Aussies blame foreign investors for high house prices

Recent HILDA report shows slump on home ownership rate over Australia’s 4-year economic growth period. The States, Sydney and Melbourne, that hosts considerable economic advancement also has the most stretched housing affordability. The upward pressure on home values left end buyers struggling on high housing prices, leading to drop on owner occupied households. The said decline is highest to those aged below 40. Whether this is a downside or an emerging opportunity, numbers won’t hide the impact of economic prosperity.


Check out the HILDA report yourself

Download the report via the Melbourne Institute website (link is external) (PDF: 13.7Mb)

2016 Charity Golf Day

2016 Cancer Council Golf Day Flyer


We are running our annual golf day to help raise money for the Cancer Council.

Our annual Charity Golf Day is being held this year on Friday 17th June, 2016 at the fabulous Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club.


Would really appreciate any support you could offer, we are still looking for hole sponsors but obviously individual players will just be as good.


Please find attached a flyer which outlines all the details of the event, including an itinerary and the prices for sponsorship packages.


The day is sure to be lots of fun and we encourage you to extend this invitation, to any friends or family who enjoy a game of golf.  Everyone is welcome.


If you don’t have a team of four, you are still welcome as single players will be assigned to a team.


We look forward to seeing you on the day.


2016 Cancer Council Golf Day Flyer

Three steps to rid your business of inefficient processes

Three steps to rid your business of inefficient processes

Inefficient processes may be costing business owners as much as 20 to 30 per cent of their revenue every year. With so much at stake, here’s a look at how to spot and troubleshoot inefficient processes that may be negatively affecting your business.

1. Identify areas of inefficiency

The first place to start is by keeping track of signs that indicate inefficient processes in your organisation. For example, if you’re seeing a lot of errors as well as ongoing issues with incomplete and missed work, chances are you’ve got an area of inefficiency. In particular, whenever a business process requires two or more people to handle the same paperwork, there’s far more opportunities for inefficiencies to arise.

Undocumented knowledge adds to the problem of inefficiency. If only one or two key people understand how a given process works, it’s hard for other employees to pick up the pieces when they’re not around. Even if a person is away for a short time, it can create inefficiencies that cause the work flow to break down. And when a staff member leaves, there’s a real risk of losing critical knowledge.

While a business may be able to rely on knowledge-based procedures for a time, as more people come on board and the business grows, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to improve and document their existing processes to ensure that operations can continue to run smoothly and efficiently at all times.


2. Simplify processes and procedures

How can businesses simplify inefficient processes? For starters, getting key staff to document their daily duties and how they do things (accounting procedures, making a sale, etc) is the first step towards simplifying your processes and procedures. Have your employees take screen shots and document, step-by-step, the processes that they do. This gives you a map on paper that you can follow.

Once you’ve determined what needs to change, test and measure the process against something else. In particular, if you’re implementing a new process to replace an older one, make sure the process works better by testing and measuring it – don’t just assume.

Next, consider how you can streamline and automate process. For example, many businesses are still performing very simple processes manually, such as writing phone messages. Meanwhile, there are a plethora of software packages and cloud-based tools available that can make these day-to-day tasks easier and faster. One example is ToDoList, which makes prioritising your daily tasks a breeze.


3. Revise processes on a regular basis

Too often we get too caught up in the details of our day-to-day work and don’t pay enough attention to how we’re doing things. Reviewing internal processes such as payroll on a regular basis is key to making your business as efficient as it can be. Not only can it benefit you by lowering expenses, it may help you free up time to generate more revenue.

While it can be challenging to take a step back when you’re so focused on the business, start by breaking your review down into manageable chunks. For example, when reviewing your employee induction process, focus on categories such as on-boarding documentation, training, IT setup and orientation, and assess the effectiveness of each individually. Even if you can only perform a review every six months or so, it’s better to start small than setting too big of a goal and not doing anything at all. Be realistic about what you can actually do.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from reviewing our internal processes is that there is a lot more time to be freed up than you think. Nor do you necessarily have to employ more people to get things done – you just have to make things more efficient. Regardless of the size of your business, you can make more of what you have.

The way your business does things is a valuable form of intellectual property, so it’s important you’re prepared to maintain it by learning how to document your processes.


Adam Tanti is a Resilium Adviser and a senior financial planner and insurance Adviser atTanti Financial Services in Sydney, where he has worked for the past nine years. Adam specialises in business insurance, financial planning, self-managed super funds and retirement planning, among other areas.

Cancer Council Pro Bono Press Issue 9 – Autumn 2015


View the wonderful write-up of Tony Tanti in the latest Cancer Council Pro Bono News Letter. ……………………


Cancer Council Pro Bono e-newsletter Issue 9 – Autumn 2015

Message from Sarah Penman, National Pro Bono Manager

Welcome to the autumn issue of Pro Bono Press, in which we celebrate some recent milestones!

Volunteers are fundamental to the work done by Cancer Council, which is why it is always fantastic when May rolls around each year as we get the chance to officially thank all of our wonderful volunteers with National Volunteer Week. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the professional service providers who volunteer through the Pro Bono Program. We share more about National Volunteer Week in our first article.

In other news to celebrate, the government has just announced its intention to ease the requirements governing early access to superannuation for people with a terminal illness. The proposed changes will extend the life expectancy provision period from 12 months to two years. The strict 12-month requirement has been an issue of contention for some time, with many people affected by cancer experiencing difficulties in accessing much needed funds. Cancer Council supported other cancer charities in their efforts to lobby for change. We are pleased with the result and hopeful that the changes will assist in easing the financial burden of the many Australians living with a terminal diagnosis. You can see how the media campaign around this issue unfolded in our article, In the spotlight – early access to super.

Read more…


Giving back for National Volunteer Week

Pro Bono team celebrations (from left): Tori Edwards, Ivan Luo, Rachell Howell, Sonika Kalra and Emma Ryan

The Federal Minister for Human Services, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, launched National Volunteer Week at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra on 11 May 2015. Thousands of events were held across the nation throughout the week in recognition of Australia’s 6 million volunteers.

Cancer Council celebrated in a big way, as we rely on an incredible number of volunteers in our mission to reduce the impact of cancer on individuals and the community. For the Pro Bono Program, it is our dedicated team of legal interns who come into the office each day and our service providers on the ground who make it possible for our clients to access critical professional assistance.

Read more…


Tanti Financial Services on the rewards of volunteering

Tony Tanti of Tanti Financial Solutions in NSW

Tony Tanti has been in the financial services industry for almost 30 years. He is the principal of Tanti Financial Services based in Emu Plains in Western Sydney, where he is a financial adviser. Tony’s practice employs 13 staff across financial planning and accounting. As one of the first financial planning practices to get on board with the Pro Bono Program four years ago, Tanti Financial Services has assisted over 20 clients on a pro bono basis.

Asked why he wanted to be involved, Tony said, “I wanted to use my knowledge and experience to be able to help people in our local community who were not in a position to pay for the assistance they needed. I wanted to take the stress away from this area and let them focus on their health.”
Tony encourages his staff to use their skills to do the same, and has found that being involved in the Pro Bono Program is not only personally rewarding, but has contributed to the positive culture of his practice. Offering pro bono support has created a sense of harmony among his staff, most of whom have assisted Cancer Council clients in some way.

“The pro bono work we do always brings me back to reality,” Tony said. He remembers one particular client where this was certainly the case. Read more…


Referrer Q&A – Sara Bunnett, Program Manager, Practical Support at Cancer Council Victoria

Sara Bunnett (left) from CCVIC and Pro Bono Case Manager Jessica Harvie (right) in Shepparton, Victoria

Sara Bunnett is the Program Manager, Practical Support at Cancer Council Victoria and, among a great many other things, works with the Pro Bono team to roll out the Pro Bono Program in Victoria. Pro Bono Case Manager Jessica Harvie asked Sara a few questions about her role and work with Cancer Council.

What did you do before joining Cancer Council? I am a qualified Radiation Therapist, with qualifications in Palliative Care, Health Service Management and Project Management. I have had a range of clinical and health policy roles both here and in the UK. Prior to joining Cancer Council Victoria, I worked in support services with the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia.

What do you like most about the work you do at Cancer Council? It’s great to be able to work with families affected by cancer at a time of great need, in programs that can really make a practical difference to their experience. I work with a fantastic team with whom I share a common goal in providing a high standard of supportive care to cancer patients and their families.  It is for this reason that I trained as a radiation therapist in the first place and it is really rewarding to be in a position where I can shape the way this support is offered.

Read more…



In the spotlight – early access to super

·         Thousands of cancer patients are being denied access to their superannuation (News.com.au – April 2015)

·         Fight for Life: Terminally ill can’t access super early (Sarah Penman interview on Mornings, Channel 9 – April 2015)

·         Victory for cancer patients and the terminally ill will see them access superannuation earlier (News.com.au – May 2015)

Think twice about your industry fund…

$13b in managed accounts

Royal Commission accuses industry funds


Industry superannuation funds have been accused of paying “substantial” sums to trade unions.

The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has today issued a discussion paper in which it has dedicated an entire chapter to superannuation and within which it states, “Industry superannuation funds pay substantial sums to the unions with which they are associated including directors’ fees, reimbursement of director’s expenses, office rental, advertising expenses and sponsorship”.

The discussion paper then cites the example of TWUSuper for the 2007 to 2014 financial years during which it said the super fund “paid in excess of $6 million to the TWU and its branches.”

The Royal Commission discussion document actually went to the trouble of separating out superannuation funds from the so-called “employee benefit funds” run by trade unions because of superannuation’s unique nature – “namely that it is compulsory”.

In its opening paragraphs of the chapter dealing with superannuation, the Royal Commission document said, “The potential for coercive conduct and conflicts of interest in enterprise bargaining identified in respect of employee benefit funds also exists in respect of superannuation funds. This is because of the institutional links between trade unions and industry superannuation funds”.

It has also questioned the validity of default funds under modern awards, stating: “Separate from the question of choice of superannuation fund is whether unions should be able to negotiate for terms in an enterprise agreement which specify a specific default superannuation fund with financial links with the union negotiating the agreement”.

“On the one hand, preventing the union specifying a particular fund as a default would reduce the problems of potential coercion and conflicts of interest. On the other, superannuation is compulsory and the particular industry superannuation fund with which the union is associated may provide a good return for members,” it said.


Two styles of golden ring with diamond isolated on white backgroCongratulations to Adam Tanti and his new fiancee Amy Carroll, getting engaged over the weekend. Wishing you both a wonderful journey as you build your new life together.

Australian dollar new four-week high

Anthony Tanti

THE Australian dollar hit a new four-week high after the US posted a solid fall in its unemployment rate.

At 0700 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 89.55 US cents, up from 89.44 cents on Friday.

Early on Saturday morning, Australian time, the US non-farm payrolls report showed the US unemployment rate fell to 6.6 per cent in January, from 6.7 per cent in December.

Employment growth was 113,000, far fewer than the 175,000 the market was expecting but the participation rate rose.

After the report was released, the Australian dollar jumped to 89.99 US cents, its highest level since January 14.

Westpac New Zealand senior market strategist Imre Speizer said that while the US jobs report was not all good news it was a solid result and helped improve market sentiment.