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Why crunching your numbers matters, no matter who does the crunching

Why crunching your numbers matters, no matter who does the crunching

There’s no escaping numbers, whether you like playing the numbers game or not, so it’s best to either embrace them, or find someone who can crunch the numbers for you.

We’re all surrounded by numbers

Now I may sound like a boring old school accountant when I ask “Have you ever really challenged yourself and pondered the value of ‘numbers’? I was recently challenged in this way by my 12-year old daughter when, for her first High School Mathematics assignment, she interviewed me about how numbers are used in my work and around the home.

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Economic Snapshot – September-October 2016

Economic Snapshot – September-October 2016

In summary

September was a frustrating month for investors in global financial markets. The first half of the month saw both bonds and equities retreat on concerns the Federal Reserve would lift interest rates at its meeting on the 20th – 21st. As things turned out, the Reserve left the cash rate unchanged and revised down its forward profile of interest rates. The markets were reassured by this, leading bonds and equities to recover ground lost earlier in the month. This see -saw effect is now a recurring theme as markets dance to the tune of the interest rate outlook.

Here in Australia the Reserve Bank has maintained the cash rate at 1.5%, noting the economy is growing at a moderate pace but inflation is low and likely to remain so for some time. Once again, the Reserve Bank noted that an appreciating A$ could complicate the adjustments the economy needs to make.
The Bank of Japan announced a new dimension to its QE program aimed at generating a positive yield curve. Despite the commentary it appears markets remain sceptical about this move.
Meanwhile in Europe the European Central Bank [ECB] left its monetary policy stance unchanged at its meeting in early September. Financial markets interpreted the accompanying statement as a signal the ECB would start to wind back its QE programme. This contributed to nervousness and volatility, as did speculation about the solvency of Deutsche Bank later in the month.

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How cloud accounting can help you make better business decisions

How cloud accounting can help you make better business decisions

I recently attended a Business Insights presentation with other business owners, software providers, accountants and advisers.

Of course, it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to cloud accounting, and how its real-time data can really help businesses. The presenters talked about its importance, and how it can not only improve business performance but also change the relationship between business owners and their accountant/adviser.

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Economic Snapshot – August – September 2016

Economic Snapshot – August – September 2016

In summary

Financial markets were quieter in August than in previous months as Northern Hemisphere holidays reduced the volume of trading activity. Key economic data around the world did little to change the overall picture the markets have come to understand and expect. That is, the US economy continues to improve, but without sufficient strength to make a clear case for imminent interest rate increases. The government stimulus program in China is still showing up in some better than expected activity numbers, but this is not expected to last into 2017. In Australia, economic growth is holding up fairly well, led by the housing sector, while business investment and inflation remained muted. The UK economy is starting to show signs of the adverse impact of the Brexit vote, which led the Bank of England to ease monetary policy further in August. The Reserve Bank of Australia has been content to leave the cash rate at 1.5%. The US Federal Reserve has been try to soften the markets up for the possibility of higher-than-expected interest rates, but the mixed economic data have been undercutting their efforts.

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Milkshakes, accountants and business advisors: Why tailored solutions matter

Milkshakes, accountants and business advisors: Why tailored solutions matter

During a recent holiday, my family and I embarked on the search for the ultimate milkshake. Of course, we all had different ideas about the ultimate slurp, so it wasn’t going to be easy.

We looked up the best milkshake cafes in the area (according to some food writer), and read a few online reviews. And then at the end of each day we’d buy a different milkshake on our way back from soaking up the sun.

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