Monthly Archives: February 2017

Blog No 46 – Insight and Incite

Last week I attended the annual MYOB Partner Incite Conference (yes I am a partner with MYOB)!

Over 1,000 of us filed into the Melbourne Convention Centre to be greeted by a jazz band and seating that ranged in style from beanbags to bench seats to a variety of coloured hard chairs. Quite funky!

The CEO of Lonely Planet Gus Balbontin (who was once homeless scavenging food off restaurant tables!) spoke of disruption and we were presented with updates on the evolution of MYOB and it’s soon to be released brand transformation “The Next Big Thing”.

Three Pillars

The evolution of technology presents you the business owner/manager with productivity opportunities and scope for fee reductions. It is clear that the three pillars of an Accounting practice is also shifting with technological change.

  1. Transaction processing – with bank feeds and artificial intelligence, data entry is getting more and more automated. Please ensure your bookkeepers and data entry folk are using bank feeds to improve productivity and hence reduce fees you pay for transaction processing services.
  2. Compliance – traditional annual reporting, tax returns and BAS are also being more automated and streamlined thus reducing the time taken to provide such services. You also should be pushing for fee reductions from your external Accountants for these services ensuring that the productivity gains they are getting through technology is being passed onto clients.
  3. Advisory – traditional practices are finding that they need to offer these services to sustain their income streams as the above two pillars shrink. Interestingly MYOB survey indicates that 7 out of 10 unmet needs of business clients is in the area of Advisory services. These include performance monitoring, forecasting and business planning. So ensure your Accountant is capable of offering these services, and if they are not capable of such, or are not meeting your requirements in this area, don’t hesitate to look for help from experts in this field.

MYOB Advanced

MYOB’s ERP system offering MYOB Advanced is Australia’s only integrated cloud ERP and Payroll solution, so if your system needs have moved beyond the MYOB AccountRight or Essentials offering, MYOB Advanced is worth considering. This is particularly true of you manage inventory, either purchased or manufactured.


Software vendors like MYOB are offering standard functionality to improve productivity and reduce the costs of your transaction processing and financial and tax reporting requirements. Ensure you keep on your Accountant/Bookkeeper to pass savings onto you and that they have the skillset and want to provide essential business advisory services.

Ross – Billson Advisory Part-Time Virtual CFO

Blog No 45 – Planning and Accountability

It is hard to believe but we are already one-eighth through the 2017 year, and more than 60% through the 2017 financial year!

I drove passed this sign below at the weekend and thought it appropriate for this week’s blog.


Did you make any resolutions back on January 1st? How are they going for you and are they still in play?

Or don’t you believe in making resolutions? Or are they tracking along nicely?

Ticking things off you bucket list? Losing some weight? Getting more exercise? Drinking less? Spending more time with family?

New Year’s Resolutions are a bit of a festive laugh, often with the best of intentions, but like any fad, they tend to come and go quickly.

Business Plans

This leads me onto your business plans.

You might recall we went through your strategic planning process last year? As we are more than half way through the financial year, how are your strategic business plans playing out?

Are they a bit like your New Year’s Resolutions and have gone by the by? Or are they on track and delivering the results you envisaged?


It is clear that when you are accountable for something, you are more likely to focus on it. If you are a business owner or a business leader, one of the simple ways you make yourself ‘accountable’ is to tell someone you respect what you are going to do and commit to giving them a regular update as to your progress. If you are a manager of staff, the best way to ensure staff accountability is to build the plan objective into the employees ‘promises’ and ensure that it’s delivery is measurable and forms part of their annual performance appraisal, and hence pay review.

Dare to Dream

We all have dreams about our futures, whether that be a personal dream, business dream, dream-job, family dream or money dream. But imagination can only get you so far. At some point, it’s actions that count. It’s the same with resolutions and business plans, actions count.

Dare to dream – but commit to act!

Ross – Billson Advisory – Virtual Part-Time CFO

Blog No 44 – RIP Australian Passenger Vehicle Manufacturing

During last week, we got the long awaited final news that Toyota would officially cease production of passenger vehicles at Altona in October later this year. This will be followed by GMH ceasing production a few weeks later. Ford have already ceased production at Broadmeadows late last year and Mitsubishi ceased production in Australia back in 2008.

It will bring to an end Australia’s 90-year history of domestic manufacturing of passenger vehicles.

No doubt, many local component manufacturers will also be hard hit during the fall-out unless they have successfully prepared for the transition away from the automotive industry. As a career manufacturing Accountant and member of SEMMA (South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance), it is sad to see!

How can this happen?

There are many reasons why this has happened, but I have a few theories around this disappointing situation.

How many of us are driving locally made vehicles? We all had a role to play here, supporting our local manufacturing colleagues rather than buying cheap imports or higher end luxury German cars?

Should the government have been more protective of our automotive manufacturing industry? I don’t necessarily agree with propping up inefficient industries, but surely there was scope for some kind of assistance given the flow-on benefits of having this industry provides. Of course, now we will be paying unemployment benefits to these poor redundant employees when surely that money would have been better spent redirected to some level of support to the industry and keeping these folks employed (paying taxes). And the government has a role to support the local industry by ‘Buying Australian” where reasonable for it’s own car fleets.

There is certainly a clear trend towards the larger SUV vehicle in the automotive market. I have a question to the manufacturers also. Was there no place for the Australian Station Wagon in this market, was there really an effort to market these vehicle as true alternatives to the SUV’s? Or are the local operations beholden (no pun intended) to the parent entities of these large multi-national motor vehicle companies and have no influence over strategic decisions and directions? I am sure this is part of the picture in my view.

Are our high unit cost of labour at the heart of this move? I am sure overseas parent entities note this as part of their global strategic planning. Our minimum wage is amongst the highest in the world.

Will we lose the ability to undertake heavy manufacturing? We will lose the skill base of a modern advanced economy as this occurs.

Good news stories

Interestingly, local innovative off-road vehicle manufacturer Tomcar is growing strongly and has developed Australia’s first electric powered vehicle. Another great story is the reshaping of plastic injection moulding business Perroplas away from reliance on the automotive sector. So it can be done!

Where our manufacturing sector will be in the future in unclear, but it is a sad farewell to the local automotive passenger vehicle manufacturing industry – RIP!

Ross – Billson Advisory