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Effective Team Performance

Teams, like workplaces, are becoming increasingly diverse, dynamic and digital. But the principle behind managing teams effectively remains the same. Are you providing the right conditions for your team to thrive? Here are some aspects to consider:

Shared Direction
A shared understanding of the team’s mission and tasks is essential to a team’s level of commitment and motivation. This is especially crucial when teams are made up of members from dissimilar backgrounds as the means for reaching the same goal can mean for different strategies for different people.

External Support
Supporting your team involves providing and maintaining an effective reward system, ensuring your team has access to the required materials and data to complete their tasks, and providing opportunities to expand their skillset if required.

Team structure
Constructing a high performing team requires a careful balance of meeting both organisational and individual needs. A recent study has found that more-cohesive teams had members with higher levels of emotional stability, inquisitiveness, and interpersonal sensitivity. Managers often utilise an employee’s strengths to fill a team role, but taking the time to observe your employee’s working style and personality can mean for a fresher approach to the way the team can think about, manage, and organise tasks.

Posted on 24 January '19, under Business. No Comments.

SuperStream to be extended to SMSF rollovers

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 a change coming into effect on 30 November 2019 will now see this process extend to self-managed super funds (SMSF). This means rollovers between an APRA fund and an SMSF can be processed through SuperStream later this year, and the time taken could even be reduced to three days.

The streamlining of the rollover process between all funds aims to increase efficiency and reduce compliance costs. An example of this is the removal of the requirement to draw a cheque when rollovers are made from an SMSF to an APRA fund. Further, direct transfers between funds will give greater confidence when tracking the whereabouts of your money.

For a fund to receive a rollover, trustees will have to provide the ATO with the fund’s requested information – such as ABN, bank account details and internet protocol address – at least 10 business days before the fund receives the rollover.

Posted on 24 January '19, under Super. No Comments.

Areas of investment you might not have considered

People and internal processes
Arguably one of the best forms of investment is in the employees you hire, and the talent, experiences and skills that come with them. Take the time to reflect the strengths and weaknesses of your business and where you can retain or invest in your people.

Yourself
Consider investing in a way that would help you earn more income in the future. Just as you would consider investing in your team, consider investing in yourself and your career. Between taking online courses to skill up, learning and networking at conferences, earning a certification in your field, pursuing higher education, and becoming more enlightened through books, audiobooks, and podcasts, the opportunities are at your fingertips. How can you make yourself more valuable to your business?

A side hustle
Whether you’re not earning as much as you’d like at your day job, or if you’re looking to discover an untapped passion or skill, consider making more out of 2019 with a side hustle. Not only would a side hustle help you reach your financial goals, but in the age of the ‘Share Economy’, the opportunities are growing. Options include selling old items online, renting out a room on Airbnb, tutoring online, working odd jobs, starting and monetising a blog, or selling your technical services.

Posted on 18 January '19, under Money. No Comments.

Challenging the use of country as a proxy for culture

Associating certain behaviours to different countries have long been a way of identifying and comparing cultures and widely assumes country homogeneity. For example, previous studies on national culture have compared vastly different working styles between East-Asian countries and the West. However, a recent study published on Havard Business Review found that equating country with culture can overlook even bigger cultural gaps within a single country – including those of age, gender, number of years of education, socio-economic status, and occupation. That is, it could make more sense to talk about cultures of age and cultures of the rich or poor than it is to discuss the cultures of countries.

Posted on 18 January '19, under Business. No Comments.

Superannuation for Women

It’s no secret that the median super balance for Australian women at the time of retirement is significantly lower than that of their male counterparts. The Australian Commission & Investments Commission (ASIC) have reported that men retire with about twice the amount as women. The discrepancy is reportedly even higher between Mums and Dads. Between lower wages and a higher likelihood of having an interrupted working life for women, women also tend to live longer and thus require more super to cover more years. Unfortunately, between personal finances, business financial capabilities, and governmental policies, actions to close this gap can be limited.

Where viable, private companies can consider:

Posted on 18 January '19, under Super. No Comments.

Single Touch Payroll to include all businesses in 2019

On 1 July 2018, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) rolled out Single Touch Payroll (STP). This changed the way employers with 20 or more employees report their employees’ tax and super information. Generally through payroll or accounting software that offer STP reporting (or through a third-party service provider), employers are expected to report information on withholding amounts, superannuation liability information or ordinary times earnings (OTE) and salary, wages, allowances and deductions.

The STP currently affects businesses with 20 or more employees, but just last month, the Senate passed a Bill for the STP to include all Australian businesses, affecting at least an additional 700 000 businesses. Although the amendments to the STP are currently under review by the House of Representatives, the change is expected to be implemented on 1 July 2019.

Posted on 18 January '19, under Tax. No Comments.

Hiring high potential staff

Your business is only as good as your staff, which is why you want to hire high potential employees. You may find it hard to spot a high potential candidate in an interview.

Our tips will tell you what to look for and ask when you are recruiting.

High potential employee traits
A common set of characteristics can identify high potential employees. These candidates will:

Spotting high potential employees in an interview
In an interview, you can identify an employee with these high potential traits by:

Posted on 20 December '18, under Business. No Comments.

A guide to consolidating your super

Merging your super is vital to maximising your retirement savings.

Changing jobs over the years will put you at risk of losing some of your super if your previous employers have set up accounts you have forgotten about. Fees will erode the balances on these inactive accounts and result in you losing your hard earned super. You should also consolidate to maximise the interest accrued on your single super balance.

Merge your super with this checklist and keep your super savings on track for success.

Research your fund’s policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. You should assess:

Rollover process
Once you have made your decision, you can combine your super balance by:

Keep in mind that funds will take time to process your request and rollover.

Posted on 20 December '18, under Super. No Comments.

Claiming deductions for business travel expenses

You can claim tax deductions for expenses related to business travel provided you follow the ATO’s rules.

Eligibility requirements
You must fulfil certain eligibility requirements for your tax deduction claims to be valid. You can only claim a tax deduction if you:

Record keeping rules
The ATO has strict recordkeeping rules to ensure deductions are accurate. For one or more nights away from home ensure you keep documents like:

For travellers spending six or more consecutive nights away from home, a travel diary or similar document must be kept. You must record the detail of each business activity before your travel ends, or as soon as possible afterwards. You must log:

Business and private travel rules
Many travellers may integrate a holiday into their business trip. If you operate your business as a company or trust, fringe benefits tax may apply if the employee travel includes private activity paid for by the employer. For sole traders, exclude the private expenses from your claim.

Posted on 20 December '18, under Tax. No Comments.

Authority for super complaints introduced

The new Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to make complaints about their superannuation financial firms.

The Coalition government has responded to criticisms of previous dispute resolution bodies by creating a new financial disputes framework. AFCA has been described as a “one-stop shop” that will improve outcomes for consumers and increase the efficiency of the dispute resolution process.

AFCA’s jurisdiction
AFCA has been given authority over a range of complaint areas including:

What you can make complaints about
Your super complaint to AFCA must adhere to its governing rules. AFCA has specific time limits for complaints but no monetary limits.

You can make complaints about:

Posted on 14 December '18, under Super. No Comments.

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