Posts Tagged 'iPads'

To BYOD or not to – that is the question!

Scott Plunkett, Smartsalary IT Manager here – posting about the big BYOD debate.

Err, so what does BYOD stand for?

Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) is a policy whereby employees can use their own phones, tablets, laptops and so on to do their job, rather than using company supplied equipment.

Depending on what role you have in the organisation, you’re probably thinking this is either a fantastic idea or pure insanity!

Regardless of where you stand, organisations across Australia have been increasingly asking whether it’s a policy worth implementing – and the debate isn’t letting up any time soon.

At Smartsalary we say a resounding YES – BYOD is the way forward!

BYOD iPad

The nitty gritty

By year’s end, 1.2 billion new iPhones, iPads, Androids, Windows 8 and BlackBerry devices will be purchased globally (Gartner).

The “No thanks” camp (no BYOD) shivers at the thought of the complications BYOD introduces. Chief amongst them are:

– Data security
– OH&S issues
– Compliance issues
– Device ownership
– Network bandwidth

On the flip side, the “Why didn’t we think of this sooner!” camp can only see the benefits:

– Employees are using devices they’re comfortable with and are therefore highly productive,
– Employees can connect their devices anywhere, anytime
– It enables more flexible work practises and helps employees achieve greater work/life balance,
– It reduces IT expenditure because companies don’t have to buy hardware

Within 6 months of Smartsalary enabling BYOD so that team members could connect their own devices, the take-up rate was unprecedented – we had an average of 1 device for every employee connected daily, with numbers continuing to grow.

For me, the time for debate is finished!

If companies wish to retain their top performing employees, they will only do so by adopting an innovative user-centric approach to what devices people can use to perform at their best. All the arguments against BYOD have clear and simple solutions through either technology or company policies.

Don’t wait any longer – invest in BYOD and reap the rewards.

Salary packaging iPads makes the news!

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For the latest information about salary packaging iPads & Tablet computers, please click here.

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The Australian’s IT section has just run an article (quoting Simon Ellis, our Senior Tax Advisor) outlining the salary packaging industry’s general response to the question of iPad packaging. The article makes clear that the industry is broadly following SmartSalary’s lead, and exercising a fair amount of caution before adding iPads to the menu of available packaging items.

As the article notes, it is only where an individual‘s employment duties involve regular tasks requiring access to an iPad (or similar machine) that the ATO will accept salary packaging. We interpret this to mean that the ATO is not going to test packaging arrangements by looking at the actual use of the machine – it’s going to test them by looking at your ordinary employment duties, and deciding whether those duties justify access to an iPad.

Simon tells me that this approach is consistent with ATO guidelines on laptops, as set out in ATO ID 2008/127.

Thus SmartSalary’s cautious approach to packaging iPads seems to have been warranted. We will, of course, continue to liaise with our employer clients in this regard but for the time being iPads are likely to stay off the menu for many of our packaging customers.

iPad and the ATO

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For the latest information about salary packaging iPads & Tablet computers, please click here.

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Will the tax man take his tablet?

iPad fever is gripping the globe, and SmartSalary customers are certainly not immune! We’re getting more and more queries about whether our customers are allowed to salary package these machines so I thought now would be a good time to offer a quick reminder of how the salary packaging rules work when it comes to devices such as tablet computers.

Since I’m not the expert in this field I have, once again, asked our Senior Tax Advisor to pull together a quick summary of the rules . . . . take it away Simon!

Thanks Deven – the first thing to note is that it doesn’t really matter whether tablet computers are considered laptops, PDAs or even mobile phones as the salary packaging concession no longer revolves around the definition of these items. Any “portable electronic device” can now potentially access the concession as long as two requirements are met:

1. The device must have been acquired for the primary purpose of use in your actual employment duties, and
2. You must not have salary packaged any similar items earlier in the relevant FBT year.

Employers who see ipads as potential work tools for their employees are starting to instruct SmartSalary to include them in their salary packaging menu, and we’ll be sending comms to those employees as this benefit comes on line. We’ve asked the ATO to clarify what devices it considers to be ‘similar’ to tablet computers for the purposes of requirement 2, but for now, while we wait to hear from the ATO, SmartSalary is taking a conservative view and packaging tablet computers as though they are laptops (i.e. we won’t allow both in the one FBT year).

So keep your eyes and ears peeled for further updates from us or your employer!

A Work Related iPad?

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For the latest information about salary packaging iPads & Tablet computers, please click here.

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Today I’m turning over the blog to my Senior Taxation Adviser Simon Ellis, who has some interesting thoughts and questions about packaging iPads.  Take it away Simon . . . .

As many readers already know, a salary packaging opportunity exists for portable electronic devices where they are intended “primarily” for use in undertaking employment duties.

To date this opportunity has generally been used to package the dynamic duo of work-related equipment, the mobile phone and the laptop, but with the impending Australian release of the iPad are we about to see a third product enter the packaging arena?  Are tablet computers going to be the next big thing in portable business tools?

At the moment, with iPads as the market leader (and Apple’s monopoly on ‘cool’), these computers seem to be aimed more at media consumption than any serious business application, but it seems likely that the future of these computers will see them used for a wide range of business applications.

So what do you think?  Are there any aspects of your current job that you think would benefit from access to a tablet computer as opposed to, say, a traditional laptop?  Do you think you could justify a ‘primary’ work purpose for this new breed of portable electronics if they were offered as a packaging option?

You can leave a comment here


Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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