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  • Building a Positive and Sustainable Workplace Culture

    Building a Positive and Sustainable Workplace Culture

    Come along to our next workshop led by Steve Ford from Ford HR where you will be given insight into strategies to create a sustainable culture that will facilitate growth into your business, regardless of how big or small you are.
  • Tax and Business Advisory

    Tax and Business Advisory

    CNS Partners provides the full suite of tax and business advisory services essential to your business reaching its goals.
  • Self Managed Superannuation Funds

    Self Managed Superannuation Funds

    Knowledgeable advice and quality service are crucial to the protection and growth of your retirement savings.
  • Financial Planning

    Financial Planning

    Our focus is on offering advice, not selling products! We work out your goals, personal preferences and attitude to risk then come up with a plan and help you implement it, working alongside you all along the way.
  • Corporate Compliance

    Corporate Compliance

    Failure to comply with Corporations Law creates the risk of penalties being imposed. CNS Partners can relieve this burden for you.

CNS Partners Blog

Father’s Day – A Time To Reflect

Father's Day was on Sunday, did we get presents? Breakfast? A nice card?  

Cynics amongst us will dismiss days like this as an excuse for retailers to improve their profits.  I like to embrace the family aspect, the opportunity to spend time with loved ones and for the kids to pump up my tyres with stories of how much they appreciate me – who doesn't love a bit of flattery!  My 19 year old cleared his busy social calendar and spent the entire weekend with me, which was pretty special now that my kids are older and busy with their own lives.

It seems a little bit cruel to bring the mood down on joyous occasions, but these moments invite reflection and we need to think about all aspects of family life.  I love Father's Day because it is all about me, but Mother's Day is a bit hollow for me because my own Mother died when I was a teenager.  Her biggest concern towards the end was whether she had done enough to make sure I would be alright.  I think about this a lot in relation to my own children – how will they cope if I am not there to guide them and provide for them?  What can I do to soften the blow?

There is no way to compensate for serious illness, injury or loss of a loved one.  All we can do is to put things in place to lessen the stress and impact on others around us.  Insurance is a topic no-one likes to discuss, but we all need to look at our circumstances and make sure we are doing the best we can for our families.  Understand what is at stake, how you are protected and is it sufficient?  

Finally, if you are in a position to do so, I urge you to consider donating to worthy causes for those less fortunate than yourself.  Think about those who have lost a family member to disease, or whose financial circumstances prevent them celebrating special days.  Any way we can share some goodwill, we should take the opportunity to do so.

If you would like to discuss protecting your family in greater detail, contact me at alan@cnsfinancial.com.au or on (07) 3188 0234.

I hope your Father's Day was as good as mine!

As we enter September and Spring has finally arrived it is a great time of year to tidy up your business.


What do I mean by this? Well I liken this to cleaning out the spare room of the house. For me this is about:

1. Reviewing the expenses the business is incurring. Is there any wastage? What do we really need to be spending? 

2. Do we have any lazy assets that we no longer need? Making repayments or not selling off surplus assets is simply a waste of money!

3. Are you over capacity in terms of staffing? Have you stopped to review how many bodies you need to run a successful business and if the answer is yes then have you got the correct number?

4. If you are selling stock are you operating at the industry average for the profit margin you generate on the sale of these goods? (eg Restaurant industry and wastage)

The above are some examples of areas where money can be saved in a business and as a result profits improved. 

We recommend incorporating the above into a wastage audit/review and budget planning session. The wastage audit forces you to look at all costs you incur and decide whether the spend is critical to the business and if it is are you achieving the best price.

The budget session, like the wastage audit, forces you to look at all of your numbers and review where the money is going in your business. It is a great planning session and can really turn a struggling business around and provide a new focus.

If you would like assistance with reviewing your costs, comparing your business to the rest of the industry or preparing a budget please contact me at scott@cnspartners.com.au or (07) 3188 0232.

CNS Partners specialises in advising dentists in private practice and we have access to the most up-to-date dental practice research and benchmarking information.  The 2016/17 Dental Practice Research Report features detailed insights into:

What makes a successful dental practice;
Key strategic threats facing the industry;
Dentists top business concerns and needs.

There is a special section in the Report that includes real life comments on how practices are growing patient numbers, planning for future growth and succession.

77% of dentists do not believe their practice is operating at peak efficiency.

We understand dentists want to improve their practice financial performance and become more efficient in the face of increased competition. We offer our valued dental practice clients 3 unique benchmarking solutions:

1. Operating Costs Benchmarks - to reduce your key business costs; 
2. Financial Performance Benchmarks - to improve your profit and cash flow;
3. Valuation Benchmarks - to optimise your practice value.

We have the 2016/17 Dental Practice Research Report available on request.

We also utilise a Business Improvement Process that assists with:

setting business and personal goals 
preparing a short business plan, including SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis
creating business budgets that stem from the goals and business plan

If you are interested in discussing how we may be able to assist your business please contact Scott on (07) 3188 0232 or scott@cnspartners.com.au to arrange a complementary meeting.

Plan For Your Future

Where do you want to go? How are you going to get there? Yes, you can invest online. Yes, you can buy insurance online. Yes, you can buy a DIY Will kit online. But in purchasing these, do you actually know what you have bought? If things go wrong or if your circumstances change, is there someone you can contact? Have you thought about the whole picture, or just one part of it?

In an era where everything can be done sitting on your couch we at CNS are hoping to bring you back to the village. With our CNS Financial Solutions division we can help you with:

1. Goal setting and planning
2. Budgets
3. Wealth Creation Strategies
4. Retirement Planning
5. Self-managed Superannuation Funds (SMSF)
6. Insurance (Life insurance, Income Protection Insurance etc)
7. Investment Services
8. Estate Planning

Our process for these services includes:

1. Meet with you- Get to know you and your circumstances
2. Establish goals and objectives specific to your needs 
3. Create a plan to achieve your goals, with steps along the way to achieve them
4. Meet with you again to discuss our proposed strategies and agree on what actions we will implement
5. Implement agreed actions
6. Regularly meet with you to review and modify as needed to continue to meet your situation and goals.

Our mission is to work with you to achieve your financial and personal dreams. We assist you to identify what your goals are, help develop a plan to realise them, and then continue to work with you along the journey to ensure success.

For more information on any of the above services contact Alan King on (07) 3188 0234 or email at alan@cnsfinancial.com.au


As the new financial approaches business owners should be starting to assess what they want to achieve in the year ahead. At CNS Partners we have been working with business owners using the following process:

1. Goals Session 

2. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Workshop

3. Business Plan Workshop

4. Business Budgeting Session


We find that starting with the goal setting session assists in developing the plan of attack. How can you plan if you do not know what it is you want to achieve?

The SWOT Workshop helps with assessing the risks and opportunities within the clients business and their particular industry. It can then be incorporated  into our five page, cut down, business plan. This plan documents the process for achieving the desired goals.

Finally we assist with the preparation of a working budget for the year ahead. The benefit of preparing the budget is that it forces the business owner to really think through the numbers and provides a realistic expectation of how the business should perform. If the bottom line result means that goals cannot be achieved then we can work on strategies to increase profits.

This process really works. We encourage all business owners to start the new financial year with clear goals and a clear plan for how these goals can be achieved. If you would like to know more about our Business Improvement Process please contact me on (07) 3188 0232 or scott@cnspartners.com.au


The End Of The Year Is Here!

Not quite the end of the world, but still a good opportunity to take stock of where everything is at in your financial life.  

For trustees of Self-Managed Super Funds, do you understand what all the changes mean and whether they affect you in any way?

For business owners, have you stopped to consider what the next year will look like, to set goals, put budget in place, aim for specific targets?

In your personal lives, have you planned the next holiday, thought about super contributions for the coming year, worked out what you want to achieve financially?

Accountants probably treat the 1st of July the way the rest of the world views the 1st of January, as far as New Year resolutions are concerned.  However, just like Valentines' Day, while we should not need to have a special day in place to acknowledge something important, it helps to serve as a reminder.  Any day is a good day to review business and personal goals, implement plans and strategies and think ahead to what your ideal life looks like.  Take advantage of the fresh start provided by a new Financial Year to stop and consider these points.

Most importantly, hold yourself accountable (unlike many New Year resolutions!).  At CNS Partners, we work with our clients to identify and establish goals, then work with you to achieve them, review them regularly and support you along the way.  It is almost too late to make plans before the 30th of June, but there is still time if you want to make time.

Feel free to contact us about our unique programs and how we can assist you to work out what you want and how to get there.  We offer a Business Improvement Program for our business clients, combined with Personal Financial Programs, to ensure that every aspect of your financial lives is taken care of.  We enjoy working with our clients and helping them succeed, so we would love to hear from you.

Scott Grady (07) 3188 0232 scott@cnspartners.com.au
Alan King (07) 3188 0234 alan@cnspartners.com.au

Are You Ready For Tax Time?

Below is a copy of our Tax Planning Checklist that we go through with every client. Unsure of the answers? Contact CNS Partners today on (07) 3356 7088 or admin@cnspartners.com.au and we'll make sure you're ready for Tax Time.

Is your Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) ready for the new financial year? 

Last week the Federal Government delivered the 2017 budget.  Most of the country is still trying to come to terms with the changes to superannuation resulting from the 2016 budget!  Thankfully, 2017 was fairly uneventful, but what still needs to be done to your SMSF before 30 June?

- Does the Fund trust deed comply with the new rules?
- Do you understand how the new rules impacts your existing estate planning strategy?
- Do you understand how much you can contribute to super, before and after 30 June?
- Does your pension comply with the new rules?
- Can you take advantage of the one-off Capital Gains Tax relief?
- Is your investment strategy up to date?
- Do you need financial advice before making changes?

Some people will not be affected at all, but the changes that come into effect at 30 June are the most significant in over a decade.  Can you afford not to be ready?  Not only are there significant tax penalties for non-compliance, but there are also implications for future wealth building.

If you have any concerns, you must speak to a qualified adviser to make sure you are clear where you stand and what, if any actions are required.  CNS Partners has a specialist SMSF team that is available to assist.  
Alan King - alan@cnspartners.com.au (07) 3188 0234
Bec Peterson - bec@cnspartners.com.au (07) 3188 0236

In the 2015 financial year the $20,000 instant asset write-off was first introduced.  Now in the 2017 budget the government has proposed to extend this accelerated depreciation for a further 12 months to 30 June 2018. Many small business owners are still confused. Is the government going to give me $20,000 to put towards buying assets for my business? No, they're not. Let me explain.

Accelerated depreciation allows small businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million to immediately deduct each asset that cost less than $20,000 (excluding GST). In simple terms – buy an asset that cost less than $20,000 and you will receive a full tax deduction for the amount spent in the financial year that the cost was incurred. Assets that cost $20,000 or more (which can't be immediately deducted under other provisions) can be deducted over time using a small business pool. Under the pooling mechanism a deduction for 15% is allowed in the first income year with a 30% deduction allowed for each income year thereafter (until asset written down to nil).

The $20,000 immediate deduction is therefore a timing difference in that you can get the full deduction over one year instead of over the assets effective life.

Here are some examples:

Example 1

Oscar runs a small business and buys a new car for his business for $19,000. This is an outright tax deduction in the year of purchase and is deducted off the businesses taxable income. This is a tax saving of $5,225 (assume 27.5% tax rate).

Example 2

Zac runs a small business and buys a new car for his business for $35,000. The $35,000 asset will be depreciated at 15% in the year of purchase ($5,250 deduction) and 30% each year after that until the $35,000 cost is fully depreciated.

You can see from the above that overall both business owners get a full tax deduction for the asset purchased but in example 2 it is over a few years instead of one. The bottom line for me as an adviser is this – if you need new assets to help generate larger profits for your business then buy them and take advantage of the $20,000 accelerated depreciation. If you are purchasing just to save tax you are wasting your money.

If you do need new assets for your business and they cost less than $20,000 then it may be worthwhile purchasing before 30 June 2017 to gain access to the deduction in the current financial year. Assets purchased on or after 1 July 2017 will be deducted in the 2018 financial year. 

If you would like to discuss any tax planning ideas or strategies before 30 June 2017 please contact Scott Grady on (07) 3356 7088 or scott@cnspartners.com.au


On Tuesday 9 May 2017, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, released the Government's 2017-18 Budget. 

This year's Budget won't significantly impact retirees; however, there were plenty of changes announced that could affect you. We have summarised below changes that may affect our small business and self-funded retiree client base.For further information regarding these proposed changes, speak to your CNS Partners adviser.

It's important to note that at this point in time, these proposed measures are not yet law and may be subject to change.

Superannuation

Additional super contributions for downsizers

From 1 July 2018, individuals aged 65 and over will be able to make an after-tax super contribution of up to $300,000 ($600,000 for couples combined) from the proceeds of the sale of their home. This measure will only apply following the sale of a principal home held for a minimum of 10 years.

This new measure will not attract any special Centrelink treatment but it will allow eligible individuals to make contributions above the super caps, without being subject to work or age test requirements.

First home super saver scheme

To reduce pressure on housing affordability the Government will allow voluntary superannuation contributions to be withdrawn for a first home deposit.

-          From 1 July 2017, individuals can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year, up to $30,000 in total, to superannuation for the purposes of this measure. Voluntary contributions can be made before or after tax and are subject to the relevant contribution caps. 

-          From 1 July 2018 those voluntary contributions (along with deemed earnings) can be withdrawn for a first home deposit.

-          Withdrawals will be taxed up to an individual's marginal rate, less a 30% offset. Withdrawals of after-tax contributions will not be taxed.

0.5% increase in Medicare levy

From 1 July 2019, the Medicare levy will increase by 0.5% to 2.5% of taxable income. The increase ensures the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is fully funded.

Increase to Medicare levy low-income thresholds

The 2016-17 financial year Medicare levy low-income threshold will be increased as follows:

Family status

2016-17

2015-16

Single

$21,655

$21,335

Single, eligible for seniors and pensioners tax offset (SAPTO)

$34,244

$33,738

Couple

$36,541

$36,001

Couple, eligible for SAPTO

$47,670

$46,966

Additional threshold for each dependent child

$3,356

$3,306

Reduced residential property deductions

From 1 July 2017, the Government will no longer allow deductions for travel expenses related to inspecting, maintaining or collecting rent for residential rental property. However, investors can continue to deduct those types of expenses incurred by third parties such as real estate agents and property management services.

In addition, from 1 July 2017, depreciation deductions on plant and equipment (for example dishwashers and fans) will be limited to outlays actually incurred on residential properties. For plant and equipment purchased after 9 May 2017, deductions are claimable over the effective life of the asset only by the investor who bought the items.

For investors with existing investments as at Budget night, grandfathering rules will apply, broadly allowing deductions to continue until either the investor no longer owns the asset or the asset reaches the end of its effective life.

Small business

Extending the immediate deductibility threshold for small businesses

The Government will extend the accelerated depreciation rules for small businesses by 12 months to 30 June 2018. This allows small businesses, with aggregate annual turnover of less than $10 million, to immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets up until 30 June 2018, provided the asset costs less than $20,000. Assets valued over $20,000 or more can be depreciated at 15% in the first income year and 30% each income year thereafter.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list but simply some of the key issues that our small business clients may be interested in or affected by.