The Rant – #2

We’ve all watched those old Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns right?…how many times did we watch that part where Clint on his horse (Tinto…..Trigger….ol’ darkie….or was it Sea biscuit?) is in the desert (y’know, just picture Wile E. Coyote country, only real – well, kinda sorta)…here he comes with a trail of dust & pulls up right in front of the camera, chewin’ a cheroot (that’s cigar young fella a teeny weeny cigar), fly’s buzzin’ around (you can feel the heat too) and says…”Think I might prop for a bit n’ have a look around” (or thereabouts).

I wonder if, around this time of the year, for those of us running a small business (y’know, butchers, bakers, candle stick makers (well, I’m tipping that’s the next big thing if the Greenies have their way with renewables!), can find the time to prop for a bit n’ have a look around. We will be in the (bloody) office (I have never heard any office referred to as simply the office, just by the way, always the bloody office) anyway, ‘cause the December BAS will have occupied us (for lack of alternative) for a bit and because it is The Wet (I hope).

Whilst we were doing up the BAS (and a big hello to our wise & learned friends at the ATO) we will have had a bit of a look at the Profit & Loss – that line of figures that tells you how much money/spondees/moola etc you have brought in, how much you have spent (thieving bastards is the more common term used I suspect) and (hopefully) how much is left (which will be different to what you have in the Bank, believe me) for the first 6 months of the fiscal period (financial year, tax year, new shoe box year, you get the drift). So having pulled that bunch of numbers up on the screen (quite by accident in some cases) you see that you are actually in the black (y’know, made a profit), “Bloody hell!” I hear you say “we’re going alright Marg, lets shout ourselves a drink and dinner at the RSL tonight. You little beauty!”

Righto, so you are in the black (the Bank balance will be the subject of a future discussion!), all good and you want to stay there, ‘cause it feels good with a profit on the books and money in the Bank (time to get the Bank Manager in a headlock to lower that interest rate or else! – yep, we will talk about that down the track too), so what has all of this got to do with our Octogenarian cowboy (premiership this year….yeah maybe not…or perhaps I could just stay on task) hero parked up on aforesaid horse waiting for me to deliver the punch line. Well, just like Clint and Tinto/Trigger/Ol’ Darkie/Sea Biscuit, you have got to stay ahead of the posse! By posse, I mean the ATO.

That means you should be planning where you are going and making sure you pencil into your calendar regular checks of your progress along the way. The golden triangle (for most financial advisors being: 1. make a profit 2. have a quid in the Bank 3. all bills paid. However, there is a 4th and that is, if you have to pay tax, make sure it is a teeny tiny amount. Those who know me, know that I am always banging on about the Kerry Packer contribution to a house of Reps select committee review into the media in 1991 where he made reference to needing your head read if you are not minimising your tax.

By the way if you have brackets on your Profit and Loss report down the bottom, I don’t care why, (Houston) you have a problem.

If you do or if you are keen to see some more cash in the Bank, email or ring us for a chat, costs nothing and there just might be something in it for you.

Cheers big ears!

Denis S

The Rant – #1

The coffee queue. The 6am, first shift of the day, line out the door, coffee queue was when I had the epiphany. Avocado is responsible! Avocado and Ralphie. I am in the coffee queue, listening to my local garbologist (good bloke, Ralph) cheerily order his morning avocado hit and coffee. Not just any old avocado on toast (burnt if I’m doing it) with a squeeze of lemon (don’t drown it!) and Cafe 43 bean coffee. No. Oh no. Ralphie stumps up for his plain ol’ avocado tempura fried, coating the thing in panko (no less) breadcrumbs and then drop it in hot oil to then dip in a creamy dipping sauce…on toast! Ralphie flashes the plastic, scoops up his macchiato (it took me ages to google how to spell that) and gets a bead on a table to await his gastronomic feast and drag out his Best Bets sticking out of his back pocket and tally his winnings from the gee-gees.

Ralphie gets excited (like Big Kev) about his morning coffee and smashed (sometimes) avocado hit, the fact that it costs him $25 every morning 5 days a week has got nothing to do with the price of eggs on a given Tuesday or budgeting. Yeah…did you see what I just did there? The dreaded B word. Ralphie gets about as excited about the B word as Stevie Wonders panel beater (if Stevie is early and the roller door is down, that can be a bit of a drama).

Before Ralphie saunters off to said table I did my best to edumacate him with some numbers; “Ralphie, did you know we have over 16.5 million credit cards in Australia with an average debt of $4k? Um…no, says Ralphie. “Did you know that if you saved and invested your $125 a week in the markets over the next ten years at an average of 8% p.a. you could turn it into $100k which you could put towards your retirement in (gee, what a coincidence) ten years’ time?” No…says Ralphie, and yawns. “Did you know that Australian tax payers owe the ATO $19 billion dollars at the minute, total private (business/corporate) debt in Australia is $4.5 billion, up 620% from 1989 and we have the second highest consumer debt in the world?” …hmmm? Ralphie yawns, eyes glazed over and finally looks at me and asks with a slight frown “What’s all this got to do with me?”

“FFS man, how do you feel about you and Ethel living out your retirement years in a Gunya, living on bread and butter pudding for breakfast lunch and tea with 600,000 km’s on the Captiva! Ya gotta budget man” I say trying not to shout. “It’s not that hard Ralphie” I plead “Y’know – from little things, big things grow” giving my best Paul Kelly rendition (and failing badly judging by the filthy looks from said coffee queue). Ralphie looks at me thoughtfully “Bread and butter pudding?” he says “Y’know, you might be right.” says Ralphie. “About what?” I say hopefully. “I better plant an avocado tree when I get home. It’ll be ready just before I retire!”

My point? My point is that whether your vice be avocado or shoes or kitchen appliances sold on TV or simply not pulling that $125 out of your business every week, these things really add up. The simple act of doing up a realistic budget that allows for that $125 a week to be invested (out of your reach no less) can be the difference between eating canned tuna and Saos in retirement and being ‘comfortable’.

Wanna know more? If you’re not in the same coffee queue as me, then perhaps you should drop me a line or give me a call instead.

Introducing Denis Schaumburg (Director)

  • – Present (5 years 6 months)

    Working with family business of all descriptions (all forms of retail operations, grazing & farming enterprises etc) in the more remote corners of the state to deliver contemporary & tailor made solutions to

    Business viability & profitability
    Revenue & profit growth
    Improved business structure & security of tenure
    Design & implementation where appropriate of marketing plans
    Debt reduction strategies
    Succession planning (THAT conversation between family members and/or business partners)
    Wealth accumulation strategy for all generations/business partners
    Shareholder & partnership agreements
    Personal & business insurance solutions
    Structured succession estate planning solutions


DS&A and the Family Business

DS&A provides specialist financial management services Australia wide combining traditional professional banking experience with high level advice in succession planning (the conversation first, followed by the structural change), borrowing, wealth accumulation in a tax advantaged environment, estate planning, capital markets, personal risk insurance & access to taxation advice.

The work we undertake, includes, but is not limited to:

Engage family members and/or business partners in direct discussions on a face to face basis to deliver & execute a succession strategy that meets the objectives of the various generations and/or business partners over the short/medium & long term
Improving & where appropriate, simplifying existing transactional, banking & gearing arrangements
Reducing the cost of doing business with your Bank, participation in &/or leading negotiations in that regard
Review of information management systems, make recommendations & implement
Undertake a Viability analysis of the business, make recommendations & implement
Review of HR policies & strategy, position descriptions, performance management, recruitment policy & strategy, make recommendations & implement
Develop & implement marketing strategy & action plans to underpin sustainable business growth strategy to deliver expected outcomes in terms of annual turnover & profitability & capital value of the business
Undertake the drawing up of shareholder & buy/sell agreements as part of succession strategy
Provide risk solutions against loss of income, death, disability, trauma & critical illness
Build a wealth strategy for generational family members and/or business partners that includes a full range of strategic & comprehensive financial planning & superannuation advice
Provide structured estate planning solutions including management of philanthropic interests as needed

Working with Corporate Australia & Government to develop & secure strategic alliances & positive commercial outcomes for Qld

Succession and the Family Business

Many business partners who are often family members ponder in the dark corners of their mind about succession, when do the older partners/family members step back, how do the younger partners/generations assume the reins autonomously, of a business that necessarily is financially robust (hopefully) & take it forward, how do business & family partners protect what is most important to them; their family & future?

The last thing any business big or small would wish to deal with is incomplete or worst still, no, succession, banking, cashflow & wealth solutions These are all linked.

Whatever happened to that “old fashioned” approach that starts with you, your business & provides strong support & advice to better grip the future & bring it into focus; Many families/businesses are trying to do this on their own, progress is slow. Many business’s have developed succession solutions which cannot be reconciled to the business now or in the future. We work with you to build wealth reduce tax & not compromise cashflow then, help you protect & grow it. We are not fair weather sailors we are with you when things get tough and those who you thought would help, don’t. You know who they are.

We work with you to boost profitability, improve your capacity to proactively manage your business, retire debt & control expenses. Then with that improved profitability & cashflow we help you minimise tax & put capital aside for your future without impacting on the strength of the business.

We assist you with making sure you are correctly insured & where needed,buy/sell & shareholder agreements; what about your estate planning, when was the last time you looked at your wills? Are all of your assets & structures correctly dealt with? What would happen in your family if you were to die unexpectedly?

Together we ensure that your business is sustainably profitable, tax managed, correctly insured, succession strategy in place and personal wealth accumulation on track now the future.