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The end of financial year can be a stressful time for small business owners, and that time is now upon us once again.  For those of you who are behind and not ‘in shape’ for the end of end of financial year financial year… don’t panic, right now there is still a very small window of time for you to get prepared for the end of financial year, but that time is ticking by.

How can you get in shape?

Before 30 June make it a priority to ensure all your bookkeeping and reconciliation is up-to-date, follow up payment of overdue invoices, pay outstanding bills and pay all super contributions (this should not only be for your employees, but for yourselves too). 

With all your reconciliation up-to-date, such as your receivables, payables, bank accounts and inventory, once 30 June is here you will only have one month to reconcile and you can then move on to completing your BAS.  Getting on top of this will ease some of the stress you may feel when preparing your end of financial year documentation.

For small business owners with employees, remember that you will also need to reconcile your payroll and send out payment summaries to your employees (before 14 July 2009).

Following the completion of all your reconciliation and BAS, it’s time to run your end of financial year reports.  Having all your records and reports prepared prior to visiting your accountant will really save you time and money. 

If you’re having difficulties with these tasks, speak to your accountant or bookkeeper, or alternatively a range of online resources, and even accounting software providers, have information on completing these activities.

If you’re having difficulties with these tasks, Don’t forget to backup all your data.  You will also need to keep copies of your accounting records for at least five years (an ATO requirement).

It is also important now to prepare for the 09/10 financial year, as no doubt you want everything to be ‘AOK with the ATO’.

A number of new Federal Government compliance changes will apply from 1 July 2009 and these will affect small businesses.  Information about the new compliance requirements is available from the ATO, or your accountant will also be able to update you on the changes.

If you use accounting/payroll software, you will need software updates that address the compliance changes.  Ensure you’re scheduled to receive the compliance update from your provider, so that you’re compliant for 09/10.

This time of year is also good to consider what improvements you could make to your work practices to stay in shape and make the 09/10 end of financial year less stressful.  For example, implement work practices that ensure you stay on top of your bookkeeping requirements, keep up-to-date with inventory, cash flow and debtors and follow task lists.

Yes, the economic downturn is having an impact on businesses and the pressure is really building, but this presents you with the opportunity to select your own course.

It’s important that you take a step back and look at the ‘big picture’.  Instead of only responding to daily issues, now is the time to develop and implement a sound business plan for overcoming future challenges.

Don’t be afraid to seek specialist advice.  Talk to your accountant.  They can not only help you with tax and accounting related matters, but they can also help you with your business planning, financial goal setting, cash flow and making sure your business is running at its best.

Remember… It’s important to be prepared!

Source  :  www.livenews.com.au

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I know if Jane were here today, she would have been so happy to see that so many Australian women and their families are being helped by the work the McGrath Foundation is doing each day.

Executive Director of the Foundation TracyBevan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Memorial services will be held across the nation today to honour breast cancer victims including Jane McGrath, one year after her death.

The McGrath Foundation, led by her husband and former cricketer Glenn McGrath has raised more than $5.5 million for cancer research.jane McGrath

Jane and Glenn co-founded the McGrath Foundation in 2002, to raise money for breast cancer nurses and to raise awareness about the disease.

The cancer campaigner lost her own battle with cancer on June 22 last year, sparking an outpouring of grief.

Today memorials will be held in the Art Gallery of NSW and at other sites across Sydney, as well as in Newcastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.

Executive Director of the Foundation Tracy Bevan says it’s a significant day.

“Today is a hard day for us, but it’s also a very proud day. I know if Jane were here today, she would have been so happy to see that so many Australian women and their families are being helped by the work the McGrath Foundation is doing each day.”

The foundation currently has 45 McGrath Breast Care Nurses working in health care facilities across the country, with another eight to be placed in coming months.

Source  www.livenews.com.au

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What is superannuation?

Superannuation is a way of saving for your retirement. Both you and your employer can make contributions that accumulate over time andsuper this money is then invested in shares, government bonds, property, or other appropriate investments.                                 

On retirement, or after disability or death you then receive the money (less charges and taxes) as regular periodic payments (ie, a pension), a lump sum payment, or a combination of both.

Employers must contribute to an employee’s superannuation fund. This is called the Superannuation Guarantee, which came into operation on July 1, 1992.

The amount of the contribution is 9 per cent of an employee’s wages (excluding overtime, leave loading and fringe benefits).

Some employees are left out. The Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act says that employers do not have to pay the Superannuation Guarantee in certain circumstances.

Some of the exceptions are:
• employees earning less than $450 per month;
• employees under the age of 18 who work 30 hours per week or less;
• employees over 70 years of age;
• anyone paid to do domestic or private work for 30 hours per week or less.

Can the employer pay more?

An employer can make payments above the compulsory superannuation guarantee as:
• a reward for a worker’s performance;
• a type of co-payment, where the employer’s contribution increases in line with the employees voluntary contribution; or
• a ‘salary-sacrifice’ – this is where the employer makes a contribution that would otherwise be paid as salary.

Note, there are limits to the amount of salary sacrifice that can be made in a financial year.

If you want your employer to pay more, you should get advice from a financial advisor, but keep in mind that employers are limited in the amount that can be claimed as a deduction for superannuation contributions made for a particular employee.

Check with your superannuation fund or the Australian Tax Office to find out what these limits are – they change each year.  www.ato.gov.au

Should I contribute too?

If you have money left over after your weekly expenses, and you want to save for the future, you may want to consider making superannuation contributions as compared to other forms of investment.

Note, there are aged base limits that affect whether or not you can contribute to superannuation – for details, see the Australian Taxation Office web site.

Some of the advantages are:
• generally, you pay less tax on interest from superannuation savings than bank interest;
• with a ‘salary sacrifice’ the superannuation contribution is taken straight out of your wages, so you are not tempted to use it for purposes other than savings.

There are limits to the amount that you can “salary sacrifice”;
• the interest on superannuation savings is ‘compounded’, that is, interest earned by the superannuation fund is added to the total investment, so the interest earns more interest.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority estimates that a sum of money ‘compounded’ at 7 per cent a year will double in value in ten years; and
• you may be able to access the benefits of the low income super rebate and low income spouse rebate.
• you may be able to access financial incentives offered by the Government such as the co-contribution scheme. Under this scheme Government will contribute up to $1500 (depending on your income) when you contribute to your fund.

Check the Australian Taxation Office web site for details.

Ultimately, the pros and cons of contributing to superannuation is something you should get advice about.

What are the tax advantages?

The maximum tax rate for your employer’s contribution is 15 per cent.

The income you earn through the fund’s investments is also taxed at a maximum 15 per cent rate.

Salary sacrifice contributions will be taxed at 15 per cent.

Once you reach 60 you can withdraw your superannuation as a lump sum or income stream tax free.

There are also tax advantages if you contribute to your spouse/de facto’s super fund. The set off depends on their income. Check the Tax Office for details.

What laws apply?

The main laws that apply to superannuation are the:
• Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act and Regulations (regulates most private superannuation funds);
• Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act and Regulations (tells employers the minimum contribution they must pay);
• Income Tax Assessment Act,.

The jargon

Accumulation funds – money is invested and the final benefit depends on the total contributions, plus earnings of the fund.

Annuity – like a pension. You receive regular periodic payments for either fixed amount of time or until you die.

Benefit – the money paid to you out of the superannuation fund or held on your behalf within the fund.

Contribution – the money paid into the superannuation fund by either you or your employer.

Defined benefit funds – the final benefit is paid on the basis of a specific formula, so the employer carries the risk if the growth of the fund does not cover the benefit.

Lump sum – money received in a single payment.

Preserved – money that you cannot withdraw from your fund until retirement or certain other events, eg reaching a certain age and leaving employment either temporarily or permanently. This includes money paid by your employer, interest earned on that money or contributions paid by a self-employed person which have been claimed as a tax deduction and any undeducted contributions you make after 1 July, 1999.

Rollover – transferring money from one fund to another.

Unrestricted or non- preserved amount – money that can be paid to you at any time form your superannuation fund

Rights to information

You are entitled to certain information from your superannuation fund. This includes:
• a member statement which shows the amount of your benefit at the start and end of the relevant period, the amount that is preserved and contact details (generally provided annually);
• a fund report which shows the fund’s financial position (generally provided annually);
• notification of changes that affect you, e.g. a change to the superannuation fund’s rules; and
• a statement that shows your benefit, including death benefits when you leave.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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FOUL-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay has shocked a public audience by vilifying high profile Australian journalist Tracy Grimshaw in an obscene, sexist rant.

The putrid tirade, which included references to Grimshaw’s looks, sexuality and depictions of her as a pig, shocked audiences who went to see the celebrity chef at the Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne.

Ramsay told an audience of several thousand people that Grimshaw was “a lesbian”, the Sunday Herald Sun reports.

When the crowd reacted with gasps, he said: “What? I’m not saying she’s a …”

The phrase that Ramsay used was a highly derogatory term often used to describe lesbians.

Ramsay also showed a picture of a woman – who appeared to be naked – on her hands and knees with the features of a pig and multiple breasts. 

Tracy Grimshaw,” he told the audience. “I had an interview with her yesterday – holy crap.

“She needs to see Simon Cowell’s Botox doctor.”

Ramsay – who later dismissed the comments as a joke – went on with more innuendos about Grimshaw’s sexual preference and activities.

The crude remarks did not impress Channel Nine chief executive David Gyngell, who phoned Ramsay to tell him they were inappropriate and that he had gone too far.

Just a year ago, the celebrity chef had been lauded as the network’s saviour, with his programs Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares rating highly.

Mandy Saunders was at the food expo with her two children and elderly mother.                                          gorden

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing – it was disgusting,” Ms Saunders said.

“The show is meant for families. That was way out of order.”

Anthony Kavroulas was also in the audience at Ramsay’s performance.

“What can I say? It was totally sexist,” Mr Kavroulas said.

Women’s groups also expressed their disgust, saying it was wrong that Ramsay was making money by comparing women with animals.

Melinda Tankard Reist, from Women’s Forum Australia, said Ramsay’s sponsors should dump him and he should leave Australia.

“Ramsay’s sexist and demeaning actions are offensive to every Australian woman,” Ms Reist said.
“Why should he get paid for depicting a woman as an animal and publicly deriding her looks?

“He shouldn’t be making money through the verbal abuse of women.

“Gordon Ramsay is no longer welcome here. The sponsors of his trip should immediately remove their support and send him packing.”

LG, a major sponsor of the Good Food and Wine Show, said it did not want to comment on the incident.

Ramsay appeared on Nine’s A Current Affair and was interviewed by Tracy Grimshaw on Friday night.

During the interview, he commented on Grimshaw’s facial mole, asking: “Is that a wart? It looks like your little sister’s on your lip.”

Grimshaw appeared to take that remark well.

But A Current Affair executive producer Grant Williams said yesterday the chef had gone too far and should stick to cooking and lay off the comedy.

“We know Gordon Ramsay sets out to shock, but if what we’re being told is true, we’re very surprised,” Williams said.

“Frankly, although it’s plainly a joke, it’s out of order.

“Gordon has proved here that he doesn’t need to be in the kitchen to create a nightmare.

“As a comedian, he makes a pretty good cook. Maybe he’d be better off at The Chaser.”

A spokeswoman for Ramsay said the stunt was just a joke and should have been taken as one.

“He really respects Tracy Grimshaw as a journalist. It was just a joke,” Sarah Armstrong said.

“She interviews him every time he comes to Australia. They have a great relationship.”

Source www.news.com.au

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A GIRRAHWEEN man has  won $1 million from Wednesday’s Lotto draw – after he was mistakenly sold a ticket for the midweek draw.

The man, in his 40s, actually wanted a ticket in Monday’s Lotto draw, but was instead sold a ticket in Wednesday’s draw by a teller at Summerfield News & Lotto in Girrawheen.

When the sales assistant attempted to rectify the mistake by cancelling the ticket, the man insisted that the ticket not be cancelled.

“Please don’t cancel the ticket; it might be lucky,” he told the sales assistant.

His decision ended up winning him the entire Wednesday Lotto Division One amount on offer.

The man, who has been playing Lotto for five years, said that $1 million may not be much money for some people, but for his family it is.

“For us, its big money,” he said.

Whilst he was still coming to terms with the win, the man said his first priority would be to pay off his debts, and then he may consider building another house. His plans also included an overseas family holiday later in the year.

This was the third Division One Lotto win within the past week for WA and the 33rd Division One win for the state so far this year.

Tickets on sale for $30 million OZ Lotto jackpot draw

$30 million remains as the largest Division One amount ever won by a WA Lotto player and is up for grabs in Tuesday’s OZ Lotto draw.

Two Western Australians have won a $30 million Lotto prize in the past; the first, a couple from Leeming in 2001; the second, a university student in October 2007.

And, only last week the Western Australians have won a $30 million Lotto prize in the past; the first, a couple from Leeming in 2001; the second, a university student who for 10 months hadn’t bothered to check a ticket her father had given her as a gift. When she finally decided to check it, she became more than $13 million richer.

With OZ Lotto proving to be a ‘winning’ game for WA players, anyone who hasn’t already got a ticket in Tuesday’s $30 million OZ Lotto draw could put it on their weekend shopping list, or get a friend or work colleague to prompt them to buy their ticket before 6pm on Tuesday,” says Lotterywest spokesperson Jodi Eastman.

Lotterywest is unique in Australia in its role of returning its profits directly to the community through a grants program. Last financial year alone, over $205 million was raised for WA hospitals, sports, the arts and not-for-profit organisations

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With more people, not only in Australia but around the world becoming aware of our negative impact on the environment change is coming fast.

  • There are increasing responsibilities for governments and businesses on a global stage                                        Pemberton-Curved-Roof-Cedar2
  • Governments are changing legislations
  • Businesses are making changes
  • People may soon be responsible for their individual carbon footprint
  • Green build homes are no longer a dream of hippies

If you are building a new home, now is the time to make a difference and to be sure your new home is built to emit a low carbon footprint.
Making this choice now not only lessens the impact you have on the environment, it also saves your hip pocket.

Green built homes are solar passive in their design. They reduce heating and cooling costs, use less resources and save you money.
Alternative Living’s solar passive home designs encourage:

  • the sun’s natural light to comfortably heat and cool your home
  • cross ventilation though design layout and positioning
  • a naturally occurring comfortable living space through the use of a thermal mass in the slab of our home designs; reducing extremes in temperature
  • Use compact fluorescent lighting through our entire range of eco-friendly homes, using a staggering 1/5th of the electricity of normal lighting.
  • www.alternativeliving.com.au

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