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How to paint a picture of success

How to paint a picture of success

Huge congratulations to our clients  Noel & Edith Usher and children, Sharlene,  Andrew and Darcy. The family first became clients on 9 November 1980. Their business has won the Inspirations Paint Franchise Group,  State and National Franchise of the Year Award. These Awards have only been  presented 3 times and the Usher Family have won all three. 

Many Barcaldine residents will have fond memories of Noel's father and mother , Eric and Dawn Usher. Eric was a trade painter who worked in our district for many years. Some may remember the Paint and Curtain shop next to the Shakespeare hotel building, which was Edith's Pet Project. 

When Noel & Edith left Barcaldine to live in Nerang, they struggled to buy a small paint shop.  In the early years it was Edith who managed the store full-time. Then she was joined by Andrew when he left school, and then Sharlene their daughter.  Noel and Darcy ran another small successful painting business (Darcy completing his Painting & Decorating Apprenticeship). They later sold this business and were then fully engaged in the paint shop business. A second shop  north of Nerang at Coomera was opened in 2005. 

Since then, Andrew & Darcy have been responsible for the successful running and management of both businesses, now employing 20 people. While understanding paint has been critical to their success, they have also had to develop boardroom skills as their empire grew from a simple partnership to a complex system of companies and trusts, each designed to address new issues at every stage in their growth. 

They claim some of the secrets  of success can be partly  attributed to;  their intimate knowledge of paint acquired over 3 generations;  never forgetting  good  customer service,  and working hard. I would like to add the comment that they have maintained high ethical standards at all times.   Their success story demonstrates once again that the boys  (Andrew & Darcy both born in Barcaldine) and girls from the bush can compete on the national scene.

 Click here to read a great article where they share their family history in the painting industry, their strategic and targeted marketing focus and their future plans.   

Never work with animals or small children…….

Anyone involved in junior sports knows that it can be sometimes frustrating, occasionally frightening, but most of the time lots of fun.  A few of us were recently sharing stories on the sidelines of some of the funny things that the kids will say to us, and thought it was worth sharing.  To protect the innocent, names of children and adults have been withheld.  One advantage of dealing with kids is you can get instant and very direct feedback.  Maybe there are some lessons in communication here…

  • At junior cricket, while doing a bowling demonstration to a group of 7-8 year olds, on how to hold the ball with correct seam position etc.  At the end of the demonstration the kids were asked if there were any questions.  Everyone just looked around blankly, and then one said "excuse me,….. can you live without a soul?"….

  • At junior tennis, we were discussing with the kids the importance of being safe and responsible, finishing with letting them know we want them all to have fun but we don't want anyone getting hurt.  One voice piped up from the back "yeah, too much paperwork".

  • At the mini-trains, a 3 year old announced to the other kids there "my dad drives the train, and when my Mum grows up to be an adult, she can drive it too"

  • At junior tennis, in the middle of giving a demonstration to a group of 3-5 year olds, one of the kids knelt down and started stroking the coach's shin. "Wow, look at your legs.  You have the hairiest legs I've ever seen".

  • At tennis, the session sometimes finishes the session with a hardest hit contest.  One of the boys was trying to swing so hard he was throwing himself off his feet and missing everything.  I told him he was trying to swing too hard. He stopped and said very deliberately "do you realise this is a hardest hit contest.  How is it possible to swing too hard in a HARDEST HIT CONTEST?"

  • During a junior tennis tournament, the match was level at 3-3 and deuce in a first to four match.  The coach told the players this was now the most important point of the match.  The server thought for a moment and replied "We are having problems with Falcons at home"

  • When travelling away to do coaching remotely, I thought I would break the ice with the kids by asking whether anything interesting happened since I last saw them.  Without hesitation, one girl said quite cheerily, "I have, my finger fell off" (it was true – she had an infection and lost her finger).

  • Unperturbed, coach tried the same question again next visit – "did anything interesting happen since my last visit?"  This time a boy piped up from the back "excuse me, yes, my father doesn't live with my mother any more"

......Ok, probably won't ask that question again…



"Honey, lets go visit the rental property....quickly"

Are you a rental property investor who  previously claimed expenses for your rental property?  Well there are changes afoot following recent 2017/18 budget announcements.

Deductions for travel-

Deductions for travelling to a residential rental property will no longer be allowable for investors after 1 July 2017. This change relates to individuals travelling to collect rent, maintain the property or complete an inspection, leaving investors only a short period before 30 June to claim a final deduction. An example of the types of deductions previously able to be claimed are: plane fares, hotel fees, motor vehicle expenses.

Investors will still be able to engage third parties such as real estate agents for property management services. This expense will remain deductible.

Deductions for depreciation of plant and equipment-

The recent Federal Budget has removed the ability to claim a tax deduction for depreciation on the fixtures purchased with a residential rental property. The new restriction applies for properties settled after 9 May 2017.  Plant and equipment depreciation deductions will be limited from 1 July 2017 to amounts actually outlaid by a rental property investor. This limitation relates only to residential property investors.

In the past, an investor acquiring a residential rental property could obtain a quantity surveyor's report in order to claim depreciation on fixtures acquired with the property. After the Budget announcement of 9 May 2017, this will not be allowed as a tax deduction. This is due to concerns from the government that plant and equipment items are being depreciated by successive investors in excess of their actual value.

If you purchased the property before this date, you have one last opportunity to obtain a quantity surveyor's report to accelerate your allowable deductions. Obtaining a quantity surveyor's report will still allow you to claim a deduction for the cost of construction of the property. There is no change to this deduction, which allows the construction costs to be written off over the first 40 years of the property.

At this stage information on the changes is limited to the budget announcements and further detail will be provided once the legislation has been passed. If you would like further information in relation to what you can and cannot claim relating to your rental property, please do not hesitate to contact Walsh Accounting.



You are sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago….

Sometimes people ask us: "Do you work for the tax office or your clients?" 

And the answer is: "We work for our clients of course"

Walsh Accounting's driving purpose is to help our clients meet their business and family's goals – help build a strong  foundation for yourself and your families future.  Meeting your tax and compliance obligations is just one small part of that journey.  

'A goal without a plan is just a wish'

'Failing to plan is planning to fail'

'Forearmed is forewarned'

We have all heard these proverbs – but it does not take away that we know them to be true.  So why is it that we do not heed  their message?

Tax is not the bad guy, tax it is not the enemy – Tax  is a part of doing business like any other essential expense such as electricity or water.

Of course we want to manage and minimise these costs as much as possible – just as we plan and put in place measures to reduce our water and electricity usage, so too can we put in place measures to reduce our tax. 

Tax planning is a great way to identify and empower yourself that you have put your business and family in the best possible position come the end of the financial year.  Leaving your tax management to the last minute, come your lodgement deadline, leaves you with very few options which you may find uncomfortable and unpalatable. 

Be proactive - Plant the seed so your family can enjoy the shade in the future  – make an appointment with Walsh Accounting  to explore your tax planning options before the 30 June 2017.

Ahead in the Cloud

Small businesses and community groups are formed because of their passion for what they do -- not to spend time managing paperwork. Taking the leap from traditional accounting practices to cloud-based accounting solutions enables you to reduce time spent managing information and improve overall operational efficiency. 

What is Cloud Accounting? Data is sent into "the cloud," (which is a remote computer) where it is processed and returned to the user. All application functions are performed off-site, not on the user's desktop. In cloud computing, users access software applications remotely through the Internet or other networks via a cloud application service provider. Using cloud accounting software frees you from having to install and maintain software on individual desktop computers.

Cloud Accounting is a wise choice and is becoming increasingly popular. Here are just some of the many benefits of Cloud Accounting:

Accessibility - information stored in the cloud can be added or accessed from anywhere; you and your team can quickly and easily complete their work no matter where they are.  Accounting data can be accessed on any device with an internet connection, rather than on a few select on-premises computers.  You can send an invoice when out of the office or check a payment on the run. 

Accuracy - financial information is updated automatically and facilitates financial reporting in real-time. Data can feed direct from your bank which mean account balances are always accurate and fewer errors occur than with manual data entry.  

Collaboration – other team members, your bookkeeper and/or accountant/auditor can, with your approval, access your file to enter transactions, fix mistakes, access information etc.  For community clubs this means transitioning from one treasurer to the next is far easier. 

Security - cloud accounting requires far less maintenance than its traditional counterpart. The cloud provider does the backups and installs updates. You do not ever have to download or install programs yourself. Cloud providers usually have far more security and higher quality backups. If you are still concerned about backups you can keep your own additional backup or arrange for a third party to keep an external backup just in case. Never again will you fear losing access to your files if your computer dies or your club treasurer moves away. 

Integration - as soon as a small business starts using one cloud-based accounting technology, it is easier to extract and leverage data across a number of different platforms and thus reduce time spent on manual data entry.

Efficiency – save time and save money - reduce set up costs and time consuming migration, backup and updating problems. Subscription-based models are popular among cloud accounting providers, and in most cases these subscriptions are usage-based – pay only for what you use.

Find out more…


Succession Planning Grants Now Available for Primary Producers

Succession planning is not a matter that business owners typically give a lot of thought to, but for all businesses, it is important.  This is especially so for primary producers because the major business asset is often a family legacy therefore succession planning is not purely a business decision – it has personal and family considerations attached.

The Queensland Government currently has grants available to assist clients to obtain succession planning advice from a professional service, on a dollar for dollar basis.  Succession planning is not limited to the retirement or death of one party but may involve restructuring of the business to include new owners/partners or the proposed exit of existing owners.

Walsh Accounting can provide professional advice regarding this succession planning. If you are interested and believe you are eligible for the grant, we would be happy to discuss.

As always, there are conditions attached to the grant.

For details refer to QRAA 



Super Ready for Super Reforms


Are you aware of Superannuation changes 1 July 2017

The Government superannuation changes have been subject to ongoing negotiation for over a year – often quoted as the most significant reforms to superannuation in a decade.  The reforms have now been passed which means many changes to the super system will take place from 1 July 2017.  Most commonly talked about are:

  • The annual non-concessional contributions cap will reduce from the current level of $180,000 to $100,000 (and will then increase in line with the indexation of the concessional contributions cap). 

o   However, anyone fortunate enough to be able to make a significant contribution before 30 June 2017, can still contribute up to $540,000 under the 3 year bring-forward rules, provided they meet the existing conditions.

  • The new annual concessional contributions cap will be limited to $25,000 for all individuals regardless of age.

o   It is not all bad news though, as from 1 July 2019 you may increase your concessional contribution cap by carrying forward your unused concessional caps amounts if you have a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000.

  • All individuals under the age of 75 will be permitted to claim tax deductions for personal super contributions (voluntary concessional contributions), not just those predominantly self-employed as per the current law. 

o   If you currently salary sacrifice super under an arrangement with an employer, you can continue this option.  For those employees who have not been able to take advantage of this option, this opens up new opportunities.

  • Low Income Super Contribution concept to continue but under the renamed Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset

o   This is welcome news for low income earners trying to add to their super.  Individuals with an adjusted taxable income of $37,000 (or less) will continue to be entitled to a refund of contributions tax paid on concessional contributions, up to a limit of $500.

  • Increase In income threshold for spouse superannuation tax offset from $10,800 to $37,000, and phase out at $40,000.

o   Again, this is welcome news for low income earners trying to add to their super, by giving greater access to tax concessions when making contributions to your spouse superannuation account.

  • Removal of tax exemption on earnings derived from transition to retirement pension (TRIP) assets from 1 July.

o   While this will make TRIPs far less attractive in future, current TRIP holders may still obtain a reduced benefit due to the tax offset on pension payments.  This will depend on individual circumstances so it will be necessary to seek specific advice.


There are many other changes, and a lot of technical questions around the above.  If you need to make super decisions before 30 June or want more information on the changes, we can advise you.

Link to ATO website   

Let Them Prove It

I sometimes hear pub talk to the effect "Let them prove it". If a taxpayer takes this attitude with tax law, he or she might have a problem.

The principle "innocent until proven guilty" does not always apply when it comes to tax law.  In some cases the law is "guilty until proven innocent". This was reinforced, not for the first time, in the case of Zappia v Commissioner of Taxation in a judgment issued in the Federal Court of Australia on 19 April 2017. $2 million was deposited into the account of the taxpayer on 30 June 2010. She did not include this amount as income for the 2010 year. The Commissioner issued a default assessment to the effect that the $2 million was income. The Judge found in favour of the Commissioner. Part of the judgment contained the following words (bold emphases added by me).

"The issue is not whether the Commissioner made an error nor, perhaps a little surprisingly, even whether the $2 million is assessable income. Rather, it is whether Mrs Zappia has proven that the $2 million is not assessable income. It is implicit in that statement, which is about who bears the burden of proof, that the Commissioner is under no obligation to prove that the $2 million was income. The onus lies, rather, on Mrs Zappia to prove that it was not.

The judgment is long but interesting if you enjoy a bit of forensic detective analysis. Here is the link [2017] FCA 390

There is an important lesson here.  if you have a dispute with the ATO, try to negotiate and settle before default assessments are issued because your task is going to be so much more difficult once that happens. Hoping the issue goes away rarely leads to the most favourable result. 


Then and Now

On the day that I started work (3 February 1959) I wonder how I would have reacted to a man from the future explaining to me how things would work in 2017.

In 1959 an office worker's main tools of trade were paper, pen, ink and mental arithmetic. If a customer bought ten items at 3 pounds 17 shillings and 11 pence each the shopkeeper would get out his trusty pen and paper and mutter to himself as he scribbled "10 times 11 equals 110. 12 goes into 110 nine times with 2 left over. Put down the 2 and carry over the 9. 10 times 17 equals 170 plus the 9 carried over equals 179. 20 goes into 179 8 times with 19 left over. Put down the 19 and carry over the 8. 10 times 3 equals 30 plus the 8 carried over equals 38. Put down 38. Madam, that will be 38 pounds 19 shillings and tuppence".

We were thrilled when we received our first adding machine. It was correctly named. It did not subtract, multiply or divide. It just added. You punched in a number and pulled the handle. Then you punched in another number and pulled the handle again. You could do this as many times as you liked and it would still give you the correct total at the end. What a wonder.

Imagine my reaction if in 1959 the man from the future says to me "In fifty years' time the shopkeeper will merely show the item to a tiny machine which will instantly calculate the price".


 "There's more", says the man, "This tiny machine can be in two places at once because while it is serving you it is instantaneously at the bank not only depositing your money from the sale but also taking the place of the bank clerk by entering it on your bank statement". 

Read more…

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