Hiring the ‘overqualified’

Posted on 14 July '19, under people.

Motivating employees is a large part of keeping quality standards in the workplace. Managers may be missing out on the ideal hire by eliminating those who are overqualified from consideration. When potentially hiring someone who is overqualified, it pays to look at every aspect of what they could bring to the business.

What makes a candidate overqualified?
People with a higher education level that is required for the job they are applying for are generally what would be considered overqualified. There are also those individuals who have had a number of years experience in the industry that would make a starting position seem like a step down the career ladder.

The Pros:
The overqualified candidate will require less training than those who are inexperienced, saving you time and money not having to train new staff. They could be left unsupervised for longer periods as they will have more industry knowledge to get them through a task and can provide assistance and guidance to other new members of the team.

The Cons:
While overqualified candidates may save you money in regards to training, they may request a higher salary overall. If you advertise a job with a certain pay rate then it is assumed applicants are willing to comply with this, but those who have more experience may want a bit more for their work.

Whichever way you decide to go, it is important not to rule out a candidate simply because they have more knowledge or experience required for the position. Getting to know an individual’s motivation and personality during the interview process will give you a look at what kind of worker they will be, which will be different from the side that shows on paper.

What makes a successful business plan

Posted on 14 July '19, under business.

When starting a new business, there are many elements you need to consider. Careful planning is essential to ensuring the longevity of your business, but what exactly goes into a good business plan?

A good business plan is one that is detailed. Sections should include; an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product, marketing and sales, funding request and financial projections. These topics cover as much of the business as you can in the planning stage.

Showing attention to detail in your written plan demonstrates a commitment to the business going forward. When writing a business plan, there are a few ways to ensure you are creating the best guide for your idea. Researching the industry and other companies in the market you are looking to step into can give you an insight into more than just the competition. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to know how and if audiences will respond to you.

If you aren’t presenting your plan to investors or potential partners, determine what purpose your business plan will serve. A good business plan can be used not only as a sales document but a map for the business into its future. Writing a business plan that makes projections for the first five years can keep you on track and show you areas in which you need to focus on.

A business plan is a guide to help you create and maintain the best business you can. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, a successful business plan is one that teaches you the things you want to get out of the business and ways in which you can achieve them.

SMSF rollovers in SuperStream to be deferred

Posted on 14 July '19, under super.

The 2019-2020 Federal Budget suggested a deferral of the extension of SuperStream to self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) rollovers from 30 November 2019 to 31 March 2021. The commencement of this deferral has recently been confirmed by the government.

The deferral will coincide with the $19.3 million that will be provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) over three years from 2020-21, enabling electronic requests to be sent to superannuation funds for the release of money required under a number of superannuation arrangements.

With the combined date for both bringing electronic release authorities into SuperStream and allowing SMSF rollovers, changes needed to update SuperStream will only need to be undertaken once. The deferral aims to reduce administrative costs for funds and allows for a more integrated design of SuperStream.

First introduced in 2015, SuperStream is a government standard for processing superannuation payments electronically in a streamlined manner. Currently, SuperStream can only process rollovers between two APRA funds electronically but with the change will see this process extend to SMSFs.

Regulations for the deferral to put into effect will be made promptly.

Maximising your tax return as a home-based business

Posted on 14 July '19, under tax.

Small business owners may be able to claim deductions for the costs of using your home as a principal place of business when filing your 2019 income tax return.

Tax deductions may be claimed for the business portion of expenses that include electricity, cleaning, rent payments or mortgage repayments. However, it can be difficult to ensure you are claiming expenses you are entitled to. How you operate the business out of your home will determine the types of expenses that may be claimed. Your business structure will also affect your entitlements and obligations when claiming deductions on home-based business expenses.

Individuals that operate a business as a sole trader or partnership are entitled to claim a deduction for the costs of running their business from home. There are two types of expenses that can be claimed, running expenses or occupancy expenses. Running expenses refer to the increased costs of using your home’s facilities for the running of your business. Occupancy expenses are those that you pay to own or rent your home.

Typically, those that are eligible to claim occupancy expenses can also claim running expenses. Records that need to be kept include written evidence, tax invoices and receipts, which should substantiate your claims for all home-based business expenses. You may consider consulting a trusted advisor or registered tax agent to ensure that you meet all obligations when claiming deductions in your tax return.

Claiming a tax deduction for personal super contributions

Posted on 7 July '19, under super.

Members of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) that are eligible can claim an income tax deduction on personal super contributions. Members that intend to do this must notify their fund trustee before lodging their 2019 individual tax return.

The eligibility requirements to claim a deduction for personal super contributions include:

  • Contributions that were made before 1 July 2017 were made to a complying super fund or retirement savings account.
  • Contributions that were made on or after 1 July 2017 were made to a fund that was not:
    • A Commonwealth public sector super scheme for which you have a defined benefit interest.
    • A constitutionally protected fund or another untaxed fund that did not include your contribution in its assessable income.
    • A super fund that notified the ATO before the start of the income year that they would treat all member contributions as non-deductible.
  • Members must meet the age restrictions:
    • If you are aged 75 or older, you can claim a deduction for contributions made before the 28th day of the month after you turned 75.
    • If you are aged 65 or older, you must satisfy the work test or meet the work test exemption criteria in order for your fund to accept your contribution for which you can claim a deduction.

Prior to lodging their 2019 tax return, eligible members must ensure that they supply the SMSF trustee with a notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions. They must also provide a written acknowledgement from the SMSF trustee of the notice of intent.

How to make shareable content

Posted on 7 July '19, under web.

Content should be produced with the intention of it going viral and being shared across a broad number of platforms. Although this sounds ambitious, it is a good practice to help ensure solid planning is being incorporated into creating content to make an impact on readers. With that in mind, do not be discouraged if your content isn’t reaching large volumes of people, as there is a lot of luck behind creating viral content. Here are some ways you can get the most out of your social media presence.

Composition:
Careful thought needs to go into how you choose to display your content. The best way of composing your content will depend on a number of factors, such as your target audience, the seriousness of the content, and whether it is better presented using text, images or videos. Try using a mix of different ways when composing content such as lists, videos, infographics, photo essays, memes or written how to/opinion pieces.

Conversation:
Great and shareable content sparks discussion. The internet is flooded with information so to stand out and prevent being lost amongst the noise online, your content should generate a point of dialogue. Directing your audience to some kind of action or being intriguing enough to make people tell others about it is a good thing to keep in mind when creating and posting content. Incentives, such as giveaways, are another way to get your audience talking and sharing content. The cost to you is minimal, but the potential benefits are great.

Using your tax return wisely

Posted on 7 July '19, under General news.

Getting your tax refund back is exciting, but as tempting as it is to splurge, consider other ways you can put that money to good use. It is easy to get caught treating your return as extra money when you shouldn’t see it any differently than your regular paycheck. Give the money a purpose by thinking about your personal financial situation and determining your needs.

Emergency fund:
An emergency fund can make all the difference if a difficult financial situation comes up, acting as a backup in the case of an emergency such as losing your job or medical costs. Building an emergency fund with enough money to cover at least three months worth of expenses is a good starting point. Make sure the money is added to a high-interest savings account to utilise compound interest. If you are contributing regularly to this fund, adding money from your tax return can boost it above schedule.

Make debt repayments:
With a bit more money at your disposal, now is the time to make repayments on debts you may have. Start with the higher interest debts and work down, your interest repayments will drop when you lower your outstanding balance. These debts can be things like credit cards, personal loans, outstanding bills or mortgage repayments.

Tax bracket changes passed

Posted on 7 July '19, under tax.

In the 2019-20 Federal Budget, the Government announced their plans to change and build on the Personal Income Tax Plan. These changes affect the low and middle-income tax brackets and were passed on 5 July 2019.

The Budget proposed that from the 2018-19 income year:

  • There will be an increase to the low and middle-income tax offset from a maximum amount of $530 to $1,080 per annum and an increase in the base amount from $200 to $255 per annum.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which does not exceed $37,000 will receive a low and middle-income tax offset of up to $255.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which exceeds $37,000 but is not more than $48,000 will receive $255, plus an amount equal to 7.5% to the maximum offset of $1,080.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which exceeds $48,000 but is not more than $90,000 will be eligible for the maximum low and middle-income tax offset of $1,080.
  • Taxpayers with a taxable income which exceeds $90,000 but is not more than $126,000 will be eligible for a low and middle-income tax offset of $1,080, less an amount equal to 3% of the excess.

Assessments for returns that have already been lodged are expected to be issued from 12 July and into the following week, which is in line with the normal processing of refunds for the end of financial year. Individuals and tax professionals will not need to request these assessments.

Amended notices of assessment can be accessed through the ATO website. For those individuals that have linked the ATO to their myGov account, they will be notified in their myGov Inbox.

Improving efficiency in your business

Posted on 7 July '19, under business.

As a business owner, making the most of your day to optimise productivity is crucial to your success. The most efficient businesses are those that can create more with less and are driven by highly motivated employees and inspiring leaders. To maximise efficiency within your business, it is necessary to understand the importance of time management, organisation, and managing resources.

Tackle the hardest things first:
Ticking off the jobs that will require the most effort are usually done more effectively first thing in the morning. Also known as ‘eating the frog’, this can help you to avoid procrastination. Once you have done these tasks, all subsequent jobs will seem much more manageable, allowing you to get into a more productive workflow.

Avoid multitasking:
While trying to do many jobs at once may seem like an important skill for increasing efficiency, in reality, it may have the opposite effect. Attempting to multitask can result in lost time and reduced productivity, as you are not focusing properly on each task. Instead, consider making a habit of committing to a single job, completing it thoroughly, and then move on to the next project.

Set manageable goals:
It a common problem for business owners is not having a solid understanding of whether their employees are performing highly or not. This can be caused by a lack of achievable and motivational goals. By offering manageable deadlines for tasks to be completed, it can provide your staff with an incentive to stay on track. Giving clear direction to your employees can assist in clarifying your expectations of the business, helping to increase efficiency.

The legal obligations of marketing

Posted on 27 June '19, under legal.

Businesses must be mindful of the relevant regulations when setting prices and advertising products or services, to ensure they aren’t misleading their customers. Like many other areas of business, marketing efforts are regulated and need to comply with the legal requirements.

Advertising:
When promoting products or services, businesses need to ensure that any branding, statement, quote or other representation is not false or misleading. There are some tactics businesses use to try to advertise products that make them more appealing but don’t necessarily give the full picture, such as:

  • Component pricing; when the price of a product or service is advertised or displayed in separate parts. When advertising using component pricing, companies must also provide the full price inclusive of additional costs in a prominent way.
  • Bait advertising; where a product is advertised at a certain price without a reasonable supply. Bait advertising is illegal if a business sells the product knowing that they cannot meet expected demand.

Email marketing:
When using an email marketing service for your business, there are specific Australian email marketing laws to comply with. The Spam Act 2003 governs email marketing and messages sent via SMS, MMS and instant message in Australia. The Act covers three main areas:

  • Consent; you must have consent from the recipient in order to send a commercial electronic message that offers, advertises or promotes the supply of goods or services. Consent can either be expressed (the recipient has deliberately opted in to receive emails) or inferred consent (refers to the relationship between the sender and the recipient, e.g. subscriptions).
  • Identification; the sender of the communication must identify themselves and provide accurate contact information that is valid for at least 30 days after the message is sent.
  • Unsubscribe options; there must be an unsubscribe option for emails or an option to opt out of other electronic messages