers through gradual increase in superannuation guarantee rate
The Government's approach to superannuation hopes to achieve two outcomes – greater adequacy and equity – by addressing issues raised by Australia's ageing population.

The superannuation guarantee rate will be increased gradually with initial increments of 0.25 percentage points on 1 July 2013 and on 1 July 2014. Further increments of 0.5 percentage points will apply annually up to 2019-20, when the rate will be set at 12 per cent.

It is hoped that the rate increase will significantly increase the future retirement incomes for Australian workers. For example, a 30 year old earning average full-time wages will have an additional $108,000 in retirement savings.

Key facts
  • With the current superannuation guarantee contribution rate at 9%, around 8.4 million employees are expected to benefit from this measure according to the Government.
  • Australia's system of compulsory superannuation savings, which has been in place since 1992, stands today at over $1 trillion.
  • The number of Australians aged over 65 is projected to grow from 3 million to 8.1 million by 2050, with the ratio of working age Australians to those aged over 65 is forecasted to further decrease over the next 40 years.
  • The super measures that the Government is introducing are projected to generate an additional $10 billion by 2020 and $35 billion by 2035 in private saving each year.
  • The measures are projected to add around $500 billion to the existing pool of super savings, and contribute to further increasing national savings by around 0.4 per cent of GDP by 2035.
There will be a phased increase to 12% with a three year lead time from announcement allowing employers to take increased superannuation guarantee contributions into account when negotiating future wage settlements: Read more…
Collins Hume
is a CPA Business
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation*
*Other than for the acts or omissions of financial services licensees.