Becoming a B Corp

Becoming a B Corp: Using business for the power of good

8 August 2016

Lee Hillam outlines the process of becoming a B Corp and the benefits that flow from it.

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Managing for happiness

Managing for Happiness

14 June 2016

Nurturing a company culture of opportunity and challenge, support and appreciation is not just about giving you a warm fuzzy feeling – it can increase your bottom line. Rena Klein makes the case.

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Practice Administrators Group

Practice Administrators Group

29 August 2016

The ACA – SA Practice Administrators Group meets informally to discuss matters of common interest.

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Measuring productivity

Measuring Productivity

11 March 2016

What is productivity and how should we measure it? Robert Peake reports on recent survey findings and suggests strategies for architectural practices.

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TimeCostCalculator

Architects' Time/Cost Calculator

13 May 2020

The ACA Architects’ Time/Cost Calculator Version 3 helps practices assess the time and costs involved in providing an appropriate level of service for a broad range of building types. 

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Productivity through design thinking

How to Improve Productivity with Design Thinking

19 April 2016

Your staff are the best people to work out how to improve the productivity of your practice. Rena Klein explains the benefits of an Operational Improvement Charette, and provides a guide to running one. 

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Want to be more profitable?

Want to be More Profitable? Here's How.

11 March 2016

How can small architectural practices be more profitable? Rena Klein outlines the issues to consider, and some strategies for getting started.

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Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance

19 February 2018

Is the limit on your professional indemnity insurance policy enough? Planned Cover’s Kerrie McLeish explores the issues.    

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ACA Resource Sharing System

ACA Resource Sharing System

27 May 2020

The ACA Resource Sharing System (RSS) is a very timely employment initiative designed to assist members in retaining valuable staff by entering into short-term secondment agreements.


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ACA Pulse Check no. 2

ACA Pulse Check No. 2

28 March 2020

A lot has changed over the last two weeks. Tracking the impacts of COVID-19 over time is essential to developing the  most effective support. The second ACA Pulse Check Survey will help build a clear understanding of the experiences of Australian architectural practices so far, and identify the assistance needed.

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Cybersecurity

Avoiding Cyber Attacks

29 May 2019

What are the crown jewels of your practice? Where are they stored and how secure are they? Sherren Hepburn from Planned Cover takes a look at the issues around cybersecurity and offers tips on protecting your precious assets.

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Kerstin Thompson

The Business of Design

5 October 2019

Kerstin Thompson’s recent presentation for the ACA – SA was a thoughtful reflection on the business of design, busting some stubborn myths about architectural practice, and emphasising the need to balance design quality with business practice excellence, financial strength, thriving people and workplace health.

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Stop Harassment

Stopping Harassment in its Tracks

15 December 2017

How does your practice address sexual harassment at work? Merilyn Speiser from Catalina Consultants offers a 10-step approach to keep your business harassment-free.

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Privacy issues - Cbus

A Matter of Privacy

22 February 2019

Are you doing enough to protect your employees’ personal information? ACA partner Cbus explores the issues, identifying resources to assist in the protection of your employees and your practice.

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Coronavirus implications

Coronavirus: Implications for Employers

15 March 2020

With COVID-19 threatening to have significant impacts on businesses and workplaces around Australia in the coming weeks and months, Tom Earls and David Putland from Fair Work Lawyers provide insights into the complex and often competing legal concepts relating to employment.

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Business Survey

Survey Results Available!

11 December 2018

The second independent survey of business and practice management systems has uncovered some interesting findings. 

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Remote Working

How to Lead a Remote Workforce

6 April 2020

Robert Peake, principal of Management for Design, offers his top tips for effective leadership with remote teams, including setting clear expectations and following through, giving trust freely, and managing achievement, not time. 

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Successful Leadership Succession

Successful Leadership Succession

7 March 2015

How do you develop a clear, effective process for succession in your practice? Robert Peake outlines the key issues and strategies, and warns of problems you may encounter. 

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ACIF Forecasts in Practice B

ACIF Forecasts in Practice

4 December 2013

John Held reflects on how the ACIF Forecasts are used at Russell and Yelland.

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Fulton Trotter

Clear Communication and Patience

22 March 2020

Justine Ebzery outlines the steps Fulton Trotter has taken in response to COVID-19 so far, including clear, regular communication to clients and employees, transitioning to more work from home arrangements, and a focus on patience and kindness.

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TRCB Trialling remote working

Trialling Remote Working

19 March 2020

Taylor Robinson Chaney Broderick (TRCB) has been trialling staff working from home for a number of weeks. Leigh Robinson generously shares details about how this is working, lessons learned, and the guidelines the practice has developed.

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8i Architects

Remote Working Advice

20 April 2020

Working remotely can be challenging and disruptive, and requires realistic expectations and a flexible approach, says Charmaine Kai of Brisbane-based practice 8i Architects.

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Sharing strategies

How are You Responding to COVID-19?

24 March 2020

Online support is more important than ever. The ACA invites architectural practices across Australia to share practice experiences, knowledge and strategies. 

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HR Policy

Implementing a New HR Policy

27 June 2019

How do you build a strong HR policy without impacting on the culture of your practice? Merilyn Speiser provides a brief guide on implementing change as seamlessly as possible.

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Should you merge your firms?

Should You Merge Your Firm? Probably!

15 December 2017

Merging your firm can make good business sense. Robert Peake outlines the many benefits that a company merge can have for small practice owners.

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I've looked at cloud from both sides now

I've Looked at Clouds From Both Sides Now ...

9 April 2014

John Held considers the opportunities and costs of cloud computing in small practice.

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BVN

Building on Existing Flex Systems

5 April 2020

For BVN, the transition to all staff working from home has been ‘seamless’. The ease of the move is an outcome of already having robust flex systems in place, a commitment to open honest communication, and a focus on health and wellbeing.  

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TheFulcrum.Agency

Tight Financial Management and Open Communication

22 March 2020

TheFulcrum.Agency partner Emma Williamson explains how the consultancy is responding to COVID-19 and offers advice about how to proactively manage through a crisis while maintaining the cultural integrity of your practice.

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Brown Falconer

Communication, Autonomy and Initiative

24 March 2020

Brown Falconer is in the process of transitioning all staff to remote working. Mario Dreosti emphasises the importance of open communication and sharing both the knowns and the unknowns as essential to building trust, autonomy and initiative.  

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We need to talk about money

We Need to Talk about Money

15 October 2017

Peter Raisbeck provides a snappy outline of the ten profit drivers of small architectural practice.

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Mental health for small business

Mental Health for Small Business Owners

18 August 2017

Self-care is often not a top priority in the life of the small business owner, but it is the most fundamental – not only to your personal health and wellbeing but the success of your business. 

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ACA Pulse Check No 1 Prelim findings

ACA Pulse Check no. 1 - Preliminary Findings

18 March 2020

The ACA has released the preliminary results of the ACA Pulse Check no. 1. We are now analysing these further. 

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Building a business

10 Principles for Building an Architectural Business

31 May 2014

How do you build an architectural business? Charles Justin offers 10 principles to guide a practice.  

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Industrial manslaughter

COVID-19 & Industrial Manslaughter

4 June 2020

By 1 July 2020, Victoria will introduce industrial manslaughter laws for the first time. At the same time, Australia continues its efforts to contain COVID-19, including significant restrictions on work and workplaces. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers explores the issues.

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Workplace of Future

How COVID-19 Will Change the Traditional Workplace

5 May 2020

What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the traditional workplace and what can we learn from this giant workplace experiment, writes Hames Sharley Principal and Workplace Portfolio Leader Stephen Moorcroft.

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Cassandra Keller

How to Achieve Pay Equity

27 June 2019

Compare and contrast pay rates and don’t misread confidence for competence, advises Cassandra Keller.

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AusSearch ACA

ACA + AusSearch

5 November 2015

‘AusSearch for ACA Members’ is an online service that enables fast and efficient searching for the documents you need for site analysis and property services.

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10 Challenges 10 Actions

Ten Challenges / Ten Actions

15 December 2014

Leone Lorrimer outlines ten challenges facing architecture and ten actions we can take to turn these challenges into opportunities.  

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Building Skills

Building Skills in Practice

21 March 2019

Informal learning, partnered with formal training and development, are of enormous benefit to practices as well as individuals. ACA partner Cbus identifies some of the ways you can amplify learning in your practice. 

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An Insurance Perspective

An Insurance Perspective on the Assumed Liability Exclusion in AS 4122-2010

3 December 2013

Damian Harrison comments on recent concerns about the ‘assumed liability’ exclusion in AS 4122–2010.

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IT Pricing & the  Australia Tax

A Report into IT Pricing

4 September 2013

Why are IT products more expensive in Australia and what is being done about it?

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Common Claims

Common Claims and How to Avoid Them

13 March 2018

Experienced Claims Manager Kerrie McLeish discusses the most common claims she sees and gives valuable advice on how to avoid them.

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Hayball

New Challenges & Modes of Working

8 April 2020

Hayball has explored varied modes of working and learning over many years, but the rapid shift to remote, distributed workplaces in the era of COVID-19 is a new challenge.

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Insurance and Cyber Attacks

Cyber Attacks and Insurance

13 August 2015

What are the exposures of hacking and other cyber criminal activity to your business? Alex Conlon of BJS Insurance Brokers considers the issues in this emerging risk area.

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POD case study

Planning for Health, Wellbeing & Financial Sustainability

16 April 2020

As Queensland prepared for lockdown, Cairns-based practice People Oriented Design worked on strategies with health, wellbeing and the long-term financial sustainability of the practice firmly in mind.

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Pulse check no. 1 – COVID 19

ACA Pulse Check no. 1 - COVID-19

15 March 2020

The ACA’s quick ‘pulse check’ survey will help us better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Australian architectural practices. The Survey is now closed. We are analysing the results now.

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ACA WIRE
What do Architects do in a Financial Crisis?

The Autumn 2013 issue of Architect Victoria canvases the question.

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Retaining staff

How to Retain Staff During the Coronavirus Pandemic

31 March 2020

The response to COVID-19 is unprecedented and evolving daily. As government decisions directly and indirectly impact on businesses, employers are looking at ways to continue operating in the face of enormous challenges. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers briefly describes the options available to architecture practices.

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Making Strategy Happen

Making Strategy Happen

5 November 2014

Does your practice have an effective strategic plan? Robert Peake, of Management for Design, outlines the importance of strategy, and suggests some ways to get started. 

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Safety at Work

Advice for Workplace Safety

14 May 2020

As restrictions ease around the country and more people return to work, employers are now facing the challenge of ensuring their workplaces are safe and healthy for all. Safe Work Australia (SWA) has developed extensive resources, fact sheets and checklists to assist with health and safety in the workplace and we provide a summary here.

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Insurance and risk

Professional Indemnity Insurance, Risk and AS 4122

28 March 2014

Jack Birrell on the things to consider when choosing your insurance provider.

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Keeping on top of tech

Keeping on Top of Tech

19 February 2018

Delegating your technology needs to your IT team is a mistake, argues Robert Peake. As a leader you need to understand and drive the IT strategy within your business.

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BIM and Insurance

BIM and Insurance

6 March 2015

What are the insurance implications of BIM for architects? Alex Conlon of BJS Insurance Brokers considers the issues in this emerging field.

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Warwick

Running a Practice in Lockdown

1 June 2020

Warwick Mihaly shares the challenges of trying to run a small practice in lockdown while supervising remote learning with small children and keeping his business afloat. 

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Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice

Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice

13 May 2014

The Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice aim to help Australian architecture move towards a more equitable profession; one that offers opportunity for all and is better positioned to meet contemporary challenges.

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Join the ACA

Join the Association of Consulting Architects

2 April 2014

ACA | The Business of Architecture

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ACA WIRE
Starting your architecture practice

Mihaly Slocombe has written a series on what you need to know to set up practice. Topics include: Chutzpah, Clients, Identity, The Law, The Studio, Electronics, Cashflow, Support Team, Community, and The Future. Their engaging blog, Panfilocastaldi, includes a range of posts about the business of architecture, as seen through the eyes of a newish, youngish practice. 

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Time Management

Tips for Time Management

26 August 2019

Running a practice can be unrelenting, changeable and extremely demanding. How do you manage your time in such an unpredictable environment? Rena M. Klein offers some tips.

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Deltek PIM

Elevation Architecture’s Digital Transformation

7 June 2020

Rachel Tilleyshort of Elevation Architecture takes us through her firm’s digital transformation, with substantial profitability and productivity gains since implementing Deltek Project Information Management (PIM).

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HR 101

How to Hire, Fire & Manage Employees

7 August 2019

Recruiting the right people and then managing them well is essential to the success of your practice. Merilyn Speiser offers a guide to getting the HR fundamentals right.

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6 Business Tips

6 Business Tips for Architects

6 June 2017

How do you increase the value of your business and put your clients front and centre? Lindy Johnson shares six helpful tips.

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Research in architectural practice

Research in Architectural Practice - 6 ways for architects to create upstream knowledge

18 October 2016

How can your practice amplify its research capability? Peter Raisback suggests six strategies. 

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Stand Down Considerations

Coronavirus: Stand Down Considerations

19 March 2020

Tom Earls and David Putland from Fair Work Lawyers provide an update on key considerations for employers when circumstances force them to stand down parts of their workforce.

 

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dwp

Investment in Digital Design

20 April 2020

Existing investment in new digital platforms has meant that dwp|design worldwide partnership was well placed to switch to working mode when the COVID-19 crisis arose.

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Robe Peake

Government Support and What Employers Can Do

25 March 2020

As we face a crisis of unknown proportions, Rob Peake, Principal of Management for Design, outlines what is needed from the Federal Government, and what architectural practices can do to weather the storm.

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Cyber crime

Cyber Crime in the Age of COVID-19

11 June 2020

As we all try to adapt to a changed world, cyber criminals are taking advantage of changes to our physical working conditions and day-to-day processes. Planned Cover takes a look at the issues around cybersecurity and offers tips on protecting your practice.

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Head in the cloud

Head in the Cloud

3 May 2014

Is it reassuring or not to be told there are many definitions for ‘the Cloud’? Dean Wood reports and reflects on a recent ACA – WA event.

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Return to Work

The Ultimate Return to Work

14 March 2018

Providing support and easing the transition for an employee returning to work makes good business sense, argues Jennekin Dicks.

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Managing for profitability

Managing your way to profitability

12 September 2017

Dynamic leadership, talented employees, exciting projects and appreciative clients mean little if a firm is stressed and struggling with its bottom line, says Jennekin Dicks. Managing profitability well can make all the difference.

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Fiona Martin

Practice Management and COVID-19

25 March 2020

Building on knowledge gleaned from the recent ACA Pulse Check Survey No.1, Fiona Martin outlines the key areas practices should be working on, and answers some FAQs about leave under various circumstances.

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Managing Risk 101

Managing Risk 101

21 March 2019

Risk management is crucial to effective practice management. Robert Peake outlines the key issues, from business structures and insurances to fee agreements and negotiation.

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Design Risk

Forget Design Quality, it’s all about Design Risk!

17 April 2019

Thinking about design risk in strategic terms is imperative for the profession, but it is often sidelined in practice, and is barely mentioned in architecture schools. Peter Raisbeck explores the concept of design risk.

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Whispering Smith

Innovation, Resilience & Relationship Building

20 April 2020

COVID-19 disruption has been all-encompassing, but there are signs of innovation, community resilience and relationship building emerging all around us, observes Kate Fitzgerald of Fremantle-based Whispering Smith. 

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Thomson Rossi

Policy, Process and Restricted Contact

23 March 2020

Thomson Rossi’s approach to managing the practice in the context of the novel coronavirus is guided by a COVID-19 Policy Statement, which establishes clear boundaries and habits. Simon Thomson explains that the intent is to keep the office open as long as possible. 

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SA Practice Administrators

Join the SA Practice Admin Group!

18 August 2017

The ACA – SA Practice Administrators Group meets regularly to share knowledge, views and experiences. New members welcome.

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Software costs

A Cautionary Note on Software Cost Structures

19 July 2016

Software costs structures are changing; this could have significant impact on your business’s long-term profitability. ACA – WA outlines the issues.

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Business Systems survey results

Business Systems Survey Results

14 October 2017

Do you know where to start when choosing a new business management system for your practice? 

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Know your business – insurance

Insurance for Architectural Practices

7 April 2018

Planned Cover Manager of Projects and Compliance Vanessa Collins gives a full rundown of the different types of insurance and the protections they provide.

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Preparing for COVID-19

Preparing for COVID-19

11 March 2020

The situation in relation to COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We encourage all ACA members to show leadership within their practice, to understand their obligations as employers and business owners, and to plan ahead for potential disruption as much as possible.

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Preventing Burnout

How to Prevent Burnout in the Lead-up to Christmas

22 November 2019

The lead-up to Christmas may be a magical time of year for some. But for many of us, it’s much more about increased workloads, stress and trying to stay on top of it all. Merilyn Speiser explores what you can do to avoid suffering burnout in the Christmas busy period.

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LOng hours

Go Hard or Go Home!

20 March 2017

Lee Hillam reflects on the long-hours culture in architecture.

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Fee Structures and Productivity

Fee Structures and Productivity Output

6 November 2014

How do we improve practice profitability? Job-by-job, day-by-day. Greg Wines reports on the discussion at the ACA – Qld/NT’s November event. 

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