27 August 2015

All Great Changes are Preceded by Chaos by Tina Zawila

A few years ago we became aware of a phenomenon referred to as “Digital Disruption” which refers to the changes that are occurring due to the development of digital technologies at a pace and magnitude that will disrupt established ways of value creation, social interactions, doing business and more generally – the way we think.

Digital disruption explodes the status quo. 

It challenges you to find new ways, new procedures, new thought processes and to learn new skills.

As advisors we assist business owners and leaders in many different industries who are struggling to cope with the rapid changes occurring, and who are struggling to lead their teams into the future. 

Even in our own industry, Steve and I as leaders of our team need to cope with the pace of change.

Generally speaking, many of us are reluctant to change.  We like the comfort of knowing.  Knowing that if we do this, we will get that result, knowing our tried and tested procedures and systems, knowing how and what our competition is doing, and knowing where we stand with others.
In times of change, we often “don’t know”.

However, as leaders, we need to embrace change, and support our team during periods of transition.  We need to make informed decisions, but we also need to make them quickly and communicate clearly and openly with our team. 

We need to minimise the chaos of change.

Socrates is quoted as saying “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”   So let’s focus on the possibilities that digital disruption offers us and be courageous and innovative in our approach.

At Sothertons Gladstone we support our clients in times of change and pride ourselves on providing innovative solutions.  Call us
on 4972 1300.

11 August 2015

"We get what we pay for" Article by Tina Zawila

Recently a new client provided us with their financial statements and income tax returns from last year.  Unfortunately, we could immediately see several glaringly obvious errors.  However, these errors were not obvious to the client and they had signed the documents in good faith and reliance on their former professional advisor.

The concerning thing about this, is that it is the client, not the advisor, who is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the documents.  It is the client that signs the declaration that usually says something like “you (the client) are responsible for accuracy and completeness” and “the onus is on you (the taxpayer) to ensure that your return is accurately prepared and contains no misleading statements or information”.  And finally that you “understand your responsibilities”. 

Did you get all that?   Let me make it clear - ultimate responsibility rests with YOU, not your advisor, and if things are wrong, you will pay the price.

So how can you protect yourself? 

I think the key is find an advisor that you can trust, that will take the time to explain things to you, and one that is suitably qualified and is a member of a professional body.

Unfortunately, anyone can call themselves an “accountant”, but to be part of a professional body such as the Chartered Accountants (CA’s), or Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA’s), you need to do post-graduate studies, commit to ongoing professional development, and most importantly, your work must meet minimum quality control standards.  In fact, you will be subject to regular reviews of your work by the professional body, just to maintain your membership.

Just as in most things in life, there are always cheaper, lower quality products and services you can choose to buy, or you can pay a little extra to get high quality, reliable, superior products and services.  It’s your choice, and you run the risk.

At Sothertons Gladstone we are Chartered Accountants and members of National and International groups.  We are dedicated to providing high quality financial products and advice.  Call us on 4972 1300 for your own peace of mind.