Cyber-security Webinar Starts Today!


We’re attending the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science cyber-security training webinar today. This is webinar 1 of a 5 part series.

All businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Being responsive and active cyber security plan is essential for business success.

Linden College recommends that all staff and students take part in these free webinars. We have signed up to watch the first one today!

Webinar 1: Cyber security for small to medium enterprises

Key objectives for this webinar:

  • to introduce cyber security as a must have for businesses
  • outline what a good approach might involve and how SMEs can be prepared
  • introduce key resources.

 

Business: The Start Up


Tips To Starting Your Business

You have this great idea, it’s awesome, and you cannot wait for everyone to know and think it’s awesome too. That’s great! Maybe you’ve been working in your field for a while and are thinking it’s time to branch out on your own. Fantastic! I admire you for striving towards your dream. However, there are a few points to notes before beginning your business owner journey. Many of these may be tough questions, or require some time to answer, but starting a business is a big thing and it’s always best to be prepared. It always requires planning and a lot of attention.

Are you ready?

  • Is this the right time for you to start a new venture?
  • Do you have the time?
  • Why do you want to start a business?
  • Will it be your sole source of income?
  • Take time to think about the future if your business succeeds, but also if it fails, all businesses have ups and downs.
  • Make a pro’s and con’s list, and if necessary, adjust the time frame accordingly.

Assess your idea

  • Do your research! Is there a plausible market – is there a demand?
  • Do a SWOT analysis, what are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats?
  • Does your product meet a niche market?
  • Does it have the ability to evolve with time?
  • Will it keep up with competitors?
  • Will you need employees?
  • Do you have the money or investors?
  • Will you need to work with a partner?
  • Do you need help from other professionals?

Choose your business structure

  • Sole trader, partnership, trust, company?
  • These all have pros and cons and THIS gives you a good idea of what they are.

Making a plan

  • Make a detailed and structured business plan outlining your operational and financial strategies for the start-up, short term and long term.
  • This is important to work out the finer details here, it helps you avoid getting stuck in the mud later. (We’ll cover doing a business plan in a future blog)
  • Use your answers from the first two sections to help you.

Check your legal obligations

Build your support team

  • This could be your family, your business partner, business contacts that you will be working with, friends or potential customers.
  • These people are going to be trustworthy and reliable advisers who can help you at various stages in growing your business.
  • Who will be your business advisers for legal, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, etc

Figure out your finances

  • Your business plan should have addressed some of this, but think about it in even more detail.
  • Do you have a good credit score?
  • Are you good a keeping financial records?
  • Do the financial projections in your plan look positive?
  • Can you analyse financial statements?
  • If finance is not your strong suit, one of your support team members, such as an accountant or bookkeeper, may be able to advise and assist you.

Market your business

  • By now, your business name should be registered and your finances and support team will be in check.
  • Marketing to your potential consumers will be the biggest part of setting up a small business to grow successfully.
  • There are many marketing courses and professionals that can help you, only a quick google search away.

Linden College offers a short small business course to work through these with you, including customer service strategies, how to build customer relations, and grow networks. With this guide and our course, you will be well on your way! Good luck!

 

4 Tips To Improve Your Mid-Year Performance Review


Mid-year performance review – What’s on your career horizon?

We all feel a bit of fear coming up to the mid-year performance review, but one of the best things you can do for yourself and your workplace is be prepared. A performance review should be a productive, genuine two-way conversation that is part of a wider work practice of mentoring and staff development, and associated business development. You should feel a little nervous; but by keeping track of your accomplishments and taking note of where you need to or want to improve, you can bring something worthwhile to the table.

Things to think about:

  • Reflect & report on your achievements: 
    • reflect on and honestly assess what you have produced – keep track of you highs and lows, and moments where you received feedback from others, and other outstanding… or not so moments.
  • Focus on what’s next:
    • Think about what you want to achieve – and what you need to make it happen.
    • Do you need to upskill? Set goals, objectives and targets that are realistic and achievable.
  • Don’t take it personally:
    • Critique from your manager should be expected. Constructive criticism is important for you to know where and when to improve yourself and your work.
    • When confronted with a legitimate critique, take a solution focused approach and identify how you plan to correct it moving forward.
  • If you feel you’re due for a promotion or pay rise:
    • You’ll need to have gone above and beyond what was expected of you in your role.
    • State your case, but be prepared to manage your expectations against the business needs.
    • Develop a list of all accomplishments over the year, and be as detailed as possible in expressing targets met and new skills acquired.
    • Demonstrate your commitment to ongoing learning, leadership, coaching or mentoring and further development.
    • Possibly, consider other benefits you might like to receive instead, as a reward for your great efforts. E.g. external training, flexible working arrangements, parking, health insurance or even a gym membership.

This doesn’t need to take a lot of time, keeping a diary throughout the year can save time and stress. A few dot points or prompts can keep your mid-year performance review smooth and fear-free.
We hope these tips can help you get the best from your review!

Small Business Beginnings to Growth


Start and Grow Your Business; big or small business

Get the structure right: Business Structures

The beginning steps to launching your own business includes understanding business structures and knowing which type of structure will best suited to your future business. There are four main types of business structures;

  • Sole Trader – A sole trader is one of the simplest forms of business. As a sole trader you have complete control over your business, however, you also have unlimited liability, meaning if something goes wrong your personal assets are at risk.
  • Partnership – A partnership structure can be implemented when there are between 2-20 owners of a business. Partnerships are similar to sole trader structures, where the owners of the business are held liable for the debts.
  • Company – Company structures are very popular, in this structure your business is recognised as a separate legal entity. Company structures are more complex however they allow you to have limited liability.
  • Trust – A trust is a different style of organisation where a trustee holds the property and assets for the benefit of others, known a beneficiaries. Although slightly more complicated than a company, a trust can be the most suitable business structure for tax planning and asset protection purposes.

Sole trader and company business structures are most common for small business.

Build the Framework: Compliance and Risk Plan

Once you’ve decided on your business structure, it’s time to create a framework. Implementing a compliance and risk framework allows you to create a structure as well as an understanding of how your business will work.

Implementing a compliance framework will allow you to create guidelines that all business processes must comply by. The risk plan will manage your compliance plan to ensure all aspects of your business are running effectively.

Make it Happen: Financial Planning

It’s imperative that you look at your finances and build a financial plan. Financial plans show a comprehensive evaluation of your current and future financial state. Once you have a financial plan you will know exactly how much money you have to spend on your business and allocate it accordingly.

Get Known: Marketing Plan

This is an exciting phase of the journey, this is where your idea becomes a reality. Developing a marketing plan creates a blueprint for all of your business’s marketing and advertising plans throughout the year. Your marketing plan should include your goals, detailed plans on achieving them, the budget that you are putting towards it and the time frame that you want to reach your goals by.

Putting it all together

The Final Step, a business plan!

A business plan steps through all of the different aspects of your business. Your plan will look at competition, marketing & sales, operations, goals & milestones, your financial plan and projected financial statements. Your plan will be a step by step guide on how your business will work and outline the steps that must be taken to achieve your business goals.

Once you have your business plan ready, it’s time to start your business!

 

Check out our Small Business training course!

Inaugural Maroon Festival


About the State of Origin

Since 1980, the State of Origin has seen Queenslanders unite, and proudly barrack a team formed by our home-grown sons.  A team known as the Maroons. The State of Origin unites people from all backgrounds across the state, not just as rugby league and Maroons team supporters.

Here’s a song that shows how passionate we Queenslanders are about the State of Origin “That’s in Queensland”

What is the Maroon Festival

Leading up to the 2017 Holden State of Origin Series, is the inaugural Maroon Festival.  Proud and passionate, Queenslanders will join ranks at  South Bank to celebrate not just rugby league, but the very best of Queensland.

The inaugural Maroon Festival, is a free event that takes place at South Bank from Sunday May 28 until Wednesday May 31.

We’ll be cheering for Queensland…Go the Maroons.

 

RSPCA Million Paws Walk 2017


We’ll be walking on 21 May 2017 with fellow dog lovers. RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk gathers dog lovers across Australia for its annual charity walk.

RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk raises awareness and funds to:
  • Help animals in need by fundraising for the RSPCA
  • Support the fight against animal cruelty
  • Spend a day out with everyone’s furry best friends

Regular walking routes are transformed into a celebration of man’s best friend so that people like you can champion animal welfare. It’s also a great way to be a healthier you and walk your way to a better world.

The day seems like fun with festivities including market stalls and entertainment.

 

Accounting Career Under the Microscope


If you are considering or starting an accounting career? Then you will need to understand the accounting career pathways. In this article, we explain some accounting career choices by putting Accounting Career Under the Microscope.

What is an accountant

If you think accountants are only boring, bean counters or poor old pencil pushers sitting alone at in a small cubicles, then you’d be mistaken. Accounting is a fairly social profession with many different streams.

OK, perhaps being an accountant isn’t always social. It is a serious job. Then again, no job is completely social. Let’s think about it for a moment. Because, in today’s world we network, use social media and go to meetups, no accountant is going to hide in a cubicle.

So just where do accountants work?

There are so many different streams of accountants. We thought it best to start with where accountants work. With so many streams to choose from, people with accounting careers in accounting practices, business, industry, government, education and IT.

Personal characteristics

If you are considering an accounting career, then you may possess:

  • a need to learn new things
  • embrace technology and innovation
  • outstanding work ethics
  • leadership potential

Which qualification is best for me?

This is a not as straight forward as you might believe. The following table matches the qualification to a job role. You can use this table as a guide to choose your course.

Certificate III Certificate IV Diploma Advanced Diploma
Accounts Clerk

Payroll and Accounts Clerk

 

Accounting Support Officer

Bookkeeper

 

Assistant Accountant

 

Accountant

Tax Agent

 

What is the accounting career outlook?

The job outlook to 2020 appears good for those considering an accounting career. According to myskills.gov.au, the demand for accountants, with a Certificate IV in Accounting is above average. The demand for accountants with a Diploma in Accounting or an Advanced Diploma in Accounting is high.

 

Easter Break


Easter Break is coming up. The College will be closed from 5:00pm Thursday 13 April 2017 through to 9:00am Tuesday 18 April 2017. The team at Linden College wish you a safe and happy Easter vacation. If you are travelling, take care on the roads and drive safe.

You can become an SMSF Accountant!


Being an SMSF Accountant

SMSF stands for Self Managed Superannuation Fund, which is a type of superannuation fund run by the members for themselves.

Being an SMSF Accountant involves more than just counting the money and preparing reports. SMSF accountants learn quite a lot about the SMSF law, SMSF Tax, investments and retirement planning. Being an SMSF accountant involves dealing with a number of other professionals which may include: a financial planner, a registered SMSF auditor, a lawyer, a registered valuer, or actuary. Who the SMSF accountant deals with each year will  depend on the transactions in the fund.

SMSF Accounting services

SMSF Accountants prepare the superannuation fund’s financial statements, typically using specialist accounting software such as BGL or Class.

The financial report must be prepared with knowledge of the Australian Accounting Standard. The standard applicable to superannuation funds is AAS25: Financial Reporting by. Superannuation Plans. Although an SMSF, is not a reporting entity, and only needs to comply with the section relating to asset valuations at market.

The SMSF accountant also prepares relevant minutes, members’ statements and the Annual Tax Return.

Often this is completed once-in-the-year, however with the advent of online SMSF accounting software, it is now easier to be a pro-active accountant and prepare the financials on a more regular basis. This could be daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on the size of the SMSF and the trustees needs. 

Caution

SMSF advisers, including accountants must understand ASIC regulation RG146. Because an SMSF is a financial product, an SMSF accountant is limited to providing only accounting and taxation services. Note: the SMSF Accountant cannot make any recommendations on the investment process, although there are exceptions.

Benefits of becoming an SMSF Accountant

Being an SMSF Accounting is an interesting and rewarding career choice. You get to understand a lot about the various investments and deal with different professionals than you would normally.

 How to become an SMSF Accountant

Linden College offers a specialist stream of FNS40615: Certificate IV in Accounting (SMSF). To find out more, contact the college on 1300 228 338 or email study@lindencollege.edu.au. Click here to find out more about our FNS40615: Certificate IV in Accounting (SMSF)