Fair Work Targeting the Building & Construction Industry

Here’s another interesting and relevant article from Damin Murdock to ensure you keep your finger on the pulse and see them coming!

As at 5 May 2013, Fair Work Building & Construction has recovered over $2 million in unpaid wages and entitlements from employers in the building and construction industry.

For those who may not be aware, on 1 February 2013, the new Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012 came into effect (the “Act”). The object of the Act is to:

ensure compliance with workplace relation laws;
provide means of enforcing the rights and obligations;
provide safeguards on the use of the enforcement and investigative powers; and improve the level of occupational health and safety, in the building industry.

To assist with the investigations with respect to whether a particular company is compliant with the building laws of Australia, the Act has granted special powers to:

Authorised investigators to perform site visits to investigate whether a company is compliant with the building laws of Australia by obtaining information from a site or forcing persons to produce documents and/or attend to answer questions; and

Federal Safety Officers to monitor compliance with the building laws of Australia so far as they relate to occupational health and safety to:

inspect any work, material or machinery;
take samples;
interview any person; or inspect and make copies of any document that is on the premises or is assessable from a computer kept on the premises.

In light of the recent announcement made by Fair Work Building & Construction, it is clear they have commenced the targeted audits, site visits and assessment of complaints by employees and/or sub-contractors.

If you are an employer and are uncertain whether you have paid your employees and/or contractors in accordance with the Modern Award and/or the Fair Work Act and would like to find out more about same,

please feel free to contact Damin Murdock for a free consultation on (02) 9262 5495 or subscribe to their mailing list by sending an email to reception@mclp.com.au with the subject title B&C Subscribe.

To your ongoing success,


Remember to visit our new facebook page for your Free Builders Business
Checklist https://www.facebook.com/masterbuilderscoach?ref=tn_tnmn

This article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. All articles found on this website are intended to provide informative information, nevertheless, in many instances legislation and case law has been simplified and/or paraphrased. If you would like personal legal advice based on your current circumstances, you should contact MurdockCheng Legal Practice for a free consultation.

The end of financial year is almost here

Hi [First Name],

The end of financial year is almost here. While having a tax bill is a sure sign that your business is profitable, it’s easy to pay too much tax. Its important to structure your business, your developments and your personal affairs
in the right way and put strategies in place to reduce your tax bill.

While we’ve seen construction businesses delaying sending out invoices until after the end of financial year to reduce their taxable income, this can create a significant cash gap in the business. They often then take longer to be paid and typically indicates the business owner does not have a well thought out tax management strategy.

If you have made a loss in 2012-13 it is also worth noting that you may be able to carry the loss back and obtain a refund for taxes you paid in 2011-12. (up to $1m)

Here’s Seven key areas you should consider prior to June 30:

1. Prepare an income tax estimate for the business so you can plan to pay directors fees or salaries, dividends or additional superannuation contributions based on your available cashflow and estimated tax liability. A franked
dividend can also have some tax advantages worth considering.

2. Pay all your 9% Superannuation Guarantee contributions or performance bonuses for your employees by 30th June to ensure you can claim the tax deduction

3. As a small business you can claim an immediate write off for assets worth less than $6,500. If you are considering any such purchases, prior to 30 June could be the time to take action.

4. If you have any bad or unrecoverable debts, be sure to write them off prior to 30 June.

5. Consider prepaying any tax deductible expenses for the coming year prior to 30 June to bring the deduction forward.

6. Consider realising any capital losses by disposing of loss generating assets before year end.

7. Do a full stock take on 30 June to write off any missing or old stock and ensure your balance sheet and asset register remains correct.

For 2014, here’s some other key items to review and consider for the year ahead to ensure your financial wellbeing:

1. Review how you are drawing your income or profits from your business, if it’s paid via a family trust, it can be significantly more tax efficient.

2. Consider setting up a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) to allow you to invest in direct assets like property for faster wealth accumulation.

3. If you are doing your own developments, consider partially funding them using a SMSF, the profits that get returned to your fund will only be taxed at 15%, less than half of what you would otherwise pay.

4. Consider purchasing your own business premises also through an SMSF if possible.

5. Look at engaging a licensed Wealth Advisor to create you an integrated financial plan or blueprint that considers your company and personal income, your financial position and goals and documents your best strategy in the coming years to accumulate wealth in a tax efficient manner.

Please contact Jeremy Carter from Fusion on 1300 038 746 or at Jeremy@fusionfs.com.au for more information or to discuss any of the items above.

To your ongoing success,


Remember to visit our new facebook page for your Free Builders Business
Checklist https://www.facebook.com/masterbuilderscoach?ref=tn_tnmn

Disclaimer: The above is general advice and may not be appropriate to your specific situation. Further analysis and a formal statement of advice will be needed before proceeding with the strategies suggested. Fusion Private Wealth ABN 46 152 465 462 is a Corporate Authorised Representative and Corporate Credit Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557. Fusion Accounting and Advisory is a registered Chartered Accountant Firm.

How To Easily Collect, Record and Maintain Your Subcontractors and Client Information

The only way you ever win profitable work is to get people to know, like and trust you, period. These days, sales enquiries are coming in from all directions. Phone, Website, Facebook, Email, Site Banners, Ute Signage, Display Homes etc. Problem is, if you don’t have a process in place for following up these enquiries you are losing sales. You probably already heard that the best way to do all of the above is use a functional cloud based CRM system, ideally something developed specifically for builders.


Running a building company has never been more challenging due to the ever increasing administration requirements being placed on builders.

How do you manage all this,

Obtain a signed Period Contract Agreement?
Obtain a copy of the Trade Licence?
Obtain a copy of the Public Liability Insurance Certificate of Currency?
Obtain a copy of the Workcover Certificate of Currency?

Do you,

Make Phone Calls?
Send Emails?
Obtain documents Onsite?

Would you,

Prevent access to site without current documentation?
Turn a blind eye?
Chase Daily until you obtained the documentation?
Your answers to the above probably leave you in one of two camps, you are either exposed to fines and prosecution or you are paying a fortune in staff administration to obtain the information and keep it current.

Or maybe you use something like ‘Keep In Touch’ which monitors all of your subcontractors renewal dates and automatically chases them up using in built autoresponders.

What is Keep In Touch?

After setting up an initial period contract agreement (supplied within the software) you can be sure the licence & insurance information will be requested as soon as it becomes due.

We know that as good as your subcontractors are, they dont always respond to the very first RFI so our system automatically ‘reminds them’ each each week. After 28 days you are notified about a subcontractor that maybe unlicensed or uninsured so that you can take the appropriate action and avoid an unnecessary fine.

Sounds expensive? It’s not, at just $49.95 + GST / Month & One Off $675.00+GST set up fee, the complete CRM System for Australasian Builders is ready for action.

You can get started now by calling 1300 764 500 to be set up. Or, if you would like to find out more click the link below which features a great video overview and answers to your questions.

Inadequate Designs & Specifications – What do you do?

Unexpected ‘variations’ on a build is a common and often discussed frustration in our industry. Now I’m the first to admit publicly that the less I see of lawyers the better! However recently I met with an ‘industry specific’ lawyer who’s opinion I respect. He had this to say about inadequate designs and specifications;

Inadequate Designs & Specifications – What do you do?

Imagine this scenario – you are in the middle of completing a home building contract and you discover that something in the architect?s plans is not quite right – perhaps they neglected to specify an essential component in the plans, or perhaps the plans would not adhere to the Building Code of Australia/NZ („the Code?). What do you do? Should you proceed to build based on the plans and specifications? Should you alter the plans and specifications to comply with the Code?

In this scenario, the best course of action is for you to:

1. Notify the architect that the plans are inadequate and/or not compliant with the relevant laws;

2. Notify the home owners that:

(a) you do not recommend for them to instruct you to proceed with the building works based on the plans and specifications; and (b) you require further plans and specifications from the architect.

Notwithstanding the above, sometimes it is easier said than done and accordingly, we outline some relevant and very recent Consumer, Trader and Tenancy decisions:

if there is an omission, an error, or a lack of guidance in the plans, you should report same in writing to the owner and architect and await their guidance before proceeding;
if a builder proceeds to remedy gaps in the plans and specification without instructions from the owner and/or architect, the builder can be held liable for rectification costs if the remedy is defective; and a builder has a contractual and statutory obligation to build in accordance with the plans and specifications AND the building works must comply with the Home Building Act or any other law such as the Code;


Do not proceed to build if there is a gap in the plans and specifications;

Do not proceed to build if you are aware that the plans and specifications do not comply with the relevant codes of practice;

Get everything in writing as you are required to do so pursuant to the Home Building Act 1989 (Cth) and the contract.

Did you find this article useful? If so, please feel free to subscribe to Damins’ mailing list by emailing reception@mclp.com.au with the subject title “B&C Subscribe”. If you have any questions in relation to this article or their Building and Construction Law Corporate Retainer, please feel free to contact Mr Murdock on 0422 730 999.

To your on-going success,

E: kurt@builderscoach.com

Produce Quotes That Win

I’ve had a few builders ask me about quote presentation recently so I thought I’d share some insights.

Working on tenders, producing quotes obtaining estimates from your subcontractors, it is all money spent with no guarantee of a return. It gets pretty frustrating, especially when you find out the client has punted their plans around 10 different builders. Do they think builders have nothing better to do?

You have probably heard this a hundred times before, qualify the client. But even so, you are still up against at least another two competitors. So, how do you win? Forget competing on price, if you have qualified your client we can assume they are not idiots, so the guy that forgot to add a slab into the price will not win by default.

It’s not the only factor (I always recommend a strong ‘sales process’ first), but presentation is certainly a BIG component. By presentation I mean detail, not prices (apart PC’s and PS’s) but specifications. The more you tell them about what is included in the price the MORE they think is missing from your competitors price. With margins the way they are you need to be 10% dearer than your competition and still win. It can be done.

Aim for a 30-35 page Quote Presentation. Hard work? Yes, but would you rather do a 6 page quote 5 times and still not win anything? Anyway, once you have done the first quote the subsequent ones are easy. 70% of the detail is the same; you are just tweaking the selections, PC’s, PS’s and the final amount.

This can be done in an Excel Spreadsheet quite easily, but if you want to get really clever, Co-construct will do it for you. Create a template; enter your base specifications and more importantly your exclusions (No Allowance for tree removal etc). Now add your base selections or choice of Gold/Silver/Bronze options or maybe just a PC.

Now you can use the template on every job going forward. But that’s not all, your client can’t afford it can they? So they make changes. Tweak it, print it. Tweak it print it. Tweak it print it. Finally, they push the button and you have a readymade contract addendum. The contract will take 15 minutes to fill in, the addendum is already done. What’s more, all the selections & specifications are now part of your project management system. Cloud Based Software, accessible from anywhere, every selection, every detail. Hallelujah!!