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Business, Life, Surfing

The Short Story of The Surfing Accountant

May 31, 2015

It feels like I’ve been surfing for as long as I can remember, even though I didn’t actually start until I was 11. Born and raised in Woolgoolga – or Woopi as the locals know it – my first real surfing memory there is at Main Beach on a red-bottomed single fin surf board. I had to ride my bike down the big hill and then push it back up – not easy when you’re small and carrying a surfboard!

By the age of 13 I was surfing competitively & I won a Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain School Surfing Scholarship just before I turned seventeen. I spent the next three years on the local surf circuit, surfing my way into many finals including first place in the Open Mullaway Surf Classic in 1987!

Throughout my early surfing days I was sponsored by Hot Tuna, Prana Surfboards and Blue Lines Surf Centre, and couldn’t imagine doing much else with my life. However, I was always good at maths at school and when it came to the time to apply for university, accounting was my first choice.

I still surfed as much as I could when I was at uni, and in January 1991, I got my first job as an assistant accountant in an abattoir (nice) in Grafton NSW. Life got pretty busy for a while; I started my own business, and in 2003 Jaylan my son was born. With so many other priorities, surfing just took a back seat, and I stopped – probably without even realising it.

Fast forward about nine years, and a new client came into my accounting office on the Gold Coast. We were having a good chat about life, and surfing came up. I said “Oh, I used to surf” and they said, what do you mean you used to surf?!

One weekend they invited me out for a surf, so I ended up getting my boards out, cleaned one up and got out there amongst the waves. It was like I’d never stopped! I have surfed every week since without fail – huge thanks to my now friends Nam & Devo from Equalize Training Company for getting me back out there.

One of my favourite surfing memories (as a grown up!) is at the Maldives last year, surfing barrelling left-handers for over 4 hours, it was just epic! I want to go back there again soon, it’s the trip of a lifetime but hopefully not just once in my lifetime!

The best thing about being an accountant is seeing clients grow both with their business and personally. When I’m involved in that process it’s very rewarding, and so many of my clients have become good friends. It helps that most of them surf too – I’m not sure if that’s a coincidence or if it’s just how it’s ended up!

I get a real connection with the water and the waves; I just love sitting out there on my board, it recharges by batteries and I get this sense of total freedom. It really helps me to stay balanced and deal with pressures of life and running a business. So, you could say that surfing is now vital to the success of my accounting career – and for that I’m pretty grateful.


“The Miracle Morning”

April 25, 2015

As part of my journey to become more successful in business and in life, I have had the pleasure of being trained by Nam Baldwin. Nam is a Peak Performance Coach and as the current Strength & Conditioning Coach to Mick Fanning (as in, 3 x world surfing champion!) I think I’m in safe hands…

One of the most life-changing lessons that Nam has taught me has been about the true power of the mind. You have about 60,000 thoughts a day, most of which are just things made up by your brain as it tries to make sense of everything it sees, hears, smells, tastes and experiences. Trouble is, if you listen to all of them, you can become your own worst enemy. Learning how to master your own mind, and influence it positively through good nutrition and physical activity, is really key to good performance, and it has changed so many things for me.

Something that Nam taught me early on in our sessions and that I have carried on with religiously is The Miracle Morning. This has become the foundation for daily success and fulfilment for me, and for so many more of Nam’s network.

The idea is to set yourself up for a great day from the second you open your eyes. With Nam’s guidance, you learn how to significantly supercharge your body’s chemistry and give yourself more energy, motivation and capacity to focus on what’s important – all done within the first ten minutes of the day! I can’t imagine how I would get things done without this significant ritual in place and it has definitely become a non-negotiable habit for me.

Nam will be appearing here as a guest blogger from time to time, but if you can’t wait until then to hear more about him you can head to his website here and check him out!




Get Lined Up For Tax Time

April 25, 2015
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As a business owner, there are many obligations that you need to consider and action over the next few weeks. Some of these will help to minimise your tax. We have outlined these action points to help you in a document which you can grab here

Key Changes from 1 July 2015

Businesses need to take note of a number of key tax changes that apply from 1 July 2015. These include:

  • SBE Company Tax Rate reduced to 28.5% and 5% tax discount for those unincorporated SBE tax payers
  • $20,000 Immediate Deduction for SBE’s
  • Removal of Tax Free Threshold for Temporary Residents
  • Zone Offset for some fly in/fly out employees abolished
  • FBT Exemption increased
  • Start-ups

Please urgently check these key things:

  1. Did your payroll software automatically updated for these changes last year? Or do you need to load these changes into your payroll software?
  2. Check your first pay run from 1 July 2015 to ensure the changes are correct.
  3. Review any salary packaging and calculations and make any adjustments to employee FBT contributions or other items where needed.

Last Minute Tax Minimisation Tips

Here’s a few final reminders about ways to reduce your tax for 2015

  1. Write-off Bad Debts
  2. Write-off any trading stock that is damaged or obsolete
  3. Review your asset register and scrap any obsolete plant and equipment
  4. Pay for repairs, consumables, office stationery, and donations before 30 June 2015
  5. Ensure employee superannuation contributions are made (and received by your employees superannuation fund) by 30 June 2015 to allow a tax deduction this financial year
  6. Realise any capital losses you have before 30 June 2015 to offset against any capital gains you may have made

In the document we also cover the important points that you need to know about the following:

  • SBE Company Tax Rate reduced to 28.5%
  • $20,000 Immediate Deduction for SBE’s
  • Removal of Tax Free Threshold for Temporary Residents
  • Zone Offset for some fly in / fly out employees abolished
  • FBT Exemption increased
  • Start-ups
  • 2% Debt Tax for High Income Earners
  • Medicare Levy Increase
  • 2% Fringe Benefits Tax Rate Increase
  • Superannuation Guarantee
  • Trust Distributions – Timing of Resolutions
  • You might not need to do a Stocktake
  • Fuel Excise Increase
  • Deadline for 2015 PAYG Payment Summaries
  • Building and Construction Industry Reporting
  • Payroll Tax
  • WorkCover/WorkSafe
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • ATO Audit Activity

Don’t forget you can just give me a call at any time if you need help!