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Happy New Year! ... and welcome to our January issue of Business e-Bulletin.

In this issue ...

Employing children

Do your children work for you or a friend ... helping out on the family farm, working in your cafe or restaurant, etc?

If you answered yes, did you know that, under the Victorian Child Employment Act 2003 (CE Act), in order to employ a child, unless you hold an exemption, employers are subject to many legal requirements, including holding an approved Child Employment permit and ensuring that supervisors hold a valid Working with Children check.

It is interesting to note that children do not need to have a permit to perform farming related chores on a family farm, as long as the chores fall within the definition of light work.

You can read more about this at the Business Victoria website by clicking on this link.


If you would like our advice to ensure that you are complying with all relevant legislation, speak to your accountant.

Just phone 03 5144 4566.


MYOB - help is at hand

OK, you have MYOB, but you're not quite sure how to make the most of it.

Leanne McMinn of our BetterBooks Team is here to help. As an MYOB Certified Consultant, she can help you to get the best out of your MYOB. These are some of the things she can do:

  • Install and set up MYOB products correctly and efficiently.
  • Train your staff to use MYOB products, using your own accounting data.
  • Identify and correct problems in your existing MYOB file.
  • Identify how your staff could use MYOB more efficiently.
  • Design strategies to improve business workflows.
  • Design customised invoices, statements, remittances and receipts for use with MYOB.

And of course, Leanne has the backing and full support of our BetterBooks team to help with all your bookkkeeping requirements.


Call 03 5144 4566 to discuss your MYOB needs with Leanne.



Consumers want ethical options

Love chocolate? Love pure cotton  in your bed linen and tablecloths? Enjoy baking? Looking forward to using that lovely new soap? Well, did you know that some of your choices for ingredients and products can cause more harm than good? For example: cotton contained in some linen; everyday cooking ingredients; and many cocoa products in our supermarkets are produced using forced, child or trafficked labour. There's also the issue of deforestation and GMO agri-business.

Consumers are becoming more aware of these facts when purchasing products and services – that awareness is promoting a greater sense of responsibility to observe health considerations and environmental impacts. A recent UK study showed that the average household spend on ethical products increased 300% over the last decade.

Australian based internet retailer, Vanessa Soper of Ethical Earth Products, has taken up the challenge to provide a choice that is ethical and healthy. Vanessa is committed to the principles of fair trade, cruelty-free and palm oil-free. When researching what the result would be of not buying palm oil products, Vanessa found that choosing to switch an ingredient may create a push toward an alternative that could further contribute to increased deforestation in other parts of the world. So, there are no simple solutions.

Understanding the footprint your business makes into the global environment is the right thing to do, but it also could be a key to future success. Meeting growing consumer sentiment and making it the mission of your business, could be a point of differentiation that actually leads to higher revenue. Choosing from brands and products that are 'ethical' is a step in the right direction. The websites listed on the right provide further information.


You can find out more about Ethical Earth Products, the range of products and how to purchase them on the website at:

Other useful websites include: for information on The Ethical Supermarket Shopping Guide and for information on Forced and Child Labour in the Cotton Industry and also for The Good Chocolate Guide.



Australia's Fair Work laws: what we know now

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner

David Bates, Managing Director of Workforce Guardian, says: 'As we start a new year, it's worth reflecting on what we know now about Australia's increasingly complicated employment laws.

'The Commonwealth Government's Fair Work system has been with us now for three and half years and clear trends are beginning to emerge. This was brought home to me in 2012 as I travelled around the country ... and heard first-hand the same stories from wary - and weary - employers.

Click here to read David's full report and information on why subscibing to Workforce Guardian could be a smart move.



For information about subscribing to
WG please click on the following link:


Investing in the sharemarket in the current environment

This December we were pleased to present workshops with our own Ian Mein - Director of Phillipsons Financial Planning - and Investment Analyst Fred Strauss. Ian and Fred focussed the workshop on equity investing, primarily:
  • What you need to know about share market investing
  • Where are we right now in the economic cycle
  • How to identify value
  • Identifying and managing risk
  • Investing directly in the US share market

The feedback from these workshops was extremely positive, with most attendees finding the content relevant, important and of an excellent quality.

We intend to hold more workshops of this type in 2013 to help educate clients on a variety of investment fundamentals and market related issues. If you would like us to address a particular topic, we would love to hear your suggestion – please drop us a line at to share with us your topic wishlist.


Fred Strauss is an independent and highly regarded investment expert, who is currently working with Phillipsons as part of our internal in-depth research process.

If you missed the seminar, it doesn't mean you missed out altogether. You can talk to Ian for advice on managing your investments.

For more information on the seminar or about Mr Strauss, call 03 5144 5207 and speak to Ian today.


Kill data entry with timesheets in Xero

Xero is one of the new breed of 'cloud-based' accounting solutions, with many time-saving features including automated transaction feeds from your bank. There are different feature levels depending on your needs and the software is charged on a monthly subscription basis.

In recent news, Xero explains how clients can use Xero to eliminate the data entry involved in re-keying faxed, written or emailed employee timesheets.

Staff simply log into the employee portal and enter their hours from anywhere, anytime. Appointed managers approve the timesheets, then the payroll administrator processes the pay. Xero takes care of all the calculations. They claim that: 'You'll never have to decipher a faxed-in sheet or copy and paste from an email again'.

For more information on how this works, have a look at a video of timesheets in action on the Xero blog.


Phillipsons is a Xero Partner and we can provide you with more information or a demonstration of how the system works.

Contact Donna or Rachael if you are interested in learning more.

Phone: 03 5144 4566


Don't forget ...

  • Lodgement deadlines are looming for all entity types.  We have contacted our clients that have a January or February lodgement date, but now we are calling for all remaining clients to bring in their outstanding 2012 information so that we can keep the ATO happy and them out of trouble.

  • December quarter Activity Statements for most entities are due by 28 February.

For a full list of all key dates for 2013, please visit:

We look forward to continue working with and assisting you in 2013.

Kurt Best
General Manager