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Cutting down to the essentials

Posted on March 8, 2016 by admin

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are an attractive option for those who want more control over their retirement savings. However, trustees who have run a fund for as long as SMSFs have been in existence (around 20 years) are likely to have accumulated a lot of paperwork, especially if they engaged in various super strategies throughout the years.

Since SMSFs have a statutory obligation to retain certain documents for certain lengths of time, it can be difficult to know what records trustees can afford to cull and continue to satisfy super rules. Another consideration is what information is necessary to provide the ATO so it can calculate any tax due when trustees die and the balance remaining in the fund is to be paid to beneficiaries.

For instance, when an SMSF trustee commences a pension, they are required to prepare trustee minutes which must be kept for ten years. The minutes must be signed and retained as they confirm the terms of the pension being paid to the member.

Records of the major investment decisions and any records that relate to the appointment of fund trustees also need to be kept for ten years. Appointing an enduring power of attorney is another long-term record that must be kept.

A good option for those wanting to cut back on storage requirements is to store documents electronically, as the ATO will accept electronic copies of many super documents. All trustees need to do is scan the papers and save them to a storage facility, like a USB thumb drive.

However, trustees should always keep a paper version for one key document; the fund’s trust deed. Trust deeds formally document the existence of a superannuation arrangement between fund trustees and members, as it outlines the rules particular to a super arrangement. Not having a properly executed copy of a trust deed may create some confusion over what rules apply to the super fund.

Super funds with a pension in place should retain a signed record of the commencement documentation. Other records of investments that are older than ten years old could be disposed of unless they are required to confirm the cost base of assets for capital gains purposes.

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Tips for incorporating career mentoring into your business

Posted on February 28, 2020 by admin

A career mentorship program involves partnerships between employees to develop professional skills and gain industry knowledge. Due to their requirement for a collaborative effort, career mentoring programs are often seen as powerful development tools for cultivating both leaders and employees within a business.

Whether you are a small business owner or a multinational corporate leader, the implementation of a mentorship program will always be profitable for businesses as not only does it create a harmonious workplace culture, it also helps to attract and retain employees.

As straight-forward as career mentoring sounds, there are a few key tips to keep in mind when building a mentorship program for your business:

Make sure your mentoring program is clearly defined:
To create a successful mentoring program, both mentors and mentees should have a concise understanding of their roles and what they would like to gain from the mentorship. By succinctly outlining the purpose of the mentoring program, mentors and mentees are more likely to keep organised and communicate respectfully with the guarantee of mutual rewards.

There should also be short-term and long-term goals established for all parties involved, including the business. These goals could be the narrowing of particular skill gaps or creating a more open workplace culture. By having these goals set in stone, both mentors and mentees and have a clear direction to work towards.

Personalise the match-making process:
Often times, businesses will match a mentor and mentee together depending on their skill-set and position within the company. While on paper, this may appear to be an efficient process, but the lack of chemistry between a mentor and mentee may prove to be devastating for the workplace environment.

As a result, be sure to involve both mentors and mentees in the match-making process and take into account personality traits. You could do this by asking employees to take a personality test to ensure compatibility in career goals, personal interests and preferred communication methods.

Be involved as a third-party:
Lastly, it is the responsibility of the business to check-in on the progress of mentorship programs in order to understand how mentors and mentees can grow together and what improvements can be made to the program. Remember to always refer back to the long-term goals established and consider the feedback provided by mentors and mentees from the program.

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