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.

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!

 

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!

GoFi8ure announced as New Zealand’s first Bookkeeping company to become a Xero Platinum Partner

GoFi8ure announced as New Zealand’s first Bookkeeping company to become a Xero Platinum Partner

What an amazing month September has turned out to be! Not only did we win the prestigious award for Xero’s NZ Bookkeeper of the Year, just earlier this week we became New Zealand’s first Bookkeeping practice to become a Platinum Xero Partner. How amazing is that!

We started our journey and partnership with Xero over 7 years ago and it was the best decision for our business. It opened up doors to provide more opportunities and solutions for our clients. Fast forward 7 years and we did it! We made it to our goal – which was reaching the PLATINUM Partner status.

Gone are the days of Accounting practices only talking to their clients once a year, and gone are the days of Accountants being reactive vs proactive. Business owners need an Accountant who will take the time to understand you and your business. GoFi8ure is changing the way Accountants work with their clients for the better. We call this change the LEAR approach. LEAR stands for Listen, Educate, Advise, and Resolve.

Listen – We actively listen to you. We listen to your concerns, frustrations and worries. We also listen to your ideas, your goals and your dreams.

Educate – Not everyone went into business because they were great at numbers or with money. We educate and provide information, tips and tools for our clients so they are enabled in their business.

Ask– We ask questions. They may not always be the questions you want to answer but we ask the questions that need to be asked. We want to know everything about our clients and their businesses and the best way we can do this is to ask.

Resolve – Our team of experienced Accountants and Bookkeepers work together to provide you with a solution specifically designed for your situation. You are not in this alone and you should not feel like you are. The right Accountant will work alongside you and support you each step of the way.

If you would like to improve your business performance and financial results but do not currently feel supported by your current Accountant to achieve this, please get in touch.

Why put off until tomorrow what you can achieve today!

Interested in knowing more about our advisory services? You can check out our Xero Advisor profile by clicking here. 

GoFi8ure wins Xero’s NZ Bookkeeping Partner of the Year for 2018!

For the third year in a row, mobile Accountants and Bookkeepers GoFi8ure attended the Xerocon Conference and Awards in Brisbane and were named as Xero’s Bookkeeping Partner of the Year for New Zealand, on account of their effective and innovative use of Xero while providing bookkeeping services.

“Words cannot describe how honoured and grateful we are,” said the Accountant and Bookkeeper in a blog post last week, giving their thanks to Xero for recognising the growth and change that GoFi8ure has seen over the last 36 months. They also congratulated the other finalists for the award, Julie Russell Bookkeeping and Katalyst Cloud Business Services, and praised their achievements over the last few years.

In their blog post, GoFi8ure also attributed their success in this category at the Xero Awards to the business’ core values, which they say have been integrated throughout their businesses and services on a day-to-day basis. Values such as responsibility and accountability for completing every task given to them by clients, integrity in honouring professional commitments, and efficiency and effectiveness in their approach to every job, have all been a crucial part of their business and its success over the last three years, according to GoFi8ure.

GoFi8ure use Xero extensively as a tool and platform to provide SME business owners, sole traders, contractors and non-profit organisations with a one-stop accounting solution, and generate every tax return and financial statement their clients need. GoFi8ure’s services even include one-on-one Xero and bookkeeping training sessions, with their own tailor-made training programme that utilizes a 12-step ‘best bookkeeping’ checklist.

GoFi8ure have a team of 16 qualified accountants and bookkeepers across their branches in the Wellington CBD, Upper Hutt, Auckland and Dunedin, allowing them to offer services to businesses from all over the country. Anyone wanting to learn just how GoFi8ure can help their business can visit them online at gofi8ure.co.nz, or call 0800 463 488 to get in touch directly.

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 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.