With about two and a half months to go to the end of the financial year now is the time for employers to prepare for changes to superannuation obligations that will be effective on 1 July 2013.

What do the changes mean?  In summary the major changes:

  • Minimum superannuation guarantee contributions (SGC) increase to 9.25% for financial year 2013-2014 (further increases will apply up to financial year 2020).
  • The concessional cap for superannuation contributions remains at $25,000 nothwithstand the increase in employer SGC contributions
  • The age cap of 70 for SGC contributions is lifted
  • SGC contributions are not required for an employee under 18 years of age and working less than 30 hours per week
  • Additional information will be required in the content of employees’ payslips

Compliance Essentials is here to assist your business to fulfil its compliance obligations.  Contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website www.complianceessentials.com.au for a no obligation chat.

The Power of Written Agreements

Some businesses consider it a nuisance, or at best an unnecessary procedure, to commit agreements to a written document.  Agreed, creating a written contract can take a bit of time, sometimes there will be a cost, however whilst a verbal contract is legally valid it does require equal interpretation by both parties of meaning and intention in order to avoid dispute.

Examples of agreements to consider implementing in a written form? Simplistically:

  • Employment contracts
  • Supplier contracts
  • Customer agreements
  • Contractor agreements

What are some of the benefits of written agreements?

  • Signed mutual agreement between the parties
  • Easily accessible information
  • Reduced opportunity for dispute with regard to meaning and intention
  • Reduced risk of misunderstanding

It pays to take the time and effort to produce a written document at the start of the engagement; a much more effective process than determining an answer in resolution to an undocumented business agreement.

Compliance Essentials can assist your business with internal process and systems; contact us www.complianceessentials.com.au

 

 

 

 

The anagram of ‘compliant’?  Easy, the answer is ‘complaint’.  That, however, is not the simple mistake.

The simple mistake is for an organisation to fail to consider being compliant until there is a complaint.  Complaints in themselves can be costly and result in a need to reallocate core resources for problem resolution as well as potentially losing custom; when the complaint is from a regulator the outcomes can be much more onerous.  The impact in terms of both tangible and intangible costs to remedy a proven compliance breach are far greater than committing financial and staff resources in endeavouring to make an organisation compliant in the first instance.

Reduce the risk of the occurrence of unwitting compliance breaches in your organisation by contacting Compliance Essentials on 1300 602 880 or via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au

The first in the series of Simple Mistakes looks at ACN/ABN and company documentation:

Is your Australian business incorporated via ASIC?  If so your company must operate by the rules determined in the Corporations Act 2001.

Are your company documents correct?
The Act (s153) requires that a company sets out its name on all public documents along with the company’s ACN (Australian Company Number) or ABN (Australian Business Number) – for a two page or more document the above information must be shown on the first page.

Website?
Is your ABN displayed?

All businesses with ABNs
Make sure that your ABN is clearly displayed on your invoices to customers to avoid a withholding tax deduction from your incoming payment.

Compliance Essentials can assist with all your business compliance requirements, contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website

Some of the mistakes that businesses make when it comes to compliance are very simple, and because of that we are launching a series of posts looking at some of the matters which can be very easily rectified.

Follow our blog to receive our posts hot off the press.

Need to look at the bigger picture?  Contact us on 1300 602 880 or via the website for an initial discussion as to how Compliance Essentials can help your business.

 

Changes to Fair Work came into effect on 1 January 2013.  What do these mean to an employer?

Over arching all the changes, Fair Work Australia was renamed the Fair Work Commission; the web address for information is now www.fwc.gov.au.

Included in the legislative changes:

  • The time limit for lodging an unfair dismissal claim increases from 14 to 21 days;
  • the time limit for loding a general protections dismissal claim reduces from 60 to 21 days from the date of dismissal;
  • Changes come into effect with regard to enterprise agreements

For more information go to www.fwc.gov.au.  Need help with HR management or other compliance matters?  Contact Compliance Essentials on 1300 602 880 or via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au.

 

Australian retailers are putting a lot of temptation in the way of consumers at present with some allegedly great bargains on offer at fantastic prices.  Unfortunately some offers may not be as great as they appear to be.  In order to be legitimately offered as a ‘sale reduction’ an item must have been on sale at full price for ‘a reasonable period of time’ otherwise the advertising may be construed as misleading to the customer.  Another serious no-go area is for a retailer to advertise a great bargain and attract customers to a store where the consumer finds that the ‘bargain’ is not available but is then encouraged to purchase a similar product at a less advantageous price; this can be interpreted as ‘bait advertising’.

Retailers who are unsure of their compliance obligations can obtain information from the ACCC www.accc.gov.au or contact Compliance Essentials at www.complianceessentials.com.au to arrange a no obligation chat.

The name of your business is a powerful intangible asset; a business name is the foundation for building a good reputation and customer loyalty.

The question then is are you protecting your business’ reputation?  Once reputation is tarnished it can be difficult to regain customer confidence and maintain market position.

Question number two, how to protect the standing of business reputation and brand?  Taking steps to ensure that a business operates within relevant legislation and regulations are part of this process hand in glove with identifying existing and ancticipated areas of risk exposure and treating risks in order of priority i.e. the greater the risk to a business the higher the ranking on an action plan.

Starting off with a business health check will identify areas of risk and potential non-compliance and enable decision makers in the business to formulate a program to remedy matters identified in the gap analysis.

Want to take steps to protect your organisation’s reputation?  Compliance Essentials can assist in the process; free phone 1300 602 880 to arrange a meeting for an initial discussion.  www.complianceessentials.com.au

So what is the issue with ‘compliance’?  Has the word acquired a bad image or does it go deeper?

One of the issues –  the decision makers in some organisations fail to admit that ‘compliance’ is relevant to what they do, whereas in fact every organisation has compliance obligations.

Forget the handle and move away from the concept of policing.  The issue does not necessarily lie with the concept of compliance, the issue rests with not acknowledging and accepting that adopting a compliant culture can bring benefits.

Organisations that can’t see the gain unfortunately don’t acknowledge the potential of pain until it happens to them.  Using the analogy of insurances, it isn’t common practice to wait, for example until there has been a theft or involvement in a car accident, to think about insurances; most of us buy the required policies to protect ourselves and/or our businesses in case the bad things happen outside of our control.  In a similar way, using best endeavours to proactively implement compliance in an organisational environment is a means of taking control as well as protecting a business from the risk of serious compliance breaches that could, amongst other outcomes, cause injury, have a financial impact, damage reputation.

Why not take the benefits, which are manifold, and will ultimately make a contribution to the bottom line.

By the way, it is calculated to be far more costly to remedy a proven compliance breach than to be in control with the implementation of a compliance plan………….

The Compliance Essentials Team

There are changes going along in Victoria and across Australia of which NFPs need to be aware:

Victoria The Associations Incorporation Act has undergone reform that will take effect on 26 November 2012.  The changes that will affect all Victoria NFPs incorporated under the Act is the change of title of Public Officer to Secretary and the implementation of a three tier structure for annual reporting; other changes include new Model Rules, privacy of members of associations, legalising trading activities.  There is no requirement for an incorporated NFP to take any action at present however this does seem to be a good time for those long standing organisations to review their rules.

Where there is inconsistency between existing rules and the requirements of the new legislation the legislation will override the organisational rules.

ACNC It’s been a while in coming however legislation to approve the ACNC has been passed through Parliament and the Commission is expecting to go into action in December this year.  The ACNC will focus on charities in the first instance.  Organisations with charitable tax concessions will be automatically taken into the the new system; moving forwards an organisation that wishes to register as a charity must do so via the ACNC.

There is an increasing amount of information with regard to ACNC functions on their website and via subscription to updates.

Need help with your NFP Board and governance techniques?  Compliance Essentials includes Board mentoring and governance review as part of our service products, contact us on 1300 602 880 or via our website at www.complianceessentials.com.au