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 In this issue...   Running A Productive Business Meeting 
 
 
Business meetings can be really interesting, or they can be extremely boring, particularly for employees.

Fortunately, there are ways to make business meetings more engaging and productive, so no one is twiddling their thumbs or fighting back yawns. Consider the follow
ing tips for your next business meeting:

Have an agenda

Strategically plan out what areas you wish to raise. If there is someone better suited in the office to talk about an issue, ask them to run the meeting. If your agenda is long, consider breaking the meeting into two smaller meetings. Be sure to provide employees with a summary of the agenda before the meeting so they have time to gather their thoughts and make a meaningful contribution.

Consider the audience


Not everyone needs to attend every meeting. Open the meeting to employees who wish to attend, make it compulsory for employees directly impacted and make sure you engage with these audience members. If you are requesting an employee attends the meeting, make sure they play a valuable role. Engage with them, ask them questions and show that their opinion has been considered. Meetings can be really dry; sometimes the agenda is not that exciting. Think about ways you can present the information to make it retainable and interesting. Use anecdotes and case studies, incorporate visual aids where possible, and ask questions to engage your audience.

Set a time frame

One painful aspect of attending meetings is not seeing the end in sight. If you say it will be a half an hour meeting, it really should not go any longer than forty-five minutes. If the meeting is looking like it will run well past the expected time, prioritise what topics you will address and schedule another meeting or follow up with an email. If the audience is expecting the meeting to go for a specific time and it drags on past this, they can quickly become irritated, bored and cease to be engaged.

Follow-up

Just as you sent out an email or memo detailing the agenda of the meeting, you should follow-up reiterating what occurred in the meeting. Any key pieces of information that were discussed should be acknowledged in writing and given to attendees as a point of reference.


  
 
  Having Difficult Conversations At Work 
 
Difficult conversations are inevitable in the workplace. Whether it's dealing with an employee grievance or addressing issues with underperformance - difficult conversations are necessary.

Although it seems easier to delay or avoid challenging conversations, taking a proactive approach to dealing with problems helps to ensure staff morale and productivity are not affected.

Here are three things to keep in mind when having difficult conversations at work:

Be clear and upfront


When confronting an employee about an issue, be direct and avoid unnecessary small talk. Be sure to alert the employee with the details of the issue right away. Explain why you are having the discussion, the impact of the issue at hand and what you would like to achieve by having the discussion.

Stick to the facts

Focus on the issue rather than the person. Not only does this approach ensure you stay on track but it also removes blame and is less threatening for the employee. Make sure the discussion is a two-way conversation; listen to the employee, mirror what they say to confirm your understanding of their opinion and keep an open mind.

Focus on a positive outcome

It is critical to approach the discussion with a positive attitude which focuses on resolving the issue. Reaching a successful outcome will eventuate a lot quicker if you focus on the benefits of the discussion, open up the communication channels and consider the employee's point of view through the process.



   
  Harris Black's Digital Toolbox – 'GoToWebinar' 
 
Digital technology provides great opportunities to amplify the impact of your business activities and practices.

Gone are the days where you need to do everything manually within your practice like ordering, logistics, payments and receipts, marketing, HR, motor vehicle log book and so many more.

Every month, Harris Black will showcase a digital tool that will surely improve awareness, knowledge management, communication, and productivity within your business practice.

In this month's issue, we give you GoToWebinar.

Today, simply giving a webinar isn't enough. Businesses must deliver great webinars and presentations that really stand out. GoToWebinar is an excellent webinar tool with solid features and multi-language capability that are very useful to all businesses.

   
 

GoToWebinar provides a comprehensive webinar service with a user-friendly platform and helpful tutorials that enable you to present memorable web-based seminars. Although it requires downloads for participants and presenters, its unique interface and solid features, plus its ability to change its interface to multiple languages, make it a solid webinar solution.

Click here to visit GoToWebinar website.



 
  Harris Black Top 10 – Upcoming Festivals Around Brisbane  
 
Spring is just around the corner and Brisbane has some great festivals both big and small that will showcase arts, food, music, celebrating culture and many more.

In this month's issue of Harris Black's Top 10, our team have identified some great festivals happening in Brisbane and around you.

Save the date and enjoy!

1. Brisbane Festival (9 to 30 September 2017)
2. Redcliffe Festival (26 August to 10 September 2017)
3. Wynnum Manly Jazz Festival (3 September 2017)
4. Redland Spring Festival (8 to 10 September 2017)
5. Zillmere Festival (9 September 2017)
6. Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers (15 to 24 September 2017)
7. Caloundra Music Festival (29 September to 2 October 2017)
8. Festitalia! Brisbane's Italian Festival (8 October 2017)
9. Oktoberfest (6 to 22 October 2017)
10. Murphys Creek Chili Festival (15 October 2017) 
 

Click Here to know more about the above festivals.


 
    Tax Cut For Small Business: ATO Will Amend Returns 
   
For the 2016–2017 income year, the company tax rate for small businesses decreases to 27.5%. Companies with turnover of less than $10 million are eligible for this rate. The maximum franking credit that can be allocated to a frankable distribution has also been reduced to 27.5% for these companies.

The reduced company tax rate of 27.5% will progressively apply to companies with turnover of less than $50 million by the 2018–2019 income year. The ATO says if a company lodged its 2016-17 company tax return early, and its turnover is less than $2 million, it will amend the return and apply the lower tax rate.

If the company's turnover is from $2 million to less than $10 million, the company will need to review its return and lodge an amendment if required.


   
    Instant Asset Write-Off Extended For Small Business Entities  
   
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Accelerated Depreciation for Small Business Entities) Act 2017 extends the period during which small business entities (SBEs) can access accelerated depreciation. The extension is for 12 months, ending on 30 June 2018.

SBEs will be able to can claim an immediate deduction for depreciating assets that cost less than $20,000, provided the asset is first acquired at or after 12 May 2015, and first used or installed ready for use on or before 30 June 2018. Depreciating assets that do not meet these timing requirements will continue to be subject to the $1,000 threshold.

SBEs will be able to claim an immediate deduction for depreciating assets that cost less than $1,000 if the asset is first used or installed ready for use on or after 1 July 2018.


 
    "Netflix" Tax: Who Is An Australian Consumer? 
   
From 1 July 2017, the supply of services, digital products or rights are connected with Australia (and so potentially liable to GST) if made to an Australian consumer by an overseas-based supplier.This is referred to as the digital import or "Netflix tax" rules.

GST Ruling GSTR 2017/1 explains how overseas suppliers can decide whether a recipient of a supply is an Australian consumer. It explains what evidence suppliers should have, or what steps they should take to collect evidence, in establishing whether or not the supply is made to an Australian consumer. 



    New Draft GST Guidelines Issued 
   
Supplies through electronic distribution platforms

Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2017/D4 (the Draft) deals with how the ATO intends to apply the Netflix and low-value imported goods measures to supplies made through electronic distribution platforms (EDPs).

The draft guidance sets out a four-step approach for determining whether an EDP operator is responsible for GST.

Re-deliverers and supplies of low-value imported goods

Draft Law Companion Guideline LCG 2017/D5 explains the measures in the Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017 (awaiting assent) that will make re-deliverers responsible for GST on offshore supplies of low-value goods from 1 July 2018.

The Bill imposes GST on supplies of imported low-value goods, ie those worth less than A$1,000. Under the reforms, a re-deliverer will be treated as the supplier if low-value goods are delivered outside Australia as part of the supply and the re-deliverer assists with their delivery into Australia as part of, broadly, a shopping or mailbox service that it provides under an arrangement with the consumer.


 
    Harris Black News 
   
QUT – Careers Day Event for Small to Medium Sized Accountancy Practices

Harris Black were recently invited to attend QUT's Careers Event for small to medium sized accountancy practices. The event was sponsored by QUT's School of Accountancy in partnership with the QUT Realise program of which Harris Black is an avid supporter. The purpose of the event was to introduce QUT Accounting students to employment options outside of the "Big 4" accounting firms and make them aware of the opportunities and benefits of working for a small to medium sized practice. This was a great opportunity for Harris Black to connect with upcoming graduates with a view to possible future employment.

Monday 7 August saw a small contingency from the HB Team (Daniel Huynh, Kathryn Healy, Gerald Simeon and Cassandra Wall) setting up our 'expo style' booth in readiness for the rush of eager students!... Whilst we of course concentrated on being informative, we still had quite a bit of fun with balloons, banners, merchandising giveaways, an 'MnM's guessing competition' and a massive basket of goodies for the lucky winner! Students were keen to spend time with the HB team on the day and we spent the full two hours afforded us on our feet meeting students, answering questions and discussing the advantages they might realise working for a firm such as Harris Black.

Key organisers and students alike were quite congratulatory regarding our bright and inviting setup… Our team thoroughly enjoyed participating on the day and got a lot out of chatting to the students. Congratulations to QUT on what appears to have been a very successful event for all involved!



 
    Important Tax Dates 
   
21 September 2017
  • Lodge and pay August 2017 monthly activity statement.

30 September 2017
  • Lodge PAYG withholding payment summary annual report if prepared by a BAS agent or tax agent.
  • Lodge Annual TFN withholding report 2017 if a trustee of a closely held trust has been required to withhold amounts from payments to beneficiaries.

21 October 2017
  • Pay annual PAYG instalment notice (Form N). Lodge only if you vary the instalment amount or use the rate method to calculate the instalment.
  • Lodge and pay quarter 1, 2017–18 PAYG instalment activity statement for head companies of consolidated groups.
     
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This newsletter is for guidance only, any professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publisher nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this newsletter. We recommend that you contact your Harris Black team member before making any decision to discuss your particular requirements or circumstances.  

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Since 1994, Harris Black has been providing accounting and advisory services to our valued clients to help them achieve their business and personal wealth goals.

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