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In this issue...
  Overcoming Critics When Developing Your Business 
 
When developing a business or coming up with a new idea, there will always be people that focus on the negative: they say you can't do it, that something will go wrong and you're too ambitious.

If everyone listened to the people who tell you it's safer not to take risks, great achievements would never happen. Sometimes addressing critics can be frustrating and irritating. Follow the tips below to overcome critics when developing your business:

Surround yourself with supporters

Supportive and creative people; people who believe in you and aren't scared to follow their own dreams are the kinds of personalities you should surround yourself with. They will encourage you and will be there for you when you have concerns. When you face a setback, they won't say 'I told you so' and they won't add further stress, they will help you come up with a solution.

Don't engage with negative people

If someone is only feeding you negative energy, don't invest valuable time in them. This can be tricky if that person is a colleague, a loved one, or someone else you spend a considerable amount of time with. If you can't ignore someone or spend less time with them, you can acknowledge what they are saying without disagreeing or getting into an argument. For example, if someone tells you that your idea is nothing new and won't be successful, you can respond with 'I appreciate your opinion and you may be right. But I'm still going to try.' Then avoid bringing the conversation up with them again.

Keep your cool

Someone may be giving you their opinion; you might think that is uneducated, not grounded in facts or simply unhelpful. The worst thing you can do is lose your cool. Losing your cool is a quality of someone who can't handle critique and who can't step back and think of the bigger picture. One thing worse than someone thinking your business idea is not a very good one is them also thinking you are irrational.

Keep doing your research

When someone brings up an issue or concern about how successful or well thought out your business idea is, don't be too proud to brush up on your research. Markets and trends are always changing and there might be new data out there that you have not yet considered. Even if you do further research and find nothing new, at least you can reassure yourself that you have a sound business plan.


  
  Making Better Business Decisions  
 
Making decisions quickly and skilfully is a key trait of successful business leaders. Although it is challenging to make difficult business decisions (especially under pressure), good decision-making is a crucial aspect of running a business. Here are three tips to help you make better business decisions:

Research the problem

An important element in decision making is a business owner's ability to assess a problem from their own self-interest. Business owners need to practise self-awareness when making business decisions - when they are personally invested in a problem it is hard to make an objective decision. When researching the problem, try to view the problem from at least three different perspectives rather than searching for information which just confirms your original opinion. Rely on evidence instead of emotion - use industry trends and research reports to back up your decision.

Understand the risks

Identify the risks of making the decision versus not making the decision. Not making a decision can be just as risky as making one. Think of the worst-case scenario of both situations and evaluate how you would handle each scenario. Looking for the potential pitfalls can help to view the problem in an objective light. Once you have identified the risks, formulate a plan of how you can mitigate these risks. Understanding the risks and having a plan in place will help you rest easy when the time comes to make the decision.

Ask for a second opinion

Getting a neutral, third-party opinion from a trusted leader, business peer or expert in your field helps to keep an open mind when viewing your problem. Most likely the other person has experience making similar decisions and has extensive knowledge in your area of work. Asking for multiple opinions helps to see your problem from various angles and can remove any emotional bias. Also, don't be afraid to discuss the problem with managers and employees - they might have more insight into the problem or suggest alternative solutions.


  
    Harris Black's Digital Toolbox – 'Expensify'
   
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 Expensify.

The end of financial year is fast approaching and tax time is here again!

Gathering of receipts and reviewing expense reports can be very overwhelming.

Expensify makes expense reporting easy. It allows the user to scan and upload receipts where it then reads the transaction information and automatically inserts it into your expense report. 
 
 
Source: Expensify Youtube

Benefits of using Expensify:
  • Automatic reporting and submitting
    Expense reports are finished with one tap. SmartScan your receipt and Expensify will code and report the expense for you before finally auto-submitting it for approval.
  • Automatic Reimbursement
    As soon as reports are fully approved, our rapid reimbursement system delivers the money back in the employee's bank account the next day. They'll love you for it!
  • Automatic approval
    Your unique company policies are analysed to determine which expenses actually need a manager's review. The rest - like that $3 coffee - are automatically approved.
  • Automatic Accounting Sync
    Any changes made in your accounting system – from new expense accounts to employees and departments – are automatically synced with Expensify in real-time.


    Harris Black Top 15 – Best Honeymoon Destinations 
   

Over the years, the month of June has been regarded as the most popular for celebrating a wedding event in most countries. And after the wedding…. there must be a honeymoon!

Finding the best honeymoon destination can be difficult. After all, there are so many romantic honeymoon ideas out there and choosing a honeymoon getaway might seem very overwhelming.

From a romantic honeymoon to honeymoon destinations on a budget, the possibilities are endless.

For this month's edition of Harris Black Top 15, our team have pooled out some great honeymoon destinations to share and to help our two 'soon-to-be' Harris Black brides Kim and Cassie be covered with some great destination ideas.

  1. Bora-Bora, French Polynesia
  2. Bali, Indonesia
  3. Male, Maldives
  4. Whitsundays Island & Great Barrier Reef, QLD Australia
  5. Cook Islands & Rarotonga, South Pacific
  6. Heron Island, QLD Australia
  7. Lord Howe Island, NSW Australia
  8. Fitzroy Island, QLD Australia
  9. Santorini, Greece
  10. Harbour Island, Bahamas
  11. Kyoto and Hakone, Japan
  12. Broome, WA Australia
  13. Byron Bay Hinterlands, NSW Australia
  14. Tuscany, Italy
  15. Marrakech, Morocco


      
    How To Improve Customer Trust 
   
Trust is key to creating and maintaining customer relationships. When customers trust your brand, they are more likely to shop with you and recommend your business to others.

Building trust can take a long time, but there are many ways businesses can boost customer's perceptions and foster long-term relationships. Here are three ways to build rapport and trust with customers:

Give them proof

Proof is the pinnacle of trust - when your business delivers great products and services, customers are more likely to be satisfied, and consequently, are more likely to trust your business. Past customer reviews and referrals can bolster your reputation, build credibility and allow future customers to trust your business.

Open lines of communication

Customers need to be able to contact your business in a simple and efficient manner, and they should receive a timely response. Make sure you have multiple contact touch points, i.e., email, phone number, store/office location, website live chat, social media, etc. If you cannot respond to customer enquiries immediately, provide the customer with a time-frame as to when they can expect you to address their concerns. A brief email or quick follow-up call is a good way to solve this while letting the customer know you haven't dismissed or forgotten about them.

Be transparent

Refrain from removing negative feedback posted on your business' social media pages. Instead, respond to unhappy customers with an honest reply and provide them with a helpful solution. Removing negative feedback appears dishonest and sends the message that you don't take your customers concerns seriously enough. Making a genuine attempt to help unsatisfied customers helps to improve your business's credibility and emphasises how much you value your customer's satisfaction.


  
    Does Your Business Import Or Export Goods And Services? 
   
The ATO reminds business owners that if your business imports or exports goods or services in Australia, it is important to be aware of your GST responsibilities so you can get the information on your business activity statement (BAS) right.

Exports from Australia are generally GST-free, but special conditions apply in some situations. For example, if it takes longer than 60 days for you to receive payment for your exports, then GST could be charged.

When importing, you are generally required to pay GST (10% of the value of the taxable importation). This GST is usually paid to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Service before the goods are released, unless you are part of the deferred GST (DGST) scheme.

TIP: Talk to us to find out more about your GST obligations. The ATO accepts voluntary disclosures about mistakes in GST reporting, and you may find your business is eligible for the DGST scheme.


  
    Tax Assistance For People Affected By Cyclone Debbie  
   
The ATO has said it will fast-track refunds for people affected by extreme weather and flooding associated with Tropical Cyclone Debbie and ex-Cyclone Debbie in Queensland and New South Wales, and will allow extra time for those taxpayers and their agents to lodge income tax returns and activity statements.

Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said taxpayers do not need to apply for a deferral or a faster refund. "If your business or residential address is in one of the identified affected postcodes it will happen automatically", Mr Jordan said. "We understand that for many people their tax affairs are the last thing on their minds right now. When people are ready, we will make sure they are supported in meeting their tax obligations."

Automatic deferrals of one month apply for tax lodgement and payment dates for people in the affected postcodes. Employers still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for employees.

The ATO is offering a range of other support measures, and can help reconstruct tax records where documents have been damaged or destroyed.

TIP: If your personal or business affairs have been affected by Cyclone Debbie, contact us to find out what ATO measures and support you can access.
 


 
    Higher Education HELP Changes: Faster Repayments And Threshold Changes  
   
The Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, has announced a package of reforms to higher education – the Higher Education Reform Package – to take effect generally from 1 January 2018. The details announced will be confirmed in the 2017–2018 Federal Budget. They include: 
  • an increased maximum student contribution from 1 January 2018;
  • no up-front fees or deregulation of fees;
  • a new set of repayment thresholds from 1 July 2018, changing repayment timings and quantities for all current and future Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debtors;
  • a new minimum repayment threshold at $42,000 of income from 1 July 2018 with a lower 1% repayment rate, and a new maximum threshold of $119,882 of income with a repayment rate of 10%;
  • phasing in increased maximum student contributions by 1.8% each year between 2018 and 2021, cumulating in a 7.5% increase; and
  • from 1 July 2019, indexation of HELP repayment thresholds, currently linked to Average Weekly Earnings (AWE), will be changed to align to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The Minister said that taxpayer-funded student loans stand at more than $52 billion and, without changes to address this situation, around a quarter of that is expected to go unpaid.


    Illegal SMSF Early Access Scheme Leads To $6,000 Fine 
   
ASIC reports that a man from South Melbourne has pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court and been fined $6,000 for operating a financial services business without an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence. ASIC's investigation arose from ATO intelligence that raised concerns about the promoter's conduct. The offence related to a scheme the man promoted and operated to facilitate illegal early release of his clients' superannuation benefits through the creation of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).

Between 2010 and 2012, the man placed newspaper advertisements in Victoria and South Australia offering loans dependent upon future superannuation entitlements. A round-robin scheme was operated whereby the promoter's clients transferred their superannuation funds into newly created SMSFs. The SMSFs lent funds to a company the promoter operated, and then an amount, less a fee, was loaned by either the company or personally back to the trustees of the SMSF in their personal capacity. The promoter had never been granted an AFS licence or a credit licence and had never been an authorised representative of a licensee. ASIC said the promoter exploited his clients' trust through an illegal scheme that exposed them to potential legal and financial risk.

ASIC urges consumers to deal only with licensed representatives of the financial services and credit industries.


  
    Harris Black News  
   
The 11th of June was a special day for Harris Black's Cassandra Wall!

Cassie is one of our valued Admin Team whom many of you will know as Nathan and Paul's Personal Assistant…

The day started with a proposal on Mermaid Beach at sunrise… And the blushing bride-to-be said Yes!!

Congratulations from all of us to both Cassie and her partner Oliver Wilson!


  
    Important Tax Date  
   
30 June 2017

Super guarantee contributions must be paid by this date to qualify for a tax deduction in the 2016–17 financial year.  
     
     
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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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