The gold in our failings

Failure is NOT the opposite of success. It is PART of success......

Secretly, humans are conditioned to love a good fail.  While stories of triumph are inspiring, epic fails are generally more relatable, and certainly more entertaining…

However, we generally forget the key reason we should celebrate failure, which is that failure provides us indispensable learning opportunities.  And, if we can shift our perspective to see our stuff ups as valuable progress, failure is lined with gold.

Here are eight ways to help turn fails into future wins:


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Let’s get to the core of the problem



We are firm believers that everyone comes to work to do a great job – initially anyway.  So why do businesses have poor performers?  Likewise, why do team members find it difficult to deal with conflict in the workplace; that difficult client or demanding boss?

To get answers to these questions we need to look beneath the surface.  Go beyond actions and behaviour and look to the drivers of performance: Core Values.

The Identity Iceberg demonstrates the impact our values have on actions and behaviour.  What’s visible above the surface – our Actions and Behaviours – are the tip of the iceberg.  They’re what we see and experience.  They’re driven by what’s beneath the surface.

Immediately beneath the surface are our Habits – good and bad.  Consider how hard it is to change a habit.  These habits are driven by our Beliefs.

For example, we might believe that a certain team member is disengaged in the business because they’re often late, sick or the first to leave the office at night.  As a result of our beliefs, we create habits like overlooking them for new opportunities or ignoring their positive actions to focus on their bad behaviours.  We find it very difficult to change these beliefs.

Read more

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Single Touch Payroll for small employers


If as an employer you are not ready for Single Touch Payroll (STP) don’t panic!   Although 1 July has rolled around, smaller employers (those with less than 19 employees) have three months from this date (until 1 October 2019) to be STP-compliant. Furthermore, no penalties will be imposed during the initial 12 months of STP, therefore there is no need to be worried.

While for many employers, their STP solution will be to adopt STP-compliant software or outsource their payroll to their registered Accountant or Bookkeeper, many very small employers may be eligible for the micro-employer concessions including:

  • Reporting quarterly through their registered accountant or bookkeeper for two-years until 30 June 2021 (instead of reporting each time you pay your employees).
  • Adopting a free or low-cost, simplified STP solution (as opposed to payroll software).

Micro employers are those with less than five employees at the time of application. Virtually all employees are counted (including casuals, those on leave, and employees working overseas), however closely-held payees are excluded – namely, family members of a family business, directors or shareholders of a company, and beneficiaries of a trust.

In the event that a business is currently a micro employer but later no longer qualifies as it puts on extra staff, the ATO adopts a different approach in respect continued eligibility for the above concessions. While eligibility for quarterly reporting will be unaffected by an increase in staff above four, the ATO expects employers to cease using the simplified, low cost STP reporting solutions if they later cease to qualify as a micro employer. This would then generally mean adopting STP-compliant software, or lodging via your registered accountant or bookkeeper.

Single Touch Payroll compliance made simple seminar 

In respect of the low-cost, simplified STP solutions, an updated list of products now available and currently in development is maintained on the ATO website. There are a wide range of products available including free solutions such as apps to install on your phone that allow employers to simply key in employee payroll information (gross amounts per pay, and tax withheld etc.) and send it to the ATO (and thereby maintain your manual payroll systems if you so choose).

Of course, micro employers can opt to disregard these free or low-cost solutions and instead adopt STP-compliant software and, in doing so, enjoy the advantages of computerizing your payroll processes.

Single Touch Payroll compliance made easy

Tax time: Are you in the ATO’s sights?


A consistent theme this tax time is overclaiming and under reporting. With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) getting more and more sophisticated in its data matching approaches, taxpayers can expect greater scrutiny where their claims are more than what is expected.

Here is a checklist of the key issues.

What’s new

For you

Your Superannuation

Your business

Your Trust


If you are concerned about any of the issues raised, please call us – we would be more than happy to help you.

the health of your wealth in 2019 and beyond

Is your business ready for single touch payroll?


In Breaking news this week…….Single Touch Payroll legislation has passed through Parliament, so our Blog today is a must read for employers of less than 20 employees.

Single Touch Payroll (STP) legislation passed through Parliament this week for employers of all size.  This legislation has applied to businesses employing more than 20 employees since 1 July 2018 and now, with legislation passed through parliament this week, from 1 July 2019 all employers will be required to comply with the Single Touch Payroll requirements.  The ATO website says the following in relation to Single Touch Payroll:

Single Touch Payroll (STP) changes the way employers report their employees’ tax and super information to us.

Using payroll or accounting software that offers STP, employers send their employees’ tax and super information to us each time they run their payroll and pay their employees.

The information is sent to us either directly from the software or through a third party, such as a sending service provider. Software providers can tell you more about how they offer STP reporting.

So what does this mean for small business and employers?

If you currently have employees (including companies where the directors are paid by a salary) and you are not using an online or digital payroll service you will need to update the way you pay your employees and run your payroll system.  The introduction of this reporting system has specifically been designed and implemented to increase the data matching capabilities of the ATO in relation to employers meeting their tax and superannuation obligations.  Whilst this may seem like an additional compliance requirement for employers, research conducted by Xero has revealed that once implemented employers using digital reporting estimate they save on average 3.1 hours per week on payroll requirements.

What should all employers do?

  1. Assess your current payroll system
  2. Confirm the current payroll system being used has the capability to meet the STP reporting requirements
  3. If the current payroll system doesn’t meet the STP requirements contact your client manager at Sage Business Group to discuss your payroll and accounting options

The time to act is NOW – as of this week Single Touch Payroll is a legal requirement for ALL employers from 1 July 2019.  A payroll system compliant with the requirements of Single Touch Payroll MUST be implemented ready for the first payment after 1 July 2019 so it’s important to act now to be ready for the new year.

Xero workshops

How SMEs can manage their cash flow during the festive season.



cash flow

If you’re a small business owner, managing cash flow can be one of the many things that keeps you busy day-to-day, and sometimes awake at night.

With Christmas just around the corner, seasonal fluctuations may be about to impact your bottom line, meaning good news for some and bad news for others.

We wanted to share this editorial from smartcompany that focuses on stories of business owners who share your dilemma, along with their tips on managing cash flow and staying afloat as things fluctuate.

To read the full editorial from smartcompany click on the link here

If your business is struggling with cash flow contact Sage Business Group on (03) 9744 7144 to discuss your personal situation with one of our experienced team members.




How Xero helped this brewery keep a transparent culture

ero blog

When Ale Industries started out, it was rare to find a brewery that had a taproom slinging a triple-hopped IPA. Today, these are some of the staples of an ever-evolving industry.

Early on, Morgan foresaw a career for himself in brewing. After getting into homebrewing at the age of 18, he knew that he wanted to own a brewery of his own one day. He knew he would need some commercial experience, and at 21 he was finally able to start looking for work.

To put things in perspective, when Morgan was looking for work there were about eight breweries in the San Francisco Bay Area – so jobs were few and far between. Today, there are more than 200. Morgan eventually secured a volunteer position at a local outfit, and over time worked his way up to the coveted position of Brewmaster.

As Brewmaster, Morgan was charged with decommissioning old equipment and bringing in the new – one day, this gave him an idea. He could take that old equipment and get his own brewery off the ground. After some understandable resistance, the owner came around to the idea and in 2009, Ale Industries’ first beer was brewed.

Morgan says, in the years since, the change the industry has gone through has been huge.

“When we first started, Facebook wasn’t around – everyone was on Myspace,” Morgan remembers. “Social media marketing wasn’t a concept. If you wanted to get your name out there you went to beer festivals, got out and about talking to people, or took out print ads.

“The Internet 2.0 was really in its infancy. Companies had websites, but they were more like landing pages. Spreading the word is completely different today. That’s just one aspect of the business that has changed.”

The other is how we keep track of our financial situation.  Enter Xero Accounting Software.  According to Morgan, using Xero on mobile puts the power of accounting right into the hands of their salespeople or ‘foot soldiers’. They can easily pull up Xero when they’re out visiting customers, place an order or even check on whether they have an outstanding invoice or whether the account is within terms.

This cuts down time chasing up accounts payable and accounts receivable – things that would otherwise get buried, Morgan says. They have also created report templates that enable salespeople to see, in real time, how they’re doing in terms of the goals set for them.

If you would like to learn more about how Xero Accounting Software can help you reach your business goals then register for our FREE Xero Workshops.  Click here to find out more.

What to consider when investing in property

property keysThere are more people wanting to break into the property market than ever.  While this can be a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be if you seek the right advice from professionals who have extensive experience within the property game.  There are so many options out there, everyone seems to have an opinion and many of their suggestions are conflicting.  To start you on the right path you need to consider the following points;

Determine the type of property-

When a decision to invest in real property is made the first question an investor needs to ask is whether to acquire residential, commercial or industrial property. Small and first time investors have always preferred residential property largely because it is what they know. Commercial and industrial property has its advantages; however it is different to residential property. Commercial and industrial properties have different issues to residential property.

Some of the differences between commercial and residential property include:

  • Commercial leases normally have an initial lease term of 3 to 5 years,
  • Residential leases normally have an initial lease term of 6 months,
  • Commercial property normally have a yield that is around 6 to 8%
  • Residential property normally has a yield around 4 to 6%
  • Commercial properties are normally more expensive than residential properties

Determine the structure to hold the property

The decision of what type of structure to use is just as important as the purchase of the property itself.

The key questions that an investor should ask themselves include:

  • Will the property be negatively geared and who should receive this benefit?
  • Will this property be held long term?
  • What are the land tax costs of holding the property?
  • Will the property be transferred to another entity (i.e. SMSF) at a later stage and at what cost?
  • Who or what entity should receive income and capital gains in the future?

Selecting an appropriate structure that provides both tax efficiency and flexibility is often overlooked by many investors and advisors.

Key investment issues when acquiring a residential property investment

The following are some of the key factors to consider when selecting a residential investment property.

  • Is the area in strong demand and experiencing population growth?
  • Do the immediate surrounds offer great employment prospects for both tenants and future owners?
  • Does the area offer adequate infrastructure such as transport, shops and entertainment?
  • Is the area affordable to ensure constant demand?
  • Will the building type and design ensure that there is long term demand from both tenants and owner occupiers?

Don’t delay, talk to our professional team today and secure your financial future. For your FREE 1 hour property investment consultation please contact Lynda on (03) 9744 7144 or email

Regular Reporting – Key to a Successful Business

A study reported by Global Business Camps shows that 88% of business failure was due to reasons within the control of the owners or directors.  Most worrying, is that the number one reason reported is a lack of regular reporting and financial management.  Have you ever wondered why larger businesses post “half yearly results”, “quarterly results” and “monthly results”?  Does it really matter to anyone?  Who uses these “results”?  Many small business owners only get their results to keep the tax man happy – sometimes up to nine months after the end of the financial year.  Effectively, the information being reviewed can be up to twenty one months old.  So what does all this mean and how does this impact on small business?

The underlying reason why successful businesses have regular reporting systems is to assist managers to operate a more efficient business and leaders to make more effective decisions.  Posting regular results allows business owners and managers to review the performance of their business more often and make any necessary adjustments in a timely fashion.  A 2% reduction in the Gross Profit Margin of a retail business can lead to a huge reduction in the cash position and net profit of the business over twelve months.  However if this is detected in a more timely manner (whether it be monthly or quarterly) the business owners and managers can take immediate action to remedy this issue.

The review of businesses over many years shows that each and every business has both good and poor periods.  The better businesses merely detect the poor periods sooner and take quick decisive action.  This means that their poor periods are shorter and their good periods are extended.  There’s no genius in this – there’s just consistency and discipline from the business owners who commit to reviewing business performance regularly.

Many successful business owners only take a cursory view of the financial accounts prepared on a regular basis.  Rather they look at the underlying Critical Drivers that impact business results.  To reach this point the business owners must create and develop a rigorous and trustworthy financial reporting system – allowing them to view summary reports with confidence in the supporting information.

Creating these systems is not difficult and most accounting packages, when used correctly, can provide much of the information business owner’s desire.  The key is to work out what information will assist the owners and managers in operating a successful business.  It is generally worthwhile to contact your accountant or advisor to ensure that the information being provided by your accounting software is reliable and assists you in achieving your business objectives.

If you would like to further discuss your business performance and the reporting procedures currently used to make your business decisions you can contact Tim McCarthy at McMahon Osborne Group via email or phone 03 9744 7144.  Tim currently works with a range of small to medium businesses and their owners and can provide a one hour free needs assessment to identify how you can get more from your business.

10 Tips for Business Owners – Spend your Choice Time Wisely

Whether you’re a single person operation or leading a large corporate entity, the name of the game is constant improvement.  The natural state of both your business and the world in general is to grow so unless you are constantly improving you are going backwards relative to your competition.  Making improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice and within the control of the business leaders and owners.  Business owners and leaders only have a limited amount of “choice time”.  These 10 tips should help you focus on the areas of business offering the biggest return on the choice time you invest in your business.

  1. Know Yourself: Every successful business owner, even Bill Gates, has a clear idea of their abilities and limitations. By truly discovering yourself, you can deliver on your strengths and find support in areas of weakness.
  2. Master Concise Presentations: A powerful business presentation can help improve your small business by leaps and bounds. Learning the essentials of how to deliver a knockout business presentation in a concise way can reap many rewards.
  3. Keep Score Regularly: The number of small and medium businesses that have no or little idea of the daily, weekly, and monthly numbers and financial trends in the organisation is worrying. Dedicate a regular time keeping up to date on cash flow and business trends.  If you lack the financial skills to obtain this information on a regular basis invest in some external or internal support.
  4. Set Goals & Targets: Like keeping score, setting goals and objectives is an essential part of business success.  Without the goals it’s possible that you’re comparing your actual results against the wrong targets.
  5. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Every industry has its own best practices or ways of doing things that are tried and true. Don’t waste money and time reinventing the wheel.  Unless you are producing a new innovation to the industry make use of the resources already out there.
  6. Know the External Market: Sadly for business owners, business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The events and changes in the world impact your business. Create a regular review system that allows you to keep up to date with the events beyond your four walls.
  7. Smart Marketing: It’s easy to waste money on ineffective or expensive marketing campaigns and programs. Learn how to use cost effective high impact marketing to improve your small business.
  8. Sharpen Selling Skills: The sales function can be daunting for many business owners who are experts in their service or product but not necessarily selling that service or product. Whether you’re selling to big companies or managing a sales team keep looking to improve your selling skills.
  9. Motivate Team: Start by having a team rather than staff.  Talented and motivated team members can bring on big improvements in business. Learn what motivates your team and watch them perform at their optimal level.
  10. Sharpen the Saw: Running a small business is hard work – that’s one of the key reasons why everyone doesn’t jump into their own business. Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) recognises that the seventh habit is to sharpen the saw.  That can be in the form of vacations or development outside your core skills.

If you can master each of these 10 tips you’re well on the way to growing your business beyond that of your competition.

If you’d like to learn more about opportunities to improve your business contact the team at McMahon Osborne Group on 03 9744 7144 or via email  For up to date information on McMahon Osborne Group events and workshops to improve your business and financial position you can follow Tim McCarthy on twitter via