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 In this issue...


  Leading Change And Driving Profit 
 
At one stage or another all businesses will have to go through a significant change. Change is necessary for growth but accepting the need for change can be difficult.  

Change can arise in various ways, ie, struggling to find quality employees, a need to change direction, targeting a new target market and so on. Whether it is an internal or external force driving the change; it is important to lead change confidently.

Here are three ways to lead change with ease:

Articulate a clear vision


A strong strategic vision acts as a blueprint for leading change and can provide employees with more clarity about the positive impacts change will have for them and the overall business. A vision statement helps to align your team around the business' goals and encourages them to work towards making the change happen. A clear vision also helps to overcome cultural resistance to change as employees can link the change to positive transformation.

Engage with staff

Staff will either accelerate or hinder the change process, so it is crucial to get them on board and constantly keep them informed. Frequent communication is ideal during times of change. Set aside time for questions and have an open door policy for staff to ask questions. Make a plan, communicate it to staff and check in regularly to assess whether tactics are successful or require adjustment.

Celebrate wins

Wins are proof that change is generating results. Celebrating wins reinforces the notion that change is essential for business growth. Celebrating both small and large wins hones in on the collective contribution of the team's efforts and motivates employees to work towards goals which will promote change throughout the business.


  Boosting Profit Through Increased Productivity 
 
High productivity is an important element of boosting profit. You may be practising specific strategies due to the belief they increase productivity, but this may not be the case.

Consider how the following aspects may actually hinder productivity, resulting in reduced profit. Once you get your head around how to use the following aspects positively, you can drive your profit margin.

Avoid multitasking
 
Multitasking can be very detrimental when it comes to being productive. Once upon a time, the ability to multitask was seen as an admirable quality. Nowadays, this isn't necessarily the case. With so many distractions infiltrating and interfering with an individual's work, the ability to stay tuned in and focused on one task and not be distracted by other things is a desirable quality.

Urgency vs importance

Distinguishing between tasks that are important vs tasks that are urgent is essential for productivity. Tasks such as returning a call, or responding to an email may seem urgent, but they may not actually be important, meaning they do not add anything to your productivity rate. Decipher when a new task comes in whether it is important or urgent, and deal with it accordingly.

Routine

Many people think routine is paramount to productivity, but your routine could be filled with monotonous tasks that are actually wasting your time. While having a routine is beneficial, you should review and revise your routine regularly, to make sure you are using your time and resources in the most effective and productive way possible.

   
  Harris Black's Digital Toolbox – Survey Monkey 
 
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 issue, we give you Survey Monkey.

What is it

Survey Monkey is an online survey development cloud-based software which provides free, customisable, as well as suite of paid back-end programs that include data analysis, sample selection, bias elimination and data representation tools.

It allows you to launch any kind of online survey project, be it for the purpose of market research, a quick poll, competitive analysis, and customer feedback and employee engagement.

One of the amazing features of Survey Monkey is the wide question bank that offers specific inbuilt and customizable questions with regards to the different types such as customer satisfaction, employee feedback, demographics, community, healthcare, market research, human resources, events, political and non-profit; you can always add more questions to the survey as per your requirements.

 
Introducing: Survey Monkey
Source: Survey Monkey Youtube

To know more about Survey Monkey, contact your Harris Black team member today.


  Staying Ahead Of The Game In 2018 
 
The business climate is rapidly changing and it is essential to stay up to date with these trends to remain relevant. There are a number of strategies you can incorporate into your business model to ensure you are remaining at the top of the pack within your industry. Here are some great tips:

Online working environments

To allow your business the greatest opportunities to thrive, you need to be open to virtual teams. By hiring a team that lives remotely, you are exposing your business to the most talented staff, rather than just hiring individuals who are locally convenient. By allowing your employees to work in a virtual environment; communicating and collaborating remotely means you are also likely to save costs on setting up an office space with the latest technology.

Focus on wellbeing

Many businesses are taking note of the importance of employee wellbeing. There are a multitude of benefits that arise from staff feeling job satisfaction. If an individual's place of work instils them with a sense of worth and purpose, they are more likely to thrive in the business setting. The happier employees are being part of the team, the more likely they are to be productive and a strong asset to the business. Also, the longer you keep employees, the less money and resources you will lose on training and professional development.

Individuals who do not experience job satisfaction may suffer from a diminished well-being which can impact negatively on business profit. Ways to promote positive wellbeing amongst employees include:

  • Brighten their workplace with lots of natural lighting, plants and stimulating visuals.
  • Opportunities for office socialising, including lunches, team days out or other team building opportunities.
  • Generally, being a positive presence in the workplace will boost your employees' wellbeing. If you are approachable, personable and friendly, your employees are more likely to experience heightened wellbeing and thus job satisfaction. 

Automation

Automation has become more and more popular in the business climate and continues to grow in 2018. Automation frees up time and resources used to complete monotonous tasks associated with running a business, allowing employees to devote their attention to tasks vital for driving profit. Ways in which automation can be used to serve your business include:

  • Scheduling social media posts 
  • Automating bookkeeping
  • Data gathered through services such as Google Analytics detailing user interactions with the business' online content.

It' factor

In today's climate, customers will stay loyal to brands that go further than just selling a product or service. Your business needs to have an 'it factor', something unique your business is doing that speaks to the consumer on a personal level. Once you have decided on what your 'it factor' is, you should use this to drive business through emphasising it in your marketing campaign.

Examples of ways to set your business apart include:

  • Links to specific charities where a percentage of the profit is donated 
  • Ethical products and product development 
  • Australian made and produced
  • Handmade or personalised services 
  • Plastic and paraben free packaging

  Single Touch Payroll (STP) Is Coming
 
What is it?

Single Touch Payroll is an electronic method for reporting your employees' payroll information to the ATO at the same time you pay your employees.

As a result, businesses will no longer be required to complete payment summaries at the end of the financial year as it will have already been done and available to employees through myGov. You will report your employees' payroll information (including salaries, wages, PAYG withholding and super information) directly to the ATO from your payroll software.

What do you need to do?

Single Touch Payroll will be mandatory for substantial employers from 1 July 2018 who have 20 or more employees. To determine if you are a substantial holder, a head count of the employees on your payroll on 1 April 2018 is required. You are not required to send the headcount information to the Australian Taxation Office or your tax accountant. The head count information is for your own records.

To be ready, you will need to ensure your software is updated to the latest version and that is Single Touch Payroll-enabled from 1 July 2018.

For more information regarding Single Touch Payroll, contact your Harris Black team member today.

 
  Bill To Implement Housing Affordability CGT Changes 
 
As part of the 2017–2018 Budget, the Federal Government announced a range 
of reforms intended to reduce pressure on housingaffordability. Legislation has now been introduced into Parliament that proposes to:
  • remove the entitlement to the capital gains tax (CGT) main residence exemption for foreign residents; and
  • modify the foreign resident CGT regime to clarify that, for the purpose of determining whether an entity's underlying value is principally derived from taxable Australian real property (TARP), the principal asset test is applied on an "associate inclusive" basis.
The Bill also proposes to amend the tax law to provide an additional discount on CGT for affordable housing. The discount of up to 10% will apply if a CGT event happens to an ownership interest in residential property used to provide affordable housing.

TIP:
The main residence exemption means that CGT doesn't apply for a capital gain or loss that an individual makes from selling their main residence. A CGT discount applies if the dwelling was their main residence for only part of the time they owned it, or they partly used it to produce assessable income.

 
  Bill To Change Residential Property GST Arrangements 
 
A Bill has been introduced into Parliament that, when passed, will require purchasers of new residential premises and new subdivisions of potential residential land to pay the goods and services tax (GST) on the purchase directly to the ATO as part of the settlement process from 1 July 2018.

TIP:
Under the current law, the supplier of the property (eg the developer) is responsible for paying the GST to the ATO when lodging a business activity statement (BAS). This can happen up to three months after settlement.

The new measure was announced in the 2017–2018 Federal Budget. It is intended to speed up the GST payment process, and to deal with the problem of some developers dissolving their business and setting up a new entity to avoid paying GST (a form of "phoenix" tax avoidance).

   
  ATO Now Issuing Excess Transfer Balance Determinations 
 
The ATO has advised that it is now sending out excess transfer balance (ETB) determinations to individuals who have exceeded their superannuation transfer balance cap and not taken steps to remove the excess amount.

TIP:
The transfer balance cap, currently set at $1.6 million, is a limit on the total amount of super that can be transferred into retirement phase. You can make multiple transfers as long as the total amount transferred remains below the cap.

Self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) members that had exceeded their transfer balance cap by $100,000 or less on 1 July 2017 had until 31 December 2017 to remove the excess capital from retirement phase. If they didn't do so, they will now have to remove the excess capital and ETB earnings, and also pay ETB tax.

 
  Changes To Small Business CGT Concessions 
 
Treasury has released draft legislation to make sure that taxpayers will only be able to access the small business CGT concessions for assets that are used (or held ready for use) in the course of a small business or are an interest in a small business.

The draft also proposes additional conditions to be satisfied from 1 July 2017 when applying the small business CGT concession for capital gains related to a share in a company or an interest in a trust.

TIP:
A range of tax concessions are available for small businesses. Talk to us to find out how your business could benefit.

 
    CAANZ Employment Evening 
   
On 15 March 2018 Harris Black participated in the Chartered 
Australia and New Zealand's (CAANZ) Accountants Employment Evening event.

As an invited Chartered Accounting firm, Harris Black set up an 'expo style' booth, which was then visited by many of the 400 attending accounting graduates and students keen to speak with us regarding the opportunities and benefits of working with the Harris Black Team. Whilst key accountants, Robert Williams and Daniel Huynh manned the booth, Director Renee Bettenay and Workflow Manager Kathryn Healy, participated in Mock Interviews designed to give attendees a taste of the interview process in the business world. This was a great opportunity for Harris Black to connect with upcoming graduates with a view to possible future employment.

Harris Black tends to throw themselves into events such as these with enormous enthusiasm and whilst we of course concentrated on being informative, we still had quite a bit of fun with balloons, banners, merchandising giveaways, and our well embraced 'MnM's guessing competition'.  A massive basket of Harris Black goodies went to the lucky winner! Attendees were keen to spend time with the HB team during the evening and we spent the full three hours 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 CAANZ on what appears to have been a very successful event for all involved!

   
    Important Tax Dates 
   
3 April 2018
  • Lodge tax return for companies and super funds with total income of more than $2 million in the latest year lodged (excluding large/medium taxpayers), unless the return was due earlier.
  • Lodge tax return for the head company of a consolidated group (excluding large/medium), with a member who had a total income in excess of $2 million in their latest year lodged, unless the return was due earlier.
  • Lodge tax return for individuals and trusts whose latest return resulted in a tax liability of $20,000 or more, excluding large/medium trusts.
21 April 2018
  • Lodge and pay quarter 3, 2017–18 PAYG instalment activity statement for head companies of consolidated groups.
  • Lodge and pay March 2018 monthly activity statement. 
     
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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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