5 Reasons why I don’t have a job

  1. I have a business.

Admittedly it is a small company at the moment, with me as the sole director and employee, but it’s a business nonetheless – I have lots of clients, deadlines and risk management obligations. I have responsibility for everything from the control of expenses, how I market the services I provide, and the nature of the work the company undertakes. In the words of Yertle the Turtle, “I am the ruler of all I see.”

  1. I’m not a good employee.

Everywhere I ever worked before I started my own business, I would try to improve things – I was never really happy. People who run businesses tend to have ideas, and this often brings them into conflict with those who are more content to do things the way they have always been done – you know, square peg/round hole.Eventually it dawned on me that I should stop trying to change their worlds and create my own, the way I wanted it to be.

  1. I don’t have time for a job.

Being an employee would require me to turn up at the same place at a certain time each day, to dress in a certain manner and to behave in ways that are expected of others – in other words, there is limited flexibility in working for someone. Working for myself means I can start late if I need to, or to meet a client for breakfast, and I work whatever hours are required (sometimes less, mostlymore than 40 hours a week) and dress comfortably (which sometimes might also mean professionally). Working for yourself means you can be yourself – all the time.

  1. Family time.

Sure, we all have families and have to juggle our work and our lives. I always felt incredibly stressed taking time off work for family events, kid’s getting sick etc. Now I don’t have to. I can fit my work in around my life, and it suits me a lot better. I have always been quite sure I had my priorities right, I just had to adjust my working life to fit those priorities. This could not have happened if I’d had a job.

  1. Sanity:

Ever get sick of the game playing in organisations? If you’ve ever experienced anything remotely like bullying in the workplace, or had a crappy performance appraisal because you and your manager are very different people, you’ll immediately understand what I am talking about. Most organisations are hierarchical and this structure creates unequal power distributions. When you work for yourself there is no office politics. Zero. None. Imagine it.

Digital Disruption Part One – Accounting Software

Even five years ago if I’d said to you, “You won’t need a desktop PC, you’ll never need to load or update software again, and you will never need a server” you’d have thought I’d had a little too much of the Cool-aid.

 

Now it is obvious, but I can go further – you won’t need an office, and you’ll need far fewer employees than you think. What would your bottom line would look like if you could eliminate rent and dramatically reduce your wages bill?

 

In five to ten years, it’s estimated that most people will work from home more than half of their productive hours. This goes for owners and employees. Productivity is taking the greatest leap forward since the electronic revolution of the mid 1980s thanks to the concept of ‘digital disruption’. For the world of accounting software this is how it is shaping up.

 

If you are running a small business in the twenty first century, you need an accounting package that will allow you to do three things:

 

  1. To work wherever and whenever I like:
    1. It needs to be web-based, so you can use it wherever and whenever you have an internet connection;
    2. You are not tied to a particular desk in a particular office during particular hours
    3. You can go on holiday and (only occasionally) check on your accounts and update what needs to be updated.
  2. To see how my business is doing right now:
    1. You need to have your bank accounts live – secure transaction feeds need to come through daily;
    2. You need to be able to run diagnostics at any point to see where your business is at right now – P&L, Balance Sheet, Payroll Reports, Aged Receivables.
  3. Freedom of device:
    1. Because you are web-based, all you need is a web connection and a device, be it a phone, tablet, laptop or PC. The battles between PC and Mac, Android or Apple, are now irrelevant, so use whatever you are comfortable

 

Who does this best? In my opinion, xero. I have a lot of reasons for saying so, but it’s probably best discussed over coffee, so please get in touch to talk more.

Let’s talk Tax

What sort of a country do you want to live in?

 

Personally I want to live in a country where everyone gets a decent education, has good overall health and there are as few barriers to entry into your chosen career as possible. Beyond that, no one should really be entitled to anything – it is then up to you. This means that we all have to contribute. The way we do that is by paying taxes.

 

You won’t be surprised to learn that I get asked quite a lot – ‘How can I pay no tax, or as little tax as possible?’  My answer never changes – if you have a child, send your kids to school, have ever been to a doctor, or needed to go to hospital, or driven on a road, or taken a bus, or a train, or sent a letter by post, these things are funded by your taxes. Everyone relies on taxes, so everyone should contribute to the tax base. Sure, Social Security is funded by tax, and most recipients of Social Security will not be liable for tax. This is partially why GST was introduced-  to broaden the tax base beyond taxing incomes.

 

There is a correct amount of tax you need to pay, no more, no less. Each year I talk to my clients in the lead up to the end of the financial year with respect to what I call Tax Planning. Generally this involves making them aware of what they can and should do to legally minimize tax this year – it could be simply to go out and buy a new computer for a small business, it could be for a person approaching retirement to talk to their financial adviser about booting their superannuation savings, or it could be simply to become more aware of your income and deductions so that you can make informed decisions for yourself.

 

The recent Senate Estimates hearings into the tax activities of multinationals shows that we are beginning to focus more on how much tax we pay and what is done with the taxes we pay. Who should pay more, who should pay less? I don’t have any clear answers, but I do know that if we want to live in a country that treats it citizens with respect and dignity, we all have to contribute, and be willing to contribute for a long time to come.

 

If you want to talk about these issues with me, get in touch. I am always happy to make some time for a chat.

We’ve just achieved Silver Partner status with Xero

Second Nature Accounting has just become a Silver Partner with Xero, 20 days ahead of schedule! Great news for us and all our clients. To find out how we can help you, check out our range of packages to suit your business. We’ll keep you posted about an event we are planning for late October to show you just how simple accounting can be.

Federal Budget 2013

On Tuesday 14th May the Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan handed down the 2013 budget. As has become customary, most of the bad news had already been strategically leaked in the days and weeks leading up to budget night, however the real surprise was that there were no traditional election year sweeteners. Whether the budget is legislated before the end of the winter session of parliament is also something to watch. If it doesn’t, when parliament resumes there will be very little time to get anything done before the writs are issued and the government goes into caretaker mode during the election campaign. [Read more…]