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Inventory Management & Xero

Posted by onSep 18, 2015 in xero | 0 comments

We use  Rype for our clients Xero add-on integrations and have just used them recently for a plumbing business with over 3000 items. They are humming along now using Xero & Cin7. Better still, they have more control of their inventory because of it!

“Tony Harcourt, CEO of the Rype Group, demonstrates the benefits of utilising Xero add-on solutions for Inventory such as Unleashed, Cin7, and Dear Systems.  Tony showcases real case studies and show how these add-ons can reduce unnecessary administration and improve inventory management, all resulting in saving time and money for your clients.”

http://rype.com.au/3098

Passing the Baton: Why Every Business Owner Needs a Succession Plan

Posted by onMar 20, 2015 in Business Strategy, Gold Coast Accountants Blog, Succession Planning | 0 comments

While everyone wants their businesses to be successful and operate for a long time, you may not necessarily want to remain at the helm.

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As some point, you may want to pass the business on to your children, or to someone else in the company. You may want to sell your share to your business partner. Or you may want to sell the business to another person or company, and retire on the proceeds.

Ideally, you will choose the timing and method of your exit from the business. However, the way life unfolds sometimes, business owners do not always have a choice in what happens, or when.

For example, what would happen if you or your business partner suddenly passed away or became incapacitated?

That’s a stressful enough time for everyone as it is, without having the business (and the financial well-being of the families involved) suffer as a consequence.

To ensure the future of your business, and to cater for loved ones, you need to plan for a range of possible exit scenarios.

This is what’s known a Business Succession Plan.

Every business needs a succession plan, just as every person needs a professionally prepared Will and Estate Plan.

Horror stories happen. Don’t be one of them.

You may not think you need a succession plan. After all, you may have children old enough to take over the reins. Or perhaps you have people in your company who’d love to run the business.

But without a business succession plan, anything could happen.

Imagine this scenario…

A business with two partners or shareholders suddenly experiences the loss of one of the partners in a car accident. Without a succession plan in place, the surviving partner automatically goes into business with the deceased partner’s spouse. They might have had a great relationship on a personal basis, but running a business together and making financial decisions changes the nature of the relationship, instantly. The partners may not agree on the direction of the business, the growth plans for the business, or on how much various people in the business should be paid.

It’s a recipe for conflict.

Or perhaps the surviving spouse wants nothing to do with the business and wants to be bought out of the business as soon as possible.

But what if the surviving business partner does not have the available funds to buy the remaining share in the business, despite being offered a very reasonable price.

They’re stuck. The business–and their stress levels–will suffer.

So, what can you do to avoid such horror stories?

Passing on the baton

So who will be your successor? Will it be someone in your family? A senior employee of your company? Another business owner?

While you may want to “keep it in the family”, it might not be such a good idea with research showing that more than 65% of family businesses fail in the hands of the second generation and another 20% fail when the business passes to the third generation.

Your successor needs two things above anything else: a passion for the business and the skills to run it. And while you can bring them on board early to learn the skills, passion is something you can’t create for them. They either have it or they don’t.

If it turns out someone in your family is passionate about the business, and they have the skills needed to run it (or can learn them), then great. But if that’s not the case, you may be better off handing the baton on to someone else.

Plan early, plan often

So when should you create your business succession plan? According to Craig West, chief executive and president of the Australian chapter of the Exit Planning Institute, you should have started about two years ago.

In an interview with Startup Smart, West says it can take up to two years to get a business ready for sale, and to find the right buyer.
“It takes 18 months to two years to exit successfully. If you do it quicker, you’ll leave money on the table,” he says.
So if you don’t have a succession plan in place for your business, you need to get started now. (If you’re not sure how to get started, get in touch so we can help.)

And like nearly all business documents, a succession plan needs to be kept up-to-date. Families grow and mature, employees come and go, and your plan needs to take all of that into account. There’s no point in planning to appoint a son who’s lost interest in the business, or a senior employee who has since left the business. Review your plan annually.

But first things first… you need to document your Business Succession Plan.

We can guide you in developing an effective succession plan and also ensure you have insurances in place that, for example, can fund the purchase of a deceased or incapacitated partner’s share in a business.

A well thought out and properly funded (insured) Business Succession Plan will make sure the business can continue to operate as smoothly as possible, and conflicts between surviving business partners and spouses, avoided.

You’ve worked hard to build your business. Don’t let it all fall apart once you move on.

Business Owners: 5 Types of Insurance You Might Be Overlooking

Posted by onMar 6, 2015 in Articles, Latest News | 0 comments

Whoever said, “You can never have too much insurance” obviously never had to pay the premiums. Still, there’s no denying the fact you need it to protect your business and its assets.

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So you probably have building and contents, public liability and public indemnity insurance. But what else should you get cover for? What else can you get cover for?

The answer to the first question really depends on the type of business you own. As for what you can get cover for, you may be surprised.

Here are five types of insurance every business should consider:

• Business Interruption insurance

If there’s a fire at the premises, chances are your building and contents insurance will cover it. But while everything’s being rebuilt/repaired/replaced, you’re not making any money.

Business Interruption can cover you for loss of profit, ongoing staff costs and additional operating costs (e.g. temporarily relocating to another premises).

• Goods in Transit insurance

You may have the stock you have on the premises insured, but what about the stock that’s in transit? Whether you’re buying it, selling it or just using it, your business could suffer if it’s lost or damaged.

With Goods in Transit insurance, you’re covered whether it’s coming or going by ship, air, post, rail or road.

• Burglary insurance

While your contents insurance probably covers you against fire, flood, malicious damage and other perils, it may not cover you if your goods are stolen. And if your business involves a property you don’t always have attended, that could be a serious risk.
But with Burglary insurance, your goods are covered if they’re taken from your premises.

• Product Liability insurance

No-one goes out of their way to sell a product that will harm people or property. But accidents can happen. There may be a glitch in production, or a misprint in the instruction manual, or the customer may have simply used your product the wrong way.

And that accident can result in legal action.

Product Liability insurance covers you against claims of injury, death or damage from goods you sell, supply, deliver, repair or service.

• Employment Practices Liability insurance

While you’d never purposely upset your employees, there may come a time when they feel unhappy enough about their work situation to take legal action.

Employment Practices Liability insurance covers you for any damages or costs resulting from accusations of discrimination, unfair dismissal, harassment or other situations.

As you can see, when it comes to insuring your business you have a lot of options. A combination of bad luck and not being insured for one of the above scenarios could cost your business dearly.

It pays to sit down with a risk insurance advisor on a regular basis and review which insurances—the obvious and the not so obvious—you should consider. Even if you decide not to take out insurance in these additional areas of risk, an annual insurances review can make sure you’re neither under- nor over-insured.

This might save you money on premiums.

It will definitely add to your peace of mind.

Get in touch and we’ll make a time to sit down with you and review your business’ insurance needs.

Asset Protection

Posted by onAug 18, 2014 in Business Strategy | 0 comments

Business Owners: Are You Inadvertently Putting Your Family Home At Risk?

As a business owner, there are plenty of things you need to manage, and two of the most important of these are assets and risks.

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In other words, building your wealth and protecting your wealth.

There’s no point building a lot of wealth if the way you have things structured behind the scenes means that someone could take your assets away from you.

Sadly, many business owners are in precisely this predicament…

…without knowing it!

 Following are some crucial concepts that, if you as a business owner don’t understand them and put protective measures in place, your family home (and all personal assets of you and your family) are at risk of being lost if someone decided to take legal action against your business.

Consider these facts…

  • Your business faces unpredictable risks through interaction with employees, customers/clients and creditors.
  • This means there is potential to be sued by a variety of parties. Where there are agreements in place, sometimes disagreements later result. This is life. It makes sense to accept that, and plan and protect yourself, rather than hope it never happens.
  • Litigation, sadly, is increasing each year, largely driven by lawyers offering ‘no win, no fee’ services.
  • This encourages people to ‘have a go at you’ through legal action. They have nothing to lose, after all.
  • This means you need to ‘build a wall’ between your business risks and your personal assets otherwise you risk losing it all.
  • This ‘wall’ protects you and your family from losing assets such as your house or personal investments, if your business was to be sued.
  • The wall is created by clever use of companies, trusts and also deciding who within a married couple, for example, should and should not be a Director of each company. This is a key point. One seemingly simple mistake in this area can cost a family their house.
  • The standard type of will puts your family’s assets at risk, because if the person who dies holds the family’s personal assets in their name, ownership of these assets will revert to the person who through their Directorships in the business, is at a much higher risk of being sued.

This presents significant risk.

So what can you do about it?

If you haven’t looked at your asset protection structure in the past 12 months, you need to make that a priority. Then this should be reviewed annually.

Why?

As your life changes, your asset protection strategies—your ‘wall’—needs to be checked that it is still appropriate.

As part of this process we also ensure your wills and estate planning are in order. Remember, the standard type of will can bring down your wall.

In addition to wills, there are other important documents to have in order such as an enduring power of attorney. This is a legal document that can give someone else—the person you choose—the power to make personal or financial decisions on your behalf.

You see, it is far more common for someone to become incapacitated through accident or trauma such as stroke, than it is to suddenly die. If this happens to you, you may not be able to communicate your wishes and make decisions when you need to.

The consequences of this are dire and tragic.

Why?

It’s all about choices and about ensuring you protect your family and your assets. Without sound asset protection and effective wills and estate planning in place, the legacy you have been working so hard to build may not end up in the hands of the people you intend.

The potential tragic nature of this type of scenario is why we feel so passionate about asset protection and estate planning … because it’s all about protecting the families we serve.

If you’re anything like our many other clients who have these structures in place, we think you’ll find the costs of ‘building these walls’, so to speak, relatively minor compared to the protection they give you and your family.

Your next step … Call us on 07 5585 8555 or email us on joe@jwa.com.au to make a time to meet and discuss your options. We’ll then outline the costs so you know exactly what lies ahead.

 

© Joe Walsh & Associates Pty Ltd

 

Changes to PAYG withholding cycles

Posted by onAug 11, 2014 in Bookkeeping | 0 comments

From 1 July 2014 a number of Australian business will have their PAYG withholding cycles changed, based on the amount of PAYG withheld by the ABN in the 2012-13 financial year.

The ATO awards business small, medium or large withholder status according to the amount of PAYG that can be expected to withhold from their employees. Small withholder status applies to businesses withholding less than $25 000, with businesses withholding between $25 000 and $1 million having medium withholder status. Large withholder status applies to businesses withholding over $1 million, or with an annual turnover of more than $20 million.

Small withholders are required to report and pay their PAYG on a quarterly basis; however, a small withholder may also elect to pay their withheld amounts monthly. Medium withholders are now obliged to report to the ATO on a monthly basis. There are also currently no provisions allowing businesses to contest the requirement to report their PAYG monthly.

In order to remain compliant, large withholders are required to report weekly and to make electronic PAYG payments twice weekly. This may place a significant human resource drain on businesses that only just exceed $1 million in withheld PAYG. All businesses that will experience changes to their PAYG withholder status should receive written communication from the ATO detailing the changes.

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Collecting and writing off debts

Posted by onAug 6, 2014 in Tax | 0 comments

If your business has a bad debt, that is a debt that you have taken all reasonable steps to recover, but appears unlikely to be paid, then it is possible to write it off as a tax deduction.

While this does pose a small consolation, it is obviously preferable not to find yourself in this situation.

Therefore, if unpaid invoices are an ongoing problem for your business, it may be worth reviewing your debt collection processes.

Recovering debts

If you have a debt that has not been paid, it is usually worth negotiating directly with the client. If the client indicates that they will be able to pay within a reasonable time frame, it is usually in your best interests to grant them this leeway.

In some cases, it may also be advisable to negotiate a discount. Although this can be frustrating and disappointing, you may end up with a larger portion of the full amount than you would have if you had sold the debt to a debt collection agency.

Selling a debt

Selling a bad debt can be a good option if you do not think you have a decent chance of recovering the amount.

This means you will sell the debt to a debt collection company for a small portion of its total value, but will not receive any additional payment if they are successful in recovering the full amount.

It is also possible to enlist the services of a debt collection company without selling them the debt. This means that they will attempt to recover the debt on your behalf for a commission fee. Using a debt collector is an effective way to show your debtor that you are serious about recovering the amount.

Writing off a debt

If you are planning to write a bad debt off as a tax deduction then the amount owing must have been included in your assessable income.

You must also be able to provide the ATO with proof that you have taken reasonable steps to recover the debt.

A bad debt cannot come from an associated party, such as a family member, and it needs to have  been formally written off in your accounts.

If you have received a tax deduction for a bad debt that is subsequently recovered, you must then declare this debt as normal business income.

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Adjusting to higher FBT

Posted by onAug 4, 2014 in Tax | 0 comments

Offering employees competitive salary packages can be key to the success of a business.

It will ensure that you have the capacity to attract the right talent, increase employee productivity and may help to minimise your staff turnover.

As a small business, it can be harder to gauge what a competitive salary package is, as the responsibilities of an employee are inevitably more varied in smaller organisations. Fringe benefits are an excellent option for employers seeking to make a salary package more attractive. There are  a lot of different things you can offer to employees as salary sacrifices, including the use of a car, healthcare, school fees, entertainment and cheap loans.

Typically. the employer will reduce the employee’s salary by the cost of providing the benefit, which is usually the direct cost of providing the benefit plus the associated fringe benefit tax (FBT).

From April 1 2015, the rate  of FBT in Australia will be increased from 47% to 49%, in order to prevent individuals earning over $180 000 from salary sacrificing into fringe benefits to avoid paying the 2% debt levy.

This increase in FBT means that  employers should reconsider all current fringe benefits arrangements. It is important to ensure that the arrangement is still as beneficial as possible, for both the employee and the employer.

FBT will return to normal on March 31 2017, to align with the FBT year and the end of the temporary debt levy. The nine-month window in between the introduction of the debt levy and the raising of FBT represents an opportunity for high-income earners to minimise their tax burden, by increasing salary sacrificing during this period.

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Wage subsidies for older employees

Posted by onAug 1, 2014 in Tax | 0 comments

As part of an attempt to boost the participation of older Australians in the workforce, the federal government is offering business incentives of up to $10,000 to hire employees over the age of fifty.

The wage subsidy scheme, called Restart, will require employers to demonstrate that the filled position is ongoing, sustainable and has not led to any other employees being dismissed in favour of a mature age worker with the attached incentive.

The incentive is only applicable to mature age job seekers who have been unemployed for at least six months. The issue here is that many older Australians who have failed to find employment drop out of the workforce altogether, rather than becoming job seekers.

This means that they will not have the incentive applied to them, limiting the ability of employers to take advantage of the scheme.

To be eligible for the initial $3000 payment employers will have to employ the mature age employee for a period of at least six months on a full-time basis.

After twelve months. the employer will receive another $3000 payment, followed by another $2000 at eighteen months and a final $2000 at twenty four months.

Companies seeking a part-time employee may also benefit from Restart. If a mature person with the incentive attached to them is hired part-time then the incentive will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

While the Restart incentive is enticing, you should not let it become a distraction throughout the selection process. Candidates should be assessed on their merits and the potential they have to bring value to your business.

Over a two year period, the value added by a first-class employee would be well over $10,000, while the costs of having an unsuitable employee can be significant.

There are however, many advantages that can come with hiring an older worker including maturity, a good work ethic and a commitment to long-term employment, meaning you may  have lower levels of staff turnover.

Older employees also tend to have a slightly different communication approach to their younger counterparts, which can prove valuable in a variety of business situations.

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Changes to card payments

Posted by onJul 30, 2014 in Finance | 0 comments

From 1 August 2014 Australians will no longer be able to use their signature to verify credit card purchases.

Chip reading and PIN will become the only ways to use a card at point of sale, but there will be no changes to online purchases.

This has been undertaken as an initiative to reduce card fraud, which currently costs Australians approximately $81 million per year, but may pose some initial challenges to businesses.

Around 800 000 electronic payment terminals will have their software updated to no longer accept signatures as a form of payment. The roll-out is expected to take several weeks from the official start date.

It may be necessary for some businesses to invest in new portable EFTPOS machines, which can be a significant cost if your business uses multiple terminals.

It is also advisable to have a machine that can recognise chips, which some of the older models cannot do.

There are also some issues related to the new payment system that are specific to the hospitality industry. Industry representatives have expressed concern that there will be a significant reduction in tips left after a card payment, which constitutes a hefty portion of many hospitality workers’ incomes.

Issuing electronic payslips

Posted by onJul 28, 2014 in Bookkeeping | 0 comments

Electronic payslips are becoming an increasingly attractive option for employers as they allow for ease of delivery and can significantly reduce administrative costs.

Employers are required to provide employees with a payslip within one day of the end of the previous pay cycle. If you fail to meet your payslip and record keeping requirements, you may face a fine of up to $510 per contravention for individuals and $2550 per contravention for a body corporate.

If you wish to begin using an electronic payslip system then there are several compliance issues that you should be aware of:

  • Electronic payslips are required to contain all of the same information as a paper payslip
  • The payslips must be issued to each employee confidentially. For example via email or some form on online account
  • The electronic payslips must be easily accessible form outside the workplace and be in an easily printable format

Additional advantages of electronic payslips include a reduction in paper consumption, the ability for employees to review their payslip history easily, and instant remote access to payroll information.

Reducing your electricity costs

Posted by onJul 24, 2014 in Cash flow | 0 comments

Energy costs can be an enormous drain on your resources, and it is more than likely that the cost of electricity will continue to rise.

Reducing your energy consumption will save you money on your electricity bill. It can also be an exciting opportunity for you to promote your green credentials as part of a marketing initiative.

An easy place to start is by progressively investing in energy efficient appliances. While the initial cost of this might seem steep, it can quickly pay for itself as your electricity bills are significantly reduced.

If you want to monitor changes to your energy consumption, you should benchmark your current electricity use. You should always consider your bills seasonally, using the corresponding quarter bill from the previous year. This can also give you a clear indication of any cooling or heating devices that the energy inefficient.

If you want to invest in long-term energy reduction, you may want to consider renewable energy. For businesses considering a switch to solar power, there are a wide range of commercial solar rebates, grants, low interest loans and tax breaks that are worth investigating.

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A guide to performance review

Posted by onJul 22, 2014 in Business Strategy | 0 comments

When carried out effectively, formalised performance reviews can be beneficial for both you and your employees.

It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate how much you appreciate your employees’ contributions and undertake collaborative reflection on potential business improvements.

However, there are a lot of potential pitfalls that can undermine the effectiveness of performance reviews, sometimes even resulting in negative outcomes. If the review is unfocused it will fail to bring about any tangible results, which can lead to anxiety, confusion and occasionally even job dissatisfaction. Additionally, unproductive performance reviews can be a waste of valuable resources.

Here are some guidelines to help ensure that your performance reviews are as rewarding as possible:

A review is part of an ongoing process

Performance reviews cannot provide the same benefits as having continuous channels of communication between management levels. It is problematic when performance reviews become the designated time in which issues are addressed. If an employee has been underperforming then you should not wait until their scheduled review to address the problem. Your company will benefit from creating a culture in which there is an ongoing informal review process, with managers and subordinates communicating effectively about expectations, difficulties and outcomes.

Be specific

Every aspect of the performance review should be specific to the individual employee and their responsibilities. Your comments and questions should be targeted, drawing on and requesting examples to back up any claims. The performance indicators you use do not need to be uniform, and should be individualised to staff members.

Turn your finding into actions

The information you collect throughout performance reviews can guide you in many business decisions. For example, you may see the need to make changes to remuneration packages, redefine job descriptions, or pursue further staff training.

Most importantly, the review process is a chance for you and your employees to take some time out from the day to day operations of your business and reflect on the bigger picture.

The ultimate end goal should be to reach a consensus on future aspirations and cement milestones that are both challenging and achievable.

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SuperStream changes for SMSF

Posted by onJul 11, 2014 in Superannuation | 0 comments

Self managed super fund (SMSF) trustees should be aware of the changes to the way they receive super contributions.

From 3 November 2014, employees will begin using the new Data and Payment Standard, also known as SuperStream, to make superannuation contributions to their employees.

This means that SMSF trustees will be required to receive contributions electronically form their employers.

Employers will have a year to make this change so SMSF trustees should check with their employers about their start date.

To assist their employers, SMSF trustees will need to obtain an electronic service address for the delivery of contribution messages. SMSF will also need to provide their employer with their ABN, bank account  details and electronic service address to their employer.

The changes will result in a more timely and reliable flow of contributions and make it easier for employers. Funds do not need to upgrade their reporting software to comply with the changes.

Richard Branson’s Top 10 Tips for Success

Posted by onJul 7, 2014 in Business Strategy | 0 comments

Richard Branson left school at the age of 16 and set up Student Magazine with one of his friends. He went on to start Virgin Records in the 1970s and is the founder of the Virgin Group. In the 1980s he formed Virgin Atlantic airline and the 1990s saw the arrival of Virgin Mobile and Virgin Trains.

 He is one of the most successful businessmen in the UK and an icon of entrepreneurship. His latest project is Virgin Galactic, which he hopes will one day become a space tourism company.

Here are his Top Ten Tips for success:

1. Follow your dreams and just do it

Follow your dreams, get involved in life, in the things that interest you.

If you are going to create a business, make sure it is your hobby, your passion or something that you really enjoy. You will live a much better life that way. Don’t just set out to do something for the sake of making money.

I think lots of people have lots of great ideas, but very few people actually go out and try to put them into practice. There are lots of people who think that somebody must have done that before, or you’ll never raise the money or you shouldn’t take a risk in life.

It’s the people who say I’m just going to do it, that end up having a chance of having a much more exciting and rewarding life.

2. Make a positive difference and do some good

The first thing to do if you want to become an entrepreneur is basically to have an idea that is going to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. A business is simply that. If you’re running a business you are in a position where you can make a hell of a difference in this world.

I also think it’s great for the staff of a company that they can feel good about a company that is actually getting out there and doing good.

3. Believe in your ideas and be the best

You definitely need to believe in your idea. There’s really no point in doing something in life unless people feel really good about it and proud about it. You’ve got to have passion for it and you’ve got to be able to inspire other people to have a passion for it too.

If an idea is a good idea you should be able to pitch it in two or three sentences and two or three sentences fit very neatly on the back of an envelope.

There was no point creating a new airline unless it was going to be palpably better than every other airline in the world, you’ve got to make sure that every aspect of what you do is better than the competition.

4. Have fun and look after your team

I 100% believe that it’s important to have fun and if you’re not having fun anymore, it might be time to move on. You should have fun from the top down and create the kind of environment that’s pleasant to work in.

Make sure that you’ve got the kinds of people running your companies who genuinely care about people, who look for the best in people and who praise and don’t criticise. People are not that unlike flowers. If a flower is watered it flourishes and if a flower is not watered it dries up and dies and I think the same applies to people.

5. Don’t give up

It’s extremely important not to give up. There have been situations in my adventures, like crossing the pacific in a balloon, where the odds were stacked very heavily against us surviving.

Being an entrepreneur is not that dissimilar to being an adventurer. You have plenty of situations where your back is right up against a wall and you’ve just got to work day and night to make sure you overcome the difficulties a particular company finds itself in. Brush yourself down the next day and move on into something else.

I think I’m reasonably good at dealing with failure and not letting it get me down for more than an hour or two as long as I put everything I can into avoiding it.

6. Make lots of lists and keep setting yourself new challenges

I make copious lists because I think it’s the little details that make for an exceptional company over an average company. Details are very important and I think it’s important to keep setting yourself new challenges and targets.

I do believe that the first of the year is a good time to write down your goals for the year. Unless you actually organise yourself and write down the kinds of things you want to achieve, there’s a danger that as time slips by, you don’t achieve a lot.

7. Spend time with your family and learn to delegate

One of the early things you have to do as an entrepreneur is to learn the art of delegation. Find people who are better than you to run the companies on a day-to-day basis, freeing yourself up to think about the bigger picture and spend time with your family. That’s very important, especially if you’ve got children, they are what’s going to be left when you’re gone.

I know I’m a good entrepreneur, but I’m not sure that I’d be a very good manager and there is a difference. My mind is always thinking ahead and wanting to create new things. I just think once I’ve set something up, it is better if someone else runs it. I can dive in and out and be a pain occasionally, but the day-to-day business is better for somebody else to do.

8. Try turning off the TV and get out there and do things

My mum brought us up very much to get out there and do things, don’t watch other people do things, and don’t watch television. I think that was a good way of bringing up kids.

With my own kids, we’ve spent quite a lot of time in the Caribbean and we never watch television there.

What I’m doing I see as so fascinating, so rewarding, so interesting that I don’t ever really want to switch off too much because I find myself in such a wonderful, challenging position that I don’t want to waste that position and there are just so many important challenges going on.

9. When people say bad things about you, just prove them wrong

There are people who hang onto the coat tails of successful people and try to sell a few books on the back of their name. It’s unpleasant but you know that if you sue them or kick up a fuss, all it will do is publicise the book. So I’ve had to learn the art of ignoring people like that.

I think the best thing to do is just to prove them wrong in every single way. This particular book, (Branson: Behind the Mask by Tom Bower), says that our spaceship programme is a white elephant, later this year we will prove them wrong.

10. Do what you love and have a sofa in the kitchen

You only live one life, so I would do the thing that you are going to enjoy. When life boils down, this might sound like a little much coming from me, I do have my own little island in the Caribbean, but when we are on that island, we tend to just live in the kitchen.

The truth is, so long as you’ve got a kitchen which has space for a sofa, and a bedroom, and a partner that you love, you don’t necessarily need the add-ons in life.

Then, if you’re doing something that really interests you, it will result in a much more enjoyable life rather than just doing something for the sake of making money.

 

The danger of a DIY Will

Posted by onJul 4, 2014 in Legal | 0 comments

A Will is one of the most important documents an individual will make in their lifetime.

Despite this, many individuals choose to create homemade Wills or use a ‘DIY Will’ in order to save money. However, a DIY Will can end up costing an individual a lot more money than it is worth because the Will was not drafted or executed properly.

The following is just a couple of this issues that can occur if a Will is not correctly drafted:

Will not properly executed

DIY Wills are often not properly drafted and/or witnessed. This can increase the costs of obtaining probate, or it can lead to the Will being invalid.

Estate not disposed of properly

Care needs to be taken in drafting a Will to ensure that the individual’s estate is disposed of properly. This can be a difficult step even when concerning a simple estate.

A common error with DIY Wills is that they will refer to assets which the deceased no longer owns, or which do not form part of the deceased estate such superannuation, trust assets and property owned jointly with another individual.

Another common error is where the residuary estate has not been effectively disposed of which leads to a partial intestacy.

Terms of Will uncertain

It is important that the terms of a Will be certain to avoid the need to apply for declarations from the Supreme Court. Inadequately describing either the beneficiaries or the gifts to them can lead to confusion and additional costs.

DIY Wills can often contain unusual or uncertain considerations being places on certain gifts, which are often against public policy or difficult to interpret.

Non-estate assets not effectively dealt with

There are many assets that a Will cannot always effectively deal with. For example:

  • life insurance will pass to the beneficiary under the policy
  • superannuation proceeds will be paid in the discretion of the trustee, or alternatively in accordance with a valid and current binding death nomiation
  • control of family trusts will pass in accordance with the Trust Deed

It is important that all estate and non-estate assets are dealt with carefully and correctly and that the asset is passed to the correct person.