Frequently Asked Questions
Whilst it is always best to speak to financial experts about your particular circumstances, sometimes you may have an easy question that we can answer quickly for you. We have compiled some common financial questions for you here and some simple answers.
There are several considerations to be taken into account when choosing the structure to best suit your business and there is certainly no one blanket answer. Various legal structures such as companies, trusts or partnerships all have their pros and cons. Some of the things to consider include (but this is definitely not an all-inclusive list) the type of business, turnover, employees, number of owners, family circumstances, risk of liability, amount of debt, other income sources, nature of business assets and many other factors. It is highly recommended that the structure is well thought through and that clients seek advice in this area. What is certain is that the wrong structure can prove very costly to the business and the business owner.
Accounting fees are expensive and are often viewed as a frustrating overhead to business owners. Accountants need to provide more than just a tax outcome and a profit and loss report. Besides adding up the numbers and making sure that you are compliant with all your tax, GST and PAYG obligations, the real value in a good accountant is to help you anticipate issues and plan for the future. This gives the business owner the ability to make proactive decisions regarding their business. Ensure your accountant has the skills and experience to be able to effectively diagnose issues and find opportunities for your business.
Financial advisers are required to detail any advice they provide to clients in a Statement of Advice which must detail any fees or commissions payable to the adviser. At Growth Partners we operate under our own license and our fees are therefore completely independent of any investment product or investment company. It allows for a genuine independent advice service.
An ongoing review service is critical in making sure that your investment strategy is on track. There are so many things that can impact on the best laid out plan. Things like a change of job or income, a new baby, a death or illness in the family, a health problem and a myriad of other factors. Even when all of your personal circumstances remain constant, there are always changes in market conditions, superannuation rules, tax laws and investment products that can also impact on your strategy. By conducting regular reviews, all of these issues can be considered in line with your goals and objectives to make sure that you are staying on track.
The income tax laws are complex and constantly changing. Our Growth Partner ITP Consultants undertake an extensive training course every year to keep up to date with changes so that you can get as much refund as you possibly can. We have seen many cases where clients have tried to ‘save money’ by doing their tax returns themselves with the result in either legitimate claims or errors being investigated. The ATO will not help you get the best outcome for you! A good tax consultant can save you time in trying to complete your own return, increase your refund and make sure you have no problems with any ATO investigations. And the fee is tax deductible!
It is not uncommon that people forget or for some reason don’t manage to get their tax returns in on time. We can lodge prior year returns and help get your lodgements all up to date. The ATO often charge fines and penalties for late lodgement; however your tax advisor can liaise with the ATO on your behalf to either eliminate or minimise any penalties that may apply.
There are almost always fees with establishing a new loan. Not just bank fees but also government charges. When considering the possibility of switching loans or banks the interest rate is one consideration, however the fees and other features of the loan product that is being considered also need to be taken into account. These can be significant in the overall cost of the loan. Solid advice on the long term gains or losses should always be sought before making the decision.
We can understand that view that all banks are the same. And to some extent they are. In highly saturated and competitive markets, such banking, companies are looking for ways to differentiate themselves beyond just the price. They invest lots of time designing what they think is a unique identity. That identity is meant to appeal to customers, bring the bank to their front of mind and essentially positively affect their market share and profitability. Banks are in a commercial environment and often have special deals or ‘sales’ to try to improve their own business and profits. Our advisers are aware of all the banking products and promotions which can you can take advantage of to get the best deal available to you. Interest rates are also often moving up and down and loan products often change. So what was the best deal a few years ago just may not be competitive if shopped around today. Reviewing your loans periodically can result in significant savings in the long term.
Workers compensation insurance will cover you for any accident that happens at work. But what happens if you are involved in an accident at home on the weekend? Once all your leave entitlements are used you have no source of income. Income protection insurance can cover you up to 85% of your income until age 65. This will ensure you can maintain your current lifestyle. There are many factors that will influence the best option like the length of the wait period and the time of payment – these can all be tailored to suit both your budget and your individual circumstances.
The real consideration here is who would look after your children in the event of your partner’s death. Would you be able to continue in your job with the same commitment level without your partner’s home support? Often a life policy is beneficial as it may enable you to either reduce your hours or get a less stressful or more time flexible job.