Competitor Analysis

By Paul Whimp

For any organization to excel in their chosen market, you need to know how you rank and where to focus your time and energy on the areas to improve that ranking.  One way to do this is to carry out a competitor analysis. 

This activity allows you to understand the key areas where you lag behind your competitors so that you can develop strategies and actions to close those gaps and become a leader in your market. 

Christmas Parties, Gifts And FBT

With the festive season quickly creeping up on us we thought it was important to do a recap on the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) rules which apply to Christmas parties.  When it comes to celebration and generosity, the ATO isn’t nearly as merry as the man in the red suit!

So… Is A Staff Christmas Party Tax Deductible?

It depends… Tax laws regarding gifts to employees and clients can be complex.

Gifts and meals and entertainment provided at the Christmas party may attract Fringe Benefits tax, which is tax applied on benefits provided by companies to employees.

Non-entertainment gifts provided to employees are usually exempt from FBT where the total value is less than $300 (including GST).  These include wine, flowers and hampers for example.  The business can also claim a tax deduction and any applicable GST credits.

Providing entertainment through meals or at your Christmas party has different tax implications.  If the cost for each employee is less than $300 (including GST), FBT is not payable, but no tax deduction or GST credit can be claimed.  Examples of entertainment gifts include tickets to the theatre, a movie, sporting event, or gift cards.

A gift and meals/entertainment provided at the Christmas party are viewed as separate benefits for the $300 minor benefits limit, which means employees can have twice the fun without FBT applying.

If you provide an employee with a non-entertainment gift that is more than $300 GST inclusive, FBT may be payable at the rate of 47% on the grossed-up value however a tax deduction and GST credit can still be claimed.

Non-entertainment gifts given to clients and suppliers do not fall within the FBT rules.  Generally, a tax deduction and GST credit can be claimed for gifts to clients, provided they are not excessive.

The best tax outcome for your business this Christmas is keeping to the $300 rule and to give staff, customers and suppliers non-entertainment type gifts.

Brentnalls Conference – New Zealand

We recently attended the 53rd Brentnalls Affiliation biannual conference in October 2023 at Millbrook near Arrowtown and Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand. This was a spectacularly beautiful part of the world surrounded by exclusive residences, snow capped mountains, extreme sports and it’s also the host of the NZ Open Golf.

There were 33 attendees and many spouses joining us for dinners. The location, food and accommodation were only second to a great conference agenda and much sharing of ideas, success and failures amongst firms.  The conference in the 2nd half of the calendar year is attended by directors, principals and practice managers, and much of the discussion is centered around the financial results of the affiliated firms, and interactive Practice Updates by each firm where they share (and are questioned) on the operational, strategic, financial, people and technology aspects of their practices.

We had a great presentation from our WA affiliate on “How to get 2 hours back into each working day”, something we all dearly want to achieve.  On the final day we had an engaging session with Dr Kirsten Davis on “Mindful Leadership: Focusing forward on the wellbeing of you and your Team”.  Both these topics were good reminders that we needed to step back and look after both ourselves and our Team if we are to continue to deliver to our clients.

As part of our Brentnalls Women in Brentnalls subgroup, there was an interview style session with Margaret Pepper, a retiring director at our Auckland affiliate on all she has achieved and the rewards of being in practice. We also looked at the new branding for the Brentnalls group that we hope to roll out soon, a modern update is long over due and it looks great!

We ate very well, but the highlight was a meal at Kobe Japanese Restaurant where we all squeezed into this beautiful stone and wood restaurant for a tasting menu that was special.

The conference was a great success, and each affiliate firm left with tasks and new ideas to implement.

Harris Black Shares Practical Business Insights

Renee Bettenay, Director of Harris Black, recently engaged audiences at the Floorworld Conferences in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, offering practical advice on personal productivity, business analysis, and waste reduction.

Attendees at the conferences, comprising a mix of business owners and suppliers in the floorcovering industry, appreciated Renee’s down-to-earth approach and actionable insights. In her session on personal productivity, Renee highlighted practical approaches to streamline daily tasks, manage time efficiently, and cultivate habits that lead to sustained high performance.

The business analysis segment resonated with the audience as Renee guided them through a process of identifying areas of focus to help them improve their business. Attendees left with a clearer understanding of how to play to their strengths and address weaknesses effectively.

The final segment of Renee’s presentations centered on “Winning Businesses” and the importance of waste reduction. She showcased strategies to optimise resources through improved processes and systems ultimately reducing unnecessary expenditure. Attendees were urged to rethink traditional approaches and identify practical solutions to waste in their business.

Attendees expressed gratitude for the simplicity of the strategies presented, making them easy to implement.

Renee Bettenay’s contributions to the Floorworld Conferences underscored her commitment to making business insights accessible and applicable. As the conferences concluded, attendees left with a sense of empowerment, armed with practical tools to enhance productivity, analyze their businesses effectively, and reduce waste in their business.

AFR Top 100 – Brentnalls Ranked 30

Brentnalls has secured an impressive position in this year’s Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Accounting Firms, ranking at number 30.  This recognition underscores the firm’s commitment to excellence and its significant contributions to the financial landscapes.

Harris Black is proud to be a founding member of the Brentnalls National Affiliation.

The growth of Harris Black and all firms in the affiliation is a testament to the collaborative model and culture of the group, where the focus is on being better positioned to help our clients achieve their goals.

How can we help you?

Today’s financial environment demands a regular review of strategy and a focus on execution.