In this Issue

February 2010 Newsletter

From the Desk of our CEO, Andrew Blunden

Welcome back to Finding the Balance, 2010. We trust that everyone is now well into the "swing of things" and that business is booming! We hope that you have a fantastic year in 2010!

As Australia continues to emerge from the GFC, the importance of business having good management is gaining further momentum. A report that was recently issued by the Federal Government highlighted how good management and good productivity go "hand in hand".

In fact, a small improvement in the quality of your management team is associated with an increase in output equivalent to a 56% increase in the labour force!

Unfortunately, Australian businesses still don't seem to have learnt this lesson. In the last five years our productive growth rate is no better than what we achieved in the 1960's and in the field of innovation we have slipped from 5th to 15th in the world. The 60's were great - but do we really want to go back there?

As if to highlight the problem, this week the BRW reported that there was a 6% fall in demand for executive staff in January - and that the private sector has yet to start hiring managers to handle expansion plans.

For Australia to survive the post-GFC world, we need to remain innovative and ahead of the global pack. It's time to get seriously competitive again - this is particularly challenging with the high Australian dollar. But it will take brains and expertise to achieve this.

Let's refocus on our core strengths and don't be afraid to introduce new management talent to get the innovation ball rolling again.

At Part Time Professionals we can introduce companies to over 280 qualified and experienced executives (finance, marketing, HR, project management etc) on a contract or part-time basis - so having the best management team in the industry doesn't need to cost the earth!

Australian business - just what are you waiting for?

Best regards,   Andrew

ATO Benchmarks Now Available

Ever wondered how your business is performing compared to others in the same industry - or how the Australian Taxation Office compares the performance of your particular business?

The ATO have just published over 50 new benchmarks for small businesses which allow SMEs to compare their performance against various industry averages.

These benchmarks are categorised according to various industry codes and include construction, retail trade, accommodation, transport, postal and warehousing, hiring and real estate services and more. Depending on the industry, they include benchmarks comparing costs such as labour, rent and cost of goods sold.

Management Really Does Matter

As regular readers of Finding the Balance will know, having quality management in every business - large or small - is essential. And the cost of management is no longer an excuse since even the smallest business an afford a Part Time Professional!

The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research have recently confirmed this in their recent report, Management Matters in Australia. The report found that there is a clear link between the quality of management and enterprise productivity.

Unfortunately, the report was not all good news for Australian companies. Since 2004, Australia's productivity growth rate has declined to a level no better than what was achieved in the 1960's. In the innovation context, over the past 8 years Australia's performance has slipped from 5th to 15th according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index.

In this survey of 439 manufacturing firms, the report found that size was an important factor in management performance with larger firms scoring better than smaller firms. Interestingly, among family-owned firms, those who engaged an external professional manager as CEO delivered relatively better performance than those firms both owned and managed by an internal family member.

Importantly, the level of education and skills among management also impacted management performance. 64% of managers in the highest performing firms possessed a University degree or higher.

In summary, having a well educated, experienced and independent management is a strong indicator of success. Indeed, a single point increase in the report's management score - measured from 18 characteristics in the scoring grid - was associated with an increase in output equivalent to a 56% increase in the labour force or a 44% increase in invested capital.

For those firms looking for a qualified and experienced manager, accountant, financial controller or CFO to improve your business' productivity,  you can trust Part Time Professionals as a reliable source of quality management.

Not only can we assist you in reviewing your business' management needs, but with over 280 experienced CFO Network Members at-call, we can always offer you a wide range of options. As we specialise in both long-term contractors and also part-time assignments, we provide a most affordable alternative.  Just give us a phone call on 1300 79 1946. We will draft your role specifications, advertise your position to our exclusive CFO Network membership, and arrange the interviews - simple!

The Bottom Line

Another day, and another payroll scandal  in the Department of Defence. In January it was reported that 63 more soldiers have been overpaid up to $9,000 each. Apparently "a manual input error" was responsible this time...

From Part Time Professionals' archives we have a news report from the Bystander magazine of a previous payroll error:

"A young friend of mine who recently joined an infantry regiment was surprised to receive his first pay as for "man and horse". He wrote to the War Office calling attention to the mistake, to receive the official reply that "no complaints in the matter pay can be dealt with during the continuance of the war". The poor fellow has, therefore to go on receiving more from his country than his due. To alleviate his conscience, however, I understand that he has now set up a clothes horse in his bedroom."

And the date of this article...21 October 1914! 

Some things just never change!

About Part Time Professionals

Part Time Professionals™ is wholly owned and operated in Australia. Our principals together have over 40 years experience in public accounting and as CFO's and Directors in multiple companies - both listed and unlisted. They are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, CPA Australia, the National Tax Agents Association, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Financial Executives Institute and the National Institute of Accountants.

Our aim is to help companies source the most experienced CFO, executive and corporate accounting talent, in the most cost-effective way!

We are constantly updating our website, so take a look at for more information or call us on 1300 79 1946 to discuss your needs.


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