How cyber-secure are you?

Blackmail, extortion and identity theft might sound like something straight out of a blockbuster movie but cyber crime is not only a reality, it’s on the rise and research shows the average Kiwi business isn’t prepared. Is New Zealand really under threat, we’re so far away! Unfortunately ‘out of sight, out of mind’ doesn’t apply to cyber criminals.  More than a quarter of Kiwi businesses surveyed by Grant Thornton in…  Read more

Update your business plan for a new year

As another year winds down, it’s a good time to reflect on your recent business successes – and consider what you’d like to achieve in the coming twelve to fifteen months. These tips can help you with the process of making plans to help guide your business to greater success. Set priorities Entrepreneurs are typically highly creative and optimistic; as a result, they often have difficulty narrowing down their ideas…  Read more

Tips for keeping your business data secure

It’s no secret that data loss can be a costly nightmare for a small business, with recent estimates citing the total cost of data breaches exceeding $2.1 trillion by 2019. Unfortunately, cyber attackers increasingly target small businesses because they are less likely to have security protection in place.  Accidental loss or loss due to a natural disaster can be just as harmful to a business, with recovery efforts and delays…  Read more

Similarities and differences between a bookkeeper and an accountant

They both work with financial data; they’re both essential for managing a successful business.  Yet the roles and duties of a bookkeeper and accountant rarely overlap. If you’re like many business owners, you may not be exactly sure of the differences between a bookkeeper and accountant – and whether you should hire one, or both. An established, growth-focused company will employee the services of both an accountant and bookkeeper.  The…  Read more

Are You Falling Behind By Not Automating These Business Activities?

The daily processes and transactions involved in operating a business can mean long hours of repetitive tasks and occasional oversights due to human nature.  Automating these tasks can result in significant savings in resources and eliminate mistakes caused by human error.  The key, however, is to know which tasks should be automated and which ones warrant staff intervention and guidance.  Let’s take a look at some of them. Here are…  Read more

Business Health Check

  Visualise, plan and prepare for growth When you consider every large corporation started out as a small business, the idea of growth is exciting! To avoid growing pains, however, the first step is to create a focused vision for your business. Here’s how: Define your company’s values. Know your goals and make them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). Write a company mission statement that aligns with your…  Read more

Get up to speed – new rules for motor vehicles

  Did you know the mileage rate we’ve been referring to for years is now the kilometre rate? If you’re a sole trader or in a partnership (and use your own vehicle for business), you can claim your running costs as an income tax deduction. Traditionally, if you own a company you’re liable for FBT any time you provide non-cash benefits (like motor vehicles) to your staff.  Recent amendments to…  Read more

How anti-money laundering legislation impacts you

  If you’ve seen the film The Wolf of Wall Street, you’ll be familiar with the concept of money laundering – an illegal process where ‘dirty money’ received from criminal activities is passed through legitimate businesses and made ‘clean.’ In response to a growing number of laundering incidents in New Zealand, the government has made changes to the law, which now affect accountants and small businesses like yours. As of…  Read more

Financing business growth with provisional tax

  There are several options available when it comes to accessing money to invest in your business. However, did you know that provisional tax payments are also a source of finance? Tax Finance, an option offered by an IRD-approved tax pooling provider such as Tax Management NZ (TMNZ), lets you free up working capital by deferring a provisional tax payment to a later date, without incurring IRD interest of 8.22…  Read more

Grow with the (cash) flow

  Steady cash flow is the fuel that powers your business, but when you’re busy doing a million things at once it can easily slip to the bottom of the priority pile. Here are some tips to keep the cash flowing while you’re growing: Invoice quickly – good debtor management is crucial, so send invoices quickly, ensure your payment terms are clearly outlined and offer discounts for prompt payment. Make…  Read more

My Food Bag shares growth tips and tricks

  Cecilia and James Robinson founded My Food Bag in March 2013 with Masterchef winner and dietician Nadia Lim, her husband Carlos Bagrie and former Telecom chief executive Theresa Gattung. With a concept based on delivering a week’s worth of recipes and the ingredients needed to make them, it’s no surprise that within three years the company reached $100 million in annual revenue and had 30,000 customers across 14 cities…  Read more

Handling your growing pains

Expanding your business can be exciting, but if you grow too fast – and without adequate planning – you could face major problems. Besides the uncertainty of how long the growth period will last, it’s common to lose focus on some of the factors that play a key role in the success of your business – your people, capital, forecasting and legislation that can affect your daily operations. Avoid getting…  Read more

Polite ways to sack a client

Ask anyone who’s been self-employed for a few years.  By and large, the vast majority of clients are great.  The less than ideal ones, however, can become a serious liability. Problem clients come in all shapes and sizes.  There are the late payers and scheduled “no shows”.  The ones who are demanding and don’t respect your time. Remember, just because you need to earn a profit doesn’t mean it’s in…  Read more

10 quick growth tips for your small business

Small businesses can grow in boom times as well as periods of difficulty by working smarter and taking advantage of opportunities. Put these following effective tips into practise to help grow your business. 1. Utilise new technology Modern technology can save you time, improve productivity and reduce your operational costs. Make use of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media tools to market your business. Dropbox is a cloud-based service…  Read more

How to get your business noticed on a shoestring budget

Very few small businesses have a huge marketing budget to work with.  Fortunately, there are a number of simple, free and low cost ways to get the word out about your company that are also highly effective. These tips will show you five simple ways to promote your local business without breaking the bank. Get free press Advertising rates for local newspapers and radio stations can be way too costly…  Read more

Common Homeowner’s Insurance Terms That You Should Know

While homeowner’s insurance isn’t required by law, it is often required if you are taking out a mortgage in order to purchase your home. There are a lot of things that you need to think about when purchasing homeowner’s insurance, including what types of coverage you think you need. This can be a challenging task, especially if you are not up to date on your homeowner’s insurance terminology. The following…  Read more

Ring-Fencing of Residential Rental Property Losses

Inland Revenue are proposing the introduction of a loss ring-fence for residential rental property losses. What is Ring-Fencing? Essentially ring-fencing means that losses from a trade can only be offset against income from the same trade. The proposal is for the loss ring-fencing rules to apply on a portfolio basis.  This means that investors would be able to offset losses from one rental property against rental income from other properties…  Read more

Business Health Check

Check your expenses and save Know how much you’re spending on printing, advertising, and taking clients out to lunch?  Or does it come as a shock when you do your GST returns? If your company is growing, your expenses may too, but in some cases it could be a lack of attention causing spending to creep up. Take a few minutes this week to track your expenses and see where…  Read more

What changes will affect my business?

#1 Extending perpetuity laws At the moment, when you set up a family trust, it has a time limit of 80 years.  Then you have to wrap it up and distribute the assets.  The new legislation suggests extending it to 125 years, which may involve significant succession planning adjustments. #2 More information access for beneficiaries In its draft form, the Trusts Bill proposes to give most trust beneficiaries the legal…  Read more

Think before you leap: What are my responsibilities as a trustee?

Whether you’re thinking of becoming a trustee for your own family trust or someone else’s, it’s important to know your obligations under the current law before accepting the role. 8 things to know before becoming a trustee It’s a legal responsibility with a lot of work involved (most often voluntary) and you could end up being liable for losses made by the trust if you don’t do the job properly.…  Read more

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