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Welcome to an early Federal Budget edition of our April newsletter. As the Morrison Government clears the decks ahead of a May election, Australians will be weighing up the impact on their household budgets.

The war in Ukraine added a major new source of uncertainty to the local and global economic outlook in March. Economic sanctions against Russia have cut its oil exports, sending crude oil prices surging 6% over the month to more than US$111 a barrel. This puts further pressure on inflation, already on the rise as global economies recover from the pandemic. In the US, inflation is at a 40-year high of 7.9%. The US Federal Reserve lifted official interest rates in March for the first time since 2018, by 0.25 basis points to a range of 0.25-0.50.

In Australia, the lead-up to the Federal Budget added to the uncertainty. The Reserve Bank is taking a “patient” approach on interest rates for now, but with inflation at 3.5% and tipped to go higher it is expected to begin lifting rates later this year. Australia’s economy grew by 3.4% in the December quarter, the strongest gain since 1976 as the nation emerged from lockdowns. Unemployment fell from 4.2% to 4.0% in February, but rising prices are putting pressure on household budgets. Petrol prices hit a high of $2.12 a litre in March, costing the average motorist an extra $66.20 to fill their tank since the start of the year. Consumer confidence is at an 18-month low, with the Westpac-Melbourne Institute index down 4.2% in March to 96.6 points. And a 20.6% lift in home prices in the year to February has pushed the average mortgage on established homes to a record $635,000.

Rising commodity prices – iron ore and wheat were both up almost 5% in March – pushed the Aussie dollar to around US75c.

Market movements & review video - April 2022

Market movements & review video – April 2022

Stay up to date with what’s happened in Australian markets over the past month.

The war in Ukraine added a major new source of uncertainty to the local and global economic outlook in March.

Inflationary pressure continued as global economies recover from the pandemic and as crude oil prices surged due to economic sanctions against Russia.

Please get in touch if you’d like assistance with your personal financial situation.

Federal Budget 2022-23: Spotlight on tax

Federal Budget 2022-23: Spotlight on tax

Tax offsets and temporary cuts were at the heart of this year’s Federal Budget as the government attempts to woo voters in the run-up to the election.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg emphasised the crucial role of his tax measures in helping Australians cope with the growing cost of living pressures and in supporting the small businesses he calls the “engine room of our economy”.

According to the Treasurer, the measures in this year’s Budget represent the “next stage in leading Australia’s strong economy into the future”.

One-off tax offset and payments

A signature announcement in the Federal Budget was providing one-off cost of living tax offsets and payments to lower-income earners.

From 1 July 2022, taxpayers will receive a one-off $420 cost of living offset. The offset will take effect when they submit their tax returns at the end of the 2021-22 financial year.

In addition, the Budget included a one-off income tax-exempt payment of $250 to help eligible pensioners, welfare recipients and concession card holders with their cost of living pressures. They will automatically receive the payment in April 2022.

A key tax omission in this year’s Budget was another extension to the existing Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO), which means eligible taxpayers will no longer receive the offset (currently worth up to $1,080) beyond the current financial year.

Cut to fuel excise

Another major measure in the Budget was a temporary halving of the current excise rates for petrol, diesel and other fuel and petroleum-based products for six months until 28 September 2022.

This temporary cut in petrol and diesel rates (from 44.2 cents to 22.1 cents) per litre is designed to reduce cost of living pressures for households and small businesses.

According to the Treasurer, households will be around $300 better off over the 6 month period. Businesses will receive fuel tax credits where fuel is used in light vehicles travelling off public roads and by heavy vehicles or plant and machinery. Light vehicles operating on public roads are ineligible for FTCs, but will benefit from cheaper bowser prices.

Small business support

The Budget also included a reduction in the GDP uplift rate to be used for 2022-23, which will provide $1.85 billion in cash flow support for small business.

Both the offsetting of losses against previously taxed profits and the instant write-off of assets for businesses with a turnover of less than $5 billion were extended again until 30 June 2023.

Businesses with annual turnover of less than $50 million will also gain access to a new bonus 20 per cent tax deduction for the costs (up to $100,000) of expenses and depreciating assets relating to improvement of the organisation’s uptake of digital technologies. These technologies include such things as cloud computing, cyber security enhancements and portable payment devices.

Training and apprenticeship subsidies

A new Skills and Training Boost will provide small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million with access to a bonus 20 per cent tax deduction for the cost of external training courses delivered to their employees. The deduction will apply to training expenditure from Budget night until 30 June 2024.

Employers will also be able to access wage subsidies if they take on apprentices in occupations listed on the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List. For an apprentice earning $34,000 a year, an employer will be eligible to receive up to $8,750 in wage subsidies over two years.

The Budget also provided $5.6 million over four years in funding for a new dedicated small business unit in the Fair Work Commission and $2.1 million for Financial Counselling Australia’s Small Business Debt Helpline.

COVID-19 tests tax deductible

To clarify concerns expressed by taxpayers, the Budget included a provision to make the cost of taking a COVID-19 test to attend a place of work tax deductible for individuals from 1 July 2021. The government also announced that Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) will not be incurred by businesses where they provide COVID-19 tests to their employees for this purpose.

If you would like to discuss any measures in the Federal Budget, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Information in this article has been sourced from the Budget Speech 2022-23 and Federal Budget support documents.

Embracing the power of automation

Embracing the power of automation

Life seems to be getting busier year after year, especially in the workplace. Just as well there are measures we can take to increase productivity and create efficiencies within not only our workplace, but our personal life as well.

Automation within organisations is a common occurrence these days due to the importance placed on streamlining processes and increasing productivity. And with technology changing at such a rapid rate, it’s empowering businesses to implement changes along the way.

While most jobs can benefit from a degree of automation, ‘automation’ doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be a scary word. When used effectively in the workplace and your day-to-day life, it can free up time for the critical tasks, allowing you to do what you do best; foster creativity, think strategically and build relationships.

Advantages and challenges to be aware of

We all have those tasks that bog us down, they are often repetitive and prevent us from undertaking the more important aspects of our roles. Automating these mundane tasks can provide many advantages including;

    • Reducing busy work, freeing up resources to focus efforts on more important tasks that require critical thinking.


    • Increasing knowledge sharing within and between teams, with improved reporting and processes.


  • Minimising duplication of data and the possibility of data entry errors.

Introducing change comes with its own set of challenges, even if automating processes leads to improved satisfaction and productivity. Some key considerations when implementing new technology and automation include;

    • The initial costs of new products or services, team training and the time for the team to take up the new process.


    • Data security issues with the increased reliance on technology.


    • Being mindful not to introduce unnecessary complexity. Automation for the sake of automation will not always create efficiencies.


  • Developing indicators to measure the success of the new process.

Where can you start making changes today

Automation should ultimately make your working environment simpler and it’s one of the best tools we have at our disposal for efficiency. A few areas where you can begin making changes include;

    • Sales and client onboarding: Client relationships are built over time, and often require a personalised touch. However, there are simple ways to reduce the administration of finding, converting and onboarding new clients. This may include an integration between your emails and CRM for better client profiles, appointment setting tools and a sales workflow with automated emails to prospects to maintain regular touch points.


    • Data entry across various areas of the business: No one likes to get bogged down entering, or worse re-entering data. Investigate integrations between your accounting software and CRM (and any other platforms) so data only needs to be entered once. This will both reduce time and the possibility for errors.


    • Invoicing and accounts: Online accounting software enables businesses to manage accounts and payroll effectivity – but are you making the most of the tools available to you? Do team members enter timesheets directly into the accounting software, eliminating data entry? Also consider issuing repeat invoices and invoice reminders to assist with prompt payment.


  • Marketing: There has been an explosion of tools to assist you in effectively marketing your business. Consider scheduling your social media with a free scheduling tool. Share content across the business to maximise your efforts. Collect and store new leads in your CRM or email platform so you can market to them in future.

Get on board with change

There are many reasons why automating processes within an organisation is beneficial for productivity, but it can also have a positive effect on team morale and job satisfaction. By removing manual tasks and replacing them with an automated process, you could reduce stress levels and potentially have a beneficial impact on absenteeism within the workplace.

One key thing to remember is now that flexible working is a high priority for most people, whatever strategies you implement, they must have the ability to be accessed remotely.

By incrementally introducing a few new strategies across various areas of the business or your role, you’ll start reaping the rewards sooner than you think.

Your key priorities when winding down your mortgage

Your key priorities when winding down your mortgage

Many of us make paying off our mortgage a priority. It’s the new Australian dream. But before making that last home loan repayment, use our checklist to make sure you’re prepared.

Your end-of-mortgage checklist

  • Reassess your home insurance.
  • Review your title.
  • Review your estate plan and will.
  • Assess your personal insurance situation.
  • Think about your next financial steps.

Three key priorities

There are three key practical steps to take well in advance of paying off your mortgage.

1. Check the insurance

Your home is likely to be your biggest asset, so it’s crucial to make sure it’s appropriately covered. Research shows that 29% of homeowners don’t have home and contents insurance and 40% of households with insurance are underinsured.1

You need to have a realistic idea of what your home and contents are worth. This is likely to change significantly over your years of homeownership.

If in the face of loss or damage to your home contents, you don’t have the funds available to replace or rebuild, it could mean a financial setback.

Want to know what your property is worth, request a free NAB property report today.

Want to work out what it could cost to rebuild your home or replace your contents? The Insurance Council of Australia has a calculator you can use. Then you can make sure you have enough insurance to cover the costs.

2. Revise your title

When you have a home loan, the bank holds the Certificate of Title until the loan has been repaid. At that point, you need to remove the lender from your title. When you’re at the tail end of your mortgage, you need to discharge your home loan. If it’s not done properly, it can impact your ability to sell your property quickly and efficiently.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Contact your lender – they’ll ask you to complete a mortgage discharge authority form.
  • Complete the form as shown – it takes at least 10 business days to process your discharge, so think ahead if you need a quick sale or refinance.
  • Register your discharge and Certificate of Title – at the Land Titles office in your state. Your lender can do this for you or you can do it yourself. If you are managing the process, below is where you’ll find the information you need.
  • Some titles are also held electronically now so make sure you speak to your mortgage specialist to find out if this is applicable to you.

Below are links to the Land Titles offices in each state and territory.

New South Wales




Western Australia

South Australia

Northern Territory


3. Review your estate plan and will

If you don’t have a will, it should be one of your key priorities. If you die ‘intestate’ – that is, without a will – it creates a huge amount of complexity over your estate. The Court will appoint an administrator and this may not be the person who you would’ve chosen if a will was made. It’s a much more expensive and time-consuming process.

Working with a financial planner can make the process of putting your will together easier.

It’s also important to review your will and estate plan regularly and to update it if significant life events change your intentions regarding your estate.

These could include real estate purchases, marriage or divorce, the death of one of your beneficiaries or the birth of a potential new one. Developing an estate plan can help you protect and arrange the transfer of jointly held assets, trust assets, and superannuation benefits. These types of assets are not dealt with in a will. For example, your superannuation benefits can be distributed at the discretion of the superannuation trustee. You can put in place ‘death benefit nominations’ to ensure super benefits go to the people or organisations you choose.

You’ve done so well with your mortgage – make sure you make it over the final hurdles easily.

Have confidence in your future with help from us, call us today.

1 Canstar, Underinsurance Becoming More Common in Aussie Households, September 2016.

Source: NAB

Reproduced with permission of National Australia Bank (‘NAB’). This article was originally published at

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