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.

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.

 

What are the four most important areas you need to consider in your business?

What are the four most important areas you need to consider in your business?

As a business owner, you must be committed to constantly evaluating your business practices and making the necessary changes if you want to see growth. If your business is stagnant, or not as profitable as you would like it to be, doing the same thing repeatedly will not help your business move forward. Your success is the total sum of all the decisions you make!

So, what are the four most important areas you need to consider in your business? They are:

  1. People
  2. Strategy
  3. Execution
  4. Cash

Good decisions equal success. Even though most growing businesses face continual challenges in all these areas, the challenges in one area at any one time can impact the others.

Let us start with the “People” strategy.

In 2016, Warehouse Stationery conducted a survey of over 1000 of their BizReward customers. From that survey, 9 out of 10 customers were small businesses.

When asked about the personal challenges they faced in business, half of the respondents to this question (51%) selected work-life balance. Work-life balance was the most common concern, followed by time management (41%) – which is a necessary tool to achieve the sought-after work-life balance, by ensuring work does not take over every aspect of your life.

One of the most critical components of growing any business is working with the right people. Get it right, and your business’s growth trajectory is likely to continue, or accelerate. Get it wrong, and your tentative step forward might lead to the proverbial three steps back. The purpose of hiring staff or outsourced specialists is to free the business owner from some of their multiple “hats”, and the wrong hire can have the opposite effect as it can be costly, stressful and time-consuming to manage the consequences. Having someone who fundamentally understands their role, and what is required to do it successfully, is crucial for any business.

Where do you start? Ask yourself why you need to hire someone – and do not accept obvious answers such as, I am busy, tired or overworked.

Below are some core questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What do I expect the new hire to do in their first month, and in the months that follow?
  2. What can I reasonably expect them to achieve, how quickly, and what can I do to help them?
  3. What core skills and attributes are absolute necessities for my business?
  4. Is an employee the right way to go, or should I look at outsourcing?

The last question is an interesting one. There are advantages for either hiring an employee or outsourcing to a specialist. To make this a little easier for you, we have put together a list of steps that will help you determine which option is best for you:

  1. Identify what areas you can outsource.

Before you figure out whether to outsource, you need to identify what areas you can outsource, and whether any of these areas are where you need help right now.

  1. Identify business-critical functions.

If the function you need help with is not a core function of your business model, outsourcing will probably create fewer headaches for you.

  1. Assess the market availability of skills.

You may prefer having someone in-house, but if you cannot find the right talent, outsourcing may be your only option.

  1. Identify all the costs for both in-housing and outsourcing.

When you are considering the financial difference between the two options, remember to include the costs of your time and emotional energy.  While hiring in-house is generally cheaper on paper, there are a host of responsibilities that go along with managing a new staff member including holiday and sick leave, training, downtime, and so on.

Remember, when it comes to making the decision of in-house or outsourcing you do not need to choose either/or; it is pretty common that one part of your business may be better off with an employee, while another may be better off with an external company managing it.

If you are ready to outsource the financial side of the business come then you need GoFi8ure. This is what we do – it is in our DNA and we are passionate about helping ease the accounting pain that business owners face. Send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488 today.

Tip: Gazelles has a one-page “People” tool that will help you sort out these accountabilities and metrics.

 

Chasing debtors – 3 easy strategies that will help you get paid quicker

Chasing debtors – 3 easy strategies that will help you get paid quicker

Getting paid is always an exciting part of running a business. What is not as exciting however, is keeping on top of clients when they do not pay their invoices. According to the Commercial Collection Agency Association, after 30 days past due, the chances of being paid drop to 89.9%; after six months, there is only a 52.1% chance of being paid.

Below GoFi8ure has listed some simple strategies that can help bring payments in on time, whilst maintaining good relationships with your clients.

1) Regularly review your Aged Receivables detail report

Your Aged Receivables detail report should be your “go-to” credit control report for checking the total amount of outstanding invoices per each client and totals. Make sure to keep an eye on anything that is showing as 30+ days overdue. The longer you leave it, the easier it is for your client to forget or ignore your invoice.

Tip: Keep your bank accounts reconciled and up-to-date so that your debtor reporting is current and accurate. By following the steps below, you will see each invoice per client and how overdue it really is.

Go to Reports > Aged Receivables > Click on Show Invoices > Update

 

2) Save time by emailing all your client statements in one go

Statements are a great way to prompt your clients to pay you. By sending a statement your clients can see their outstanding invoices and payment history at a glance.

Go to Accounts > Send Statements > Select the “Activity” statement type > Choose the first day of the month prior to the current date > Update > Select the clients who have a balance owing

 

 

The great thing about Xero is you can send up to 50 client statements at a time. You can also customise your statement template should you wish to do so.

Tip: When sending bulk statements make sure to untick any contacts with a $0.00 balance. It is also important to ensure that all contact details are correct for each client. A statement can not be sent without an email address.

3) Use Automated Reminders

At times, even though invoices get earmarked for payment, they can still slip to the bottom of the to-do pile. Automated reminders may be the cure. They act as a gentle nudge that will help your chronic late-payers remember to pay the due invoice.

Xero has a feature that allows you to send automated invoice reminders, all you have to decide is when and how often the reminders are sent out.

Go to Accounts > Sales > Awaiting Payments > Click on the Invoice Reminders Off > Set up the reminder template and frequency

 

With Xero’s automated reminders you can customise the tone and timing of when the email will be sent. It can take a small amount of time to set up, but choosing this option will save you hours in the long run. To find out more click here to watch a quick video.

There are so many amazing features available, if you would like a Xero refresher training session please send us an email or call us on 0800 463 488.

 

How having cloud accounting software can help your business

How having cloud accounting software can help your business

For those who are not very familiar with the concept, the cloud might seem like a scary, ambiguous place where information disappears. In reality, it is anything but that. Cloud computing has a massive array of benefits when it comes to the business world.

With the new Financial Year just around the corner, now is the time to start looking into how your current accounting system or software fits into your 2018 goals and business growth strategy. Getting organised now will help you manage the books faster and more efficiently than ever before.

To sum it up: cloud computing is a way for people and companies to access digital resources (files, music, photos, software, social media, etc.) over the internet. These resources are not stored on your personal or company hard drive. Instead, they are stored on the premises of a cloud computing company.

When it comes to how cloud computing can impact your business, the benefits are abundant. Here are some reasons why you may want to jump on board.  

• Multiple user access: Financial data is available to anyone with login credentials. The company accountant can access the books from their home or office and play a bigger role in the financials of the business.

• Data entry: Cloud accounting software connects to your bank account and other cloud based software. This allows data to automatically flow between the systems, removing the need for as much manual entry.

• Transferring data: You almost never need to transfer data out of the cloud since it is housed in a single location and can be accessed directly through the internet.

• Protecting data: Because the information is not stored locally, there is no risk of losing data in the event of a computer failure.

• Software update: The great thing about the cloud is the updates take place automatically. You always have the most recent version of the software, without being forced to pay extra or go through another installation process.

• Insights: Cloud computing gives business owners’ access to real-time data. This big data can help inform business decisions with real time information which will help you to grow your company in a more productive manner.

 

So what do you think? Do you have a better understanding of all the ins and outs of the cloud? And are you ready to use it for your business? If you are ready to move to the cloud get in touch – we are cloud integration specialists that can help make your transition to the cloud smooth and stress free.

 

Is operating more efficiently and having more time to focus on your business one of your 2018 goals?

Is operating more efficiently and having more time to focus on your business one of your 2018 goals?

Trying to run your business using inefficient accounting software is like trying to build a brick wall with inefficient mortar; if there is not enough holding the wall together, bricks will start to loosen and soon, the whole wall will crumble.

Therefore, it is essential to understand how efficient accounting and financial management software will not only hold your business together, but also become the foundation for greater success and profitability.

Keeping “the books” for a business was literally a paper-based process involving a ledger, lots of columns, and a pencil to record the business’ essential financial data. However, times have changed.

In this digital age, even the smallest business can benefit from using accounting software.

Accounting software can not only help you reduce human errors in calculations, but it can help you gain insights into your business that are not always easy to see in paper form. This includes generating sales forecasts for the next 12-months, or using the extensive report range the software provides to determine what are your highest expenses, pinpoint your least profitable service and identify budget blowouts.

What else can accounting software do for your business? Accounting software offers the business owner mobility, flexibility and a better lifestyle, as often the software in the digital age is “Cloud” based.

Cloud based software allows you to see your business account balances, outstanding invoices, overall cash position, and much more – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and from anywhere, provided you can access an internet connection.

These days, you can run your business from your traditional desktop, an iPad or similar tablet device and even your mobile phone. Most cloud based accounting systems have apps you can download to the device.

This translates into allowing you to run your business without sacrificing a flexible, balanced lifestyle. Gone are the days where you must be at the office to run your business. You can have visibility and certainty over your business’s finances with the flexibility to access your business’s financial information even when you are not physically present. Who ever thought accounting software could be so good and provide some much freedom? So, what are you waiting for? We make flying through the cloud easy.

If you would like to learn more about cloud based accounting, integrating software, or customisation of your accounting software, contact the experts at GoFi8ure on 0800 463 488 or email us to find out more.

GoFi8ure – in the business of helping you work smarter with better tools, information and advice when you need it.

 

 

Become Financially Aware in 2018

Become Financially Aware in 2018Become Financially Aware in 2018

The better you understand your business, the easier it will be to make more money. Management decisions rely on a sound understanding of the financial implications for a business. It is important when you choose an Accountant that they support you in other ways, not just preparing and filing your annual Tax Returns. At GoFi8ure we help to empower business owners so they can fully understand and interpret their numbers. This gives them a strong foundation on which to grow their business.

 

Who would benefit from Financial Awareness Coaching?
If you are passionate about your business and want to better understand your numbers so you can answer questions like:
• How much profit have I made this year?
• Why has my profit increased but I have no cash?
• Is my cash level increasing or decreasing?
• What is affecting my cash level?

 

So, when should you begin Financial Awareness Coaching?
Any time is a good time to improve your understanding of your financial reports in order to improve business performance. The sooner you start Financial Awareness Coaching the better your understanding of financial results and their implications, and the more control you will have over outcomes.

 

Interested to know what the benefits of Financial Awareness Coaching are?
It will…

• Enable you to better understand your business
• Iron out any existing errors to ensure accuracy in your financial reports
• Help you better manage and monitor your cash-flow
• Customise your reports to ensure you capture the right information
• Allow you to format your reports in a way that makes decision making easier
• Help you gain better understanding of the financial implications of decisions
• Give you the ability to make better informed decisions
• Allow you to review your reports and record actions to be achieved before the next meeting
• Help you be held accountable so you can achieve progress between meetings
• Identify any burning issues that need to be addressed
• Access the collective wisdom of our accountants, our systems, products and services
• Phone support to address any burning issues between meetings

 

Call us now on 0800 463 488 to further discuss how Financial Awareness Coaching can help you and your business.

 

 

 

Lisa Martin – Member of the Accountants + Tax Agents Institute of NZ (ATAINZ)

GoFi8ure ATAINZ MemberAt GoFi8ure we pride ourselves on being Members with Accounting Associations. A big congratulations to Lisa who become an official Member of the Accountants + Tax Agents Institute of NZ (ATAINZ) this week.

The Accountants and Tax Agents Institute of New Zealand (ATAINZ) exists to promote the welfare and professional development of its members and to represent members’ interests in New Zealand. It is unique in the New Zealand tax and accounting market because of its grassroots contact with members.

Being a Member of ATAINZ means each Member must comply with our Code of Ethics, which covers four main areas: integrity; trust and confidence; standards of service; and professional conduct. If you are looking to worth with a professional accounting firm come and talk to us. We take our our services and the quality of our work seriously. Email us to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beginner’s guide to cashflow management – Featuring GoFi8ure

It’s the stuff of nightmares for business beginners: customers not paying on time; never enough cash in the bank; unexpected tax bills. Where does it end?

To help you sleep easier, NZBusiness, GoFi8ure, Ontrack Bookkeeping and Lock Finance presents a short guide on cash-flow management.

Read this valuable article by clicking here.