As 2020 came to a close we reflected on what was most important to us — family. One thing that Covid-19 brought home to us was there were things we needed to do better.
My mother and stepfather were living in Queensland about 20 minutes outside of Hervey Bay. With the continual state border closures we recognised there was no way we could go and help them if they needed us. Thankfully they recognised this as well and agreed to sell their home and move back to NSW. They have now built a granny flat on the farm and have settled in to their new home.
Our daughter, Kate, and granddaughters, Lily and Ava, also moved in with us at the start of the year. Kate’s small business was growing but she was quickly running out of space in her rented premises. We had plenty of space, so we’ve now built a separate workshop for her on the farm.
We now have the rather unusual situation of having 4 generations of the family living on the same property. It’s early days yet, but so far things seem to be working out ok.
After our busiest year to date in 2020 we thought 2021 would ease off a bit and we would have a bit of time to deal with our projects — boy how wrong were we?
2021 saw changes in legislation and regulations regarding our mortgage broking and financial planning operations, changes to Australian Accounting Standards, changes to payroll and superannuation processing introduced by the Australian Taxation Office, and one of the major software programs we had run our business on for 17 years was removed from the market.
On-again, off-again Covid-19 lockdowns didn’t help with workflow, but now vaccination levels are high hopefully we won’t go through that again.
While all these factors contributed to make 2021 our busiest year since we started business in 2004, one of the biggest issue with managing workflow was the volume of new client referrals from existing clients.
We love the fact you value what we do for you and we want you to keep referring family and friends to us if you think we can help them, but we’ve had to temporarily suspend taking on new clients until the end of January.
We apologise for taking longer than normal in attending to some of our client work this year, and are committed to catching up soon.
We would like to thank you for your support during 2021 and wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.
The Gift We Wish We Could Give You!
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When we reflect on 2021 the one thing we wish we had was more time. But when we thought about it, it was the same for 2020 (and 2019). We wish there were more hours in a day, or more days in a week, but weren’t able to find a way to make that work.
But the girls came up with a novel (hairbrained) way of giving you more days in the month—they decided to fill up all the unused calendar spots at the end of each month. There are 37 in total. What I wouldn’t give for three extra days a month? I’m sure you’re the same.
I’ve decided to try and achieve these desired extra days by taking back some of my weekends (banning myself from the office at least 2 weekends a month). I’m not sure I’ll achieve the target, but if I give it a go I might just recapture some time for myself and my family.
What will you do to try to take back some of your time for the things that really matter to you?
While the girls had a bit of fun with this, we picked up an error in the calendars post production. When you get yours have a good look—if you spot the error please email us and tell us what it is. Each time someone does this (and gets it right) before the end of February we will give 2 blocks to help rebuild schools destroyed in the 2018 Lombok earthquakes.
DO YOU (OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW) HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Our business continues to grow (mainly from client referrals) and we urgently need to add to our team!!
Position 1 — Accounting Focus
We’re looking for someone with recent practical experience in accounting / tax returns / bookkeeping / business advice.
Technical proficiency is only considered a ticket to the game — if you don’t have it you don’t get to play. We’re looking for someone who can hit the ground running.
But we’re not just after a number cruncher.
We’re looking for someone who wants to proactively contribute to improving the lives of our clients and believes we can make a positive difference in this world.
Position 2 — Client Service Coordinator
Great communication skills, knowing your way around a computer, a “can do” attitude and a willingness to learn a variety of duties are the keys to success in this role.
You’ll be working in a support role across all aspects of our business (bookkeeping, financial planning, and finance broking). as well as being involved in business administration and marketing.
One thing we can guarantee is it’s a great place to learn.
These roles could suit someone looking for a tree change / transitioning to retirement, or someone earlier in their career looking for a chance to grow their experience.
We’re happy to consider full-time, part-time or casual roles for the right applicants.
All discussions strictly in confidence.
“What if Christmas, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Dr. Seuss
Here in Australia we have a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this year. After a tough couple of years of pandemic-induced uncertainty, we are opening up with travel back on the cards, we can also catch up with friends and family and we have a path back towards normality. As the festive season approaches, we may also need to consider how this celebration too might change.
It hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Gratitude has been a real focus to the year, and as a result many people are shifting away from the silly season’s materialism and excess to reassess what Christmas means to them.
Our “new normal” festive season can be one that is memorable and joy-filled, whether you celebrate this holiday or just enjoy unwinding at the end of the year
Being thankful for what we have is important; especially so in a year in which bad news may have overpowered the good.
Rather than merely being a buzzword, gratitude has been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. Whether it’s around the table at Christmas or in the lead up to the holidays, tell your loved ones what you’re thankful for, as this can inspire them to also reflect on this. It can also help reframe the year from being one of hardship to also having contained moments of happiness and opportunities.
As many of us have been separated from loved ones due to restrictions, the holidays provide an opportunity to reconnect in person. While for many of those who experienced prolonged lockdowns it’s exciting to plan a family road trip or a big indoor gathering, what truly matters is the time you spend with those you care for.
Perhaps even new traditions can be formed as you create memories together. Rather than focussing on the presents around the tree, maybe celebrate being in the presence of those you care about and make the festive season about wonderful, shared experiences.
Christmas time is synonymous with extending goodwill to all – and this year there are more people who are doing it tough as a result of the pandemic and many businesses who are struggling to get back on their feet.
Give a helping hand to those who have fallen on hard times by volunteering some of your time to a worthy cause (such as a free meal service to those in need) or donating money if you’re able to. These gestures can also reaffirm your understanding of what you have to be thankful for.
Being thoughtful about supporting businesses that have been doing it tough, can also make a big difference.
Something I’d noticed over the past few years is the growing interest amongst our clients about protecting their family wealth. Some of this interest has been generated after I’ve raised the issue with the client, but sometimes it is the client who has raised the issue.
I decided it was an area I need to upgrade my existing knowledge and completed a 3 day intensive training course in July. While I feel my knowledge of the various issues around asset protection and estate planning was above average before the course, three days of training with industry leaders in their respective fields highlighted just how complex and important an area this is (and how much I still could learn).
Over the years I’ve recognised that we can’t do everything ourselves and I’ve always sought to learn from and interact with the leaders of a field I’m interested in.
I am pleased to say I am now a foundation member of the new Succession, Asset Protection & Estate Planning Advisers Association (SAPEPAA). SAPEPAA members comprise lawyers, accountants and financial advisors with a strong interest in helping families grow and protect their wealth.
If you feel family wealth protection and leaving a legacy is important to you, please give us a call in the new year to see how we can help you.
Elf on the Shelf
Something that wasn’t around when we were kids, but anyone now who has young children or grandchildren has probably experienced the mischevious activities of the elf on the shelf.
The elf on the shelf is supposedly a spy sent by Santa to check and report on whether the boys and girls have been naughtly or nice leading up to Christmas. Of course, that’s not a full job leaving plenty of time to get into mischief.
The elf assigned to Stacey’s family hasn’t been named (they just call it Elf), Kristie’s family’s elf is called “Tinsel” and our family has Candy.
I have mixed feelings about Candy—it’s a bit of fun for Kate and the girls, but Candy has been known to hide things and paint my toenails while I sleep.
Stacey Brings you Another Fun Fact!
Santa Claus did not always dress up in red clothes and have a jolly personality!
Santa Claus initially wore clothes that were in green, purple, blue and red and was not always portrayed as a jolly man. For many years, this was the common theme for the old man at the North Pole. However, Coca-Cola’s advertising in 1931 played a huge role in influencing the red and white colours and the warm, rosy cheeked, jolly man we know today.