Got your YE action planning underway to 30 June?

Action planning prior to 30 June 2013
The countdown to the end of the financial year is on and that means you should start to focus on your end of financial year position and any tax planning that is appropriate for you.

Don't leave it till the last minute. No decision, or rushed decisions, can lead to the wrong outcome. Here is the starting point of the process:

Tax Planning
  • Have you reviewed your stock to ensure that any obsolete and unusable stock is scrapped prior to 30 June?
  • Have you scrapped any unused plant and equipment and recorded the details within the business' depreciation schedule?
There might be more items relative to tax planning that you should be considering following the Federal government Budget announcements so check with us.

Cash Flow Management
  • Have you factored in the possibility of increased interest rates applying later in 2013? Should you be considering trying to lock in a long-term fixed interest rate at this stage?
  • Have you reviewed your debtors' days outstanding? Can strategies be introduced in an attempt to reduce debtors' days outstanding by the utilisation of a debtors' reduction program?
  • Have you considered the stock turn being achieved from individual products, sections or departments, within your business? Read more…

Confirmation that business ops are difficult

To survive in difficult times, businesses need to review and adjust their operating environment
The Reserve Bank's decision to reduce the prime interest rate to 2.75% (the lowest for 50 years) confirms the difficult environment in which businesses are operating. Hopefully, the interest rate reduction will encourage consumers to spend more money within Australia.

To survive in difficult times, small and medium sized businesses need to continually review and make adjustments where necessary to their business operating environment including reviews of:
  • Marketing
  • Productivity
  • Digital communications with customers and prospects
  • Waste management
  • Cost control
  • Cash flow control
  • Innovation
  • Planning of business operations
Superannuation returns are up with an expectation that the return for 2012/13 will be about 12%. The European economy appears to be performing a little better; thankfully it is out of the headlines!

Commodities are performing a little bit stronger. Housing has picked up in some areas, particularly Sydney and Melbourne. Manufacturing in the main is performing poorly, except for niche manufacturers, because of unique products or patents, they are able to withstand the high competitive pressures that have been compounded by the high Australian dollar. Read more…

Engineers must play the smart card

Why Engineers here must play a clever game to take the lead on projects in a sector pinched by cheap offshore labour, cancelled projects, government spending cuts, foreign competitors, a high Aussie dollar and slashing of contract margins

The sector is a big employer; Engineers Australia says 263,890 qualified engineers were working in 2011 doing everything from building liquefied natural gas projects to boosting mine systems and everything in between.

But the writing could be on the wall for the engineering sector as industry sources refer to big players pitching for middle-level work, offices shrinking, even project meeting times shortening considerably. It is getting so tough that 4,000 to 5,000 consultant engineers have been laid off since December estimates Greg Steele, Australasian MD for Hyder Consulting.

Ausenco already has an office in Mumbai with 80 staff which could triple in the next year. Yet some operators offer good news: local firms say they are focusing on developing high-end work in Australia while getting their own global offices to perform the routine stuff.

"Australian engineers are conceptually smart thinking, innovative, ingenious and up there with the best in the world. You have got to play to your strengths, and you have got to sell that ingenious innovation," Ausenco CEO Zimi Meka said. But, he added, the caveat is that firms must handle work cost effectively. Read more…

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…

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