How to plan for a holiday from your small business

Leading up to the holiday period, is your business cash flow in good health to carry you through? This time of year can be hard on small business. Make a plan early to ensure healthy cash flow over the holidays.   

Whether you are heading into a holiday period, or just planning to take a break (and congratulations, because a healthy business means work-life balance), it is important to keep your cash flow under control. This means pre-planning and being proactive.

When you are not in the office, there are still overheads and salaries that need to be sorted. If taking time off means that less cash will be coming in, it is essential to plan for this period to make sure that these costs can be comfortably covered. Make sure you have a clear picture of your payroll, and any other planned expenses that will need to be accounted for.

If there’s even a possibility that there could be a shortfall, it is essential to meet this head-on. Whether this means talking to your supplier or creditors to figure out an arrangement, or compromising on other business outgoings, you must make a plan to ensure that the business, or your staff, will not suffer.

Tips to minimise the stress of cash flow over the holiday period

Invoice early – Send any invoices that you can, and in advance if possible. Perhaps consider whether you have any regular clients or customers that you could offer a retainer or similar deal to if they book services or make a purchase from you in advance.

Chase payment – use this opportunity to chase up any outstanding payments. Strong communication and relationships matter – talk to clients and chase invoices.

Talk to suppliers – a little honesty can go a long way. Perhaps they can extend a line of credit for your payments to them. In most cases, a good supplier would rather offer a little flexibility to keep an ongoing business relationship.

Review your costs – it’s also a good idea to do a general review of expenses. Business costs can creep up, and it’s a great idea to make a time to check on your expenses regularly, no matter what your financial situation. Review all of your regular payments and subscriptions as well as upcoming costs. There may be travel, functions or purchases which you can decide on an alternative approach to.

Talk to the bank or Inland Revenue – if cash flow is tight, make sure you have conversations early so you have everything in place to see you through.

When you are planning for a break, book an appointment with us. We can help you navigate the holiday period and help you alleviate cash flow worries. So you get a well deserved break.

Charitable donations may be tax deductible – here is what you need to know

Donating to charity not only supports the vital work of an organisation but also has positive side-effects when claiming tax deductions.  

Donating to charity not only supports the vital work of an organisation or group, but it can have positive side-effects when it comes to claiming tax deductions. To be eligible for a tax credit, you need to make sure that your contributions meet certain conditions, and that you’re making a legitimate claim.

In general, when a charity is an approved donee organisation or registered as a ‘deductible gift recipient’ (DGR), and you donate over a certain amount, you can claim a tax deduction. You can find out if a charity is a DGR organisation by checking their website, calling them, or searching the register for charities.

But, be careful. There’s a difference between making a donation and making a contribution. When you’re making a donation, you must be doing so willingly, without receiving any ‘material advantage’. This means that you can’t be getting anything in return for your cash. So no chocolate bars, no raffle tickets, no movie tickets and no fancy dinners. If you receive anything after handing over your cash, then this is considered a contribution, and you should not claim this as a tax deduction.

Other situations which are commonly misunderstood to be donations are membership fees, expenses incurred by providing volunteer work (or the value of the time spent doing that work), donating gift vouchers, or money donated through a will.

The last two things you need to know are that a tax deduction for most gifts is claimed in the tax return for the income year in which the gift is made. However, in some circumstances, you can spread the tax deduction over five income years. And, just like any other tax deduction you’re hoping to claim, you’ll need to get and keep the receipt for your donation.

The tax department sometimes demands repayment for ineligible deductions. So, as with all things tax, it’s best to avoid penalties by checking in the with the experts.

Talk to us about your charitable donations and ensure you keep receipts for the payments you have made.

What should your role look like as a Director in 2019?

The key function of a Director is to maximise shareholder value. How much time are you dedicating to working ON your business? And, who is holding you accountable to fulfilling this role effectively?

Most business owners know that every member of their team needs a Job Description, which should include:

  • Clearly outlined responsibilities and tasks
  • Some specific and measurable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
  • A set of clear expectations around core competencies and behaviour

When a Job Description is clearly documented, it’s much easier to monitor and measure performance. However, as logical as this seems, many business owners fail to do this for their own role as Director of the business.

So, as Director, what should be in your Job Description?

The most important function of a Director is to maximise shareholder value. This means carrying out activities that drive up returns and business value; by working smarter, not harder.

Your key responsibilities include setting the vision and strategy, managing and mitigating risks, growing the business, establishing the right business structure and holding the CEO (who may also be a Director) to account.

How much time are you dedicating to working ON your business?

To give a general indication… as Director, you should spend an hour or two every week working ON the business. In addition to that, every quarter you should dedicate half a day to ongoing strategy planning and take one to two days every year for an annual off-site planning session or retreat. This is to remove yourself from day to day distractions to do some serious ‘blue sky thinking’.

As Director, you still need accountability.

Appoint someone independent to ensure you adopt best practice as a Director. There are several ways to get accountability. You could establish a quarterly advisory board (with an independent chairperson). Or, you could engage an experienced facilitator to coach you regularly to ensure you’re meeting your objectives. Having an independent accountability process in place will ensure better planning, better decision making and faster progress.

Remember, you’re not exempt from meeting the requirements of your Director role. Like every other role in your business, you need a Job Description for your role as Director, and it should have clear responsibilities and tasks with KPIs so that you can monitor and improve performance.

So, if you do not already have a Job Description, set that as an important task, with a due date, and start thinking about who will hold you accountable.

Xero’s new Navigation page

Xero’s new Navigation page

Have you heard? Xero are changing their navigation bar!

Why have Xero changed the navigation bar? 

To make it faster and simpler for you to find the tools you need.

What does this change mean for you?

It means by the end of November when you go to use Xero, the items that you would normally use are no longer in the same place. 

To read Xero’s update click here.

What has changed?

The biggest change with the navigation bar is that business and accounting tools have been separated, making it easier for you to find what you need.

Business vs accounting

The most obvious change is that business and accounting tools have been separated, making it easier for you to find what you need.

Business

Everyday tasks are grouped logically under the Business menu. Here you’ll find all the tools that most small businesses use on a daily basis, such as:

  • Invoices and quotes
  • Bills and purchase orders
  • Expense claims
  • Inventory, now labelled Products and services

Accounting

The Accounting menu holds the advisory and compliance tools that are more commonly used by advisers and partners of the organisation. These include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Reports
  • Advanced accounting tools and settings

Any reports, tools or settings that have been set as favourites show in the Accounting menu. By default the following tools and settings are set as favourites:

  • Chart of accounts
  • Find and recode
  • Manual journals
  • Fixed assets

Each user can set their own favourites by selecting any of the options in the Advanced accounting settings.

Now is the perfect time to get a Xero fresher training session booked in. Our qualified and experienced Xero trainers are ready to show you how the new navigation tool bar works so you can still work efficiently and effectively. 

Book your Xero refresher training by clicking here.

Setting goals and measuring performance

Setting goals and measuring performance

Goals are what drive the long-term performance of your business.

Agreeing on clear targets, and measuring your progress over time via key performance indicators (KPIs), helps you to understand exactly where the business is going.

But how does this kind of performance management work in practice?

Track your performance with KPIs

Tracking your goals via KPIs show you where the company is hitting the mark and (importantly) where you need to do better – putting real drive and motivation behind your overall strategy.

To make performance management drive your profits and productivity:

  • Set targets and work to a long-term strategy – define your key goals for sales, profit, growth and cashflow etc. And ensure these target are closely aligned to your wider strategic business plan – so you’re tracking the metrics that matter.
  • Track performance with real-time information – integrate a KPI reporting app with your accounting software, and monitor the key financial and non-financial metrics. Use this dashboard to regularly track your KPIs – giving you a current view of performance.
  • Motivate your team to be more productive – explain your key targets to the wider team, and keep them engaged in meeting these goals. Motivation and engagement levels are higher when staff can see what they’re working towards.

Talk to us about setting up a KPI dashboard

If your are looking to track, monitor and boost your business performance, we can help. We’ll help you choose the right KPI reporting app, and get you in control of your key metrics.

Get in touch to start boosting your performance.

 

 

GoFi8ure able to help with Xero training for the New Financial Year

GoFi8ure able to help with Xero training for the New Financial Year

It is generally accepted that preparation for the financial year can start from as early as February, to as late as July or August. Getting a head start can help businesses avoid rushing and making miscalculations.

The end of a financial year is a great time to take a look at business from a broad perspective, and see what worked and what didn’t. Companies have the chance to do activities such as segmenting expenditures and revenues into separate groups. Reviewing tax returns and other related processes is also a great step toward getting prepared for the new financial year.

Creating a calendar is also a common tactic to help businesses flourish instead of flounder at critical turning points. This includes creating deadlines, and sorting tasks by their priority. Such tasks could include creating a system for dealing with batch emails, creating templates for sending replies or inquiries, and delegating bank processes to automated accounting software.

Another great practice is to settle the cash flow system early. As one of the most important facets of a business, keeping a healthy cash flow is important, in order to avoid funds bottlenecking at a time a company needs them the most. Xero training can help a company’s employees track and manage their cash flow better.

Budget checks are another important stage for monitoring business’ finances. After designing a cash flow stream, companies need to allocate their resources intelligently. Creating a budget plan for the business will ensure that a lot of important sectors of the business are covered.

Technology is ever-changing, and a good business should stay up-to-date. Budget plans usually include spending for good software and new technologies, like digitising their transactions and accounting processes. It could also be used to purchase new hardware for accounting software – investing in this is a big help to companies in taking their business to the next level.

Let GoFi8ure help you set up new processes like Xero training to get ahead! Visit our website at https://gofi8ure.co.nz/ and find out how!

 

GoFi8ure turns sweet 16

This week GoFi8ure celebrates it’s sweet 16th birthday!  

It was back in 2002 when GoFi8ure was first formed by Founder and Executive Director Lisa Martin.

Fast forward 16 years, we have an experienced team of 14 Accountants and Bookkeepers throughout New Zealand. Having longevity in the market place means current and future clients can trust us. We are also award winning which means we are experienced, professional and take pride in our GoFi8ure promise and services that we deliver to clients.

We have so many exciting things coming up in 2019 – we cannot wait to share them with you so make sure you stay tuned!

Meet New Zealand’s Latest Xero Platinum Partner, GoFi8ure

Meet New Zealand’s Latest Xero Platinum Partner, GoFi8ure

Xero Platinum CertifiedSeptember has certainly been kind to GoFi8ure, a leading accounting, tax return, and bookkeeping service in New Zealand. GoFi8ure started the month by snagging accounting software company Xero’s coveted Bookkeeper of the Year award. More than the award, the company made history by becoming the first bookkeeping practice in New Zealand to become certified as a Xero platinum partner.

 

GoFi8ure attributes this success to a journey 9 years in the making. The company put their trust in Xero, and this opened up fresh opportunities and innovative solutions, becoming a highly beneficial partnership. 9 years of hard work later, and the company has finally gained recognition for its stellar performance through the opportunities the certification will bring.

Xero isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill accounting software developer. Largely based in New Zealand, it has since grown to serve clients across the regions of Australia, the UK, the UK, Canada, Asia, and South Africa. Key features of the software include auto bank and credit account feeds that can be sourced through the cloud.

The Xero partner program provides big boons to companies through its many extra features as well as the addition of fresh clients. Xero has grown to become the preferred bookkeeping solution by many industries and companies; as more and more companies started using Xero, GoFi8ure realized the importance of polishing and optimizing their Xero training. As a result, the company has reaped the benefits of Platinum accreditation.

GoFi8ure attributes their success to customer interactions that have been more proactive than reactive. Their accountant training has always been geared toward understanding the clients’ need first and foremost and working their way towards their satisfaction. After all, an accountant that’s passionate about helping clients is good for everyone.

GoFi8ure still possesses the same passion toward helping businesses perform and achieve impressive financial results. For inquiries about working together, or simple curiosity about Xero, drop by https://gofi8ure.co.nz/ now!

How to turn your passion into a business

How to turn your passion into a business  

Ever dreamed of turning your passion into a business? It can be a rewarding way to make a living.

With the rapid growth of online shopping and affordable ecommerce platforms, some of the traditional barriers to launching a small business are gone. You can potentially make sales without buying a shop or giving up your day job. Here are some thoughts to help you monetise your hobby and turn your passion into a business!

1. Be prepared to lose some love – Once you turn your passion into a business, you’ll never feel the same way about your hobby again. The idealism of doing what you love for a living will collide with the reality of:

  • tracking sales and cash flow
  • hitting targets
  • managing inventory
  • watching competitors

2. Balancing creativity and commercialism – When you create something for personal fulfilment, you can make it to suit yourself. But when that creation becomes a service or product you wish to sell, you have to work within boundaries that suit your customer’s needs and requirements.

3. How do you monetise your hobby? – You’re enthusiastic about your hobby and the business idea that flows from it but ensure you fully test ideas within your market to find out what works and what doesn’t. Try to solve a problem or find a product that already exists and find how you can improve on it.

4. Building your brand with free content – Sharing relevant content is a great way of building up your customer base.

5. A pragmatic approach to social media – Find out where your audience spends their time (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and focus there. It sounds obvious but this simple piece of research can save hundreds of hours of lost effort.

6. Separate your personal and professional goals – When you turn your passion into a business, it’s easy to lose track of time. Both the passion and the business soak up a lot of energy – making it hard to get your work-life balance right.

Talk to us about turning your business ideas into reality

Turning your passion into a business is an exciting prospect and you could earn money doing what you love. Talk to one of our team and we can help you to come up with a plan and put steps in place to help turn your passion into a business reality!

 

Why use Xero? The benefits of cloud accounting

Why use Xero? The benefits of cloud accounting

Xero offers your business a simple, yet powerful, way to manage all your finances in the cloud.

With Xero as your core finance system, you get real control over every element of running your business, from basic bookkeeping right through to efficient online invoicing, live bank feeds and detailed financial reporting. And that’s not all…

A beautiful business platform

Xero is also a fully functioning business platform, with an open architecture that lets you plug in online payment solutions, time-tracking apps or job-management tools. So whatever sector you are in, there is a range of apps to customise your Xero system.

With Xero as your cloud platform you get:

  • A mobile way to check your numbers 24/7 – with online access from any device
  • A paper-free office environment – with secure storage of your documents in the cloud
  • An all-in-one cloud platform – with a host of features, apps and third-party solutions

Find out more about the benefits of cloud in this Xero TV video

Talk to us about switching to Xero

If you want an accounting system that is also a highly flexible business platform for running your company in the cloud, talk to us about switching to Xero.