your partner in business health and personal wealth

We wish you compliments of the season and welcome you to our December e-Bulletin

In this issue ...



It's come around again ...

time to make your New Year resolutions!

Here's a list to get you started:

1. Get my superannuation in top shape

2. Make my books ATO audit-proof

3. Make sure my biggest asset is properly insured - me!

4. Start a savings plan for the kids' education

5. Review my will.


If you'd like a hand with any of these resolutions, phone 03 5144 4566 for an appointment.

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Should you ignore user feedback?

At first glance, it might sound counter-intuitive to suggest that businesses can improve their products while ignoring user comments.

Yet, as Ron Miller from CiteWorld says, it was central to Steve Jobs' philosophy on product design:

Steve Jobs once famously said he didn't run focus groups because in his view, customers couldn't know what they wanted until he showed it to them. In some sense, the same can be said for interviewing users about what they want in an app or a program.

A far more useful strategy is to watch customers go about their job ... Observing users in the field can reveal unforeseen real-world situations.

To read the full story, click here.


Talking to one of our advisers is a great place to start when evaluating your products or services.

Please don't hesitate to call Accounting Adviser Abe Schuback on 03 5144 4566.

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Business Support Program: Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund (LVIIF)

The Victorian Government's Regional Development Victoria (RDV) agency for developing rural and regional Victoria has a focus on building stronger economies and communities through employment, investment and infrastructure.

LVIIF is designed to assist business to support transition and enable growth and diversification to ensure a sustainable future.

The Latrobe Valley Industry and Employment Roadmap (the Roadmap) outlines a number of strategic directions to diversify its economy in order to meet the significant structural adjustment challenge facing the region.

The energy sector is an important contributor to the region's economy and the adjustment task aims to deal with issues arising from the introduction of a national carbon price.

The LVIIF will work to strengthen the workforce, invest in infrastructure, support enhanced competitiveness and innovation and attract and facilitate investment into the Latrobe Valley.


A total of $15 million is available.

The LVIIF will remain open until 30 June 2014.

To download the program application guidelines for the LVIIF and to see a list of projects already funded the fund, click here:

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Avoiding work Christmas party disasters

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner

Amazing as it may seem, it's now time to once again begin planning your end-of-year company party. But beware, things can go very wrong, very quickly! The team here at Workforce Guardian is kept very busy every January dealing with the fall-out from Christmas party disasters – we see everything from minor mishaps to serious complaints of bullying and sexual harassment.

This month, we'd like to provide you with some simple hints and tips on how to make sure that your Christmas party goes off without a hitch.

1. Make sure someone responsible is made responsible
2. Clearly set out your expectations
Choose your venue carefully
4. Set a clear start and finish time
5. Communicate options early and clearly

To read the detailed hints and tip on how  you can quickly, easily and effectively minimise the risk of your company Christmas party turning into a not-so-merry mess, read our Summer Business Briefing or click here.

To read the detailed hints and tip on how  you can quickly, easily and effectively minimise the risk of your company Christmas party turning into a not-so-merry mess, read our Summer or .


To find out more about Workforce Guardian, jump onto their website - Workforce Guardian offers subscriptions to access expert advice and resources:

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Streamlined Super

From 1 July 2014, employers with 20 or more employees are required to use the Data and Payment Standard when making superannuation contributions. The standard includes the following requirements: 

  • Send all contribution data electronically in a standard format.
  • Make contributions electronically.
  • Link data and funds transferred with a unique payment  reference.
  • Ensure data and funds are sent on the same day.
  • Respond to fund requests for complete information within 10 business days.

It is expected that existing payroll software providers will update their solutions to comply with the new standard ahead of the implementation. If you currently don't use software to manage your payroll and superannuation requirements, then it may be time to consider it.

Employers with less than 20 employees will be required to comply with the standard from 1 July 2015.


Donna Trewern

For assistance with payroll or any accounting software queries, please contact one of our BetterBooks team. We provide training and support a number of different software platforms

Phone 03 5144 4566.

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Lost? Find your way with PeopleGPS

Dairy Australia and National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA) have developed PeopleGPS - a 4-day course for dairy farmers, which is part of a long-term investment in developing resources, advice and training for dairy farmers around the people management part of their businesses.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone who manages people working on dairy farms
  • Farmers who employ one, two or many staff
  • Family run businesses
  • Managers employed on dairy farms and share farmers.

It is beneficial if two people (the decision makers) from each farm attend.

Farmers who meet course requirements get credit for a Diploma of Agriculture unit: AHCBUS501A Manage Staff.

When: 17, 24 and 31 January and 7 February 2014 (four Fridays)
Time: From 10am to 3pm
Where: Maffra – venue to be confirmed
Cost: Approx $150


For further information or to enrol phone Frank Tyndall on
0409 940 782 or email:




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Could your kids be the greatest threat to your nest egg?

You've actually done it – paid off the mortgage, put extra into super and have a plan to live the retirement of your dreams. Sure there are still risks – need to keep an eye on your health and invest wisely – but have you got your eye on one of the biggest threats to your retirement nest egg?

Your children may joke about their 'inheritance' being spent by you in retirement, but could they end up getting their hands on the inheritance before you have gone? What if something serious and unforeseen happens to your children? How would they pay for their mortgages or care for your grandchildren? If they fell ill, were involved in an accident, ran into financial difficulty – where would they turn for help?

This is where a financial mentor could be p[art of the solution. A financial mentor could talk to your children about their future goals – and in particular their saving habits and whether their goals are in line with those habits. It doesn't necessarily follow that parents who have worked hard and saved for retirement will have children that follow the same path. The example shown by one generation is quite often completely ignored and reversed by the next. And while this is the story of human history, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to impart some basic facts about savings, investment and asset protection.



To discuss how to mentor your children in order to make them less of a risk to your life savings and your retirement plans, phone Katrina van Gunst*, Financial Advisor, on
03 5144 5207.

*Katrina van Gunst is a representative of Phillipsons Financial Planning (AFSL No: 332836).

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Ian Mein Rides for the Animals

Our very own Director of Financial Planning, Ian Mein, is taking part in Animal Aid Victoria's Ride for the Animals. The event in March 2014 will starts at the shelter in Fulham (near Sale), and will finish in Bairnsdale.

If you would like to sponsor Ian for this worthy cause, visit this webpage to make a donation:  Don't forget, all donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Alternatively, if you too would like to participate, visit this link to find out more:


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And finally, a word from the editor ...

Half the financial year is over, and Christmas is almost upon us!

The summer edition of our print publication Business Briefing has hit the streets – if you are not on our mailing list, please drop us a line and we will make sure that you get a copy sent to your mailbox. Or ... you could simply visit our newsletters page on the website to read it online. 

The next e-Bulletin will be in early 2014 – just in time for those New Year resolutions to take effect! Good luck with that ;-)
Have a safe and happy festive season and we look forward to continue working with and assisting you in 2014.

Kurt Best
General Manager


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