Our People


Bill is a Senior Consultant in the Business Advisory division in Ballarat. Bill has over 45 years of experience in the accounting profession across Australia, having joined RSM in 1977.

With his extensive experience in agriculture and small to medium size businesses, Bill works closely with business owners to help them reach their goals.

Bill prides himself on providing prompt responses and solutions, and delivering a premium service to his clients.

Bill is a highly regarded provider of succession planning advice across Victoria and New South Wales. His passion is to assist farmers to keep the family in the farm and the farm in the family.

When Bill isn't working, you might find him watching a game of AFL with his family.

Solutions bill provides

Bill provides a range of solutions to clients including:Bill Beard is a senior consultant in the Business Advisory division in Ballarat.

  • Income tax consulting and compliance
  • Individual tax solutions
  • Rural accounting services
  • Complex superannuation tax advice
  • Self-managed superannuation compliance
  • Succession and estate planning

Significant projects

  • Bill has made numerous presentations dealing with taxation, in particular, tax minimisation and superannuation issues.
  • Presenting succession planning workshops as a registered training provider.
  • Contributed to numerous article publications including the Ballarat Courier and The Weekly Times.

professional associations

  • Member, CPA
  • Member, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)


  • Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
  • Certificate IV Workplace Assessment and Training

Long term succession and estate planning

5 August 2019
Bill Beard covers the Do's and Don'ts of long term succession & estate planning. Succession and estate planning in a family farming business is a complex juggling of the needs and wants of the “retiring” generation, the new farmer(s) and their partners and often siblings of the new farmers who will not be farming in the future. Below ...

How to Maintain the Family Farm

22 August 2018
In most cases the older generation will make the decisions on how their assets will be divided and who will take over the management responsibility of the farm. These decisions will often be considered fair and reasonable if all family members understand the reasons behind those decisions and express their thoughts in the process.  Ove...

Memory loss and its impact on the family farm

4 July 2018
As life expectancy has increased, so has the number of people suffering from memory loss from conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers. So, have you ever wondered what would happen to your farm if you came down with a mental illness resulting in memory loss and judgement? What if your spouse loses his/her mental capacity? Naturally, somebody h...

Avoiding a Will dispute

15 May 2018
One of the most difficult issues facing parents is how to treat their non-farming children fairly, whilst at the same time leaving the valuable farm to the farming child or children.  We all know that it is highly likely that treating all children equally will put the farm viability in serious jeopardy. What is fair to one child may be...

Your generosity could provide even more benefits

9 April 2018
We all work diligently to provide for our dependents and eventual beneficiaries. Protecting their future wealth is an excellent legacy for our survivors. So how do we provide this extra benefit?  One idea when making a Will is to establish a testamentary trust or trusts that commence upon the death of the Will maker.  The Will would...

Is your Will about to explode?

5 March 2018
Far too many Wills exist which, when "detonated", will create huge problems for farming families. This article aims to reduce these potential disasters.  When making a Will it is important to recognise that certain assets cannot be distributed via your Will. For example, when you open a bank account or buy shares with another person an...

Estate planning is not a dead issue

31 January 2018
One way to really focus on farm succession is to ask: What would happen if both Dad and Mum died tomorrow? Far too often I meet people in all types of businesses who have not made a will or their existing will does not correlate with their present wishes. Sometimes a will even contradicts what was intended or does not provide anywhere near the b...

One size does not fit all

29 November 2017
In my previous article, I discussed transferring the family farm to a child without paying stamp duty. The next important step is to seek professional advice as to the capital gains tax implications if the farm was transferred. In many cases, capital gains tax is not a major issue with the right advice. As farming families consider the transfer ...

Victorian farm stamp duty savings

30 October 2017
A significant part of any farm succession plan is planning for retirement. Given ever-increasing farm, living and education cost, most farming enterprises will only support one child and their family of the succeeding generation. Retirement planning for the parents will sometimes include the goal of qualifying for at least a part aged pension...

Get the right advice or pay the price | Family farms

6 September 2017
Family farms are part of the fabric of rural Australia. Unfortunately the landscape is dotted by a large number of farms that disappeared from families who either had no succession plan or the estate plan was seriously inadequate. The impact of death duties is just one example of how a lack of planning destroyed the ambition of many would be ...

Farm Succession Planning and the four A’s

25 July 2017
Farm succession planning has been described as developing a strategy to work out whether someone will take over the farm or whether it will be sold when the owner retires or dies. It is estimated that more than 50% of farmers will retire or semi retire in the next 10 years. Retirement means different things to different people. It could ...

Follow the winding road | Farming succession planning

16 June 2017
Farming is a journey with the inevitable ups and downs, smooth roads, pot holes, straight stretches and the odd blind corner. The process of succession planning, on the other hand can lead to a destination, be it good, bad or ugly. Every farmer will experience succession and in many cases twice during their career. Succession can occur when...

Work-related car expenses - a timely reminder

10 March 2016
If you use the log book method to claim a car expense deduction you are required to keep a record of for a minimum continuous period of 12 weeks. There’s less than 16 weeks remaining in this financial year so it’s best if you start recording your trips now. From 1 July 2015 there are now only two methods available to calculate work-rela...

Tax help for those affected by the recent bushfires in Victoria and Western Australia

15 January 2016
The Australian Taxation Office have recently announced that people affected by the recent Victorian and Western Australian bushfires will have additional time to lodge their income tax returns and activity statements, and also fast track any refunds which may be due. People within the postcode of 3234 (Wye River and Separation Creek, Victori...

Drought Concessional Loan scheme

18 December 2015
The Australian Government has recently announced $30 million to support farmers dealing with drought conditions across Victoria. Loans of up to $1 million are now available, and are designed to help farmers recover from and prepare for future droughts. These loans can be used for the purposes of re-structuring existing farm debt, funding farm op...

Divorce and succession planning

4 June 2015
Divorce can have a significant impact on the family business, possibly leading to the sale of all or part of it. This article answers some of the key questions around this topic. How will the divorce of a family member affect my succession plan? The courts have ruled that no concessions can be given in a property settlement to allow for the c...

Take care with aged care

24 May 2015
The older generation has worked hard and are often frugal by nature. Not surprisingly they have exhibited a strong tendency to save for later life. Travel and comfortable living are often the main goals and after this the costs of retirement tend to diminish. It can be rather ironic that in the final years the cost of aged care can be very e...

Aged care, how much could it cost?

13 May 2015
These days when people move into an aged care home they must pay a basic daily fee of $47.49. They may also be required to pay a means tested daily care fee based on assets and income, an accommodation payment and fees for extra optional services. The maximum annual means tested care fee is $25,529 or $70 per day. There is also a maximum life ti...

What aged care means

29 April 2015
We know there is high probability of entering aged care in later life. Quite likely, due to ill health at that time we will be unable to cope with all the decisions and forms required at that time. Making sure we have nominated somebody as our trusted financial power of attorney, long before that event, will make the process so much easier. And whe...

Answer could be multiple SMSFs

31 March 2015
I am often asked the question, can or should my adult children be members of my self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF)? In practice there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to including children. One of the limitations of as self- managed superannuation fund is that there can be no more than four members. By comparison a family trust can ha...

Clarify death taxes

19 March 2015
We know that if superannuation passes to our spouse or children under 18 on our death, there is no tax to pay. On the other hand, some or all of our superannuation benefits will be taxed at either 15% or 17% when it passes to an independent adult child. The taxable component within your superannuation fund will exist regardless of whether you ha...

Super is so much more

26 February 2015
Yes, we have had our self-managed superannuation fund for a number of years. Our accountant looks after the tax each year, we sign a few papers, pay a few invoices and generally everything is pretty straight forward. We get some tax advice once in a while, but we don't understand what really happens to our superannuation when we die. We revie...

Tips and traps with super

11 February 2015
You have worked hard and accumulated a decent amount in your self-managed superannuation fund. Besides holding a cash component to pay the bills and your minimum annual pension, you have also built up other assets for your retirement. These other assets include a $500,000 share portfolio and over a million dollars worth of farming land. When the...

How to combat super death tax

13 January 2015
Many years ago we had death taxes, otherwise known as probate duty. This tax was imposed by both State and Federal governments with gift duties thrown in just to make sure you did not die with no assets and avoid paying probate duty. Because farmers are asset rich and income poor, death duties were seen to be very unfair. Paying tax for the p...