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Update 1 December 2022

Refurbishments to our office are progressing well. See below for an update.

In this month's market update Tony provides insight into the impacts on inflation in the US and an overview of current interest rates in the US and RBA rate rises as well as the Australian consumer market and business conditions. With the view of interest rate increases starting to slow down the bond market has provided some relief to investors with bond yields falling.

Registrations of Interest for the Business Basics Grants program in Queensland are now open. Grants of $5,000 are available to eligible small businesses to build basic capabilities and upgrade skills. With everything from website upgrades to strategic marketing projects to training and coaching sessions eligible for funding. Registrations of Interest to apply will close 11.59pm, Monday 5 December 2022.

Did you know that a work party is still considered part of the ‘workplace’ for the purpose of workplace health and safety (WHS) obligations? Even if held at the local pub, a Christmas or end-of-year party is considered a workplace function. We have 7 helpful tips for your next Christmas Party.

Do you use business money for private purposes? If you use money or assets from your company or trust for private purposes, it’s important to consider there may be tax consequences.

The WD Nicholls Team

Our office refurbishment and flood repair work are expected to be completed in several weeks.

We are now taking face to face appointments again and half the professional team is on site. Some are still working from home.

We are available for phone appointments. The office will have limited access so we ask that you call reception on 02 6684 2502 prior to your visit for directions to the temporary entrance.

We look forward to greeting everyone in our new look offices. We expect that it will be two more weeks of disruption.

In November the US core inflation (excludes energy and food prices) rose by 6.3% in October from a year earlier, coming in well under expectations. Overall inflation was 7.7%, down from 8.2% in September, coming in below expectations of 8%. This announcement was sufficient enough for analysts to predict the US Federal Reserve Bank will start to wind back their interest rate increases. For the past 4 months, the US has increased rates at 0.75% increments however it is now predicted the increase in December to be 0.50%. In other economic news this month:

  • Australian consumer sentiment plunged in November, falling almost 7%, and now sits at the very low level reached at the start of the pandemic in April 2020. The main driver of the fall was a large drop in expectations for family finances in the next 12 months given rising costs and concerns over the labour market.

  • Australian business conditions remained strong in October, but business confidence fell below its historical average levels, starting to catch up to the weak consumer sentiment readings.

  • The US added 261,000 jobs in October, well above expectations of 200,000, after adding 315,000 in September.

  • China’s imports and exports contracted unexpectedly in October.

  • China’s producer prices fell into negative territory in October largely as expected given the weak trade numbers and ongoing weak domestic demand which saw inflation ease to 2.1% from 2.8% in September.

  • Australian employment rose by 32,300 in October following a 3,800 decrease in September.

  • Australian wage growth rose by 1% in the third quarter pushing the annual rate up to 3.1%.

  • US housing stats fell 4.2% in October, on the prior month, with September also showing falls. Not surprising given the 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now averaging around 7%, the highest since 2002.

  • US industrial production fell by October, coming in below expectations.

  • A key US manufacturing index unexpectedly slumped in November from October’s negative result, coming in well below analyst expectations.

  • The UK economy grew 2.4% in the third quarter, at the same time last year, a drop from second-quarter growth of 4.4%.

  • UK inflation accelerated to 11.1% in October from 10.1% in September, coming in well above expectations of a rise to 10.7%.

  • Chinese authorities unveiled an extensive 16-point rescue package for the struggling real estate market

  • Eurozone consumer confidence rose in November, with the highest reading since August, but remains deep in negative territory.

  • European central bank officials made statements on rates with some suggesting a third straight 0.75% increase was required whilst others suggested that a 0.50% increase would still send a strong message.

  • German producer prices posted their first monthly fall in 2.5 years in October, down 4.2%, and well below market expectations for a 0.9% rise. At the same time last year, prices are up 34.5%. The October decline was led by the energy segment, but this remains up over 85% since October 2021.

  • Germany’s business climate index rose in November helped by several government stimulus packages, filled national gas reserves, and a faster adaption of businesses and households to conserve less energy.

  • UK retail sales rose 0.6% in October following a 1.5% fall in September, beating analyst expectations of a 0.3% rise. At the same time last year, sales are down 6.1% with retail volumes still below their pre-covid levels.

With the view of interest rate increases starting to slow down the bond market has provided some relief to investors with bond yields falling. The US 10-year yield is around 3.68% while the Australian rate is 3.57% which has fallen from their high of 4.25% and 4.20% respectively. With all this positiveness the market returns for the end of November are:

The Business Basics grants program in Queensland provides support to businesses to increase core skills and adopt best practice.

This support includes funded activities in 5 priorities:

  1. Training and coaching

  2. Website build or upgrades

  3. Professional business advice

  4. Strategic marketing services

  5. Business continuity and succession.

The program is administered by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT).

Available funding

You may be eligible for a single up-front fixed grant payment of $5,000 (excluding GST).

The grant is for funding activities from the above 5 priorities.

DESBT will not fund activities with either:

  • a total cost of less than $5,000 (excluding GST)

  • payments made before the approval date (you must be approved before you pay for grant-funded activities).

Registrations of Interest (ROIs) opened at 9am on Thursday, 24 November 2022 and will close at 11.59pm, Monday 5 December 2022.

ROIs are not time sensitive and registrations can be completed anytime while the stage is open.

Not all registrations will be invited to submit a full application. You will not be able to appeal if your registration is not selected to move to Stage 2: Full application.

This grant program is competitively assessed. Not all applications will be funded.

Source and credit:

Did you know that a work party is still considered part of the ‘workplace’ for the purpose of workplace health and safety (WHS) obligations? Even if held at the local pub, a Christmas or end-of-year party is considered a workplace function.

As a business owner, you're responsible for the safety of your employees at the party location.

Here are 7 tips to help you and your employees celebrate safely:

1. Review your workplace policies

Before the event make sure your internal policies and procedures are up to date. These include the policies for acceptable behaviour and bullying and harassment in the workplace.

2. Remind employees of their responsibilities

Send an email reminding your employees that:

  • the start and finish times of your party and that any activities after this time are not considered an extension of the party

  • while the party is a time to relax, it's still a work function. The usual rules still apply, including those around harassment, discrimination, and bullying

  • your social media policies apply at the party. Encourage people to get permission from their colleagues before posting on social media.

3. Limit the amount of alcohol

While an open bar may be a nice way to reward your employees, if you serve alcohol, make sure it's served legally and responsibly. There should also be enough food and non-alcoholic drinks available.

4. Check the venue before the party

Visit the venue beforehand, or arrive a bit earlier, so you can address any hazards before the party starts (for example cords potentially causing people to trip).

5. Think about transport for your employees

Plan a party location that's close to public transport or make arrangements for staff to get home safely afterward. For example, organising a bus, pre-ordering taxis, or arranging designated drivers.

If you’re visiting a more remote location such as a winery, consider providing a party bus for your employees.

6. Nominate someone to manage the party

Having someone to keep an eye on the proceedings helps to ensure the party doesn't get out of hand and that any complaints are dealt with quickly.

7. Have gift guidelines

It's fun to run party games like Secret Santa with your employees. However, it's good to be mindful that what's funny to one person can be offensive to another. Keep your gifts above board by providing some guidelines and asking employees to be respectful and mindful of bullying, discrimination, and harassment policies.

Source and credit:

If you use money or assets from your company or trust for private purposes, it’s important to consider there may be tax consequences. This applies for business money and assets such as:

  • salary, wages and director’s fees

  • fringe benefits and allowances

  • company dividends or trust distributions

  • loans of money or assets from a company or trust.

To ensure you get it right, take these 2 simple steps:

  • keep accurate records to account for these transactions

  • if necessary, account for the transactions in the company or trust’s tax return and your individual tax return.

By following these steps and keeping your business and private transactions separate and visible, you'll avoid unintended tax consequences.

Remember, there are different reporting and record-keeping requirements for each type of transaction, so make sure you know how to keep accurate records of your circumstances when using your business money and assets for private purposes.

Source and credit:

Our office will be closed for Christmas from;

5.00 pm Wednesday 21st December 2022 and

reopening 8.30 am Tuesday 3rd January 2023

If you wish to arrange a telephone appointment or zoom meeting with one of our team please contact our office either by telephone or email.


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