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  • Contracting possible solution to increasing poor employment

    Jun 23, 2015

    As a result of the growing skill shortages and uncertain economy, Australian businesses are slowing their desire to hire new full-time workers. 

    According to Manpower's Employment Outlook Survey Q3 2015, the majority (76 per cent) of employers polled aren't planning on adding to their workforce over the coming three months. In fact, just 12 per cent are in the market for employment - down from 21 per cent in Q2.

    Lincoln Crawley, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup ANZ, wasn't surprised by the results, but noted it was still disappointing. 

    "Australian employers are currently facing a number of challenges, least of all the slowing of the economy, which is driving uncertainty in the market," he said in a June 9 media statement.

    "We have seen around a nine per cent increase in the number of employers making no changes; historically this figures sits in the mid-60s, so to see it at 76 per cent is disheartening."

    Change of focus

    With recruitment and the economy not providing the best conditions for conducting business, Manpower believe that businesses need to look to the future and implement plans. Mr Crawley added that it is a "challenging, but promising economic environment", so remaining ahead of the competition would be key.

    "Australian employers are battening down the hatches, and to remain competitive they will need to address long-term workforce planning and embrace flexible working practices," he noted.

    "If anything the shifting economy is a chance for business to seize new opportunities. As we are seeing in certain states, diversified economies are more buoyant, and it is this model when applied nationwide that will allow Australia's economy to remain globally competitive."

    This could suggest becoming more heavily involved with IT contractors rather than full-time employees. While businesses would still have the benefits of the skills and experience, the entire HR and payroll system is managed behind the scenes and is worry-free. This sector of employment is hot in demand, as highlighted in a recent report.

    Competitive IT contracting market

    According to Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association's (ITCRA) ICT Employment Trends Report for Q1 2015, recruiters are having trouble finding the right candidates due to the high volume of talent. 

    In fact, the ratio of contractor to permanent roles has moved from 80-20 in September 2014 to 91-9 in March 2015. This suggests that businesses should be considering contractors over permanent employees moving forward.

    For more information about setting your business up to manage contractors, contact the expert team at Oncore Services today.

  • Costs of data breaches continue to rise

    Jun 19, 2015
    Regardless of the industry, a data breach is something that needs to be avoided at all costs. Whether it leads to private candidate information leaking into the public or significant amounts of revenue disappearing, businesses of all shapes and sizes need to understand the risks at play.

    While a data breach can bring a lot of reputation damage, the financial cost can sometimes be a lot greater. This was the topic of a recently released study titled '2015 Cost of Data Breach Study' from IBM and the Ponemon Institute.

    The Ponemon Institute polled 350 businesses across 11 countries, including Australia, asking how significant their individual data breaches had been to the organisation. Spanning between 2,200 and 100,000 compromised records, the average cost of a data breach was estimated to be $3.79 million over the past two years. This is an increase of 23 per cent since 2013. 

    Statistics from the report also show that the average cost per stolen record rose by six per cent, from $145 to $154 over the same period.

    Types of data breaches

    For recruitment businesses, it is important to remember that data breaches can come through various channels. As such, the study found 47 per cent of all breaches were caused by malicious or criminal attacks, 29 per cent were caused by system glitches and 25 per cent were attributed to human error.

    Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman of the Ponemon Institute explained that there are three major influences on data breaches globally.

    "First, cyber-attacks are increasing both in frequency and the cost it requires to resolve these security incidents. Second, the financial consequences of losing customers in the aftermath of a breach are having a greater impact on the cost," he said in a May 27 media statement.

    "Third, more companies are incurring higher costs in their forensic and investigative activities, assessments and crisis team management."

    How to avoid costly data breaches

    Data breaches can strike at any time, but it is the mark of a professional organisation to put processes in place prior. If the system is built to secure data and information, businesses will be able to expand their customer base and become an industry-leader.

    This is where Oncore Services can be of assistance. Our state-of-the-art payroll and invoicing system is crafted to protect the details of your IT contractors and ensure you pay them through trusted channels.
  • Beware of bank policy changes

    Jun 17, 2015
    Borrowers beware: Banks are yielding to regulatory pressure via APRA and the 'rules' are changing dramatically!

    Changes will impact all those taking out a property mortgage, however investors will be impacted most, with all four major banks now penalising investor loans over owner occupier loans. The changes, which vary bank to bank, include removal of special discount pricing for investors, limits on loan-to-valuation ratios for investment lending, and special discount rates available for loans with principal and interest repayments.

    Significant changes have also been made to some loan-servicing calculators, decreasing the amount a bank may be prepared to lend many customers. This may cause some major issues with, for example, property purchasers who may have purchased off the plan being put into a position of no longer being able to obtain finance to settle. Any potential borrower who has had their ability to borrow checked previously but is still looking to purchase should also have this looked at again to ensure they are not negatively impacted.

    This saga has re-enforced the advantages of using a finance broker. Integrity Finance Australia have been proactive in ensuring clients are aware of these issues. Now more than ever there are major differences between the lending institutions. Just because one bank says 'no' does not rule out all banks. Just because you have a transaction account at one bank does not make that the best bank for your loan.

    More than 50 per cent of all residential mortgage loans in Australia are now transacted via brokers like Integrity Finance Australia. With no cost and significant benefit to the consumer, that percentage continues to grow in line with increasing public awareness of the benefits of using a reputable broker.

    Are you with the majority using a professional finance broker yet?

    This article was provided by Integrity Finance Australia.
  • Budget win for Australian small businesses

    Jun 10, 2015

    When the Federal Budget rolls around every year, it is always interesting to find out what industries and sectors are going to win out. So in case you missed it, this year was no different and saw the Abbott government launch many surprise ventures in order to appeal to the business community.

    Small businesses, in particular, were one of the many winners from the budget with the government claiming that it was about energising the sector and helping them to grow to their potential.

    At Oncore Services, we are all about assisting entities and as such have complied some of the highlights from this year's budget announcement.

    Tax cuts

    Taxes are often the Achilles heel of the business community - preventing many organisations from growing. However, less tax compliance is on the cards in the coming years.

    From July 1, 2015, businesses with annual earning under $2 million will see a 1.5 percentage point drop in company tax. This will see the rate for incorporated businesses fall to 28.5 per cent from the current 30 per cent.

    While this was widely expected before the formal announcement, this should prove vital for many small Australian businesses. Owners will also get the same cut from on the personal income tax that they pay on earning from their business.

    Tax deductions

    Purchasing assets is the best way to grow a business. However, the requirement to pay tax can be a significant downside to this approach. It is then pleasing to report that all small businesses will get a tax deduction on all assets bought for less than $20,000.

    In the past, this deduction was only applied to assets under $1,000, but the government has seen a need to improve this area of tax legislation.

    Coming into effect from now until 2017, these deductions could apply to anything from vehicles, tools, IT equipment, contracting software or new office space. It is important to note that there are no restrictions on this clause so businesses can invest as many times as they choose over the coming years and enjoy the positive tax deductions.

    How can Oncore Services help?

    Oncore Services have a long and established history in helping businesses and recruiters compete in the market. While these changes in the Federal Budget should make a difference, complementing them with assistance from Oncore could be the long-term solution.

    For more information about our offerings, contact our expert team today.

  • Are Aussie employers efficiently using the recruitment tools available?

    Jun 01, 2015
    Plenty of businesses understand how critical recruitment and retention is to their overall corporate strategy. Staff will continue to be the drivers of success for the majority, meaning recruiters have an ongoing role to play in putting the right talent in the right companies.

    And yet plenty of businesses are not able - or are simply avoiding the methods - to make the most of a recruiter relationship, even though the hiring scenario is getting much more difficult.

    This was emphasised in Manpower Group Australia's latest survey of 1,500 employers around the country, in which researchers found that a huge 42 per cent are struggling to fill roles in their companies.

    Many of these are in contractor positions, in industries such as trade employment, engineers, technicians, IT staff and labourers - all of which made the top 10 hardest jobs to fill in Australia at the moment.

    Giving up?

    However, perhaps the most worrying statistic from the survey is that the number of employers looking at strategies to improve their staff shortages is down by 5 per cent year-on-year.

    "Globally we have seen the number of businesses taking on strategies to counter the talent shortage increase; while on home soil this number has dropped dramatically over a 12-month period. Australian employers are giving up," opined Lincoln Crawley, managing director of Manpower Group Australia.

    "We are observing a divergence across the economy: employers that fail to adopt non-traditional work practices risk becoming irrelevant to the new generation of workers; while those that innovate will succeed."

    Recruiters growing more important

    While this does not necessarily correlate with businesses using the help of recruiters more often to find contractors, it's easy to see how this could easily turn out to be so.

    It could in fact turn into good news for those with the ability to put the right contractors in the right roles and close skill gaps.

    The real question is are recruiters ready? Such professionals are already time-poor, and could be called on more readily by those struggling with recruitment.

    Contractor services can help, by sharing the load placed on recruiters. Whether it's payroll services, insurance or salary packaging management, there's plenty of assistance out there to help professional recruiters do their jobs better - and pass that performance down the line to their partners.

  • Oncore Legal: Deductible legal expenditure

    May 28, 2015
    New businesses will be able to deduct start-up costs such as professional, legal and accounting services from the 2015/2016 income year.

    The Federal Government announced new measures in its budget that will no doubt be welcome to new 'start-up' businesses. New businesses will be able to deduct the start-up costs surrounding professional, legal and accounting services as of next financial year. 

    This will replace the current situation, known as 'black hole expenditure', where some of the professional costs associated with a new start-up business are capitalised and deducted over a five year period. This measure will result in an immediate tax saving for profitable businesses.

    The proposed changes will help new start-up businesses off-set the cost of seeking professional advice in respect of their new operation. This includes establishing the entity through which the business will operate, as well as any terms and conditions under which the business will be trading.

    Now is also the perfect time for new start-up businesses to consider developing and protecting one of their most valuable assets - their intellectual property including the brand, products, systems, and information of the business.

    Oncore Legal Solutions specialise in a variety of legal matters, including contract, commercial and corporate law. Contact the team by email at legal@oncoreservices.com or by calling 1300 654 484 to discuss how Oncore Legal Solutions may be of service to your business.

  • Who do you trust? Research shows Aussies mistrust easily in business

    May 26, 2015

    Outsourcing is a common way for businesses to hand over a level of operating control to a group of professionals. Obviously, the idea is to let experts do what they do best, providing people within that business with more time to focus on their own core tasks.

    Such a relationship is built on trust, and people are more trusting of some professionals than others.

    This was discovered in Roy Morgan's annual Image of Professions Survey, the 2015 edition of which was released late last month.

    By polling almost 600 Australian men and women, Roy Morgan researchers found that there were trend that could not be ignored, some of which shine a light on the professional areas business leaders also find least trustworthy.

    Who can you trust in business?

    The survey looked at the concepts of "honesty and ethics" and, as this was a public poll, there were some obvious inclusions for most-trusted profession.

    Nurses topped the rankings for the 21st year in a row, with 92 per cent of people trusting these medical professionals. Closely behind were pharmacists (84 per cent), doctors (84 per cent) and school teachers (78 per cent).

    However, most telling perhaps were those at the bottom of the pile. Worryingly, some of these were people who are commonly turned to for employer and contractor assistance.

    Bank managers received a trust rating of only 34 per cent, meaning two-thirds of all Australians have a distinct lack of trust towards these professionals. This has also fallen by 9 per cent since last year - a real hit for those typically most relied upon for finance matters.

    Similarly, professionals in charge of mission-critical processes such as payroll were shunned in this most-recent poll. A mere 45 per cent of people trusted their accountants - the lowest proportion of respondents in the past 13 years.

    Lawyers also brought up the rear with 31 per cent, while insurance brokers faired particularly poorly with a measly 11 per cent of Australians believing they are trustworthy professionals.

    A true outsourcing solution

    Trust is infamous for taking a lifetime to earn and a moment to break. Meanwhile, important parts of your business still require this extra professional help in crucial areas like invoicing, insurance and wealth management.

    So how can you ensure you are working with people you trust?

    Really, this is a two-pronged approach. First, make sure your outsourced services provider has a history of success. Secondly, use the services of people who are truly invested in your business succeeding.

    If you have trouble believing the professionals you work with are completely trustworthy, it could be time to look at it another way. Oncore Services is a company built on a history of success and helping your business to succeed. Contact Oncore to find out more.

  • Compensation key to retaining top talent

    May 22, 2015
    Recruiters are often in a difficult situation.

    On one hand, they have to work hard for their customer base to ensure that the right candidates are cherry-picked and presented to the client. However, on the other hand, dealing with their own employees and ensuring they are happy with management and knowing everyone is moving in the right direction is just as important.

    Is there a problem with HR?

    Based on the findings of a recent survey, recruiters might need to consider their workforce more carefully and make changes to improve retention outcomes.

    Recruitment experts Robert Half Management surveyed more than 2,200 chief financial officers (CFOs) as well as 300 employees across various sectors and industries. CFOs were asked what circumstances would lead to good employees leaving, while employees were asked the same from a personal perspective.

    According to the results, both parties agreed that an inadequate salary and benefits would prompt a resignation. A total of 38 per cent of employees and 28 per cent of CFOs noted this reason.

    Other top responses included limited opportunities for advancement (22 per cent vs 20 per cent), unhappiness with management (14 per cent vs 16 per cent) and being overworked (12 per cent vs 9 per cent).

    CFOs were also asked if they'd lost any good employees due to an issue with remuneration. Surprisingly, a quarter (25 per cent) said yes.

    Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half explained that ensuring pay and salaries are paid on time and correctly should be top of the agenda in all sectors.

    "Highly skilled professionals have options in the current hiring environment," he said in an April 8 media statement.

    "To attract and retain employees, businesses must proactively benchmark salaries and ensure they are offering competitive pay. If a manager can't recall the last time wages were evaluated, it's probably been too long."

    What are the solutions?

    For recruiters, the key is establishing a solid back-end process that can manage all aspects of your contractor payroll.

    At Oncore Services our goal is for recruitment businesses to flourish and, with our solutions, this is more than possible. Our model works seamlessly behind your existing system which means that as your client base grows, your own back-end process operates efficiently and the entire business can develop as one.

    By retaining your best employees through good HR, the recruitment business can move in the right direction as smoothly as possible.

  • ITCRA reveals new ICT contractor data

    May 20, 2015

    With the world fast requiring the services of ICT contractors, it comes as no surprise that the latest data highlights the growing struggles for recruiters.

    Analysing its SkillsMatch and BurningGlass data, the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA) revealed that the first quarter of 2015 continued to prove difficult for recruiters to find the right candidates for roles.

    Contracting - the new dawn

    For many years, IT contracting wasn't seen as a viable career option due to need for professionals to be stationed at businesses on a full-time basis. However, as technology has developed, it is becoming more viable for contractors to now apply their trade and move across the country as required.

    In fact, according to ITCRA's statistics, the ratio of contractor to permanent roles has moved considerably in recent quarters. In September 2014 it was 80-20, before increasing to 87-13 in December and 91-9 in March. In fact, just seven per cent of advertised ICT roles in NSW were permanent in the last quarter - a real indication of where the market is heading.

    State and territory comparison

    With each Australian state and territory experiencing different influencing factors, it is important to note the variations between the average number of days to fill a contracting role.

    Based on ITCRA's figures, recruiters in the ACT faced the longest wait to fill a role in the first quarter of 2015 (49 days). This was up from 45 days in the December quarter.

    The ACT was followed by NSW (45 days up from 28), Victoria (42 up from 33), Queensland (29 up from 25), Western Australia (29 days up from 20) and South Australia (24 up from 20).

    ITCRA CEO Julie Mills explained that there are many reasons behind why wait times are increasing across the country.

    "So the anomaly in the market indicators could be for any number of reasons including increased competition for specific skills such as in Big Data and Digital, recruiters searching for candidates without using traditional advertising, or employers hiring permanent roles in-house and outsourcing contractor recruitment," she said in an April 29 media statement.

    What is the next step?

    When it comes to hiring the best candidates, recruiters would do well to set themselves apart from the crowd. The more progressive and engaged recruiters are, the more likely that the best candidates will be attract to roles on offer.

    If this sounds like something that you would be interested in, contact the expert team at Oncore Services today.

  • What the Federal Budget means for small businesses

    May 18, 2015
    On 12 May, the Australian government released its new Budget for the 2015/16 financial year.

    Small businesses have been widely considered one of the biggest beneficiaries of this new economic plan and, with a range of new tax support, it could help growth for many.

    "The new Budget is designed to allow small businesses to grow, employ more and invest more by cutting red tape," the government explained. But how will it do this?

    We take a look at what the Budget means for Australian SMEs and see what other experts have to say.

    Small business tax cuts

    Those businesses on the smaller side will see an improvement in their tax situations. However, many medium-sized companies may find themselves ineligible for the more generous concessions.

    "Small means small," explained David Watkins, partner for tax insights and policy at Deloitte, "(those with a) turnover of less than $2 million. Two key aspects were a reduction in the tax rate to 28.5 per cent and an immediate tax write-off for purchases of ... equipment up to $20,000."

    In short, a company that sits below this $2 million turnover threshold can get an immediate tax break on purchases of $20,000 or less. This could be office equipment, vehicles or practically anything else, as Treasurer Joe Hockey explained.

    "If you run a cafe, it might be new kitchen equipment, or new tables and chairs. If you're a tradie, it might be new tools or a computer for the home office," he said in his Budget announcement, according to the ABC.

    "Cars and vans, kitchens or machinery ... anything under $20,000 is immediately 100 per cent tax deductible from tonight."

    Businesses have from now until June 30 2017 to make purchases and receive their money back immediately, rather than the previous system that required those tax deduction claims to be spread over several years.

    Red tape cuts

    We've written recently about how red tape can restrict a business's freedom to grow. The Federal Budget aims to do this within the fringe benefits tax (FBT) system, by ensuring that all work-related portable electronic devices are FBT-free. This, the government says, will "help small business employees stay connected in the digital economy".

    SMEs will also benefit from rollover relief of capital gains tax when changing their legal structures and keeping the same owners.

    Employment boost

    There is an expected boost to the concurrent issue of employment management, with contractors, full-time workers and businesses alike benefiting from the $5.5-billion Jobs and Small Business Package.

    The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) explained that these measures are designed to make it easier for the more than 750,000 unemployed Australians to find work.

    "The Budget will perform a pincer movement on productivity, encouraging more people to enter the labour market while also making it easier for small businesses to hire," ACCI said.

    So, the overall reception is rather positive. Now it will be up to businesses, particularly smaller ones, to ensure they have all the support they need to capitalise on such growth opportunities.

  • Making the most of quality Australian talent

    May 15, 2015

    Both businesses and recruitment experts need to keep a close eye on rising Australian talent, if the results of a recent report are anything to go by.

    In the lead up to International Women's Day in March, Ernst & Young (EY) published its sixth instalment of the Women in Leadership series. Based on interviews with eight of Australia's next crop of female leaders, researchers found there is still a massive gender issue in the workplace.

    Gender equality problems continue

    One of the main findings to emerge was that despite the moves of both state and federal governments to address gender equality, upcoming female leaders are not convinced that the opportunities are available to them.

    In fact, many are leaving their professions and establishing careers on their own terms. While this is a positive thing to want, for industries such as IT which are facing significant skill shortages anyway, it hurts to lose people who are talented and want more responsibility.

    EY's Oceania Markets Leader, Lynn Kraus explained that progress had been made in recent years, but doesn't address the heart of the problem.

    "The message from our future female leaders is clear: if corporates don't fundamentally change their cultures to make their organisations genuinely attractive to young women, then this important talent group won't join big companies or, if they do, they won't stay," she said in a March 6 media statement.

    Ms Kraus went on to say that Australia's university system is tailor-made for women to succeed and start rewarding careers in many industries. However, employers often overlook these candidates because they fear losing them later in time.

    "Australia has one of the highest percentages of women gaining both undergraduate and post graduate degrees in the world, but we are losing the vast majority of these young women from the talent pipeline, because they can't find employers who will support them in balancing home and career."

    How to improve this situation?

    EY made a number of recommendations for businesses in order to ensure top female talent doesn't slip through the cracks. Most of these revolved around the recruitment process and how all candidates start on equal footing.

    The recommendations include unconscious bias recruitment, reaching out to the local business community to address stereotypes and allowing flexible working conditions to all employees.

    For more information about improving your entire recruitment payroll and back office offerings, contact the expert team at Oncore Services today.

  • Report highlights increasing demand for IT contractors

    May 13, 2015
    As the world of IT continues to expand, the pressure and demand on IT recruiters only increases. While this demand means there are more quality candidates in the market space, the time it takes to place these contractors increases due to the competition between businesses.

    This was one of the findings out of the Information Technology Contract and Recruitment Association's (ITCRA) ICT Employment Trends Report. Taking data from the analysis of employment indicators in both the government and industry, ITCRA also used its own SkillsMatch and Burning Glass ICT recruitment data.

    The latest report encompasses the period between October and December 2014. While this period is usually reduced due to the Christmas slowdown and the conclusion of many IT contractors, the statistics didn't highlight this usual trend. 

    State by state

    ITCRA CEO Julie Mills explained some of the findings.

    "All states apart from South Australia saw an increase in the time it took to place ICT contractors," she said in a media statement.

    "The biggest increase was in Victoria up from 16 days to 33 days, making it now the second most competitive market for recruiters to find contractors. This means that in most of Australia, it is getting harder to find the right ICT contractor for each role."

    According to the report, the Australian Capital Territory continues to feature the longest wait (45 days up from 40 last quarter) to place an IT contractor. This was followed by Victoria (as mentioned above), New South Wales (28 days up from 17), Queensland (25 days up from 20) and Western Australia (20 days up from 13).

    Ms Mills explained that this type of data is useful insight for contractor employment.

    "The market is feeling confident, which is being reflected in strong job advertising growth, so it is not surprising that it is becoming more competitive to place ICT contractors," she stated.

    Trend towards contract over permanent

    Ms Mills concluded by discussing how the industry is moving into contract workers rather than permanent employees.

    "Traditionally ICT has had an 80/20 split of advertised contract to permanent roles. Our latest data shows this has shifted to an 87/13 split nationally, with Queensland and Western Australia reporting the lowest rate of advertised permanent roles (six per cent and five per cent respectively)," she went on to say.

    "This data is reinforced by analysis from a national recruitment agency noting that the ICT is a driving force in the contracting market."

    For recruiters that are under pressure and under-resourced, talk to the expert team at Oncore Services to find out how we can alleviate these waiting times.
  • The story of the disengaged and the demotivated

    May 11, 2015
    If you read into the results of a recently released Australian employment study, there could be many more contractors in the market for employment in the coming years. 

    Engaged Marketing published its report 'The State of Employee Engagement in Australia' polling over 3,300 employees on their attitudes towards their workplace and employer.

    Surprising results

    Based on Engaged Marketing's results, there is a deep-rooted dislike for current employers. At a total of 20 per cent of respondents would promote their workplace to friends and family, while 43 per cent would detract its value. Just over a third (37 per cent) were passive or neutral in their current work environment.

    Taking away the detract score from the promotion score meant that there was a national employee engagement score of -23 per cent.

    Engaged Marketing Managing Director Christopher Roberts explained that many employees are feeling disengaged and demotivated in their work.

    "It's alarming how few Australians would recommend their current workplace as a great place to work to family and friends," he said in an April 15 media statement.

    "Worker discretionary effort is also low, with many staff not willing to do any more than what is expected of them during the normal nine-to-five working day."

    In fact, under six in 10 Australian employees would do more or work harder than required, the survey found.

    Staff engagement key

    Regardless of whether your business is hiring full-time employees or contractors, executives must be focused on engaging their workforce. As a result, organisations can enjoy more effort, loyalty and recommendations to future employees.

    "Staff engagement is more than just staff satisfaction, it's about ensuring staff feel genuinely valued, are having some of their core human needs met, and understand the role they play in delivering an organisation's business strategy," Mr Roberts went onto say.

    "Ultimately, this boils down to the type of leadership in the organisation."

    Gallup 'Sweet Spot'

    In a recent article by research firm Gallup, an employee engagement 'sweet spot' was described. This is where a person is engaged in their tasks, in a role that suits them and has worked in the business for more than 10 years. 

    According to the statistics, just 5 per cent of employees fell into this category.


    One of the ways to get into this sweet spot is to work as a contractor. Contractors can often choose their roles based on enjoyment and their skills sets as well as working in a role that fits well. Many businesses also retain contractors for long periods of time - due to their engagement and commitment. 

    For more information about contracting, contact the expert team at Oncore Services today.

  • Red tape holding back business growth

    May 08, 2015
    While state and federal governments have made attempts to reduce the impact of red tape on small businesses, a recent report has revealed that many are still shackled by regulations. 

    According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (ACCI) National Red Tape Survey, close to half of the 700 respondents feel that red tape compliance measures prevent them from making significant changes to ensure growth.

    Additionally, the ACCI found that 27 per cent of respondents spent more than 11 hours per week on compliance regulations. Given that this figure is up five per cent on last year, it shows how ineffective changes have been in the past.

    ACCI reaction

    CEO of the ACCI, Kate Carnell explained her frustration with the findings.

    "These results show there is much scope for national, state/territory and local governments to streamline, simplify or scrap regulations," she said in a media release.

    "Every hour that an entrepreneur spends filling in paperwork is an hour they are not growing their business, satisfying their customers and creating job opportunities."

    Ms Carnell accepts that regulations are part and parcel of many industries, but believes that if those measures mean businesses are losing focus in other areas, it is becoming a major problem.

    "The federal government has shown a commitment to abolishing ineffective and burdensome regulation, and this survey shows there is still much work to be done," she stated.

    Other findings

    According to the survey, there were a number of other interesting pieces of information contained within the research.

    This includes the fact that over half (55 per cent) of respondents are forced to absorb the cost of compliance themselves rather than pass on to the consumer. Almost half (48 per cent) suggest that these costs are in excess of $10,000 per annum, putting pressure on already fragile finances.

    The ACCI also found that record keeping and data tracking were the most expensive compliance activities for businesses to undertake.

    What is the solution?

    Many businesses are in desperate need of legislative changes either from the federal or state government. However, as laws can take many years to pass, organisations must find new ways to ensure their processes are as smooth as possible.

    One way is to invest in products provided by Oncore Services. From online timesheets and payroll to expense processing, we can help your business stay on top of important outputs and make sure your employees are paid on time, every time.

  • One in five SME owners rely on 'good luck' as a key business driver

    May 06, 2015
    There is a common saying that you make your own luck. This usually refers to you working hard, remaining committed to the cause and being clever in your approach.

    However, based on the figures in the Scottish Pacific SME Growth Index, many businesses think 'good luck' is the key driver of success.

    The index took in the views of more than 1,200 Australian SME senior managers on a number of different topics. These included what drives their success, who they trust and their intentions for the coming year.

    SMEs are the heartbeat of the national economy, employing millions of people across the country. Without these organisations being confident and growing, Australia would be a much different place indeed.

    Key growth drivers

    As mentioned above, the most common answer in relation to key growth drivers was good fortune (20.9 per cent). This was followed by technology integration (13.4 per cent) and smart marketing (12. 7 per cent)

    The fact that good luck topped the list is a concerning fact. Businesses need to understand what aspects are growing their reach and, if they can't identify these, they require assistance from outside the organisation.

    However, statistics in this area didn't paint a pretty picture either.

    A total of 38.6 per cent of businesses had no trusted business advisor. In fact, this percentage was larger than the group that did name someone they trust with their finances. This included trading partners (26.6 per cent), friends (9.7 per cent), accountants (9 per cent) and bank managers (4.2 per cent).

    Scottish Pacific CEO Peter Langham explained this result in more detail.

    "The fact they were more likely to trust a friend to provide advice about their business than their well-qualified banker or accountant shows there is a real opportunity for finance brokers, accountants and lawyers to step up and fill this gap for SMEs, to make the process easier for them," he said in a media statement.

    New products and services

    One positive statistic to come out of the survey was that 65 per cent of small business owners are in the market for new products or services in the first half of 2015. Although this is slightly down from September figures, it shows that there is a commitment to making technology and processes a key growth driver instead of sheer luck.

    For more information about improving your business luck through new technology, contact the expert team at Oncore Services today.
  • Three Oncore Services solutions for IT contractors

    May 04, 2015

    There are many benefits to being an IT contractor. From having the flexibility to work where and when you like, there is also the chance to build up your skills and reputation over a short period of time.

    However, since you are essentially a one-person business, it can be difficult to manage your administration and payment processes. As you are the only one responsible for these aspects, it's imperative to get them right so you can focus on your career.

    This is where Oncore Services can come in handy. We understand the need for quality solutions so have created a number of tailor made packages just for IT contractors.

    Here are three examples:

    1) Salary Packaging Management

    Operating as a sole entity can create unnecessary financial risks for individuals. As such, our Salary Packaging Management structure covers your taxes, compliance and liabilities. With this headache out of the way, you are able focus your skills into contracting roles so you can earn to your potential.

    One of the benefits of this packaging is that it's created especially for you. This means that you can be confident that it'll save you money and provide safe, convenient solutions.

    2) Financial Services & Wealth Management

    In the absence of a full-time employer, IT contractors need professional financial advice when making important personal decisions. For aspects such as superannuation, insurance, estate planning and investments, our financial services team are able to offer the right advice for your personal situation.

    For example, in relation to superannuation, IT contractors need information regarding how much they should be contributing and what types of investments to choose. In each case, the financial advisors at Oncore Wealth Solutions can work closely with you to make your life as easy as possible.

    3) Career Mobility

    Being an IT contractor means that you often have to travel away from your main base for employment opportunities. However, you don't want to miss out on these roles because you are concerned about the financial impact of your decision.

    Instead you should seek out Career Mobility advice from Oncore Services. Our expert team is able to provide key financial benefits through tax allowances to contractors relocating and moving residence for work.

    This can include selling and buying property, travel expenses and moving belongings between locations.

    For more information about how Oncore Services can assist your career as an IT contractor, contact our helpful team who are always ready to help.

  • Is your recruitment business an innovation leader or laggard?

    May 01, 2015

    When most people think of Australian businesses, there is a sense that we are all ahead of the times. First in the world to develop this and leading global figures in adoption of something else.

    However, according to the figures of a recently released report by Microsoft Australia, this hype may be overstated. In its Culturing Success report, more than 500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were polled on their innovation use and what benefits they were experiencing as a result.

    Is innovation different across the board?

    Based on the responses, Microsoft categorised the SMEs into three groups.

    A total of 33 per cent of businesses were confident in responding to change, threats and opportunities through innovation. These SMEs were labelled 'leaders'. 

    The largest group (43 per cent) were described as innovation 'cruisers'. The businesses in this category respect the notion of innovation, but don't deliver it with any commitment.

    Microsoft painted the final 24 per cent of SMEs as 'laggards'. These respondents had little or no desire for innovation either through a lack of intelligence on the subject or funding problems.

    Managing Director of Microsoft Australia Pip Marlow noted the importance of innovation to success regardless of the SME's size or scope.

    "However, our research reveals that many businesses find it difficult to develop a culture of innovation because of barriers including working in silos, fear of failure, employee distrust and poor collaboration," she said in a March 17 media statement.

    Benefits of innovation

    Innovation can be the starting point of positive change within an organisation. Whether it is technological implementations such as online timesheets and payroll or expense processing, it can build to greater success elsewhere in the SME.

    According to Microsoft's report, 39 per cent of businesses from the 'leader' category reported that their revenue was growing faster than the average rate for their industry. In comparison, just 24 per cent of 'cruisers' and 23 per cent of 'laggards' could say the same.

    Additionally, 'leaders' recorded better results in a number of different parameters including total revenue, business efficiency, staff satisfaction and customer loyalty.

    Federal Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson explained that taking small steps of innovation soon leads to wider benefits.

    "We know small business people are time poor, but innovation within business processes can drive efficiencies," he said.

    "Innovative businesses are generally successful businesses, constantly looking at ways to improve and to grow their business."

    A great first step in your SME's innovation path would be payroll software. It's vital that your employees are paid on time every time so adding this piece of innovation can spark wider positives for the entire business.

  • Finance professionals turning to contracting work

    Apr 29, 2015
    With the UK contracting market slightly more mature than the Australian equivalent, it is always good to reflect on recent trends and see if the same could be seen on our shores in the coming years.

    The latest example comes from research completed by a leading contractor management company. According to its contractor data base, there is a growing number of UK finance professionals changing career course and becoming contractors.

    Why is this the case?

    Over the past year, contractor numbers have more than doubled, with professionals attracted by the higher incomes and better work/life balance. In fact, it isn't just contractors who are seeing the benefits of the switch, businesses are also recognising the value these individuals can bring and will pay top dollar to secure the best talent.

    It is widely accepted in the contractor management industry that flexibility is key for employees today and this movement is reflected in this trend.

    Contractors can not only benefit from the chance to earn more money, but they can also experience a wider range of organisations and roles. As a result, they have a great opportunity to expand their skill sets.

    As well as this research, The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed noted in a December 2014 report that contractor quarter rates increased by 7.4 per cent in 2014 to £29,643 (AUD$57,004).

    Financial contractor rates are set to continue to grow this year as more businesses understand the value of this workforce. However, as word gets around, more employees will also investigate the possibility of contract work.

    What about Australia?

    For Australian recruiters, the trend of finance, IT and other specialist professionals moving into contracting is still new. There is a reluctance from some employees to move into the world of contracting due to the fact that work isn't scheduled on a regular basis.

    However, given the success of their UK counterparts in finding new work and more remuneration, it shouldn't be too long until the trend reaches our shores. This means that it's important to begin planning and establishing strong processes like payroll and employment management. 

    With the assistance of Oncore Services, we can take your contracting offerings to the next level.
  • Oncore Wealth: Tax planning review - salary sacrifice

    Apr 09, 2015
    Any super contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement are treated as concessional contributions and need to be counted towards your concessional contributions cap. The concessional contributions cap for the 2014/2015 year is $30,000 for anyone ages 48 years or younger on 30 June 2014, and $35,000 for anyone ages 49 years or older on 30 June 2014.

    For our Super high income earners

    Since 1 July 2012, if your adjusted taxable income is greater than $300,000, then the contributions tax on your concessional contributions, such as salary sacrifice and Superannuation Guarantee contributions, is 15 per cent plus an additional tax of 15 per cent, taking the total tax on your concessional contributions to 30 per cent. This is still 20 per cent lower than your tax bracket of just over 50 per cent, so don't let this extra tax deter you as there is still a tax benefit at play.

    The money in Super is your money - so how is the performance?

    What have you contributed to your Super to date? Have you maximised your caps and tax deduction? And more importantly, if you're putting a bulk amount of your wage away for your retirement, where is it invested and what are you compound investment terms?

    To have a look at how your Super is performing and your options for a more hands on approach, maybe with the inclusion of a managed direct equities portfolio or even an SMSF, contact the Oncore Wealth Solutions team today.

    Visit the Oncore Wealth Solutions website for more information.

  • Oncore Wealth: Insurance

    Apr 09, 2015
    Income Protection: What it is and how it helps you

    Many might consider a house, a car or even savings as their greatest financial asset. More often than not, however, it's your ability to earn income that's greater than the others combined.

    While we insure our cars, houses and other possessions, surprisingly only 31 per cent of Australians insure their greatest financial asset; the ability to earn income. Consider then that if 69 per cent of people don't protect their income, is income insurance really that useful? And if over two thirds of Australians aren't protected, why should you be?

    How Income Protection works

    In short, if you or a partner were off work for a prolonged period of time due to sickness or injury, and unable to support your current lifestyle and household expenses, then income protection is going to be useful.

    For many, however, the likelihood of having to use their income protection is not enough to assure them that the cover is worthwhile.

    Why pay for something I might not use?

    Sixty per cent of working Australians will at some stage need to take a prolonged break from work as a result of illness or injury. There is a high likelihood that yourself, or someone you know, will be affected by being unable to work.

    As with many other forms of insurance, income protection is in place for peace of mind in case the worst should happen. Six out of 10 Australians will be able to use the cover at some point in their working life. Back and spine-related injuries, paired with stress-related illnesses, rank close to the top of the claims tree.

    But WorkCover has got me, right?

    Government schemes such as WorkCover are limited to only protecting you from accidents and illnesses that happen in the workplace. Did you know that WorkCover claims only pay for expenses related to the injury or illness, not loss of income to cover additional household expenses such as the mortgage, bills and childcare needs?

    I can't afford it...

    Income protection can be tailored to suit your budget and premiums are also fully tax deductible. If you're earning over $80,000 per annum, you will be paying approximately 39 cents in the dollar tax, as the premiums for income protection are fully tax deductible. So ultimately, you are only paying 61 cents in the dollar of the premiums and the ATO are helping out with the rest.

    Again, when you earn over $180,000 per annum, the tax deduction is greater than 50 per cent, so again you are only paying for half of your policy after your tax deduction. 

    You can pay your premiums monthly or annually, meaning if you are searching for a tax deduction prior to the end of this financial year, an annual payment may suit your planning.

    Can I afford not to have it?

    For the 31 per cent of Australians that have purchased income protection, there are several attitudes that provide insight in the value offered by it. Ranking highest of these, is the understanding that suitable cover can protect your family and the life you have created for them.

    For others, income protection is a useful addition to long term financial planning, providing assurance that the goals for your financial portfolio can be met. When we build a wealth creation or retirement plan for a client, a gap in income can mean a delay of months or even years to meet a certain goal.

    Income protection can also be used to top up on existing insurance cover, giving you confidence you have the right level of cover to meet your needs.

    Yet, most importantly, in the even that you do find yourself unable to work, income protection provides you with options. Valuable options that allow you to choose how you allocate your income, giving you peace of mind to focus on recovering rather than finances.

    So if income protection sounds like something useful for you, this will ensure that you get the right level of cover and benefits to suit your needs.

    Oncore contractors and career contractors

    If you're worried you can't get coverage based on your employment and contract history, it's definitely worth you time to investigate, as we have been successful time and time again in gaining sound coverage for contractors. Also, you may be able to expense process your income protection premiums whilst you are with Oncore, and get the tax benefit straight to your back pocket. Contact your Client Service Manager at Oncore to discuss.

    Visit the Oncore Wealth Solutions website for more information.

Australia: 1300 654 484   UK: 0870 900 2901