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.

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!

 

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!

 

External Solutions for Inside Opportunities

External Solutions for Inside Opportunities

Outsourcing is where a business contracts out a business process to a third party. Often though, outsourcing is simply thought of as a way to save costs – that is, outsourcing allows us to produce a good or service cheaper than we can produce it ourselves. However, that is not the ONLY value, or opportunity you can tap into, that outsourcing provides.

Outsourcing is not a new solution, but it is one that is either not used due to fear the job will not be done right, or is used with overseas suppliers as they charge $2 an hour. However, higher outsourcing costs are still far cheaper than employee costs (which we will discuss in more detail later) and, you pay for what you get. So, make sure you research local New Zealand outsourcing providers first who, yes, do charge more than overseas suppliers, but will provide a much superior result – and to a standard which meets New Zealand laws and regulations.

At GoFi8ure, instead of offering “outsourcing”, we offer “External Solutions for Inside Opportunities”. Why? Because it really highlights the services and value that we can add for a business from the outside in “external solutions”, AND we work alongside our clients “inside” their business to drive best results and open the door to many new “opportunities” for their business.

When you and your current employees are unable to manage the day-to-day business of your company, whilst still working on building the business satisfactorily, it may be time to consider finding an external solution for your accounting functions. So, let’s look at the real benefits an external solution can provide.

The right company can offer you:

Expertise at your side. External solution providers give you full-time knowledge on your team without having to pay for a full-time employee.  By putting your books into the hands of highly-skilled external providers, who understand the best practices and how to properly staff for certain tasks, your job becomes a whole lot easier – and more effective.

Focus on your business. Delegating your business’s accounting functions frees up valuable time that can be put into building and bettering the company.  Back-end office functions can be a heavy distraction from the day-to-day running of things, and having your bookkeeping in-house can lead to a conflict of interests.  Hence, the time-wasters and distractions need to go – out of sight, out of mind.

Reduce the risk of fraud. Most external providers have two sets of eyes reviewing each step, with different levels of staff working on one account. There are steps taken for one employee to review the others work to ensure there are no discrepancies or errors. This also means proper internal controls are set-up to ensure that the flow of information into the accounting system is accurate, timely, classified correctly, and entered into the right accounting period. It also provides a series of checks and balances that help reduce the risk of getting ripped-off.

Quality and efficiency. Efficiency plays a key role in making a great impression towards your clients. Efficiency should be so sharp that your clients should never hesitate to assign major projects to you, as they know the project will be completed to the highest level, but also with a short turn-around. Remember, when it comes to getting an external solution provider on board it is important to remember that quality is always a winner; without quality, good accounting work is never possible.

Save money. The bottom line is that by delegating your accounting operations to a company that lives and breathes those services, you save money, as you are only paying for what you need and the company will not take a week to do the work like an employee might, simply because they are on the payroll and do not want to have nothing to do by having finished the task too quickly! Also, by not using an employee for the job, you will save on paying full-time or part-time wages, as well as save on the lost productivity costs that come along with hiring employees onto the payroll.

And last but not least… Save time! If you are thinking it is time to get an external provider to help with your accounts, it is fair to say accounting probably is not your business’s strength. Any time spent working out the finances could be better spent working on improving your products or services, and whatever it is that YOU do best. Good business people know that time is an asset, and it can be a scarce one for somebody trying to run a successful business. So, it is worth investing your time in doing the things you do well.

Making consistent improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice. Not only must you balance your time, but you must also choose the right area of business – the one which will make the biggest impact – to spend this time working on. If you would like GoFi8ure to help your business run more efficiently, send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

Creating Excellence in Business

Excellence in Business

 

 

 

 

 

It is very easy to get comfortable with just being good in the business world. Being good at what you do means all is well – things are moving the way they are supposed to, and everything is under control. The financial equivalent of this, known as “treading water”, does not equate to success but rather, stagnation. In business, just as in nature, it is always better to be proactive then reactive when striving for excellence. By focusing on constantly pushing yourself and your business to be in a constant state of growth, both yourself and the company you lead will be constantly evolving and improving ahead of your competitors.

Here are some thoughts to keep in mind for yourself and your business as you strive for business excellence:

1. Realise that there is always room for improvement
It is very easy to say “I’m good” and leave it at that. Google is famed for saying “We are Always in Beta”, and Business Insider once published an article “Always Be in Beta or You’ll Never Learn Anything New”.  The article mentions the value of learning, as learning keeps stagnation at bay. It also states, “in the early stages of learning a new subject, people feel as though they have nothing to lose, which makes them more likely to accept failure as part of the process.” This mentality will enable you as a business owner to add more power and range to your skill set, as well as become more comfortable with the risk that comes with learning curves.

2. Do not get too comfortable
Ignorance is bliss, but it is also dangerous, which is exactly what getting comfortable in the business world defines as. While you are sitting back being comfortable, others are advancing, strategising and closing in on any distance you have put between yourself and your competition. Strive to stay relevant and vigilant, and remember that success is not a destination, but rather a goal which constantly evolves and manifests with the company’s growth itself. Think of your business as an athlete; there is no such thing as a comfortable and effective workout.

3.  Do not give your clients a reason to go elsewhere
We are all human, and sometimes mistakes are made. However, there is no reason why you cannot apologise, provide feedback and agree on a solution to fix these mistakes with your clients to retain their business, and look for ways to improve. At the very least, you should make sure that you are doing a better job than your competitors. Even if you feel you are already doing this, it is worth asking yourself a couple of times a year, “if a competing company opened tomorrow, would I have any reason to be worried?”

If you would like to talk to GoFi8ure about how we can make your business more excellent send us an email.

Creating More Effectiveness in your Business

Effectiveness in Business

 

 

 

 

 

Do you consider yourself to be effective at work? Although many of us like to think that we are 100% effective, the truth is that most of us have unrecognised weaknesses that impact our effectiveness.

Some businesses seem to barely keep afloat, fumbling from one day’s challenges to the next, whereas other businesses seem to crackle with energy, efficiency and vision. This is no accident – effective businesses use and rely on organisation, oversight and planning to minimise minor disruptions which reduce a company’s ability to grow and prosper.

To improve effectiveness in a company, a business needs to conduct regular performance reviews of both their employees and managers to determine if their methods and techniques are effective and producing results. Ineffective results could easily impact the quality of a company’s services or products, so it is important for any business to make sure that all of their employees and managers are filling their roles effectively.

So, what can you do to help your business run more effectively?

1. Use your time more effectively
In a nutshell, time is money – or the potential to make money. The more time you waste on inefficient activities, the less free time you have to spend doing productive activities that will help your business grow.

Michael Gerber, in his world-famous book ‘The E-myth revisited – Why most small businesses fail and what to do about it’, stresses that one of the reasons businesses fail is that the owners spend too much time on day to day tasks. So if you are a business owner, it is vitally important to spend enough time steering your ship in the right direction.

2. Consolidate tasks and remain focused
It is scientifically proven that you are more productive when you focus for an extended period on completing one task instead of multiple activities and tasks, as the “white noise” of a large number of tasks overlapping and interrupting each other is distracting. An easy way for business owners to accomplish this strategy is by consolidating, or batching, tasks that require similar processes and invest all their focus on this one consolidated task.

3. Automate processes and workflows
Small businesses often get bogged down with repetitive tasks. Did you know that you can likely automate many of your frequent tasks? Many small businesses fear automation because of the upfront expense or its possible effect on employee jobs. However, automating repetitive steps in your sales, production or distribution process can increase your bottom line and free up your employees to work on other, more critical areas.

Successfully running a business requires a great deal of time, energy, money, and other resources. If you want to increase your chances for success, focus on being as efficient as possible. If you would like to find out how GoFi8ure can help your business run more effectively, send us a message today.

 

 

Tips for Efficiency in your Business

Efficiency in Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

Efficiency in a business refers to how long it takes for a task to get completed. An employee may be effective at completing a task to a high level, but may take way longer than needed to complete the task, which is inefficient. 

Check out these top tips and techniques to make your business more efficient.

1. Set shorter time limits
The shorter the amount of time you allow yourself, the more you will get done. This is because when we know we do not have time to pause, wander around the office or stare into space and must use every second of the time we have, we do so because we do not want to fail. So, make sure the first 90 minutes of your day is focused on growing your business. Turn off your email and phones and concentrate only on that. Also, divide your working day into 45- or 30-minute chunks (use a timer to ensure you stick to this time limit!) and during that time think of doing (and do!) only that task.

2. Figure out how much money you are throwing away, then find a way to reduce it
How often do you lose money because of simple mistakes, like missing a job or sending out an invoice with incorrect details? How often are your invoices delayed or forgotten, and how often do you spend hours searching for information to answer a complaint from a customer?

Even if you accept that a certain amount of waste is inevitable, the fact is that lots of small costs can add up over the year, potentially taking a large chunk out of your profits. Take time out each month to analyse your business; look at your accounts to see what money is being spent and what costs could be reduced. Also, keep a note of mistakes you notice being made and jot down ideas on how to stop or limit these mistakes being made. Review these notes monthly also, and if the mistakes are still occurring at the same or similar rate, reevaluate your ideas on how to stop and/or limit these. With perseverance comes success, and with frequent review you will see your systems becoming more effective and your profit level rising. 

3. Use technology to speed up workflow
Technology plays an essential role in the efficiency and effectiveness of a company nowadays. Make use of computers, tablets or smartphones to improve the efficiency of the company, by using software or sharing tools for things like keeping different members of a team up-to-date with client and project information accessible anywhere, anytime. Look at areas of your business that are still being done manually (which is time consuming), and contact a professional who can help provide you with technology solutions to solve your day-to-day inconveniences.

Accounting software can be a business owner’s smartest investment. Software lets you easily manage your business data. One software example is Xero, which looks after your accounts receivable, expenses and taxes, and allows access to these anytime, anywhere, stored together all in one place – and with easy access to reporting tools for this data. Because most  business owners are not qualified accountants, finding the right tool that ensures your accounting is done effectively can save you valuable time, while also improving your financial visibility. It also alleviates a lot of headaches when it comes to looking at financial information to help identify areas in your business that needs assessing with features such as in-built reports which are easy to generate, understand and use.
 
As the great Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is the automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”. 

Making consistent improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice. Not only must you balance your time, but you must also choose the right area of business, the one which will make the biggest impact, to spend this time working on. If you would like GoFi8ure to help your business run more efficiently, send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

 

 

Are you executing your business strategy?

Are you executing your business strategy?

Execution is an easy concept to talk about, but it can be a hard one to… well… execute. The main problem is that it is a real challenge to measure and manage a concept.

If we are honest about it, “Gut-level” decision making is a practice of the past. With so many amazing tools and software resources available, you can now have access to all the organisational data you would ever need to inform and guide your decision-making process.

When Warehouse Stationery asked their BizReward customers what they wish they had known about before going into business, almost half of the respondents said accounting and finances (49%).

This was followed by:

  • Marketing and advertising (39%);
  • Business development (38%);
  • Technology (33%), and;
  • Relevant regulations (25%).

Interestingly, when people were asked what they wish they knew more about now, the same top five appeared, just in a slightly different order; however, accounting was still number one.

There are two components that help with executing your business strategy:

  1. Having the right accounting software – set up, and working, and;
  2. Having the financial knowledge and information available to help make informed business decisions.

The better you understand your business, the easier it is to make decisions – therefore, the easier it will be to make more money. Management decisions rely on a sound understanding of the financial implications for a business. GoFi8ure offers a service which helps enable business owners to fully understand and interpret their numbers, so they have a strong foundation on which to grow their business.

How many of these questions can you answer, with confidence?

  1. How much profit have I made this year?
  2. Why has my profit increased, but I have no cash?
  3. Is my cash level increasing, or decreasing?
  4. What is affecting my cash level?

Any time is a good time to improve your understanding of your financial reports to improve business performance.  The sooner you start executing your plan, the sooner you will have a better understanding of financial results and their implications, and the more control you will have over outcomes.

Are you confident you have the right software and tools in place to help you achieve your strategic goals? Today’s technology provides advanced reporting and business analysis capabilities, to help you gain a deeper understanding of business performance, customer preferences and market trends. Your executives and business managers can access performance metrics and analytical reports, enabling them to use this information to work together to set or redesign strategy.

Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail, and it is vital to plan-ahead to have a successful business. Contact us to book in your complimentary meeting, to discuss how GoFi8ure can proactively help you stick to your plan and achieve business success.

 

There are only 10 more sleeps until the End of Financial Year – are you prepared?

There are only 10 more sleeps until the End of Financial Year – are you prepared?

For many the 31st of March feels like a huge milestone on the calendar. It can be a busy and frenetic time, and can feel even more stressful for business owners. Add to that Easter and it feels overwhelming! However the end of financial year process need not be a painful one! Read on to find out how.

A recent US study found 69% of adults attribute their stress to “money-related” issues and, as the End of the Financial Year (EOFY) draws near, it is typical for thoughts of money and dreaded taxes to dominate our mental space and drive us to despair.

To help take some of the pressure off GoFi8ure has prepared some simple steps for you to follow in your accounting software so that EOFY feels more manageable:

Step 1: Gather your paperwork aka “source documents”

The more information/paperwork you give to your Accountant, the less time they need to spend chasing you (which costs time and money). Late April GoFi8ure will be running a webinar on how to prepare your Xero EOFY file for your Accountant. Click here to register your interest for this webinar.

Go through your files and emails and collate your source documents (Statements, Invoices, Receipts etc) for your accounts.

Paperwork includes at a minimum bank, credit card, loan statements as at the 31.3.2018, copies of all fixed asset invoices purchased during the last financial year, GST work papers and returns/receipts to IR, year to date payroll records, ACC invoices, insurances and premiums, legal, repairs and maintenance, lease expenses, finance agreements, use of home office, out of pocket expenses and year to date personal tax information if you are a shareholder. Depending on the complexity of your accounts you may need to provide more examples of source documents. Your Accountant will ask for these so be prepared.

Tip: Use Xero’s File Library to upload all of your paperwork/source documents as PDFs. It is really easy to do and your Accountant will love you for it.

  1. On the top banner (right side) of your Xero account click on the file icon (below)
  2. Create a new folder called EOFY2018 (below)
  3. Label each file with a clear name. For example: 00 Savings Bank Statement 31.3.2018 or ACC Levy Invoice etc
  4. Upload labelled files into the electronic folder – it is that easy! This will keep everything your Accountant needs in one easy to view/access location in the cloud

Step 2: Complete a Stock Take / Stock Valuation

If you are carrying stock, you are required to do a stock take to record how much and the “value” you have on hand as at the 31st of March 2018. The figures should be at cost, excluding GST. It is important when you are dealing with stock that you use the best tools available. Whatever tracking system you use, make sure you have the right software to support it. If you are currently using Excel spreadsheets to manage your inventory, you may want to consider moving to a cloud based inventory system like Unleashed.

An effective, easy-to-use inventory system eliminates human error that can occur whilst using Excel. Inventory software gives you real-time inventory control and reporting. It also helps you to understand your product margins and provides you with important information to help you make better decisions based on real-time, accurate profit reporting.

Step 3: Round up those overdue invoices and debt collect

Review your Aged Receivables detail report and identify all invoices that are 30+ days overdue. Once this has been done make one final determined effort to collect the debt before the 31st of March. If you have exhausted all avenues for collecting unpaid invoices and do not envisage collecting them at any point in the future, you can write off the outstanding invoices to a bad debt expense. Contact us to find out how.

Tip: If you are going to write off any outstanding invoices; make sure to apply a credit note against the invoice owing. We do not recommend using the “void” option in your accounting software.

Step 4: Review Creditors entered and reconcile to Supplier Statements

Do you have outstanding supplier invoices showing on your ledger? Are you confident that these are correct? GoFi8ure recommends that you reconcile all creditors to supplier statements and balances before the 31st of March to ensure any missing invoices are received and entered into Xero. You may find that some suppliers have in fact been paid, however, the payment was not allocated against the supplier invoice. If this has happened it is important to correct it soon as possible.

Need help actioning a creditors reconciliation? Join GoFi8ure’s webinar in April or send us an email to book in some customised Xero training.

Tip: If you are disputing an account or are no longer paying an invoice then you should apply to the supplier for a credit note and once received reconcile the credit note to the invoice in your ledger (creditors reconciliation). If you would like accounting support please contact us.

As March draws to an end, make the conscious decision to take action with steps 1-4. If you would like GoFi8ure to take your end of year stress away and do these steps for you, get in touch with us today via email or call us on 0800 463 488 and quote EOFY Help.