ABM Advisor: The ABM Blog

  • Oct 29 2015


    Financial system subject to government changes

    After considering the results of a 2013 financial systems inquiry, the Australian government has released its response, highlighting a number of key agendas.

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  • Oct 28 2015


    How can your business better manage risk?

    Doing business in Australia is becoming increasingly complex. The number of factors decision makers must consider is growing, and external forces continue to present threats and opportunities at every stage. For enterprises of any size, risk management is a critical process that firms must be give due weight. Understanding the potential threats, with the help of business accounting software, can help firms draw up more effective strategies that account for future obstacles. Global firms ready to face new risksIn the next few years, innovation will be the most common challenges that businesses around the globe will need to address, as well as compliance and reputation. Among the 80 per cent of firms that utilise risk sensing methods, 71 per cent use them to identify financial risk, according to a report from Deloitte. In order to effectively identify risks, workplaces must have the staff capable of using analytics and deriving insights. 

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  • Oct 20 2015


    3 ways to raise innovation within your small business

    Organisations and businesses in Australia have been hotly discussing the need to harness and adapt innovation, especially following a recent report from Word Economic Forum (WEF).Despite rising one place to 21st in terms of global competitiveness, Australia is still lagging behind when it comes to innovation. For small businesses, this is an important issue to address, as inventive processes and products are a key way to build a competitive advantage within their markets. With this in mind, how can you fully utilise your resources to increase innovation?Optimise your workplace cultureSMEs must actively structure its environment to allow for openness and dynamic changes.In it's Culturing Success report, Microsoft highlighted three different types of business profiles when it comes to innovation: leaders, cruisers and laggards. Typically, leaders in innovation were more likely to encounter revenue growth, business efficiency, employee satisfaction and other such benefits.In order for an SME to become a leader in its industry, Microsoft stated that it must actively structure its environment to allow for openness and dynamic changes. This includes a re-think of the communication flows as well as the physical space.According to NAB's business innovation survey, the three most important cultural aspects that firms identified were:a strong knowledge of the consumer market the ability to reflect and learn from oversightsa high level of energy and drive. For the former factor, optimising feedback through customer relationship management software is an effective way to develop an in-depth knowledge of your chosen market. Combined with better internal processes, this can help improve a firm's offering and lead to developments which directly address customer problems. Harness the power of your workers Australia is not short on capable employees when it comes to creativity. The country topped the 2015 Global Creativity Index from the Martin Prosperity Institute, with a strong lead in the area of talent. This implies that we have a strong level of education and a large number of people trained in creative professions. This level of invention and vision can be a huge asset to your company.Using measures such as business management software can help small firms make the most of their human capital. Allowing employees to work where they can best use their skills will give way to better quality processes and methods. Utilise technologyInnovations in technology are some of the most rapid in the world, and adopting measures into your company is taking increasingly less effort to effectively implement. Technology helps personnel understand and improve the value chain. Technology can give businesses clear insights into its operations, allowing firms to identify where the weak points are in the value chain. Once a business discovers these, it can make better decisions surrounding R&D investment and areas to focus other efforts.  Through constant monitoring and adaptation, firms can shake up traditional business methods and reap the many benefits that come with an innovative mindset. 

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  • Oct 8 2015


    How does Australia rank in global competitiveness?

    Determining a nation's standings in the world is becoming of increasing importance to firms. As more Australian businesses gain the means to trade and deal with firms overseas, having a strong economic base is key for success.

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  • Sep 23 2015


    Australian manufacturing industry remains stable in September

    A recent joint analysis from Westpac and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed a period of relative stability for the manufacturing sector.

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  • Sep 10 2015


    Harsh economy affects business confidence

    Australian and New Zealand businesses alike have faced a number of setbacks in August, leading to a major drop in business confidence.

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  • Sep 9 2015


    NZ government reconsiders tax systems

    Over the past few months, the tax system in New Zealand has been in the spotlight, as the government re-considers the effect of the current schemes on businesses.

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  • Sep 2 2015


    Leveraging opportunities in food manufacturing

    As the manufacturing industry has seen a second straight quarter of growth, the food and beverage sector may be in a better position to advance new initiatives, possibly aided by business intelligence software. The Ai group performance ranking uses an index rating to determine growth in an industry, with any reading above 50 indicating expansion. The overall index rating for manufacturing rose by 1.3 points to 51.7 points.The food and beverage industry has been expanding for 15 consecutive months.Despite a 4.7-point drop, the food and beverage subsector had a positive index rating of 54.2, indicating an expansive period over August. This is the 15th consecutive month that this particular area has seen growth, which indicates that external factors have not dampened the overall prospects for firms. At the Crawford Fund's annual conference, VISY Industries Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt stated that the food industry is a significant contributor to the Australian economy and that it is "here to stay"."We must better communicate the fact that food is critical to Australia's future, just as wool and minerals have been in the past," he said, as quoted in an August 14 Farm Weekly article. How can this sector react to external forces?The cheese making sector offers a good example of how to implement your strategy when faced with challenges.Overall, IBISWorld has predicted that this specialisation will see a 0.7 per cent decline between 2015 and 2016. This was due to a number of external forces such as a drop in consumption trends, a rise in world dairy price and competition from overseas exports.However, two companies have defied the industry expectations. Murray Goulburn Co-operative and Bega Cheese Limited are expected to see growth rates of 2.5 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.Both of these firms have secured a positive outlook by improving their supply chain and securing deals. Murray Goulburn offered initiatives to their suppliers to ensure a steady flow of resources, while Bega Cheese gained a number of exclusive supply contracts. Australian consumers are buying more fresh cheeses, which presents an opportunity to explore niche strategies. For firms that do not have the resources to action these plans, there are still strategic measures you can action to take advantage of consumer trends.For example, IBISWorld stated that many customers were moving away from staple cheeses like cheddar in favour of fresh cheeses. This presents a perfect opportunity to move into a valuable niche and tap into a market that is not being met by your competitors.Trends apply to all food manufacturers and there are many opportunities to serve small, but increasingly valuable markets that haven't had their needs met. As the food industry continues to develop, a creative and adaptable strategy, amended with small business management software, will ensure the longevity of your firm in this growing area. 

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  • Aug 31 2015


    Is it time to cut out paper out of your accounting operations?

    For years, businesses used paper as the primary form of communication and documentation. However, the days of working through piles of sheets are coming to a close as digital systems, including business management software, emerge as the superior method of information transfer.The average cost of a traditional process order is $75 compared to $20 for the same action performed electronically.According to a recent report by Deloitte, using digital methods in business-to-business payments can accrue a number of significant benefits for companies in comparison to paper invoicing. The majority of firms (87 per cent) that switched to electronic accounts and card transfers found these systems offered them more spending control. A further 68 per cent found that administration tasks decreased and 82 per cent reported faster transaction times with electronic payments.In terms of receiving payments, 61 per cent suppliers found that card transactions lead to improved efficiency as they spent less time chasing up payments. Card transactions also improved client satisfaction, with 60 per cent of firms reported that electronic payment methods led to better relationships with customers.For both parties, the average cost of a traditional process order is $75, compared to $20 for the same action performed electronically. The private sector is not the only area that has seen the benefit of cutting out paper from their daily processes. The IRD in New Zealand recently switched customers to their online portal to receive correspondence online rather than through the mail. As well as passing on notable cost savings, the organisation is expected to save 16 million sheets of A4 paper a year, equivalent to 1,900 trees.Spurring change amongst small businessesDespite the quantifiable list of improvements electronic payments can bring, many companies are not catching on to the trend, according to Richard Miller, payments director at Deloitte."There is still considerable opportunity to improve take-up, with almost half of survey respondents (47 per cent) not using the available solutions and 100 per cent still having paper processes to support cheque payments," he stated. Reducing reliance on paper has both economic and environmental benefits. As well as cost saving and businesses benefits, there is a notable environmental aspect to reducing paper usage. Clean Up Australia estimates that citizens send 1.9 million tonnes of paper to landfill every year. The production process is also heavily reliant on natural resources, as 90,000 litres of water is used and 1.46 tonnes of greenhouse gas is emitted to make one tonne of paper.Switching to paperless systems, such as project invoicing, is a wise choice, both for your personal business growth and the wider environment. 

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  • Aug 30 2015


    How will the GST reform affect your business?

    Hopes are high that a change to the GST will help level the playing field for Australian business in the online market.

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