Safeguarding Your Intellectual Property

Unfortunately, intellectual property theft is growing

And Australia is not exempt. Intellectual property theft can be quite expensive for your business.  Intellectual property that can be considered as being very valuable includes:

  • customer and client lists
  • pricing lists
  • details of how prices are calculated for various important customers
  • contract lists
  • trade secrets
  • products under development in your research & development section and other similar items.

The key risk area is when an employee has indicated that they wish to leave your employment.  Unfortunately, some employees believe that they can enhance their value to a new employer or kick start their own business by stealing key intellectual property from your business.  This can be done by emailing documentation to their home email address, downloading it onto a memory stick or photocopying it and removing as a hard copy.  In considering your risk strategies it's a good idea to develop policies of limiting access to certain documentation to any employee who has resigned so as to remove the temptation to illegally obtain copies of your business' intellectual property.

If you have any concerns in relation to intellectual property being stolen from your business, we recommend that you contact your legal adviser.  If you'd like to discuss with us a risk management strategy for the protection of intellectual property within your business, please contact us on 02 6686 3000.

2013 Business Planning

Scenario and projection planning before major move helps thrust local business into new growth phase
Wade Kent, Blue Sky Outdoor's owner and 2012 BCCI awards winner, is thrilled that he finally got to stretch his wings and operate from larger premises. The business had out-grown its previous location which prompted the move to a larger retail site. Now recently relocated, the new shop places his business at the gateway to Ballina.

In the eight years of owning Blue Sky Outdoor, the business had grown substantially prompting Wade to look at his options. Collins Hume's Shane Bartrim offered our business optimisation service to help show the financial impact of the decision to move before doing so. For Wade this included working on some projections and looking at some 'what-if' scenarios.

Initially Wade said to Shane, "I want to go to the next level looking at new premises and other options". Shane was a little surprised given the current climate, but Wade's gut feeling together with the slowing of his business growth (termed as 'just treading water') only added weight to Shane's approach, "Shane understood that I was feeling restricted, so his scenario planning really helped," Wade says. "He knew where I was coming from and it was extremely useful to throw in 12-month and 3-year outlooks."

Wade said he found it beneficial to 'what-if', "We had a rough idea, but Collins Hume definitely helped by having the strategy and finances plotted out in advance." Read more…

Christmas Trading Hours

For your planning and ours, please note that the Collins Hume office will be closed for Christmas and New Year from midday Friday 21 December 2012 and will reopen on Monday 7 January 2013.

Wishing you and all those you hold dear a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2013! We look forward very much to working with you next year.

Collins Hume Client Case Study

Proactivity in equal measures
After selling his successful advertising agency, Jason Mumford, now working as a specialist brand and digital marketing consultant, wanted an accountant who was as proactive as he was.

Primarily Jason was looking for value for money so he could benefit from external input into the performance and management of his business. After 12 months of working with Collins Hume, Jason believes he is getting the insight he needs to run his business more efficiently.

Collins Hume's Peter Fowler began by getting Jason's personal and business tax affairs in order.

The next step was to take the information collated during the tax preparation process and use that to look at Jason's business through an external set of strategic eyes.

Ultimately, the goal was to expertly use the financial and tax data collated for Jason's business in order to determine the direction of his business and how to get there.

Jason is finally getting what he wanted from an accounting firm Read more…

Christmas Tax Matters

Dear Santa...

Thank you for the opportunity to provide advice on your Australian tax position. We are concerned by a number of areas of your operation that will no doubt come under scrutiny by the ATO. We note these below:

Most goods imported into Australia with a value above $1,000 are subject to GST. With approximately 4,329,000 children in Australia on your list, averaging $40 per gift (depending on whether they have been naughty or nice), we estimate that you will be liable for GST in excess of $17,317,192. We need to discuss tax structuring urgently.

We are also concerned that you also may face other commercial issues from Australian retailers who will perceive your 'gift' giving as a hostile attempt to gain market share (please Google recent comments by Gerry Harvey and GST).

Santa's little helpers
Superannuation guarantee Read more…
Collins Hume
is a CPA Business