Archive for December, 2012

Looking Back On 2012

2012 has been a busy year for us at Smartsalary, here’s a look back at the highlights.

We are excited about the progress we’ve made on our three longstanding capabilities – Staff Engagement, Lean and Customer Loyalty – and are equally excited about the two new additional capabilities we’ve added: Agile and Innovation.

Staff Engagement
We’re thrilled that we once again achieved a 72% score, and proceeded to the 2nd round of consideration by Aon Hewitt for their Best Employer Award.

Lean
We commenced the deployment of Lean at Smartsalary back in 2008. Since then, we’ve improved our Lean capability maturity score from a 1.0 up to our 2012 target of 4.0, on a 5-point scale. This means that Lean principles are well ingrained and that we are approaching best practice.

Customer Loyalty
To measure customer loyalty we use the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This year our NPS was in the mid-40s, which is one of the highest ratings in the country. Our efforts were recognised by the Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA).  We are thrilled to have won both the State and National Service Excellence Awards for the Medium Business category.

CSIA-2012-NationalWinner-PNG

Agile and Innovation

When servicing our customers we want to ensure that we’re at the forefront of technology and innovation.  As such, we added Agile and Innovation as two further capabilities.

Agile enables tasks to be broken into small increments that typically last for just a few weeks. Each increment involves a company-wide cross-functional team that takes part in planning and executing new initiatives. Some examples of where we’ve used Agile in our Innovation initiatives include:

  • foray into the social media space, including facebook and twitter
  • introduction of an industry-leading smartphone application
  • award-winning implementation of a new customer management platform.

Each of these Innovation initiatives will be the subject of a future blog post in 2013.

As always, we thank you for your continued support. We’d love to know what sorts of things you enjoy reading about and would like to see more of in 2013 – please leave us a comment below.

What you need to know about Recent Changes to the In-House Benefit

In-House-cracked-FINAL

Hi Readers – Simon Ellis here, posting about the latest legislative changes…

In the mid-year budget delivered on October 22 the Gillard Government announced without warning that the option to salary package ‘in-house benefits’ would be closed down immediately for new employees, and phased out for employees already packaging the benefit.

In-house benefits are goods or services that your employer (or an associate of your employer) sells to the general public.  For example if you worked for Apple then an iPad would be an in-house benefit, or alternatively if you worked for a financial planner then financial planning advice would be an in-house benefit.

Under the old rules, employees could generally package up to $1,333 worth of these benefits each year – or put another way employees could buy up to $1,333 worth of their employer’s products each year and pay for them using pre-tax income.  It wasn’t a widely used benefit, particularly since not all employers sell goods or services that their employees actually want to buy, but for some employees it was an extra $300 – $600 in tax savings per year.

It’s fair to say that Smartsalary isn’t thrilled with the removal of this benefit, but we’re even less thrilled that the government has not seen fit to release any detail about how to identify whether an employee has a “pre-existing” arrangement (i.e. a packaging agreement that can continue through to April 2014 under the transitional rules).

Nonetheless we’ve been working hard (with what little information we have) to develop a framework that will enable employees currently packaging this benefit to continue packaging it for as long as possible.  At this point, based on what we’ve heard from Treasury, it is our view that anyone who signed up for salary packaging with their current employer prior to 22 October should be able to continue to package in-house benefits through to 1 April 2014 – but we’re yet to get formal confirmation of that view from either Treasury or in the form of actual draft legislation.

As always we’ll keep you informed of our progress, but for the time being it looks like the benefit is on its way out.

Leave a comment here.


Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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