Powerline - Summer 2016

My Say with Dan Beck

Welcome to the Summer edition of Powerline.

Over the past few months we have had the privilege of presenting to businesses across Australia in association with Reckon Limited, helping them understand and improve their businesses.  Although these presentations were focused on professional services firms, the core tenets of what we presented are relevant to almost all small to medium businesses. 

The focus of these presentations was the role of technology in business and how to leverage technology to improve the efficiency of day-to-day tasks, facilitate accurate and reliable data collection, and how to use this data to analyse the products and services you offer to the market.

As advisers, we see new tools come through daily that all exclaim various virtues.  It is easy to get overwhelmed by how many tools are available, let alone which one(s) to choose to trial and implement.  Technology plays a key role in what Power Tynan does, and we are always looking at key technologies that may improve and add value to our business and to yours.

So how do you pick, test and implement a key technological improvement for your business?

Business Strategy - Whenever you talk about technology it is no different than buying stock, plant or any other investment.  The discussion should always be framed by what your business goals are, and how the technology is going to realise those goals.  If you don’t frame the investment in technology in accordance with your business goals you will end up with a tool, not a solution, which brings me to the next point.

Technology is just a tool - As Power Tynan’s “Chief Geek” it pains me to say this, but technology is just a tool, by itself it is not a solution or improvement to your business unless it is implemented, structured and designed to meet a specific business goal.  Too often businesses will implement a technology because it looks cool, often in absence of a business case, implementation plan or a full understanding of the effect on the business. 

The opposite end of the spectrum is holding off on investing in technology or changing systems due to the scale of the change, despite clear benefits.  Either way, technology is just a tool, not a solution, if not properly integrated into your business.

Don’t forget the people - With technological change, as with any other change, there is significant pressure put on you and your staff in terms of managing and implementing the change.  Keep people in mind when making your choice.  We ourselves have used change management specialists to make sure that our people are engaged with change.

When to make the change? - There is never a perfect time to adopt new technology, however the best time to undertake a change is when a few things fall into place, timing in the business (avoid when deadlines are looming), when the business case stacks up, when staff are ready and prepared, when you’ve had time to assess and weigh up options, and you have assessed the risks of the project (and the business).

Already we have helped several clients by reviewing the technology used within their business, and providing suggestions of tools to explore.  We are able to assist with objective opinions, business cases, risk management and business strategy, and there are certain tools we can even help implement for you. If you would like to discuss how this may be of benefit to you and your business, please contact your trusted adviser.

Charitable Trust Hiking for Homeless

On any given night, over 20,000 Queenslanders are without a home, forcing them to seek shelter in alleyways, in crisis accommodation, or with family and friends.

To raise awareness of homelessness in Toowoomba, BASE Services Inc. hosted the Hike for Homeless, with 5km, 10km or 20km hike distances through Jubilee Park. This event was also a fundraiser for the Basement Soup Kitchen, enabling this organisation to continue to provide a lunch time meal, blankets, clothing and essential services to people who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness in our community.

To show our support for this event, the Power Tynan Charitable Trust recently presented Nat Spary from BASE Services Inc. with a $1,500 cheque.

BASE Services is a not for profit, community development organisation, working with individuals and families in need,” said Nat. “We help people from many walks of life, such as those who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness, ex-service men and women, people with health issues, addictions, behavioural issues or trauma as a result of abuse, family violence, separation, grief or loss.”

Hike For Homeless raised an amazing $31,000 for the Basement Soup Kitchen, and the event looks set to be held again next year. For more information on this fantastic charity, visit http://www.baseservices.com.au/

 

 

 

 

Left: Brad Hancock and Peter Rowe from Power Tynan present Nat Spary of BASE Services with a cheque for $1,500



Staff Anniversaries - Summer 2016

This quarter we celebrated the Power Tynan anniversaries of Ben Tansky (five years), Jason Clewley (ten years) and Edna Hurtz (forty-five years).

Ben Tansky

Date & Place of Birth

8 November, Warwick.

Education

Assumption College in Warwick (graduated Year 12 in 2011), University of Southern Queensland (Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance, graduated in November 2015).

Hobbies & Interests

NRL (massive Broncos supporter!), jet-ski/water sports, and travel.

When did you start working at Power Tynan?

I began working with Power Tynan straight out of high school as a recipient of the Power Tynan scholarship – my first day was 13th February 2012.

Why did you apply for a job at Power Tynan?

During my final months of high school, I was informed about the Power Tynan scholarship by one of my peers, whose cousin worked for Power Tynan.  Accounting was always going to be my career path, as I thoroughly enjoyed the subject at school in Years 11 and 12, so after being told of the great team at Power Tynan the decision to submit my application was easy.

Why do you enjoy working at Power Tynan?

Definitely the team culture – no matter what people’s roles are within Power Tynan, everyone is always supportive of each other and happy to help every staff member at every level.  That’s what makes it such a unique place to work, and this is reflected in the level of service we give our clients.

 

Jason Clewley

Date & Place of Birth

13 August, Toowoomba.

Education

University of Southern Queensland (Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and IT Management), CPA.

Hobbies & Interests

I enjoy keeping up to date with new technology and gadgets that are released.

When did you start working at Power Tynan?

January 2007.

Why did you apply for a job at Power Tynan?

A family friend who was a client of Power Tynan spoke extremely highly of the experience she had with the firm. When the opportunity arose to apply for a position, I knew I wanted to work for a company with such a good reputation.

Why do you enjoy working at Power Tynan?

Power Tynan has an inclusive team culture. I also enjoy helping staff and clients find solutions to their IT related problems.

 

 

Edna Hurtz

Date & Place of Birth

31 October (many moons ago!), Stanthorpe.

Education

I completed Grade 10 at Stanthorpe State High School.

Hobbies & Interests

I don’t get time yet, but I love working on the property with the cattle and sheep, especially around calving and lambing time. I also enjoy working in the garden.

When did you start working at Power Tynan?

I started at Power Tynan on 4th January, 1972.

Why did you apply for a job at Power Tynan?

Power Tynan advertised in the newspaper, looking for a junior receptionist. I was just about to finish school and thought I could handle that role.

Why do you enjoy working at Power Tynan?

I love the work that I do and the people that I work with – they have all been so good to me, ever since I started as a junior.

Household Living Expenses

When borrowing money, the focus is now on your household living expenses.

Traditionally, loan applications have been initially assessed on how much deposit/equity you have, and then how much income you have. If these guidelines are met, factors such as assets, liabilities, employment, property etc. come into consideration.   Whilst deposit/equity and income are still the most important factors, the new focus is on the borrower’s monthly living expenses. These expenses vary greatly depending on who you are, where you live, the size of your family as well as your spending habits. This new initiative of checking monthly expenses is a direct result of ASIC’s push for responsible lending practices, and flows down from ASIC to the bank to us as brokers and finally to you as the client. Lenders must now ensure you will have enough money to maintain your lifestyle after you have made your loan repayments.

Unfortunately this process is not just a matter of stating your expenses.  The lender is expected to verify your declared expenses against your bank statements.  Lenders will be looking for a breakup of what you spend your money on, not just a total figure each month.  The breakup includes the amounts you budget for utilities and rates, telephone and internet, pay TV, groceries, recreation and entertainment, clothing and personal care, medical and health, transport, education, childcare, insurance and any other household living expenses not already accounted for.   In this instance we only need personal expenses, not business expense or any expense relating to investment properties, as these are allowed for separately. 

Unless you are very pedantic with your money, and check budgets against what you actually spend to reassess and amend, this new request from your broker may be a little daunting and frustrating. To assist you with this process, we recommend visiting the ASIC Money Smart website, where you will find an entire section on managing your money: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting. There is also an app you can download, called TrackMySpend.

There is also more focus than ever before for all lenders and finance providers to be a lot more thorough on the assessment of your loan.  When applying for finance, it is no longer unusual to be asked a lot more questions, and be required to provide much more documentation before a final decision can be made.

As always, if you require assistance in relation to any finance matter, please contact your trusted adviser.


Client Corner – Local Appliance Rentals

Each quarter we interview one of our clients to get an insight into their business. This issue we spoke to Andrew & Nicole from Local Appliance Rentals.

When did your business commence?        

We commenced Local Appliance Rentals in November 2011.

What does your business do? 

We rent goods to consumers, such as electrical appliances, furniture and communications.

What makes your business successful? 

Making sure we have a good product to sell to our consumers, as well as going the extra mile in customer service.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?  

Our biggest achievement was just a couple of months ago, when we won National Franchise of the Year for our business.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting up a business? 

Always do your due diligence to make sure that there is a market for what you do.

How do you relax from the pressures of being in business? 

Try not to talk about the business when you get home, and always make sure we have time away from the business so it doesn’t consume our lives.

Certainty in Superannuation Legislation Changes

The changes to superannuation, as announced in the Federal Budget in May 2016, have now received Royal Assent.  This approval has now provided some certainty in an area that has been full of speculation and change in recent months.  The Treasurer Scott Morrison said in a press conference on Tuesday 8 November: “These Bills summarise the Government’s changes to make superannuation fairer, more sustainable and more flexible for all Australians.”

Perhaps one of the more significant changes outlined is the reduction to the existing annual non-concessional (tax free) contributions cap from $180,000 per year to $100,000 per year.  It was also announced that individuals under age 65 would continue to be able to ‘bring forward’ three years’ worth of non-concessional contributions in recognition of the fact that such contributions were often made in lump sums and that the overwhelming bulk of such larger contributions were typically less than $200,000.  This allows individuals to exercise these ‘bring forward’ rules, making a maximum of $300,000 in non-concessional contributions over 3 years. 

The current non-concessional cap of $180,000 will remain unchanged for the remainder of the 2017 financial year.  As a result, members have until 30 June 2017 to maximise their after-tax contributions to their superannuation balances.  It is worth noting, however, that these non-concessional contributions will be subject to an additional cap – no non-concessional contributions can be made that will cause the member’s account balance to exceed $1.6 million.

The other major controversial change is the introduction of a pension transfer balance cap of $1.6 million (for the 2017/2018 financial year).  This cap is designed to limit the amount of super a member can transfer to pension phase and subsequently enjoy the earnings tax exemption which currently applies in pension phase.  The pension transfer balance cap will apply on a taxpayer-by-taxpayer basis in respect of all their super accounts (subject to one exception) which move into pension phase.  The exception relates to transition to retirement pensions, which will not be eligible for any tax exemptions.

The introduction of this pension transfer balance cap will bring with it a number of administrative complexities.  In particular, there were originally concerns raised around how this $1.6 million cap will interact with reversionary pensions and death benefit pensions.  Through a few modifications as a result of the numerous releases of draft legislation, it has been decided that recipients of reversionary pensions or death benefits will have 12 months to adjust their affairs for the new transfer balance cap (such payments do count towards the beneficiary’s cap).  There are also capital gains tax relief provisions for those individuals who are required to transition assets from pension phase to accumulation phase to fall within the new transfer balance cap rules.

Despite transition to retirement pensions losing their tax concessions from July 2017, the 2016/2017 financial year could still be a golden opportunity to start one.  The most obvious reason is that transition to retirement pensions established in the 2017 financial year would see tax-exempt earnings for at least this financial year (despite this exemption being removed from 1 July 2017).  A second advantage worth exploring if you are considering establishing a transition to retirement pension in this financial year is the ability to grandfather some capital gains that have been accumulated on current investments for those in pension phase (and hence be entitled to the capital gains tax relief discussed above).  If you think such a strategy may suit you, please discuss this with your trusted adviser.

A further change that could affect a large number of members is the adjustment to the concessional (taxable) contributions cap.  The current concessional contribution cap is $30,000 for people aged under 49 on 30 June 2016 and $35,000 for people aged 49 and over on 30 June 2016.  This cap expires on 30 June 2017, after which all concessional contributions, regardless of age, will be reduced to $25,000 per annum, per person.  There is no change in the current rule of those aged 65 and over having to meet a work test to be eligible to make superannuation contributions, and those aged 75 and older only being able to have mandated employer contributions made on their behalf.

If reserving strategies are adopted (where additional concessional contributions are made in relation to a member in this financial year and placed in a reserve account prior to 30 June to be allocated to a member early in the new financial year), it is important to note the new cap.

There is also the ability for those individuals with superannuation balances less than $500,000 to make ‘catchup’ concessional contributions for up to five years, irrespective of their work situation.  This will not be effective until 1 July 2018.

Perhaps the most welcomed change relates to personal deductible contributions.  Under current rules you can only claim a personal deduction for contributions made to your superannuation balance if the income generated from employment sources is less than 10% of your overall taxable income.  This rule has been removed from 1 July 2017 so that anyone will be entitled to claim a personal deduction for superannuation contributions, regardless of their employment situation.

With just over six months before this new super regime takes hold, it is imperative that self managed superannuation fund trustees, members and individuals make themselves aware of such changes and engage in the necessary discussions with their trusted adviser to ensure the best course of action is adopted prior to the 1 July 2017 deadline.

Charitable Trust supports Beyond Blue

There are three million Australians living with depression or anxiety and approximately 2,500 suicides each year. With such alarming statistics, Beyond Blue is working towards the prevention of mental health conditions, and support people who have experienced these conditions to get as well as they can and lead full and contributing lives.

To support this important cause, the Power Tynan Charitable Trust recently presented Beyond Blue representative Bryan Spiller with a $1,500 cheque.

“While women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, men are less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their depression or anxiety going unrecognised and untreated,” said Bryan. “Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 54, significantly exceeding the national road toll.”

For more information regarding the Beyond Blue, or to find out how you can be involved, please visit https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

 

 

 

 

Left: Brad Hancock of Power Tynan presents Beyond Blue representative Bryan Spiller with a cheque for $1,500


Staff Spotlight - Summer 2016

Light the Night for Leukaemia Foundation

Power Tynan proudly supported Light the Night, the Leukaemia Foundation’s annual fundraising walk, which was held at Queens Park in Toowoomba on Friday 7th October and Lions Park Quart Pot Creek in Stanthorpe on Saturday 8th October.

Members of the Power Tynan team volunteered at the Toowoomba event, and participated in the walk at both locations.

Thank you to the Leukaemia Foundation for inviting us to be involved!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Accounting Awards

Power Tynan was awarded Graduate Program of the Year at the 2016 AccountantsDailyAustralian Accounting Awards, acknowledging the firm’s scholarship program run in conjunction with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Based on graduate development initiatives, this award considers how the firm develops and retains quality staff through a structured development program.

The Power Tynan Scholarship Program offers final year high school graduates the opportunity to study a business or commerce degree part-time at USQ while working for our company on a full time basis. We offer between one and four scholarships each year, and have done so for the last nine years.

Power Tynan was named as a finalist in an unprecedented ten categories, being Graduate Program of the Year, Firm of the Year (<$1bn in revenue), Diversified Firm of the Year, Community Engagement Program of the Year, Accounting Student of the Year (Sammi McCleverty), Rising Star of the Year (Peter Rowe), Young Accountant of the Year (Ben Twidale), New Partner of the Year (Brad Hancock), Executive of the Year (Amanda Kenafake), and Thought Leader of the Year (Paul Hilton).

Members of the Power Tynan team attended the five-star gala dinner held in Sydney, where the winners for each category were announced in front of over 400 guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AccessChina 2016

Executive Directors Amanda Kenafake and Gilda Brisotto recently travelled to Shanghai as part of a delegation to explore export opportunities to China.  

Over 250 delegates attended the five day event which was aimed at activating opportunities in agriculture, e-commerce, education and training, logistics, financial services, sustainable design and energy, tourism and health sectors.  While the majority of the delegates were from the Darling Downs and surrounding areas, delegates from all over the country participated as well as representatives from Federal, State and Local Government.

The chartered Qantas A330 jet was the first international passenger flight to leave Toowoomba’s new privately-built airport.

The program included quality presentations and valuable insights from some Australians currently involved in trade with China, and access to a wide variety of Chinese businesses with on site tours including visits to Ali Baba, Pactyl, and Shanghai Lianho Food Group to name a few. 

AccessChina 2016 was a valuable experience and we wish to extend our congratulations to Dr. Ben Lyons, Shane Charles and their team at TSBE for facilitating this incredible event.

 

Hike for Homeless

Members of the Power Tynan team recently participated in Hike For Homeless (see earlier article in this edition), an event aimed at raising awareness of homelessness in Toowoomba, as well as much needed funds to ensure the Basement Soup Kitchen is able to continue to provide a lunch time meal, blankets, clothing and essential services to people who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness in Toowoomba.

This event was a great success with over 400 participants raising a total of $31,000.  It was no walk in the park, with the hike taking place on the edge of the range - only 40 people completed the 20km, including our team who came in just under 4 hours!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Cup

The team at Power Tynan enjoyed the Melbourne Cup, with prizes awarded to the Best Dressed Male and Female in each office, as well as Best Fascinator.

Stanthorpe winners were Dan Cuthbert and Sarah Tansky, with Stacey Armstrong, Kristelle McCleverty and Nathan Smith taking out the Toowoomba prizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPA Graduation

Congratulations to Peter Rowe for successfully completing his CPA and receiving his certificate at the Toowoomba & Darling Downs Certificate & Awards Ceremony in November.

 

 

Baby News

There have been two new additions to the Power Tynan family recently!

Marsha Kronk of our Toowoomba office and her husband Zach welcomed baby Chloe on November 4th, and little Alice Beck arrived on November 15th- the first child for Executive Director Dan Beck and his wife Jules.

Both mums and bubs are doing well, and we can’t wait to meet the little pink bundles of joy!