Game, Set And No Match
‘I can still hear the instructions of my swim teacher encouragingly repeating “Kick! Kick! Kick!” as I clutched to my floating device. From a young age, my love for sport has been nurtured and encouraged irrespective of gender. In my family girls played football, ran, perspired and did not sit on the sidelines. This is my micro world - a thriving passion for sport and an evolved strong feminist heart that has never accepted any limitations, gender or otherwise.’
Accounting firms are following the global “off-sourcing” trend i.e. outsourcing through off-shoring, but at what cost to our graduates, to their clients who are largely unaware of the increased risks, and to our economy?
Earlier this year it was reported in the Australian Financial Review that major accounting firm, Grant Thornton had “caved in to market pressure and will begin sending compliance work to India”. The article went on to state that they joined the big four accountancy firms − Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG − who have increased their offshore activities to combat high labour costs and build workforce elasticity.
The Question of Productivity
This newsletter we look into ‘The Question of Productivity” and in particular, the impact of productivity measures on executive remuneration. As it stands, Australia does not rank highly on a world scale for productivity. However our featured report argues that if productivity measures became a focus of executive remuneration determinations perhaps ‘business’ would be more engaged in political process and in driving a reform agenda.
We also explore the main themes of a wide-ranging and very thought provoking speech to the National Press Club by President of the Business Council of Australia, Catherine Livingstone in April 2015.
This speech focused on the issue of productivity urging that any boost to productivity must focus on innovation. Ms Livingstone warned that traditional economic policy settings are being rendered obsolete by rapid advances in technology and unless Australia adapts it will be overwhelmed within a decade.
The Silly Season
The ‘silly season’ is upon us and with it comes a huge demand on our time and energy. From sourcing presents for that difficult family member to rushing to meet work deadlines pre-holidays as well as putting in place plans for 2016. With that in mind, we thought it was a good time to share two articles that are part of our ‘The Question Of’ series.
The first article is The Question of a ‘Good Night’s Sleep’. Yes, that precious and somewhat elusive commodity… sleep and how to get more of it.
The second article looks into the concept of creating a work life balance through exploring and acknowledging our concept of productivity. In an article titled, Is it time to ditch the 8-hour workday and consider productivity instead? we examine a piece by Buffer Co-founder, Leo Widrich who reports on this fascinating area.
With New Year resolutions just around the corner is it time to advocate for the elimination of multitasking and work in smaller time chunks for increased productivity? Is it time to put in place strategies that ensure you make sleep a priority for the year to come? These two articles and our handy infographic will provide you with some food for thought.
A Follow-up to the Question of Happiness
Last time we wrote about happiness, we asked “Do life, happiness and business all go together?”. We think that life, happiness and business do go together, provided that the world looks to “measure the right things right”. Should we measure gross national happiness before we consider gross national product ?
The Robert Kennedy speech of 18 March 1968 at the University of Kansas, should keep ringing in our collective ears. His thoughts of nearly 50 years ago were that for
“Too much and too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values to the mere accumulation of material things”
He concluded that “...in short, it [gross national product] measures everything except which makes life worthwhile.”
The second Happiness Report of the United Nations does bring to prominence the depth and effect of mental illness, and the correlation between happiness, health and longevity. We thought we would link this need for happiness to the recent Federal Budget and perhaps, allow us to draw a conclusion (if the budget will, in fact, ever be concluded).
The Treasurer may need to remember the words of Robert Kennedy as he finished his speech back in 68 (with a slight amendment)
"I want the next generation of Australians to look back upon this period and say as they said of Plato: "Joy was in those days, but to live."
Cost of Doing Business
When we first started this business back in July 2009, we didn’t specifically know that accountants were the last hope for life on earth. We knew it intuitively of course (as all good accountants do), we just weren’t too overt about it!
This raises the question of intuition and instinctive behaviour. In July 2009, when we commenced to occupy our present premises on level 11, 309 Kent St, the previous tenant had left various furniture and office equipment which we were welcomed to use by the landlord. On a whiteboard was left the following instructions:
Listen to your Instincts
Believe in Yourself
Employ Great People
Be the Best not the Biggest
Don’t run out of Cash
Providential or not, we will find out as things move forward.
We received two other pieces of advice when we started
If you are spending more than 50% of your HR time about one particular person, it is time you did something about it
Technology is the key to efficiency, provided you manage it and it doesn’t manage you
This edition of our Newsletter touches on each of these areas of business
Is it time to fix the Recruitment Agency Cycle?
Is the Cloud helping business stay on track?
The Question of Happiness
Do life, happiness and business all go together? Where do accountants fit in?
Australian Author Jane Gleeson-White recently appeared in a panel interview at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. In her book Double Entry she tells us that in October 2010, The Guardian journalist Jonathan Watts wrote:
“...So it has come to this. The global biodiversity crisis is so severe that brilliant scientists, political leaders, eco-warriors and religious gurus can no longer save us from ourselves. The military are powerless. But there may be one last hope for life on earth : accountants.”
So, we thought that our first newsletter should be about happiness because we couldn’t be happier with Jonathan and his line of thought.