The Mancell office will be closed for the Christmas break from noon on Thursday 21st December, and will reopen on Monday 15th January 2018.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year.
The Mancell office will be closed for the Christmas break from noon on Thursday 21st December, and will reopen on Monday 15th January 2018.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year.
When it comes to performing bank reconciliations on Xero, many of us struggle to understand the different tax rates.
Here’s a link to the ATO website that you can use to determine if you need to be registered: https://www.ato.gov.au/business/gst/registering-for-gst/
If you are already registered, you should be keeping track of the GST collected from the sale of goods/services and the GST paid on expenses.
If you are registered for GST, you should be including GST on the sale of your goods and services unless they fall under the category of GST-free or Input Taxed.
When performing the reconciliations, check that you have selected the correct tax rate:
The best way to tell if you have paid for GST on any of your purchases/expenses is by checking your receipts. If GST has been charged, you must account for it by selecting the right tax rate.
Here’s a quick summary with examples of what each tax rate means:
*Note that this is only meant to be a guide when completing your reconciliations on Xero. Always refer to the ATO website for up to date details on GST, how it works and whether you should be registered.
Mancell office will be closed for the Christmas break from noon Thursday December 22nd and will reopen on Monday 9th January 2017.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year.
Mancell has joined the Family Business Institute as a foundation member. This an exciting and ambitious initiative for Mancell and our Family Office aspirations.
The vision of Family Business Institute is to be the preeminent training and advisory body for professionals working with Family Businesses. FBI was created by Jon Kenfield, Ross Anderson and Drew Ginn (Australian Olympic Gold medallist) who have extensive experience in the Family Business field.
The FBI membership requires a 12 month intensive training and 3 year assessment program. I will be undertaking this training with the intention of sharing the knowledge and skills with our staff and clients.
One of our key strategies from the June retreat was to build the profile of our Family Office. FBI will provide a platform of learning, growth and networking in the Family Business space.
Mancell has been advising family businesses for over 30 years. Before the concept of Family Office became more widely known and promoted, Mancell had been operating in this space. Since inception we have been providing a unique and personalised service to families in business.
Over the past 6 years Mancell has been a member of Family Business Australia. We will continue this association and take it to a new level with the involvement in Family Business Institute.
FBI embodies many of the beliefs and principles from my favourite book, Family Fortunes – How to build family wealth and hold on to it for 100 Years (by Bill & Will Bonner)
The first 2 day course was held in late July. The next course is 26 & 27 August. I will be providing more information on the course and outcomes achieved. I will keep you posted on future developments. If you are interested in this area, please contact me to discuss.
Mancell has been provided with a Family Business “Best Practice” on line assessment tool. This a powerful tool to assess where you and your family are at with your strategy and planning. Please contact if you would like to know more.
Approaches to running a business are constantly changing and evolving. In the past, management used to be focussed on giving out orders to workers and ensuring that the demands were followed. Many businesses allowed little variation from these orders by their staff. However, in many current day businesses, this is a practice that has changed significantly.
In the modern day business environment, many management teams prioritise leadership over management. This has become apparent to me in my time working in different industries, retail and accounting, through observing organisations going through periods of change to ensure their business remained competitive and profitable. In a lot of successful businesses, staff are one of the biggest drivers, and the ability to identify the most suitable method of management is more important than ever.
Before we can select the most appropriate management approach, we need to first ensure we know the differences between a leader and a manager.
Leaders motivate their staff by setting goals and directions. They are likely to involve their staff with decisions and challenge them in a way that encourages them to work towards both their personal goals and the goals of the business. Managers, on the other hand, organise and direct their staff to achieve goals. They are more likely to strictly follow specific rules or standards and limit the amount of variation from guidelines by the staff they are managing.
There is no one correct approach, as leading and managing can both be beneficial in the right business, while dealing with the right staff. Many managers use some combination of the two methods; within the same business they may allow a lot of responsibility and lead their staff through one task, while strictly managing another task. Ultimately, the decision comes back to the management team – which approach is best for your business?
Like most people, my first few jobs were for pocket money through school in retail and hospitality based industries on the weekends, that were superseded by a few weekday shifts as I made ends meet through socialising “Fasting Friday” to make it cool to be poor and starving during my university days. While now it sounds desperate and depressive, in the moment we all laughed along in good fun at how broke we were. We would all then dredge on out to our respective minimum wage, commission boosted roles where the morning would consist of being told the demands on our monetary daily target. Every customer that walked through that door had a very specific price that you would take or leave. The value of your service was set, too. No customers earnt special deals or discounts, and the day’s takings would be openly discussed and applause or abuse was admonished accordingly at day’s end.
Entering the corporate and adult world, money becomes a bigger part of everyday life in a different way, but yet is discussed less. When flipping burgers a manager would often make you aware that the value of the burgers made must exceed the few dollars they are sparing you an hour. In a professional environment, where costs are not quite as traceable, wages not as open, and trust more established, this is a situation those in a suit and tie (or blouse and skirt) are becoming more and more unfamiliar with. More and more, professional work places are shifting even further away from the profit-profit-profit mantra mentality still commonly accustomed to your local Kmart and putting that focus to investing in modern management-economics. Today, more emphasis in the workplace is put on customer reception and employee satisfaction, in the theory that this will influence the bottom line to the same extent the a 5-9 day does as oppose to the 9-5. In order to achieve this, measures of success have been radically revamped: the yard stick being put to customer loyalty, where it used to be put to customer quantity – Frederick Reichheld estimates a 5% increase in customer loyalty can produce a profit increase from 25-85% (1990). The issue with this new yard stick, though, is not only how to measure these new metrics, but to ensure that the benefit continues to flow through to the bottom line as, regardless of success in all other areas, this is ultimately what determines the success of an organisation.
Initiating this into an accounting firm takes on several aspects- these are addressed in majority through service-profit chains. This is the relationship between profitability, customer loyalty and employee satisfaction.
Customer loyalty is almost exclusively related to the value the customer believes they are getting for their money. Not all customers have the same sized wallet, and not all customers have the same background knowledge or expectations. As such, a generic one-size fits all product is rarely the best approach to customer loyalty as it will have downfalls on both sides of the spectrum. It is not as simple as simply addressing the quality of the product to the price though: what the customer actually perceives they are receiving can vastly differ depending on the communication with the client to what they are actually getting. For example, lucky enough (or not yet lucky enough) to still be renting from a landlord, seeing the quote that I had to submit for approval to get a new heater installed this winter had me thinking that the tradesmen were taking advantage of my naïveté, and had I actually been the one liable for that payment I would have happily said no thanks, and attempted to take my custom elsewhere. It was only on the day of the actual installation that I realised my naïveté to their profession was worse than I realised as five men walked through my front door to pull the majority of a wall down and re-divert the plumbing system to ensure I sleep well through these chilly Melbourne Winter nights. The tradies had not communicated to me what was actually needed for the job, and had I not been home I would have continued life blissfully unaware that they were, in fact, not ripping my landlord off. Similar to the corporate world, the client will often submit some information, sit back, and after a few payments receive a final product without being aware of what has truly gone into the process in the office to arrive not just at that final product, but at that final bottom line figure.
The value is still not as simple as that though, as a firm can have a large influence on what the value should be and the quality of work they can turn out through interaction with their employees. Measuring productivity is one way of ensuring the value of a product is adequately priced – there were five tradies in the house, but if there were only ever two working at once, should the cost to the consumer be the same? Employee satisfaction and other forms of KPIs are important in these instances to measure the actual value. To ensure employees are aiming for these KPIs and not feeling enslaved by them targets and goals can be used as motivation, and rewards to ensure employees feel valued – at the completion of the recent financial year, Mancell treated the staff team to a lunch that my ex-student self could never have imagined, yet alone on a what would have once been a Fasting Friday.
Professional firms have adapted to this in recent years, some in different ways than others – google allows pets to be brought to work, while insurance companies are now offering more personalised products to consumer’s needs. Learning how to adapt this to your particular workplace, like everything else, should be a dynamic program with trial and error that can help achieve the most optimal outcome for client, employee and firm all in one.
Mancell had its first fundraising event to raise money for our child in Nepal who we sponsored from Save the Children Australia. We started this initiative because we wanted to build the foundations for a young child, and open up a window of opportunities for them grow to their potential. Being an office part of close-knit families, many of whom have young children, Save the Children was a cause close to our hearts and an ideal way to give back to society. Funds collected through staff donations go towards the education, development and nutrition of our sponsor child.
For this quarter’s charity lunch, Adelia found a delicious Thai green curry recipe to cook. After many days of trialling and perfecting the taste of the Thai curry at home to ensure it was of a high quality to serve, Ken and Adelia cooked up a storm in the Mancell kitchen, spending a good two hours to bring to the table a well flavoured and mouth-watering yellow curry. Ken took no short cuts in making the recipe; everything had to be made from scratch, including the curry paste, to give an abundance of flavours. When the food was served, ten hungry staff devoured three bowls of curries, whilst chatting along. With each spoon, the strong flavours from the lemongrass, coconut, galangal, turmeric and chilli took us down to the streets of Thailand that afternoon.
Big thanks to Ken and Adelia for making this all happen! Also massive thanks to the rest of the Mancell office, for being extremely generous. We are very happy to announce that we raised more than enough to fund our sponsor child for the next six months, which is a great effort!
In Australia, foreign non-residents are usually required to obtain foreign investment approval before purchasing residential real estate. There are limitations and requirements based on the type of residential property to be purchased.
Foreign non-residents are generally not allowed to purchase established properties. The only exception is when a property is purchased to be redeveloped to increase the housing stock. E.g. If one property is demolished and at least two are built in its place.
There are no limitations to purchasing new properties. Foreign non-residents must submit an application which will generally be approved without condition. Note, however, that foreign non-residents may not require separate approval if the property is to be purchased from a developer that holds a new dwelling exemption certificate for that specific development. Always ask for a copy of the certificate and check to ensure that no further approval is required.
The application fee must be paid in full before the application is even considered. The fee payable will depend on the value of the residential property to be purchased.
Application forms to obtain approval for the purchase of residential property in Australia can be completed and submitted via the Australian Taxation Office Website at https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Residential-real-estate-application-form/
This book explores how some leaders (Diminishers) drain intelligence and capability from the team, while others (Multipliers) create intelligence around them.
Multipliers generally have a profitable and positive effect on organisations - getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.
Are you an Accidental Diminisher? take the quiz.
If you've read the book, please share with us on what other things do you find interesting for us to learn from.
Tomorrow is a very significant day on the FBT calendar because the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) reporting year ends tomorrow. For employers who offer their employees fringe benefits, including their employees’ family or other associates, you’ll know what I’m talking about and if you’re reading this now, you’ve picked the right blog to read!
Here’s action points you will need to undertake if you are an employer or employee, respectively:
1. Update your XERO accounts so all motor vehicle expenses are recorded up to 31st March 2016
2. Send us your information by 8th April 2016
3. If you are required to make a payment, due date is 28th May 2016
4. Unsure of whether you have any other FBT reporting obligations? Go through the Questionnaire we have sent you or contact us to discuss.
1. Take your ODOMOETER readings tomorrow as at close of business on 31st March 2016
2. Make sure you maintain a valid log-book. The log book must cover a period of at least 12 continuous weeks. These records are valid for five years provided there is no change in the pattern of usage of the car. Should the pattern of usage change, a new log book is required.
3. Complete the Car Fringe Benefit Employee Declaration as appropriate
4. Provide us with your annual business use percentage AND total number of days the motor vehicle was unavailable for private use in the 2016 FBT year.
5. Where applicable, make employee contributions to reduce your employer’s FBT liability to 0.
We are very excited to hear from you. Please contact us should you have any questions at all.
“It’s very hard to drive a car forward when looking in the rear-vision mirror.”
This was the key message we got out from the day spent in Crown Promenade conference hall with Peter Switzer and his guest speakers. The session was informative, insightful and entertaining at the same time.
Some thoughts we would like to share here:
There are so many news, articles, analysis reports feeding in our mail and email inbox every day. End of mining booming? Property bubbles? Another recession? Making a good investment strategy is getting very challengeable in the current economic climate.
In recent days, in the high speed of information exchange, an independent investor is not disadvantaged comparing to the institutional investors (Charlie Aitken). Information is made to the public timely and is accessible everywhere by anyone. The only difference people could make is how to use the information to make a good strategy.
Strategy needs to be made for clear goals, it also needs to be reviewed on timely basis. How to place the asset, whether the allocation is still appropriate giving the current personal situation or the current economic environment, what will happen in the next 1-2 years?
Economy eventually is made up by individual units, opportunities exist everywhere in our day to day life. To capture the opportunities, we need to be able to observe with shape eyes; think with clear mind, make clear goals and plan, then execution.
Finally, media should be used for information gathering, but not decision making.
With all the changes to cloud-computing and technology in recent years, it is hard to keep up. Here at Mancell we have almost gone to a full cloud solution and haven’t looked back. The cloud has helped us stay agile and become more efficient and effective at our work. We are always here to discuss your needs and that may involve implementing some new software. Xero has become an integral part of the accounting landscape in recent times and we are always on the lookout for new add-ons that will help you do business with less fuss. Here are some to look out for:
simPRO is a software tool designed for tradies which can include electrical, plumbing, security, HVAC, service and other industrial contracting businesses. It can do invoicing and job management in a seamless manner. Some of the features of this are: service management, quoting, scheduling, invoicing, payments, purchasing and stock; and this can all be done online.
A similar option to simPRO is GeoOP. It is a job management system that can also be used on while mobile. GeoOP has a scheduler that can drag and drop workers to schedule their day and staff can easily see their own and other people’s work schedules. With GPS tracking, jobs can be automatically tracked and updated live as they progress from travelling to progressing the job. Like many other add-ons it has invoicing, recurring jobs, and quotes that can be issued. Parts and prices can be imported into the system. It can also link into “Unleashed” for inventory management.
Crunchboards is a reporting tool that will help you make high level business decisions. It can assist you track KPI’s for your business, set budgets, create your own formulas and in the end make better business decisions based on accurate reporting that is easy to read.
Vend is a point of sale system (POS) that can work with barcodes and scanners and any equipment you already have. It is a web based POS that can be used on a Mac, PC or even an iPad. It accepts payments and giftcards and can even do an online store. Take the hassle and expense out of owning a full POS system and keep a lightweight alternative.
Chasing up customers to pay invoices on time is costly and takes up resources. Chaser can automate the process of chasing up invoices over email. The good thing about it is, that it does not seem like the emails are automated but rather they feel like a regular email from you to your customer.
This software can be used for commercial and residential property management. It can provide your business with property management software that can show when rent is due, when to renew, alerts, maintenance, tenancy expiry dates and renewal rights. In addition to this, it can provide powerful reporting and analytics which can show reports on maintenance, income forecasts, budget reports and potential rent reports.
If you want to try some of these with your business, don't hesitate to contact us. We are always there to help you achieve your goals.
Feeling tired, uninspired, or unproductive at work? Here at Mancell, we work hard, but some days are harder than others. When that happens, we look to each other for tips and tricks on how to stay motivated and make the day productive. We asked around the office for tips to make the most of your day.
1) Start your day with something positive.
Waking up early can be a challenge for many people. So instead of rolling in bed feeling sorry for yourself, make plans to do something you enjoy first thing in the morning! Whether it is making pancakes, going for a run or dropping by your favourite coffee shop, make it a point to do something you love first thing in the morning to kick-start your day with a positive attitude.
2) Take a break.
It is easy to get carried away with work when there are multiple deadlines just around the corner. Spending hours at a time on a job or task can make you feel tired, unfocused and overwhelmed by the amount of work sitting on your desk. Take a walk around the office, grab a snack from the kitchen, talk to a fellow colleague or even stare at the ceiling. Taking regular breaks to clear your mind, strategize and regain your energy can help you feel more productive and efficient throughout the day.
3) Set goals and write them down.
By planning your time and writing down your goals, you will have a clear sense of direction. Goals can be small/big, daily/weekly, and even personal/work related. Goals keep us feeling motivated and writing them down helps us to prioritise and make decisions
Try these out and see if they help you. If you have any other tips, please comment below and let us know how it helps you.
What are your tips for staying motivated and inspired for the day?
Inspired by my fellows and hearing of the newly-started-soon-to-be-long-time-collaborations documented on the Mancell Pty Ltd blog, I decided that despite having only been in the accounting trade for a little over a week, I would deviate away from the profession momentarily and try my hand at writing.
I am currently completing my final semester at the University of Melbourne, studying accounting and finance, and have been given the opportunity by Mancell to work as an accountant alongside this. As such, I have dealt with the remarks for three solid years of complaints about the dull monotony of accounting from those individuals who have never delved into the area themselves, and failing to perhaps realise their own fields of study are also not exactly hit blockbusters or Broadway shows every lecture. But after three years of only sheltered exposure to accounting through university, the time has come for me to face the reality; whether that be a world of mind numbing number crunching behind a desk, or something more varied dealing with clients and colleagues and writing superlative blog posts, whatever the real life world held for an accountant, it was time to find out.
One week in, I am still probably not quite the person to be giving advice on this topic. In fact, I feel I’m questioning what life as an accountant is about more than anyone else right now - need I change my entire life direction? But being one week in, I seem to be the person that everyone is coming to for advice or questions about what life is like as an accountant. So, I will break down my interpretations thus far: Yes, it is exactly as the stereotype might suggest. But no, it also is not. In order to answer this more explicitly, I present: “Journals of a Week as a Mancell Graduate Accountant”.
My first day, and the thing that really stood out to me was the supportive office environment that has stemmed from the close knit community. Mancell is a small firm, but with enough people in the office to have established their own unique culture coming from individuals from many different backgrounds. The first day, many of the senior employees were absent with clients or for various other reasons, but the others welcomed me as the young, confused and likely somewhat incompetent student that I was. Boundaries were quickly broken down, and I found myself surrounded by an office of people willing to guide me to be the best graduate accountant I could be. Some data entry for tax returns, a team lunch and several meetings later and I was already one day into my career as an accountant.
Day two followed suit, with some fellow accountants that had been away the previous day making their mark on me, but it was day three where things mixed up a bit. Attending the Xero Roadshow with four colleagues, I noticed several things, including that Mancell had a very large and young team there by the apparent industry standards. Not only did this allow me to enjoy the unlimited food of quality that a university student rarely gets to experience with great company in my colleagues, but it also shows that Mancell is committed to progression. Xero is revolutionising the accounting industry, and by getting our team to be amongst the most knowledgeable Mancell is positioning themselves in a place where we are ready to transition and accommodate to the ever changing demands of our work and take it in our stride. As was discussed several times throughout the day, there is a sense of excitement that big things are building in accounting, and I confidently feel that Mancell will be at the forefront of this revolution.
Casual Friday soon came along, repping my corduroy pants to go with my locally designed Brunswick button up, and I found myself at the end of a week that had had many roadblocks, questions of my entire life direction and many new friends. It was also the first day in the office where things started to fall into place. I had settled in, knew what was expected of me and am working towards independence in the office without the ever caring Lynn always having to look over my shoulder. Week two will bring more challenges, I’m sure, as I further find myself with tasks at hand that are beyond the scope of university, but my questions as to my entire life direction? Accounting still seems to be the go. Yes, it is a lot of stereotypical data and number crunching, but there is so much more to being an accountant and part of the Mancell team than that, and that is something that I look forward to with avid anticipation. And if all that fails, perhaps I can become a professional conference attendee – free lunches and knocking off a few hours early every day wouldn’t be too bad either.
- Sam Blake
On the 18th of February, a group of staff had the privilege of representing Mancell at the annual Xero Roadshow 2016 in Melbourne. This event attracts hundreds of accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses who are keen on learning more about the new product updates, features and add-ons Xero has to offer. This is an incredibly exciting time for us to be working as accountants, as innovative technology has seamlessly made processes more efficient and effective which gives us more time to work on tasks which are bringing real value to our clients. At Mancell, we value these professional development events where we can equip ourselves with new knowledge with which we can share with the rest of the firm and our clients.
We were definitely impressed with the new updates, features and add-ons that Xero has to offer, and are eagerly looking forward to their rollout within the next 90 days. Here’s a snapshot of the key features:
Xero HQ: Integrates Xero Ledgers, Practice Manager and Workpapers on to one site. This serves as a notification of deadlines and tasks which need to be actioned.
Assurance dashboard: This dashboard improves the integrity and accuracy of information by raising alerts to peculiarities and errors detected in areas such as banking, payroll and workpapers. There will be direct links to the screen from the dashboard.
Xero U: This is an educational centre where small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers have access to webinars, product updates, training events and information about add-ons. These tools are great drivers of learning and continuous development!
Xero Me app: This is a new Xero mobile application for Xero payroll where staff can put through leave requests and check their payslips. Employees can also submit their timesheets through this app, making your life easier.
E-sign: Xero is working with Adobe to produce a digital signature so makes it easier to sign off income tax returns and activity statements, and is a feature Mancell is currently incorporating. For clients more comfortable with signing the physical documents, the option to print and sign is still available.
ATO Cloud Authentication Process: Xero Tax can now be conveniently connected to the ATO.
2 step authentication: This is a security measure over client information by sending a 6-digit code to your phone as an additional step of the verification process when logging in to Xero.
What’s there not to love about Xero?
Here comes the year of the Monkey. The Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. The general image of people in this zodiac sign is of always being smart, clever and intelligent, especially in their career and wealth.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year lasts 15 days from 8 February 2016, which means it ends on the 22nd of February. There are many activities on at Mancell to celebrate the Lunar New Year. I would like to highlight one being the Commonwealth Bank (‘CBA’) Annual Dinner last night.
It was the great night. Firstly, it was a great honour to have been invited to attend the CBA Annual Dinner to celebrate Lunar New Year. And also a great reunion with our alliance partner, CBA Branch at Box Hill. It is an opportunity to meet up with old friends and get to know new people. Secondly, we enjoyed the traditional performance, such as Dragon Dance, Lion Dance and Soul Mystique. The dinner was great, too. Even though, we missed out on the Golden Monkey. But we enjoyed the night and got so much inspiration and entertainment.
Again, Happy Lunar New Year! We hope all your New Year dreams come true! We wish you good health, wealth and luck for the forthcoming year of the Monkey!
Welcome to Mancell's new blog. We are excited to share some new features with you. This blog is aimed to communicate news and other events. It will include some advice, how-to guides, information about accounting and other services such as Xero.
We have also updated the website to include our new client portal. If you would like access to this, please let us know.