your partner in business health and personal wealth

We welcome you to our May e-Bulletin

In this issue ...


Is your business ready for you to leave?

Being in business has transitional phases, from development to growth, to maturity, to life after business.

Recent analysis conducted by PwC estimates that at June 2024, a third of the 1.54 million private business owners will be over the age of 55. During the next 10 years, more than 1.4 million owners employing over 7.9 million people and contributing almost $500 billion in GDP, are expected to retire.

Although many business people put years of hard work and effort into the development, growth and maintenance phases of their business, they don't put as much effort into planning an exit until an event occurs, like a health crisis or a partner leaving the business, which forces them to take action.


Australia's ageing and growing population of private business owners coupled with strengthening economic growth suggests that a wave of exits may be imminent.


If that picture is starting to sound like you, then Phillipsons' comprehensive Transition Planning Service will help you to plan for leaving the business and moving onto the next exciting phase of your life.


Our service is tailored to each individual's stage of business and personal goals and can help with the following:

  • Business planning and valuations.
  • Identifying ways to improve the value of your business.
  • Analysing any business risks and opportunities that need to be addressed before preparing the business for handover.
  • Helping you to clarify what your future goals are and how to get you there.
  • Assessing your personal and business structures to minimise the taxation impact of an exit strategy.

To read the full details, click here.

        Ian Mein     
Director Financial Planning 

If taking the time and effort to plan your business exit meant that you created more wealth and certainty about the future, wouldn't you want to?

Don't be caught out by an unexpected event that forces you to exit your business before you're ready-start the ball rolling today so that you can get the most out of what you've been working so hard for!

Phone 03 5144 4566.



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10 invoicing tips to get paid sooner

So you've struck a deal and made the sale, but the money isn't in your account yet and your cash flow is hurting? Our top 10 invoicing tips will help you get paid what you're owed, faster.

1. Accurate details

You need to know who you're dealing with. If it's a large organisation and the accounts department is at another branch you're simply going to cause a headache for all involved if you send it to the wrong place. Get the info right up-front, and you won't have to worry about it later.

2. Payment terms clarified first

Lay all costs out beforehand (including any penalty fees) so there are no surprises or cause for dispute.

3. Payment terms

We know you probably haven't missed a payment date, but the chances are you've got clients who do-regularly.

Work that into your payment terms, so if you want the cash within a month, give them a fortnight to pay you. That way even if they're a few days late, your cash flow is still looking good

For details on the rest of the tips listed below, click here.

4. Invoice ASAP ...
5. Delegate the work ...
6. Make your brand stand out ...
7. Add overdue fees for late payment
8. Encourage recurring payments
9. Follow up with statements
10. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone


Just remember - in all instances be human, be fair. We're all in small business together.

Do you have your own tricks to get paid sooner? Let us know by emailing

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Answers to your HR FAQs

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner.

During the first few months of this year, the Workforce Guardian team travelled around Australia with a number of our partners attending conferences and speaking events from Broome to Brisbane and from Cairns to Kalgoorlie.

This month, we thought we'd compile a handy summary of the top five HR FAQs we encountered during our recent travels:

Q1: Can I 'cash-out' annual leave for employees during the course of their continuing employment?

A: The answer to this question depends on whether the employee in question is covered by a Modern Award. If they are, cashing-out of annual leave is only allowed if the Modern Award expressly permits it. If it doesn't, cashing-out will be unlawful and penalties of up to $51,000 may be imposed if you proceed, even if the cashing-out is requested by your employee.

If your employee is 'Award-free', cashing-out of annual leave is allowed, but the employee must have a remaining annual leave balance of no less than 4 weeks at all times and the agreement to cash-out must be recorded in writing. Also, the employee must receive the same amount that he or she would have received had the leave been taken – so amounts such as 'leave loading' (if it would normally have been payable) must be included in the payment.

Q2: Can I dismiss someone without notice during their 'probationary period'?

A: Yes, but only if the employee is being dismissed for 'serious misconduct', which includes things like stealing and engaging in – or threatening – workplace violence. In all other cases, a minimum period of one weeks' notice in writing (or payment in lieu of notice) must be provided whenever an employee is dismissed during their first 12 months of employment, regardless of whether they are still within their 'probationary period'. Importantly, some Modern Awards actually impose longer minimum notice periods, so these should also be checked before an employee is dismissed.

It's worth noting that the Fair Work Act 2009 does not actually recognise the concept of 'probationary periods'. Instead, the Act simply says that an employee is not protected from unfair dismissal until they have completed the applicable 'minimum period of notice'. For businesses with fewer than 15 employees, that's 12 months. For all other businesses, it's 6 months.

For the rest of the questions listed below,read the full article.

Q3: Are employees who take time off to see their GP or have a dental check-up entitled to access paid personal leave?

Q4: If an employee takes parental leave and then comes back to their job on a part-time basis, can they later force me to restore them to full-time employment?

Q5: Can I make deductions from an employee's pay for things such as lost Company property?



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

The FAQs in this article reflect the types of questions the WFG team of HR experts answer every day for its HR Essential and HR Professional subscribers. For more information about these services, call WFG on 1300 659 563.

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Some thoughts by Warren Buffett on investing

Our market analyst Fred Strauss provides an insight into the thoughts of one of the most successful investors in the world.

Each year, legendary investor Warren Buffett pens a letter to his shareholders and invariably it contains priceless wisdom couched in everyday language. This year, one section of the letter is devoted to 'Some Thoughts About Investing'. So in the words of Warren Buffett:

'This tale begins in Nebraska. From 1973 to 1981, the Midwest experienced an explosion in farm prices, caused by a widespread belief that runaway inflation was coming and fuelled by the lending policies of small rural banks. Then the bubble burst, bringing price declines of 50% or more that devastated both leveraged farmers and their lenders. Five times as many Iowa and Nebraska banks failed in that bubble's aftermath than in our recent Great Recession.

In 1986, I purchased a 400-acre farm, located 50 miles north of Omaha, from the FDIC. It cost me
$280,000, considerably less than what a failed bank had lent against the farm a few years earlier. I knew nothing about operating a farm. But I have a son who loves farming and I learned from him both how many bushels of corn and soybeans the farm would produce and what the operating expenses would be ... 

To read the rest of Warren's story, click here.



Fred Strauss is an independent and highly regarded investment expert, and is part of our investment committee.

Fred keeps a close eye on international markets, and USA in particular.

If you would like to get more of Fred's insights or to discuss your individual investment strategy, contact our financial advisors on 03 5144 5207.

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SMSF Trustee workshops are under way

Phillipsons' May SuperCentre workshop series covers important topics for trustees administering their own fund, so that they are aware of their responsibilities and rules impacting their self-managed super. The four workshops cover the following topics:

  1. Maintaining your records and remaining compliant
  2. It's your money - but not yet
  3. Borrowings – done right … done wrong
  4. Accessing your money

For details of the May workshops, click here.

If you have been unable to attend the May workshops, don't despair. We are repeating the series in June.

If you found the times and/or days of the May workshops inconvenient, we would be interested in your feedback. Please email:

             Tracey De Nobile

More information? Phone Tracey at our SuperCentre for information and advice on all things Super.

Phone 03 5144 4566

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The good and the bad of the IGA that Australia has signed with the US

To follow up from my last article (click here for previous article), I am happy to report that the Intergovernmental Agreement between Australia and the United States has been signed (click here to read the documents). This removes a lot of uncertainty that existed. Australian Parliament still has to pass several laws to allow the country to comply with the agreement that the Treasury Department signed.  The 'Exposure Draft of Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No.#) Bill 2014:  FATCA' has been released for comment and is available - just click here.

The good is VERY good

  1. Super funds are to be classed as exempt beneficial owners  and will not be required to identify US persons holding accounts or to report any super fund account information to US tax authorities. This will help Australian super funds to keep compliance costs at current levels.

  2. Small Australian local banks and depository institutions will also be exempted and deemed-compliant. US persons holding accounts in these institutions will not have their details reported.

  3. All reporting will be made to the ATO who will then forward the information to the US tax office, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) it is believed this will save Australian banks millions of dollars in compliance costs as the pathway to ATO reporting is already firmly in place
The bad is equally bad ... To read the bad points, click here.
                 Marilyn Williams

Marilyn relocated to Australia from the US in 2008 and has over 20 years experience in taxation in both the US and Australia. Contact Marilyn if you require any advice on FATCA or international tax issues.

Phone 03 5144 4566.

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Budget special ...

Look out for our analysis of the 2014 Federal Budget in a special bulletin on Monday 19 May, following the handing down of the Budget.
As in every other year, the Budget will have a positive or a negative impact on different individuals or households in Australia, and the clear indications are that this year will see more negatives than positives.

In our analysis, we will summarise the key features announced in the Budget.


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And finally, a word from the editor ...

The financial year is in its final weeks. There is much to do with little time – so if you need to plan for a better outcome for your tax, performance, finance, employment etc then now is the time.

The Victorian Governments move to reduce Payroll Tax to 4.85% from 1 July 2014 is certainly welcome news! Fingers crossed there might be some further silver lining for business in the Federal Budget next week. In our June issue of e-Bulletin we will look at the changes due to hit employers in 2014-15 - let's hope there are no surprises next week to add to that list.

Until then ...


Kurt Best
General Manager


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