2012 Simeoni Autumn Newsletter

Inside this issue:

- Paul's Introduction

- Who is the Biggest Employer in the World?

- Cooking Classes with Candice

- Have Some Laughs with "The Last 10 Cents" Story



 Latest Company News 


Paul's Introduction

With autumn already here, it is time again for our quarterly newsletter. In April, my wife and I, together with Candice and her husband toured around China to see firsthand the extent of development occurring in the most populated country in the world. It is staggering the projects completed, in progress or on the drawing board.

I am a firm believer that the "mining boom" will continue to last for a few years and Australia will benefit. The main problem I see is "what are we doing with this surplus in taxes? Are we putting it aside for future projects?" At the moment - no.

Back on the home front, the office was very capably handled by our staff who were able to handle 90% of all queries. Thank you to all my brilliant staff to allow us the opportunity to take a break.

The financial year is drawing to a close very soon and we are in the process of arranging tax planning with our business clients. We have found this advisory service the most popular and beneficial to our clients. With some, saving tens of thousands of dollars with planning prior to year end. Once the financial year ends on the 30th June 2012 we are very limited on options available. So, if you are not on our list for a tax planning session, please call our office to make an appointment.

This is also a great opportunity to have your financial situation reviewed. If you have not been in contact with our Financial Planning personnel, then it is highly recommended that you should before 30th June 2012.Apart from taxation benefits, there is a constant need to review if you and your family are adequately covered for insurance, have a current and updated will in place, ensure you have investments you are comfortable with and a plan for retirement in place; just to name a few services we been able to help our clients with, over the years. Please contact us to make an appointment to have your financial situation reviewed.

Our staff and improved systems have seen our work flow completed well ahead of schedule, we have plenty of capacity to accept more work or take on quality clients similar to our existing ones. If you know anyone potentially looking for assistance in Taxation, Accounting, Audit, Financial Planning and various advisory services please contact us as we place referral from our clients very high on our priorities. We understand that if someone refers a service provider to a friend or colleague the service/experience will be a reflection on them. We will ensure that we will provide quality service to any new referrals.

I hope you enjoy our autumn newsletter and we appreciate any feedback or topic suggestions for the next edition.


Who is the Biggest Employer in the World?

On my trip to china and moving around the country, after seeing the impressive workforce and infrastructure projects either completed or in progress it got me thinking "who is the world's largest employer?". I did some research and came up with an article from BBC News (www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17429786) who listed the world largest employer; it may surprise you who is on the list. The article is as follows:

 4th  - McDonald's makes it into fourth position, with 1.9 million employees. However, 80% of the restaurants are franchises so, strictly speaking, 1.5 million of these people are employed by other companies, although they all wear the uniform.


3rd - Third is the US supermarket chain Walmart, which employs 2.1 million staff - including almost 200,000 who work for the Asda supermarket chain in the UK.

2nd - Second place goes to the Chinese military - the People's Liberation Army (PLA) - with forces numbering 2.3 million.



1st - The top spot is taken by the US Department of Defense with a cool 3.2 million-strong workforce.



Why is it so big - and so much bigger than the second-placed Chinese military?

In truth, making these comparisons is fraught with difficulties.

The US Defense Department, with its headquarters at the vast Pentagon building in Virginia, is keen to boast that it's one of the world's largest employers and includes civilian support staff in its numbers.
Getting a comparable figure for the Chinese military is near impossible.
The figure of 2.3 million which puts it at second place in our list includes active forces only - not civilian staff, like the US figure. And that actually makes it the largest active military force in the world, according to Military Balance, an annual assessment of military capabilities around the world published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the UK.

If you were to count only active forces within the US Department of Defense, it would number 1.6 million people and slip to seventh place in our list.
If numbers for its civilian staff were known, it is possible the Chinese could come much closer to the US, and maybe even overtake them. But it is not a straightforward exercise even to separate who is civilian and who is military personnel - the two forces are structured and organised completely differently.

"There are a number of organisations within militaries - you have active forces, reserve forces, civilians, and also those that might be working as contractors - so it depends really what you're trying to count when you look at headline numbers," says James Hackett, the editor of Military Balance.

"What we try and do is look at active service personnel, so those in uniform who are capable of operating on behalf of the state to fulfil the national security concerns of the militaries.

"One reason that the PLA is large compared to other militaries stems from its composition as a mainly conscript-based force. Now other militaries in the West and across the world have moved to volunteer corps."

The NHS might be lower in the global pecking order than people think but it is still big.
Technically, however, it could be said the NHS does not operate as a single employer.
Many staff are employed by individual hospital trusts and primary care trusts, while GP surgeries, for example, are run and owned by one or more partners who are contracted to provide general NHS medical services.

But setting that aside, it is bigger - just - than the state-run China National Petroleum Corporation, which has around 1.6 million employees and operates in 49 countries.
It's also bigger than the State Grid Corporation of China, which ranks seventh in our list with 1.5 million staff.

Surprisingly, it also has more workers than Indian Railways, which is popularly thought to be in the top three of the world's biggest employers, but actually languishes in eighth place.
"Languishing" with an admittedly whopping 1.4 million-strong workforce - and with plans to recruit an extra 100,000 staff this year. And it's still one place ahead of the Indian Armed Forces, which has 1.3 million people in its active forces.

The reason China's railway operation does not make the top 10 list is because it's split into various separate entities. But Chinese operations do dominate the top 10 list.

Number 10 on the list - behind the Indian Armed Forces - is Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known by its trading name, Foxconn. This Taiwanese electronics producer, which has 1.2 million employees, makes well-known products like the Apple iPad in its vast factories in China, where hundreds of thousands of people work.

It became notorious in 2010 when news spread that 10 of its workers had committed suicide.
Although these deaths were tragic, an understanding of how massive an employer the company is makes you realise that this isn't the shockingly high number it seemed.

Suicide rates in China have been put at 15 per 100,000 people per year. The controversial Foxconn factory employed around 400,000 people. Ten suicides per 400,000 people isn't unusually high. It's unusually low for China.

It is interesting the largest employer in Australia is Westfarmes, who owns Coles, Myers, Bunnings, Kmart and Target, to name a few, employing almost 200,000 people across the country. Well short on anyone on the top 10 list, but very impressive from an Australian point of view.


Cooking Classes with Candice

Chicken, Mushroom & Broccoli Rigatoni

Ingredients for 4 people:

- 1 x BBQ chicken - skin removed; torn into
   pieces Olive Oil
- 1 cup of light cooking cream
- Garlic
- Lemon Thyme
- Broccoli pieces
- 500 gm Rigatoni
- 200 gm Mushrooms
- 1 x Small brown onion - chopped
- Shaved parmesan cheese


1. Place cream, garlic & thyme in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and
    then let stand in saucepan off the heat.

2. Blanch broccoli or steam in microwave for a few minutes. Set aside.

3. Cook pasta in salted water "al dente" for 6/7 minutes  

4. In a large pan, cook mushrooms in olive oil. Then add onion. Reduce heat. Add chicken
    and broccoli. Then finally add cream sauce. Toss to combine.

5. Drain pasta and add to pan. Toss to combine.

6. Serve immediately and add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.


Have some laughs ... 

"The Last 10 Cents"  

A father walks into a restaurant with his young son.
He gives the young boy three 10c coins to play with to keep him occupied.
Suddenly, the boy starts choking and going blue in the face....
The father realises the boy has swallowed the coins and starts slapping him on the back..
The boy coughs up 2 of the 10c's but is still choking.
Looking at his son, the father is panicking, shouting for help.
A well dressed, attractive, and serious looking woman, in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee.
At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down, neatly folds the newspaper, places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the restaurant.
Reaching the boy, the woman carefully pulls down his pants; takes hold of the boy's' testicles and starts to squeeze and twist, gently at first and then ever so firmly.. tighter and tighter !!!
After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and   coughs up the last of the 10c's, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand..
Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the coin to the father and walks back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word.

As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor? "
'No,' the woman replied.
I'm with the Australian Tax Office...'

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