Senior appointments cap 25th Anniversary Year

With Australia still coming to grips with this week’s terrible tragedy in Sydney and in a world littered with discontent the holiday season is a time to spend with family and

friends and reflect on the abundance of riches around us.

Researcher IBIS World reminds us why Australia should be smiling in 2015 (but not complacent):

  • We have one of the highest standards of living (7th) in the world
  • We are one of the most confident nations (consumer sentiment)
  • We are part of the world’s fastest growing region – the Asia Pacific
  • Our population growth is as fast or better than the world’s
  • Our unemployment is among the OECD’s lowest
  • Our national debt is the lowest in the OECD as a share of GDP
  • We are the lowest taxed nation among the OECD rich countries
  • Our deficits are chronic but low within the OECD, and fixable
  • Our interest rates are low
  • We have low levels of racial tensions or terrorism
  • Things surely won’t be as dysfunctional as the Rudd/Gillard years.

Prosperity Advisers is proud to be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Strong support from our clients and friends along the way has contributed to shaping Prosperity Advisers into a leading professional service business offering expertise through our Sydney, Newcastle and Brisbane offices.

Beginning as an accounting firm in 1989 with a single staff member, Prosperity has diversified to offer holistic advice in wealth management, salary packaging, payroll and employee benefits services alongside the more traditional business and tax advisory, SMSF, accounting and audit services.

From the outset, our firm has displayed a willingness to grow and innovate to set Prosperity apart from competitors.

This strategy continues as we sought new and better ways to be of service to you this year including:

  • Launching our Asian desk joint venture with Fountainguard to bolster our expertise and Mandarin speaking team, to showcase Australian investment opportunities and to further cement our on the ground relationships with this ever burgeoning region.
  • We have built further resources and expertise in our Prosperity Health division as we enhance our position as a specialist adviser to medicos, dentists and the allied health profession.
  • Our efforts have been recognised by our peers. Internationally, winning an Edge Award from our Global network LEA and domestically, being short-listed as one of the three national finalists in the Hillross Practice of the Year Award to be announced next month.

As a further boost to our service capability the firm celebrates four senior appointments.

Steve Gagel, Business Services Director, Brisbane

Siobhan Sellick, Business Services Director, Sydney

Dan Cawthorne, Business Services Associate Director, Newcastle

Lynley Hukins, Head of Employee Benefits, Sydney

Next year we will build on the experience gained and lessons learned over the first 25 years as we continue to create the advisory firm of the future. In the meantime, thank you again for your much appreciated support and we look forward to working with you in 2015.

Allan McKeown and the Prosperity Advisers Team


Our offices will be closed from 5:00pm Tuesday 23rd December 2014 until 8.30am Monday 5th January 2015. For urgent matters during this time, a priority message service is in place.

National Commission of Audit: Clearing the way for another golden age?

Click here to view the full National Commission of Audit Recommendations

The sun has risen on first day after the release of the National Commission of Audit (NCOA) report on the efficiency of the Commonwealth Government. Despite the frenzy of cries of disadvantage reacting to specific recommendations, my bet is that the sun will continue to keep rising. The only people at risk of imminent injury are people who try to lift the entire report in one movement.

I read several kilos of the Report last night while I watched the TV news reports tallying up how much I am going to lose when my share of the ‘kick in the guts’ is delivered. But the overall message of this document is actually positive. Australia is not yet a fiscal basket case and if some things are changed we will avoid the distress some other developed countries find themselves in.

Put specific recommendations aside, there is a lot of good common sense. The Report draws focus on massive inefficiency and duplication of activity across tiers of Government – poor fiscal management where taxpayer’s money on the expense line is being wasted on what a small business operator or a pensioner would call a profligate scale. This report is all about trimming this out of the expense line of the Government’s profit and loss statement.

In return, a massive dividend is on offer. If some of these measures are adopted, the budget bottom line could improve in our time by $60-70 billion per annum.  Please re-read the last sentence. That’s a lot of money – and a very big pot of gold to benefit the country to be reinvested in its future.

There are some gutsy moves.

  • Giving States the power to levy income taxes could put an interesting cat amongst the pigeons and cause mass migration to ‘tax haven’ States.
  • Pension and retirement measures feature heavily. For existing pensioners and retirees there is good news. The most significant changes are designed to take full effect by 2027-28 when the pension age is expected to rise to age 70 and the access age for private super will rise to 62 (then ultimately 65). The Report is raising the ladder to access the Government pension and gaining early access to private superannuation for Gen X and Gen Y. Pain for current and imminent retirees looks limited.
  • The most immediate health care initiative is the $15 medicare co-payment and extension of the existing obligation for high income earners to obtain private health insurance for basic services.
  • The Government’s Paid Parental Leave policy takes a hit with a proposal to limit it to average weekly earnings. However there is a proposal to reinvest the saving in expanded access to childcare to services including nanny style at home care.
  • Family Tax Benefit B would get removed completely and Family Tax Benefit A becomes more tightly means tested.
  • Exporters will be disappointed with the proposed removal of the Export Markets Development Grant and significant reforms to the administration and allocation of grants and research and development which looks to a key target of efficiency reform.

Not all of these measures will succeed.  They may not be designed to succeed in their present form.  Australia has a poor record of adopting recommendations from reports by eminent Australians. The authors who assume the burden of responsibility – whom I have no doubt are passionate enthusiasts for our country – must surely push some measures to the limit in the expectation that a less severe mid-point will ultimately be chosen in the tug-of-war of the political process.  A ‘kick in the guts’ is much more likely to be a dull ache.