Shout out to the girls

 

Meet Helen. Helen is Executive Assistant to our CEO and has recently contributed to an exciting new book published by the Executive Assistant Network.

Introducing Tatiana. She is an Associate Financial Advisor and takes inspiration from being able to compete and succeed within a predominantly male-dominated industry.

Say hello to Siobhan. Siobhan is a Director in our Sydney office, she is a Mother of three children, and she is a Pioneer for working mothers.

Today is International Women’s Day, and this week we have been celebrating and showcasing some of the amazing women we are fortunate to work with at Prosperity. We salute IWD and acknowledge the tremendous contribution of our female team to the growth and success of the firm.

We all know there is a large gender gap in the finance and accounting sector; a recent report showed that in financial institutions women are holding only 19% of senior positions, 14% of board seats, and a shocking 2% of CEO roles.

Prosperity is proud to support a majority female workforce with a combination of flexible working practices, a supportive team-based environment and excellent role models to advance their careers. We are also proud that more than 40% of our Director team are women who have established themselves as leaders in their fields and who have been recognized individually for their contribution and success in their profession.

To hear more about some of the motivated and inspirational women we are fortunate to work with at Prosperity, head over to our Facebook page where we have been sharing their stories all week.

Happy #IWD2018 !

A smarter way to buy a car

If you’re planning on purchasing a new car but don’t have a lot of time or the means to do all the legwork on your own, engaging a car broker or car buying service can be an excellent option. A car buying expert can save you a lot of time and hassle and will help you secure the best possible deal.

What exactly is a car buying service?

A car buying service is a third party engaged by you, the buyer, to assist you with buying a new car. Essentially, it is a car broker’s job to make your job easier when it comes to buying a new or used car.

When purchasing a new car, a significant deal of research is recommended to ensure you’re getting the best price on the car. A car buyer will complete all this legwork for you, including researching and negotiating a price across their database of dealerships. Using their networks, they’ll be able to do this for you much faster, and often more effectively, than you’d be able to on your own.

Car buying is an end-to-end service which includes finding the car to completing the transaction; test drives will be arranged on your behalf if desired, as well as negotiating the best trade-in value on your existing car and arranging competitive finance and insurance if required.

Ultimately, the benefit of engaging a car buying service is the minimalisation of hassle and the maximisation of savings. You are placed on equal footing with professional car sellers by employing a professional car buyer who can negotiate you the best deal.

Introducing Darren Lewis, Prosperity’s car buying specialist

Prosperity is thrilled to be launching the Smart Drive car buying service, and to have Darren Lewis on board as our car buying specialist. Darren has over 25 years’ experience in Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle sales, and is passionate about achieving outstanding value and savings for his customers. His solid background in vehicle sales means he is an expert at working with dealerships and sourcing the best possible price available.

Let us do the legwork for you

Prosperity Smart Drive makes buying a car easy.

  • We do all the legwork – sourcing models, getting quotes, arranging test drives, ordering and contracts, sorting valuations and arranging delivery
  • We will save you money by getting you the best available price on your new car, and the best available trade-in value on your current car
  • Our extensive experience and expertise means we can assist you in choosing a competitive loan for your personal circumstances

Contact Darren to discuss your next new car today.

 

Prosperity Smart Drive Pty Ltd is licensed under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013; License No. MD066789

Prosperity wins Advisory Firm of the Year Award

Prosperity is delighted to advise that the firm has secured the prestigious Hillross Financial Services award for Advisory Firm of the Year. Highly sought after, this award recognises the firm’s overall professionalism, operational excellence, superior client service, advice delivery and implementation.

Allan McKeown, CEO and Founder of Prosperity Advisers Group said, “To win the Advisory Firm of the Year is wonderful recognition for the tremendous effort our team has demonstrated showing ongoing excellence in providing personal financial advice as well as a clear passion for clients. We are very proud of the collective efforts of our people across our Newcastle, Sydney and Brisbane offices.”

Independent client research through the Beddoes Institute was instrumental in deciding the award winner as was demonstrating a commitment to ongoing excellence in providing personal financial advice, robust and high quality advice processes and a clear and demonstrable passion for clients.

In accepting the award on behalf of the firm, Director Gavin Fernando acknowledged the contribution of the whole Financial Services team and the broader Prosperity group in ensuring wealth management was an integral part in helping the team achieve success for our clients. He said, “Our aim is to create happy and secure futures for clients and in turn create advocates for our firm, our people and the value of advice. We are thrilled to gain this recognition from Hillross.”

At the ceremony the firm was also recognised again as a leading advice practice securing its status as a member of the Elite Strategist Group among Hillross licenced financial advice firms.

Will a new model of primary care deliver better results?

Prosperity Health’s recent involvement in the RACGP’s GP17 conference provided exposure to exciting new insights and ideas in the medical industry. We were fortunate to have hundreds of great discussions with practicing GPs and owners about their practices and financial concerns. We also found some visionary individuals looking to make a significant difference to health care in Australia.

One such person was Kevin Cheng, an Australian-trained GP who has worked as a doctor in Australia, Hong Kong, London and Africa in clinical and non-clinical roles. Kevin is in the process of establishing a new model of primary healthcare. His vision for Australia was very interesting, so I decided to interview Kevin and share his comments with you.

Background to the vision

Kevin heads a group called OSANA (www.osana.care). With the substantial financial backing of a group of like-minded private philanthropists, OSANA is building a new model of primary healthcare aimed at improving outcomes for patients and directly reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.

What sparked this vision is the current unsustainable trajectory of healthcare expenditure in this country. On current trends, Treasury forecasts show that 100% of State Government expenditure will be needed to fund health within 30 years, with private health insurance unable to survive its current downward spiral. With 22% of our population aged 65 or more by 2046 and the costs of managing chronic disease doubling to quadrupling (depending on disease type), the future funding of healthcare looks dire.

Our current primary health model is significantly under-funded, with GP services receiving only 7% of total national health expenditure. The activity-based model employed by most practices rewards high volumes of short appointments, which make it hard for GPs to devote the time necessary to make a substantial impact on hospital admission rates. Experience shows that around a third of hospital admissions would be avoidable with better early intervention.

The OSANA approach

The healthcare model which OSANA is rolling out over the next two years draws from successful experiences of similar approaches in countries such as Spain, Alaska and the US,  where enhanced primary care models have reduced unnecessary hospital admissions by 30% and greatly improved patient outcomes. Kevin explained that OSANA’s model of care revolves around four key components:

  1. Multi-disciplinary team to deliver superior patient outcomes – Each GP in an OSANA centre will head a co-located, multi-disciplinary team whose objective and performance measure is the delivery of superior patient outcomes. Each team will include nurses, allied health professionals, a care co-ordinator and a health coach, all of whom look after a defined group of approximately 700 patients (well down on the standard 2,000+ managed by most GPs).
  1. Patient involved healthcare – Activating patient involvement in their own healthcare through a new membership based, customer experience model. Every patient will be allocated a health coach and a clinical coordinator, be provided access to education classes and community activities and will be able to access their health team via phone, email and video consults. Improved patient engagement will help address adherence to care and medication plans and reduce adverse health events.
  1. Proactive care – A shift away from reactive to proactive care. Patients will receive an extended initial assessment, will be risk-segmented and then their care will be co-ordinated with regular consults (face to face or virtual) focussed on keeping them as well as possible. Health coaches will monitor adherence to plans and the team will collect data each week to inform and adjust these plans.
  1. Funding – Whilst the initial funding to prove the efficacy of this model is coming from the private sector, the longer-term goal of OSANA is to obtain value-based funding from State Governments and private insurers, supported by demonstrated improvements in reduced use of the hospital system by OSANA patients.

OSANA’s model of care speaks to the heart of many of the issues our GP clients share with us, driven by a frustration that the current care model doesn’t allow them to deliver the kind of care they are passionate about. Clearly this new approach won’t suit everyone and indeed OSANA is only looking initially for 20 GPs to staff their four trial practices. It will be 2-3 years before the model can deliver enough data to prove their fundamental objective of reducing hospital attendances.

How does remuneration for GPs work under this model?

OSANA’s approach will be to pay their GP team salaries commensurate with what they could earn elsewhere, supported by a bonus program for patient outcomes. This would obviously have flow on effects to the tax treatment of those practitioners but this would be balanced by possible improvements in job satisfaction, greater skills development and team leadership.

Only time will tell

Reflecting on this model, as a time-poor patient I would find such a coordinated approach to my own healthcare very attractive, particularly if there was someone following me up on agreed plans and with whom I could have more convenient virtual consults. It appears to offer a different pathway to the Health Care Homes model currently under initial trial in Australia. Ultimately of course the model will only be sustainable if OSANA can demonstrate value to Government and insurers, all of whom have been approached and who are watching with interest.

Two Prosperity Advisers listed among Australia’s Top 50 Financial Advisers in The Australian’s Deal Magazine

Prosperity Directors John Manuel and Gary Dean have both been listed among Australia’s top 50 financial advisers in the inaugural list of Australia’s top advisers by The Deal, the monthly business magazine in The Australian in conjunction with Barron’s, a US based financial publication.

John Manuel a Director and partner of Prosperity Advisers was ranked in 13th position, while Gary Dean Director and partner based in the Sydney office of Prosperity Advisers came in at 40th position. In speaking about the recognition, John Manuel says, “Our clients are dynamic. They are attracted to us due to our willingness to understand their financial needs intimately and to deliver tailored, strategic and ongoing advice.”

Gavin Fernando, Director Financial Services at Prosperity Advisers says, “This list celebrates the leaders in the financial advice sector and we are very proud to have two of our advisers listed among a pool of very high calibre personal financial experts. Both John and Gary are the best of the best and this recognition builds on the feedback we regularly receive from their clients about the positive experience of working with each of them.”

The purpose in undertaking to rank Australia’s top financial advisers is twofold, to provide the market with a selection of quality advisers and to establish a benchmark for a high stand of client care that all advisers can emulate.

About undertaking the survey, the organisers of the list, Barron’s says, “It is to cast a positive spotlight on the advisory business in Australia broadly, by highlighting a group of leading advisers as examples of the tremendous skill, passion, and acumen represented within the industry. Our goal will be to recognise excellence in wealth advisory and educate the investing public on the value of a talented adviser.”

The survey comprised 73 questions covering everything from the financial performance of the advisers’ practices to their credentials, education and charitable philanthropic work.

“At Prosperity we firmly believe that reaching your financial goals may not always mean making more money, but rather making smart decisions with what you have”, says Fernando.

The partners and staff at Prosperity congratulate John and Gary for achieving this remarkable recognition!

Find out more about the Barron’s survey and Australia’s Top 50 Advisers listing here.

Gavin Fernando is an Authorised Representative of Prosperity Wealth Advisers Pty Ltd (ABN 32 141 396 376) is part of the Prosperity Advisers Group and an Authorised representative of Hillross Financial Services Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee 232705. This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Readers need to consider their own financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.

Prosperity creates opportunities for professionals to thrive

Prosperity is delighted to be a finalist in this year’s Australian Accounting Awards across two categories.

It follows recent awards for excellence among our team – Hillross Adviser of the Year for Gary Dean and 2016 Rising Star of the Year for Alex Hardy. Siobhan Sellick has been announced as finalist for Partner of the Year while Prosperity’s Professional Development Program is also shortlisted for recognition at this year’s Australian Accounting Awards.

Staff feedback surveys tell us that what sets Prosperity Advisers Group apart from other firms is our collaboration, professionalism, learning culture and team ethos – especially the lengths that we go to make a difference for our clients and to support each other.

This recognition builds on firm and individual successes awarded in 2016. We have been recognised again for the contribution our people make in helping to create stronger financial futures for our clients.

In becoming a finalist for Partner of the Year, Siobhan Sellick consolidates her 20 years of business advisory, accounting and tax experience working closely with individual, family and business clients.

Siobhan says: “I like to spend time with my clients getting to know them well. I meet with a client’s team, partners, children and people who influence or rely upon them. Prosperity gives me the freedom to work with other teams and the time to get close to clients and their families. I am not restrained in my approach so that I can provide holistic solutions and not just piece meal advice.

Mentoring my team to go beyond traditional compliance accounting has reaped rewards for individuals who have stretched themselves and discovered new skills and knowledge. It’s a very satisfying part of being a Partner.”

The Professional Development Program award recognises achievement for innovation in program development, implementation and outcomes achieved. Prosperity’s Learning Organisation approach underpins how we engage with each other and how we work with clients. For us to be recognised as the Firm of the Future we are embracing technology, changing how and when we advise and engage with clients and reshaping how we build enduring client relationships.

HR Director, Tanya Craft said “Personal and career development is an important consideration when people join Prosperity and our program aims to address the balance between technical, personal and professional growth.”

Category winners will be announced on 26 May at a gala dinner in Sydney.

Senior appointments cap Prosperity’s Bumper New Year

Award winning financial advisory firm, Prosperity Advisers, welcomes new talent in Brisbane & Sydney.

Senior leadership additions in both Brisbane and Sydney heralds continued growth for the firm and new opportunities for Prosperity’s clients. Joining the firm’s director team is Michael Mahabeer, specialist internal auditor and risk adviser and Michael Bode, business and personal taxation specialist.

Speaking about the additions to Prosperity’s talent line up, Chief Executive and Founder Allan McKeown says “The calibre of our directors is testament to the quality of work we undertake for our varied clients. Without quality clients and exciting and challenging work we would not be able to get the attention of candidates like our two newest directors. I’m excited to see the impact that our new starters will have on our clients and team.”

Michael Mahabeer boasts an impressive track record in senior leadership positions across internal audit and risk management. He led the transformation of the internal audit function at a large government owned corporation in Queensland and has held previous senior roles with Suncorp and PwC. Michael is an internal audit expert with specific knowledge and technical competency of the public and finance sectors. 

Michael Bode specialises in providing advice on Australia’s complex tax system for corporates, businesses and individuals. Having previously been director for many years in the tax consulting division of a global accounting firm, Michael has considerable experience advising on all aspects of taxation for international inbound corporate entities and high wealth private client groups, including mid-cap and family owned businesses. Michael is known for his straight-forward approach and skill at translating complex matters into every-day language.

These appointments capped an outstanding year for Prosperity. The firm picked up three industry awards; moved into fresh new workplaces in Sydney and Brisbane; and launched our Future Thinkers Program and Business Advisory Academy to ensure our people are ‘future fit’ for a fast changing professional environment.

Prosperity Wealth’s Gary Dean recognised as ‘Most Trusted Adviser’, securing Adviser of the Year Award from Hillross Financial Services

Gary Dean - blog

“To me this is the most important aspect of a financial adviser – someone who can take all the stress of managing the money on my behalf and at the same time be able to convey to me the knowledge and confidence to rest easy about the decisions I make.” Client, 2016

Prosperity Wealth Advisers is delighted to confirm that Gary Dean, Associate Director, has secured the prestigious Hillross Financial Services award for Adviser of the Year. Highly sought after, this award recognises not only the expertise which Gary brings to his dealings with clients and the industry, but the depth and meaning with which his clients view their relationship with Gary.

Allan McKeown, CEO and Founder of Prosperity Advisers Group says, “In helping our clients to create stronger financial futures, Gary has secured a position with his clients which is based on trust, mutual respect, genuine care, and of course, excellence. We are very proud to have Gary Dean as part of the Prosperity Wealth family and are delighted that his hard work, knowledge, abilities and passion for his clients has been publicly recognised.”

Independent client research through the Beddoes Institute was instrumental in deciding the award winner as was demonstrating a commitment to ongoing excellence in providing personal financial advice, robust and high quality advice processes and a clear and demonstrable passion for clients.

At the ceremony Prosperity Wealth Advisers was also recognised for a further year as a leading advice practice securing its status as member of the Elite Strategist Group among Hillross licensed financial advice firms.

Speaking about the award Gary Dean says, “To me it’s simple, I get to know my clients as individuals. Providing financial advice is personal and that’s the approach I take. Working with my clients gives me incredible satisfaction, I highly value my interaction with them and the trust they place in me and Prosperity. I am very grateful and humbled that my clients provided such great feedback which contributed to winning this award.”

For more information, please contact: Anne Adams (02) 8262 8718

SMEs: Who are the winners this year?

(First published in Business First Magazine – December 16)

Christmas is almost upon us and business owners will be shifting their focus to planning for 2017.  Let’s take a look at the highlights for 2016 and how they lead into key themes for 2017.

The budget of uncertainty

The Turnbull government’s May 2016 budget was widely flagged as a step in the right direction for small business. However, the proceeding lag time in policy implementation and uncertainty around superannuation policy has seen many SMEs simply “tune out” to how these changes affect them or their business.

Business owners should keep these in mind:

  • Reduction to the small business company tax rate down to 27.5% from 1 July 2016 – applicable to business with up to $10M turnover.
  • Other tax benefits opened to many businesses within the $2 and $10 million turnover band including simplified depreciation and trading stock rules
  • Tax offset of up to $1,000 for individuals carrying on business via a trust, partnership or sole trading.
  • No change to eligibility threshold for small business CGT concessions.
  • Small business restructure tax concessions made available to family groups

The bad news for SMEs was to be at the personal retirement level with super flagged for retrospective policy, restricted thresholds and months of uncertainty in policy.  While a backflip on the $500,000 retrospective lifetime non-concessional cap was announced in September the main superannuation policy announcements from the budget look set to become law from 1 July 2017, these include:

  • $1.6 million transfer balance for super pensions
  • Removal of the transition to retirement pension tax exemption
  • Reduction in the concessional cap to $25,000 annually and non-concessional to $100,000 annually
  • Lowering of the threshold for the additional 15% super contribution tax from $300,000 to $250,000

Business highlights as of November

The key 2016 highlights we hear from business owners on a day to day basis come from outside the tax sphere.

Low Interest Funding

Access to low interest business goodwill and asset funding has clearly been a key winner for business in 2016 –especially businesses that were able to capitalise on the low rates. We have seen many cases where the major banks have shown high degrees of flexibility on rates in order to retain and win new business – while this was not always on the first approach, it pays to be persistent.

New tools to monitor your business

We have also seen a shift in openness to technologies and new streamlined processes.  Business owners now have access to apps and software that are affordable, giving them a comprehensive and real time view of their trading results and cash flow position.  Business owners who previously preferred traditional methods are beginning to realise that they must adapt or be left behind.

Innovation

Business operating in the innovation field fared well during 2016 with a range of policies and grants delivered to foster innovation.  The commercialisation of innovative products and services continues to be an area of growth with ongoing rounds of funding and tax incentives.  One of the most generous of the concessions is the Early Stage Innovation Company (ESIC) tax concession which provides investors with a rebate of 20% on their investment and the ability to disregard capital gains for assets sold within 10 year.

On the radar for 2017

The 2017 landscape for SMEs will continue to present challenges.  SMEs will need to be focused and savvy when it comes to steering their business in a winning direction.

Business Planning is Key

The top concern keeping business owners awake at night in 2016 was business planning (or lack thereof).  With research showing that 72% of business owners don’t have a business plan. Too many owners are concentrating on day to day operations and either don’t have the time, skills or support to focus on long term planning and growth.

Given the tools available to SMEs, 2017 will see in app based resources, there is no longer any excuse to shy away from strategic business planning and ongoing monitoring.  Benchmarking, industry averages and real time comparative data is readily available and should be put to work. 

People & processes – get these right and ease your stress

As engage with remote employees or “gig” workers, processes will need to be dynamic and streamlined.  Focusing on new ways of working along with smarter processes will be a key theme of 2017 and can also help ease the stress levels for business owners.

Stress and Lifestyle concerns rose from #5 in the 2015 SME research report to #3 in 2016.  The majority hold a belief that their business can’t operate without them. To avoid burnout and missing out on family time business owners should invest focus in this area. Cloud based tools that allow time away from the business without compromising connectivity can also be a useful planning tool for business owners.

Actively managing cash

The record low borrowing rates of 2016 can’t last indefinitely and cash should always be a key focus for business.  Most businesses that fail still do so because of cash flow issues.

In 2017, we recommend using KPIs, benchmarks and cash flow planning apps to make cash management a priority for your business. Once you’ve harnessed your cash flow you can take advantage of business opportunities when they arise.

SME Owners to plan for Financial Freedom

Close-up of a women hand typing laptop keypad from representing the concept of business graph in front of blackboard.

Financial independence, key person risk and being too busy to grow their business are some of the most common stresses facing SME businesses in Australia today.

Formal business planning is squarely in the ‘too hard basket’ for many business leaders (72%) and this is holding them back when it comes to financial independence, growth and financing, and planning for retirement – with many SMEs without a retirement date and no succession plan (90%), or worse, they don’t know what income and assets they need at retirement (88%).

So says a comprehensive face to face study conducted over 12 months with more than 500 SME business leaders.

To access the research report findings and commentary please contact us on 02 4907 7222.

Why aren’t businesses doing strategic planning for growth?  We found 66% of participants in this study are too busy working in their business with no time to work on their business.

Here are some key business planning tips for SMEs, across the key areas of Strategy, People, Processes & Cash, to take the mystery out of planning and to help business leaders to take charge.

1) Everything is relative – Even if you do planning – how do you know it’s going to work?  Benchmarks are fundamental indicators of success and without knowing how your business and activity currently performs against other SMEs, you could be flying blind. Ask your adviser about helping you with benchmarking your business against others.

2) What are you solving for?  You need to determine what your end game is – where are you going and why? What do you need to get there? What’s holding you back? What does your vision look like in terms of what you sell, to whom, when, where and how.

3) Do you have the processes and systems in place to implement a plan? Identify your key processes, highlight what needs to change to grow where and how you want, then develop the processes and enlist your team to troubleshoot and own them.

4) How much money do you need? Revenue for cashflow, profit target, capital for growth. How much is enough and what’s the best sources of finance for your business? What do you need to secure it?  How healthy is your credit history?  All of these factors are important if you are looking to secure outside investors or fund your growth through debt. Your accountant can help you to put sums around your plans.

5) Do you have the right skills and experience in-house to implement a plan? If not, where can you find them?  Do they need to be in-house or can you use a virtual CFO, marketing team or cloud accounting solution? If you need experienced resources for sales or development then what will it take to get them and how much will it cost?

6) Have you thought about what it will take to align your staff so you can get the 1+1=3 effect? Make sure you have champions for each aspect of your plan or it will fail. Hold people accountable through alignment and integrating the plan into every day activity. Do you need a reward system to get the best out of your staff? Something simple may not cost you a lot of money but could create a step change in your business culture.

7) What are your indicators for success?  Every plan needs to have indicators of success and clear timelines. These help form KPIs for your team and will demonstrate outcomes to investors and owners when the time comes.

8) Reassess and refocus. Use real time financial and management reporting to steer incremental change. Cloud Accounting solutions are your go to. Set yourself a timeline for assessing success periodically and refocus where you need to in real time. Cash flow is king regardless of the size of your business. Don’t let your focus on expansion blind you to the need for strong cash flow and money in the bank.

There is always plenty to think about when you run your own business. Sharing the load with a trusted adviser will help you to put perspective on your vision as well as reality around your plans. A Board of Advice is a term used widely when it comes to business advisory and it can be a useful step for you to consider if financial freedom is your goal. Enlisting a structured Board of Advice with those who you trust to give you honest and informed insight could mean the difference between feeling stressed by the treadmill, and seeing your vision blossom.