The real cost of technology hiccups

From the Glass Gardens in Singapore, to the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, all the way to the iconic glass entrance to Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in New York, the sleek appeal that glass designing provides can be seen all over the world.

Glass Garden, Singapore

For Apple in particular, the glass entrance in New York provides their company with the symbol of modernity and transparency that they strive for, and it’s no surprise that many companies are following suit. In recent years there has been an array of new smart phones, larger TVs and many more, with glass becoming a largely iconic material symbolising modernism in our world today.

As well as the business image appeals glass provides for companies globally, it is also an avenue which has a vital role in the development of affordable, renewable energy through the use of solar power.

Glass is being manufactured thinner and more flexible than ever, as well as having technology inbuilt to adjust transparency at the flick of a switch, making it arguably the most utilized and iconic material of our age.

GLASS DEMAND ON THE RISE

Given the wide array of uses for glass at present, the industry has seen major shifts since the early 2000s. Previous demand for glass was predominantly held by the building industry, with the main producers being North America, Western Europe and Japan. Following the GFC in 2007-08, the demand for new housing dropped and so, resulting in production cuts in the glass industry. Within 10 years from 2005 to 2015 in North America, 19 plants and 7 glass lines were cut.

National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

During the same time period however, the production of glass in China soared, and by 2013, they were considered the largest glass market in the world. It has been estimated that China will also possess the fastest growing glass demand with their rapidly increasing demand for solar energy, and glass screens for technological devices.

It has been estimated that on a global level in the time period from 2005 to 2013, demand for LCD glass screens increased from 75 million square meters to 350 million square meters. The global demand for glass is in no way slowing, with an annual growth of 6.5% a year anticipated.

This brings us to a demand of approximately 10 billion square meters in 2018, worth US$100 billion. The Asia-Pacific region are the largest market for flat glass at the moment, accounting for 52% of worldwide demand in 2013.

A key facet of this remarkable increase in the demand for glass is also driven by non-residential buildings. If you walk into Sydney CBD and look around, you are highly likely to see new buildings made predominantly of glass.

HOW SUSTAINABLE IS THE GLASS AGE?

When the commercial construction boom initially happened, glass infrastructure was not very sustainable. Without the current technology, the glass utilised meant that there was a great deal of air conditioning was needed since buildings resembled a greenhouse. As a result, extraordinarily high levels of energy were being used, and much of this was escaping out of windows. The first attempt to combat this was through using semi-reflective glass but this compromised the transparency of the glass itself.

To address these issues, the glass industry now include protective coatings which reflect UV radiation and be insulated to prevent warmth from escaping during cold time periods, all the while maintaining their transparency. Sustainability is also being improved with Nano-level solar technology inside the glass itself beginning to appear in the industry.

THINNER, STRONGER AND MORE FLEXIBLE

Recent technology improvements have allowed the industry to produce glass that is thinner, stronger and more flexible than ever before. These improvements are not only beneficial for the technology industry, but also to the automotive industry. Corning, the maker of chemically strengthened Gorilla Glass have partnered with Ford to introduce new, thinner and stronger windscreens for their new GT models, said to be 5 times stronger than currently used windscreens.

Glass used particularly in the technology industry is now being manufactured so thin that it can be bent. Recently, this has been seen in the new curved TV screens that have hit the market, as well as the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphone. As this glass is so thin, up to 0.4mm, the flexible glass can be printed more efficiently and so we can expect higher production of it in recent years.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE GLASS AGE

Glass is conventionally made of three core ingredients, silica sand, soda ash and limestone. In order to manufacture glass from this, temperatures of approximately 15,000 degrees Celsius are required. Given the high demand of glass mentioned earlier, the process is energy intensive and work needs to go into the glass industry in order minimise the levels of CO2 emissions to make this process more environmentally friendly. One way the industry is doing so is through implementing advanced technologies to minimise the wastage on the production line. Making a switch from clear glass to green glass would reduce emissions by up to 20% as well. If the glass industry strives to ensure that the glass products as well as their packaging are more recyclable, it will reduce its environmental impact greatly.

Starting your business by identifying the correct structure, finding funding and utilising it in the most tax efficient way, getting your legal papers in order to outline relationships, borders, duties and responsibilities and developing a strategic plan of attack will destine an immense success or a terrible failure.

Jim Vass, Partner at ATB Chartered Accountants, Accountant, Taxation and Business Advice Specialist, will be giving a speech on the 14th of May 2014 at the Cumberland Business Chamber in Eastern Creek in order to make the complex subject of business structure simple and clear. As a qualified CPA and a founding partner of ATB Chartered Accountants, which is based in Parramatta, Sydney, Jim’s mission is to make businesses flourish. He is one of the most reliant people to go to when it comes to making the right decision about your business structure.

Without getting into too much detail, there are three main types of business entities available in Australia:

 A sole proprietorship, which is one of the most common forms of business organisation, is easy to form but risky to run. The owner of personally liable for all the financial obligations of the business.

• A partnership involves two or more people who agree to share in the profits or losses of a business. Although this kind of organisation is full of advantages, a partnership can be a challenging venture due to the personal liability of all the partners for the financial obligations of the business.

• A corporation is a different beast. It becomes an entity separated from those who founded it” which handles the responsibilities of the organisation. Like a separate living being, a corporation can be taxed and can be held legally liable for its actions. However, the owners are hidden behind the “invisible” man of this structure. It also implies extensive record-keeping and might require larger funds.
The three businesses entities are only a drop in the ocean of the business structure world. There are public companies, trading cooperatives, combinations, hybrids, trusts, LLCs and much more. Why is it so important to understand and differentiate between those?

Well, how often do you decide to purchase a new car after only checking its colour out? Before diving into the self-employment and injecting all your time, money and attention into your business make sure it is ready to float not sink.

COME ALONG ON THE 14TH OF MAY 2014 TO THE CUMBERLAND BUSINESS CHAMBER to take a crucially important business structure’s guide away with you to make your business plan work.

SOME OF THE TOPICS WE WILL BE DISCUSSING ON THE DAY:

• What is the correct structure to operate the business
• What funding is available and how to utilise it in the most tax effective way
• Partners/shareholders agreements, which will outline the working relationship between parties and the manor the parties can dissolve their business relationship
• Strategic planning in order to envision the future of the business and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future

MORE DETAILS:

$20 for Chamber Member and $40 for non – Chamber Members
Location: At 1 Peter Brock Dr, Eastern Creek NSW 2766
From May 14, 2014 07:00 until May 13, 2014 09:00
manager@cbchamber.com.au
http://www.cumberlandbusinesschamber.com.au

This article is provided as general information only and does not consider your specific situation, objectives or needs. It does not represent accounting advice upon which any person may act. Implementation and suitability requires a detailed analysis of your specific circumstances.

What people deem to be a comfortable income has changed from having access to a home, food, health care and an education, to include international holidays, attending private schools, and having the latest technology. According to the Australian Council of Social Service’s 2016 report, there are 2.9 million Australians living in poverty, This is 13.3% of the Australian population.

Seemingly lifetimes ago, an income of $100,000 was a marker of achievement and satisfaction in young professionals, but now it seems to be the bare minimum for individuals who want to own property, send their children to a good school, travel, and top up your superannuation to at least $1 million.

Currently, the average national wage in Australia is $79,721, with wage growth remaining stagnant. The table below indicates the average annual earning of Australians in all states and territories in 2016, as reported by Living in Australia.

State/Territory Average Annual Wage
Tasmania $69,477
South Australia $73,757
Victoria $75,634
Queensland $75,936
New South Wales $80,132
Northern Territory $81,624
Western Australia $88,327
Capital Territory $89,846

While your current income may not seem like enough for you to live comfortably, an interactive calculator by Care International highlights that this is not the case. The calculator, ‘the Global Rich List’, is an income comparison calculator, allowing users to see how far just an hour of the salary can go. For those Australians earning $100,000 a year, they are actually in the top 0.08% richest people in the world, earning an average of $52.08 an hour while workers in Ethiopia are earning $0.23. Care International’s ‘Rich List’ allows people to understand that despite everyday money pressures, they are a lot better off than they realise. Particularly in Australia, 71% of the top income earners thought they were poorer than the top income band, while 72% of lowest income earners thought they we’re better off than they are.