Tips on customising banking apps

Most of us use banking apps for both work and personal banking.  Here are some tips on making life easier by using some of the functionality of these apps –

  • Personalise the descriptions of your accounts
    Does your banking logon have numerous accounts attached to it? Do half of them have the same account description that was automatically listed when you opened the account? Is this super confusing? Personalise the descriptions of your accounts so that you can distinguish between all of your accounts easily and quickly. (Don’t worry, doing this only changes what you see on your screen, the official account name will stay the same…and if you decide later you don’t like the description you have chosen just change it to something more appropriate).
  • Reorder the accounts displayed on your screen so that the accounts you use most frequently appear first. This saves you scrolling through accounts to find the information you are after.
  • Use the copy transaction option to again pay the same supplier from the same account.  Just remember to change the amount and reference details.
  • Close old accounts! If you don’t need an account anymore close it. It makes life simpler and streamlines your banking experience…plus, a lot bank accounts these days have fees associated with them, whether you are using the account or not. So if you don’t have the account you will not be paying fees unnecessarily.

Thesaurus in Microsoft Word

Easy ways to access the Thesaurus:


  1. In your document, right-click to produce the shortcut menu, then click on ‘Synonym’, then ‘Thesaurus’. Or


  1. In the menu above your document, click on ‘Review’, then click on ‘Thesaurus’.


Either of these methods opens the Research pane.  In the ‘Search for:’ field in the Research pane type in your word and either click on the green arrow at the right, or hit the Enter key.  The system will provide you with a list of other words to choose from.


Easiest way to find a synonym for a word you’ve already typed in your document:


Highlight the word you want a synonym for, and while still in the highlighted area right-click to produce the shortcut menu, then click on ‘Synonym’.  It will automatically give you alternative words to choose from.  Click on the word you prefer, and the system will replace your existing highlighted word with the new one.

Client Information Newsletter – Tax & Super

Lodgment rates and thresholds guide 2017-18

To save you having to laboriously search for the right tax rate or relevant threshold, the essential information is right here in one place.

This guide includes tax rates, offset limits and benchmarks, rebate levels, allowances, and essential superannuation as well as fringe bene t tax rates and thresholds (including current gross- up factors). Student loan repayment rates and salary levels are also included.

Take Advantage of AI

Have you heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI)?  Think it’s year’s away?  Prepare yourself – because it is here and you may already be using it.  Every day you are interacting with some form of AI or robot, whether that is predictive text on your phone, Siri, Google Maps or targeted advertising. These algorithms are becoming more and more accurate and are learning our habits to be able to perform their tasks more effectively.

We use AI in our personal lives, but what about our businesses.  Small businesses need to be aware that AI isn’t something to be feared. This technology brings efficiencies and time savings that we can all benefit from. Automation is key to staying in the game and this automation stems from artificial intelligence.

Utilising cloud software and the ability to integrate multiple programs with each other is where AI is king. Manual internal processes are replaced by a form of AI or robot which does all the repetitive and time consuming data entry & analysis for you.

Look at the manual processes within your business, or focus on pain points to help you find the right software. For those who are wary of implementing AI systems in their business, it is worth trialling software externally yourself. Most software providers offer free trials for new members, use this time to play with the features and note what you like, dislike, and most importantly whether or not it suits your purpose.

As always, it’s very important to make sure that you are using up-to-date IT systems so that you are maximising the benefits of today’s technology. Sometimes it also helps to think outside the box – what are other businesses in your industry doing? What new products are out there? Be proactive and speak to a professional about your wants and needs so your business doesn’t fall behind.

CMS is a Partner with many cloud software providers.  We have researched the products, completed extensive training and have implemented and automated many businesses cloud eco systems.  In most cases this allows us to offer subscriptions at discounted prices. If you have any questions about how to develop or utilise the best cloud eco system for your business, contact our Cloud Solutions team so we can assist you.

Cloud Technology

It’s no secret that Cloud ecosystems are having a major impact  on all businesses and industries, especially Hospitality.

There are many benefits from adopting Cloud Technology into your business, such as reducing IT costs as well as accessibility of information and giving you time back.

Here are what we believe to be the 8 benefits of cloud computing for the hospitality industry;

  1. Reduction of  IT costs, allowing you to reallocate your investment to other priorities – The Cloud ecosystem is extremely affordable, timely and automated, no need for expensive accounting packages, hardware and spending hours and hours reconciling the books. With apps like Kounta and the use of ALBERT Eftpos tablet it makes running a hospitality business extremely efficient.
  2. Respond to new opportunities quickly, allowing you to introduce new menus faster, open new locations faster and for less – With the cloud you will be equipped to make informed decisions with timely and relevant information to allow you to snap up those opportunities. Can you currently track your bestselling item? What if you increased the price? The cloud can allow you to utilise your capacity and increase your success.
  3. Reduce the cost, time and impact of technology upgrades going forward – Gone are the days of desktop computer systems, having a cloud system in place means that all your accounting programs are updated automatically, with no down time for your business.
  4. Maintain consistency throughout your business, leading to reduced training and greater flexibility of your team – With automated procedures in place there is less training required for administration tasks. In some cases mundane tasks can be removed altogether with Cloud Technology. Timesheets and payroll can cause grief to any business but with the use of Deputy these reduces the pressure.
  5. Collect valuable data that will allow you to make better business decisions – The Cloud provides you with constant up to date financial information so you can make decisions now, rather than in a years’ time when your Financial Statements are prepared.
  6. Provide a better service to your customers, while reducing your staff turnover – Less time spent working IN the business allows you to work ON the business, enriching those key relationship with customers making you their ‘go-to’.
  7. More easily compliant with industry standards and regulations – Having automated wage rates and superannuation guarantee in the system makes your obligations easy!
  8. Improve your data security and protect your brand – The security that the cloud provides is imperative to all businesses. From two step authentication to encrypted passwords, you can be sure that your data is safe in the Cloud with a trusted provider.

Whatever stage of your business lifecycle you are in, there are always ways you can integrate the cloud into your business. Feel free to contact us to find out how we can help your business today.




Re-Leased is a complete cloud-based property management software solution that makes life easier for property managers. Re-Leased and Xero connect to deliver the insight and control you need to run your business – from anywhere.

Optimise and grow your business with a modern and powerful solution.

  • Never Again – Never miss a key date, action item or lease event. Ensure work is completed on time with automated notifications and workflows, giving you peace of mind.
  • Reduce Admin By 50% – Improve efficiency and remove the risk of human error with automated workflows.
  • Unlock Value – With the multi-layered reporting and analytics dashboard, get powerful insights into your business to boost efficiencies and identify revenue growth opportunities.
  • Eliminate Double-Entry – The API seamlessly integrates with multiple software partners to automatically share data and greatly reduce time-consuming data entry between systems.
  • Pain-Free OnBoarding – Re-Leased will manage your onboarding from start to finish, ensuring seamless migration from your current system.
  • Free Yourself From The Office – This cloud-based solution allows you to access important information and run your business from any device, anywhere in the world.
  • In It Together – The customer success team are always on hand to help. Regardless of the question, they’re here to ensure your on-going success with Re-Leased.

Discover the leading cloud accounting software and take a look for yourself…

Top Cloud Apps for 2017

The cloud space is forever growing with new software that has the sole purpose of making your life easier. So how do you know which add-ons are right for you? It’s all about personalising your software eco system to suit the needs of your business. These days, if you’re keeping a spreadsheet to track something, you can be sure that there is an add-on out there waiting for you. Add-ons will almost always do more than what you were initially hoping which ends up automating processes you hadn’t even thought about yet!

Here are our top three cloud software products that will automate processes within any small business.


Beautiful accounting software that is the base for all your financial information. Highly rated for user experience and software integrations means that you have easy access to a huge marketplace of Add-ons that fully integrate for rich real time data.

Receipt Bank

The ultimate bill processing software that accurately extracts data from scanned receipts & invoices, publishes straight to Xero and attaches the scan for reference. By eliminating this daily or weekly data entry, you are free to focus on the more interesting areas of your business with no more filing


Perfect for employee scheduling, time and attendance. Employees log in and out of each shift through a tablet kiosk and at the end of the pay period, Deputy exports the timesheet data into Xero enabling payroll to be processed

If you have these basics and are ready to look into something more tailored to your industry, take a look at what these add-ons have to offer.


If you are in need of a point of sale system (POS) then look no further. Kounta is an extensive restaurant and cafe software system that automates more than just your daily sales figures. You can create custom table layouts to track service times, develop ‘recipes’ to accurately account for stock on each menu item, integrate loyalty program add-ons and more.


Looking for a CRM that also has a loyalty program? Collect combines the benefits of a loyalty program with the ability to generate targeted email offers and feedback all from one app. Integrating with Kounta means that your customers earn points for every sale, and their rewards are automatically applied at the checkout. With optional point balance emails, you can ensure that you are at the forefront of your customer’s minds.


Vend looks after all your retail outlet’s transactions and integrates with Xero giving you real-time financial data. While offering inventory tracking, the system also contains purchase tracking for customers meaning you are able to segment your customers and market directly to particular groups, and make decisions based on purchase history.


To help keep on track with your projects and tasks, Asana gives you a platform where you can create projects, tasks and assign them to your team members. You will know where each task is at with the handy checklists and advanced project reporting.

CMS is a Partner with the above add-ons meaning our team has completed extensive training relating to each product including implementation and automation. In most cases this allows us to offer subscriptions at discounted prices. If you have any questions about the add-ons mentioned above, or have found another program that meets your requirements, contact us and we can assist you with integration, automation and training for you customised cloud eco system.

Death Benefit Pensions

The superannuation changes that have come into effect from 1 July 2017 are complex. Much has been written over the last 8 months since the changes were announced dealing with the detail of the legislation. This article summarises 5 things you should know about super and death under the latest iteration of the legislation.

1. From 1 July 2017, there will be no death benefit period. The previous restrictions on being able to move death benefits between funds no longer apply, therefore the recipient can move a benefit, which will retain its character, without having to wait out
the death benefit period.

2. From 1 July 2017, a superannuation death benefit must be cashed either by way of a pension or lump sum withdrawal. It cannot be commuted (internally transferred or rolled over to another fund) back into an accumulation balance.

3. From 1 July 2017, a Transfer Balance Cap (TBC) applies to the amount of superannuation that can be held as a retirement phase income stream (pension) by each recipient. This cap is $1.6m at present. Therefore, if you receive a death benefit that causes
you to exceed this cap, to avoid the penalties associated with exceeding the cap, you will have to:

• Commute your own pension first to leave the maximum allowed
• If still above the limit, withdraw as much of the death benefit as will reduce the balance to the limit

4. There is a grace period allowed under the new legislation if the death benefit is left as an auto-reversionary pension. An auto-reversionary pension means that the superannuation fund trustee has no discretion over the method of payment or the recipient
of the death benefit. This pension will not count towards your cap for 12 months from the date of death. If the death benefit is not auto-reversionary it will count towards your cap as soon as you are entitled to be paid the pension. This is required
to be as soon as practicable and is usually much less than 12 months.

5. The value of the pension will also be affected as an auto-reversionary pension and will have a value of the account based pension balance on the date of death whilst a non-auto-reversionary pension will have a value of the account based pension balance on
the date the pension is payable.

None of the above suggests that there is a standard solution to estate planning for superannuation interests. Each person will have to take into account their own personal circumstances and plan for their desired outcome.

Defined Benefit Income Streams

Tax Treatment of defined benefit income streams post 30 June 2017

• These pensions differ from conventional account based pensions in that the annual payments are not based primarily on an identifiable account balance, but usually with reference to the recipient’s final salary. They are generally non-commutable; hence the ability to commute an account value in excess of the $1.6m cap is not available.

• The valuation of defined benefit pension accounts for transfer balance cap purposes is the first payment for the 2018 year grossed up to the corresponding annual amount and then multiplied by 16.

• Alternatively for market linked or other fixed term pensions, the transfer balance cap value is calculated as the first payment for 2018 year annualised and multiplied by the remaining term of the pension.

• Either valuation method may result in an account balance in excess of the allowable $1.6m cap. As these pensions cannot be commuted to reduce the pension account balance to $1.6m there is instead a limit to the amount of tax free income that can be received annually from these income streams.

All income streams will also have at least one of the following components, being the tax free, the taxed and the untaxed.

The tax free component of an income stream is non assessable, and therefore tax is not payable on receipt of that component. The taxable component of an income stream is from a source which has paid tax on its income, but it may still be assessable and taxable to the recipient.

The untaxed component of an income stream is the amount which has not been taxed at any time prior to the pensioner receiving it. This last component is mostly from government backed or constitutionally protected funds. These amounts are almost always taxble in the hands of the recipient.

• From 1 July 2017 the income stream from a defined benefit pension will maintain its tax free status for a recipient over the age of 60, provided it contains only tax free or taxed components – but only up to an amount not exceeding the general transfer balance cap divided by 16. This is 1.6m divided by 16, or $100,000 per annum.

• If the sum of tax free and/or taxed pension components exceeds $100,000, then 50% of the amount in excess of 100K is assessable at the recipient’s marginal tax rate, and tax may be payable accordingly.

For example:
A pension recipient aged over 60 years receiving an income stream comprising tax free and taxed components totalling $150,000 per annum. Up to the end of the 2017 financial year, this pension would have been tax free.

In the 2018 financial year, 50% of this amount or $25,000 will be assessable to the individual at their relevant marginal rate of tax.

• If any of the pension income is from an untaxed source, that component is already included as assessable income, and taxed at the individual’s marginal tax rate. A 10% tax offset is available, for those over age 60. The offset is calculated as 10% of the gross untaxed component of the pension and reduces any tax payable accordingly.

From 1 July 2017 the 10% tax offset will be reduced where the total gross pension, [irrespective of the individual components], exceeds 100k. The reduction of the tax offset is equal to 10% of the amount by which the total pension exceeds $100k.

For example:
A pensioner receives a defined benefit income stream of $190,000, of which $150,000 is an untaxed component, the remainder is tax free. In the 2017 financial year, the $150,000 untaxed component would be assessed at marginal rates, but qualify for a 10%, or $15,000 tax offset.

In the 2018 year, the $150,000 untaxed component is still assessable, but the tax offset is now only $6,000, being $15,000, less 10% of ($190,000 – $100,000). The $40,000 tax-free component whilst not itself assessable, has been taken into account by reducing the available tax offset.

Super Reforms: Changes to the Contribution Caps

There were too many caps, but now balance has been restored. While caps still have a role to play in the contribution space they will be closely aligned to the total super balance.

The total super balance is only a relevant number on 30 June each year as it dictates our ability to make non-concessional contributions and utilise the bring-forward provisions, make spouse contributions and be eligible for Government Co-contributions. It will also be relevant for those seeking to carry forward unused concessional contributions as the catch up rules take effect from 1 July 2018.

Contribution Caps:

Concessional Contribution Cap (Before Tax)

From 1 July 2017, the concessional contribution cap reduced to $25,000 for everyone from $30,000 for under 50s and $35,000 for over 50s in 2016/2017 year, however you will be able to ‘carry-forward’ any unused concessional contributions cap on a rolling 5 year basis. This means carried forward amounts will expire after 5 years.

Non Concessional Contribution Cap (After Tax)

The after tax contributions cap has reduced from $180,000 to $100,000 per year. You will still be able to bring forward up to three times the cap to make larger one-off contributions, if you are under age 65 and have not reached the new transfer balance cap. The full benefit you bring forward may not apply if your total super balance is close to the transfer balance cap.

Superannuation Balance and Contributions

Individuals with a superannuation balance of more than $1.6 million will no longer be eligible to make non-concessional (after tax) contributions from 1 July 2017. This limit will be tied and indexed to the transfer balance cap.

These measures mean that with their annual concessional contributions, Australians will be able to contribute $125,000 each year and, if taking advantage of the non-concessional ‘bring forward’, up to $325,000 in any one year until such time as they reach $1.6 million.

Who will the 2017 super changes affect?

Low income earners

If you are earning less than $40,000 or are self-employed, working part time or don’t have constant income, it can be hard to save for retirement. Changes to super tax offsets and more flexible super contribution arrangements make it easier to add more to your super.

Spouse super contributions

If your spouse earns less than $37,000 p.a. and you make a contribution to their super, you can claim a tax offset equal to 18% of the contributions, up to $540. Even if they earn up to $40,000, you could still be entitled to a partial super tax offset. Other restrictions apply, however this change allows couples to get greater benefits from adding to each other’s super.

Carry your super cap forward

A new ‘carry forward’ rule for before tax (concessional) contributions has been introduced that can help you catch up on before tax contributions later.

If you’ve had time out of the workforce, work part-time or have irregular work patterns and have contributed less than your before tax (concessional) cap, you can rollover the unused portion of your concessional contribution cap for up to 5 years, allowing you to make additional contributions in future years.

High income earners

Higher income earners may be affected by a reduction in both before and after contribution limits. If your combined income and super contributions exceed $250,000 you may have to pay extra tax known as Division 293 tax. The previous threshold for Div. 293 tax was $300,000.

Tax deductions for personal super contribution

Self-employed people and those that earn less than 10% of their income from salary or wages, can claim a tax deduction for any contributions they make to super. The contributions are then treated as ‘before tax (concessional) contributions’.

On 1 July 2017, the 10% rule was removed, making it easier for more people to make use of their concessional contributions cap.

One thing for sure, we are all going to be far more reliant on the ATO to accurately record information which means we will be far more reliant on the superannuation industry accurately reporting information.