GoFi8ure – Excited to be part of Xero’s new Advisors Directory

Trusting who you work with is important, along with knowing that the company you are dealing with is professional and knows what they are doing. That is why we are so excited to be on the Xero Advisors Directory as your go-to professional bookkeeping advisor. Visit our profile by clicking here.

Happy Financial Year from the Perfect Bookkeeper

When Xero asked our Executive Director Lisa Martin to participate in their new Happy Financial Year campaign we leaped at the chance. We love working with Xero so it was pretty exciting to see this show up on billboards, bus stops and in the paper! To chat to us about how we can help with your bookkeeping send us a message – we would love to hear from you.

Ever wondered how hiring a Bookkeeper could help your business?

Running a successful business requires making smart decisions and whilst many business owners have a range of talents and expertise, they often don’t have the accounting knowledge necessary to ensure the Bookkeeping side of the business runs smoothly. Having a qualified Bookkeeper helps give you peace of mind knowing your accounts are up to date and accurate.

So why hire a qualified Bookkeeper?
A good Bookkeeper is worth their weight in gold. Why? Because to them best practice is the only way they work. Would you let an unqualified mechanic fix your car? The same goes for your accounts. By hiring an experienced Bookkeeper, you are able to focus on the growth of your business. Though you can still monitor the progress of your accounts, the day-to-day responsibility is removed, giving you the freedom and reassurance that your accounts are being looked after.

What can a Bookkeeper do for you?

· Bookkeepers help save you time – As a business owner, time is your most valuable asset. Would you rather use your time to plan, direct, and spend on the things you love doing? Or would you rather spend your extra time doing your accounts? Hiring a Bookkeeper means you know your accounts are well taken care of and you no longer have to worry about last minute GST deadlines or paying staff on time.

· Be a Leader, not a Manager – Being a leader means helping other people to grow and maximize their own full potential. How can you do that when you are stuck in other areas of the business? A good Bookkeeper is like a side-kick, they know what you need whilst having an in depth understanding of your business and KPIs (key performance indicators) allowing them to help enable you in your role.

· Hire someone who knows their stuff – When hiring someone to take care of your accounts; you may want to consider approaching a professional bookkeeping firm, who has experience with your accounting software and industry. Your Bookkeeper will be able to provide vital, meaningful management reporting and data; they can also show you where the leaks are and help you improve your accounting processes and systems.

Not sure what condition your accounts are in? Get our Warrant of Finance (WOF) service for $250 + GST and find out what areas need improvement and how you can be more efficient. To book your WOF email us: enquiries@gofi8ure.co.nz or visit our website www.gofi8ure.co.nz

Are you financially ready for the holiday season?

The holiday season is a hard time financially for businesses, so what can you to avoid being financial stress?

Get your Bookkeeper to calculate your GST as early as possible. Don’t risk a late payment (and penalties!) or stress of having to find the money just because you are unprepared.

Make sure you have a budget and cash flow forecast in place. This will help you cover costs and expenses over the holiday period and into the New Year without the worry of running out of money.

Make sure you are claiming right.  An important thing to remember is some expenses are 100% deductible while others are only 50% deductible.

Cash Bonuses for Staff – These must be included in the employee’s wages for the week and PAYE paid on them.

Gifts of Food and Wine to Associates or Clients – The cost of gifting food and wine to associates or clients will normally be 50% deductible for tax purposes.

Gifts to Staff – Each quarter there is a fringe benefit tax (FBT) exemption of $300 per employee – as long as your gifts are under $300 the costs will be 100% deductible. If they are over the $300 then FBT will be payable to Inland Revenue, however, the costs can still be claimed.

Other Gifts to Associates or Clients – The cost of gifts (other than food and beverages) to associates or clients will normally be 100% tax deductible for tax purposes.

If you would like to know where you could be financially on the 31st March 2016, GoFi8ure can help you with easy to understand cash flow forecasting and budgeting reports from one of our top reporting packages Spotlight Reporting. Find out more by emailing enquiries@gofi8ure.co.nz or call us on 0800 463 488.

Change the Way You Do Business

Did you spend 2014 overworked and overwhelmed? How many hats did you wear? The upside about being your own boss is you can decide the details of what you want to do. The downside is more often than not, you have to wear more than one business hat!

What if this year – you could wear the hats you wanted too not had to? Imagine what that could mean for you, your business and for those around you.

Here are some tips on how to “choose what you want to do and outsource the rest”

1. Delegate – Kiwis have the DIY attitude but that doesn’t always work in Business. If there is a job someone else can do then delegate – lessen your to do list!
2. Do the most difficult task first – A lot of us start the day by doing the easy tasks first but that often leaves you tackling the hardest tasks when your energy is sapped. Instead, do the most difficult tasks first.
3. If it isn’t your strength – give the work to someone who knows their stuff. For example, if you aren’t a numbers person, why spend your precious time doing the books when you could pay a certified Bookkeeper to get the job done in half the time.
4. Don’t multi-task – multitasking usually means doing a bunch of things poorly. You’re much better off giving all of your attention to one task that you really hit out of the park.
5. Have a daily plan – If you have a list for all your tasks that day, you will get through the list quicker and feel great about getting them ticked off the list!
6. Ignore your email when busy – It is hard to do but it will ensure you get a good stretch of totally focused work time.

For those who aren’t use to outsourcing, it is a great way to help ease the workload whilst getting the job done. Just remember – You don’t have to do everything yourself. So make 2015 a smarter year for working not harder!

If GoFi8ure can assist with your bookkeeping or accounts please get in touch by emailing enquiries@gofi8ure.co.nz today.

Fresh Start for Your Financials

Fresh start for your financials

The best way to get your financials into shape is to bring in a financial fitness trainer, says Lisa Martin, Executive Director of specialist small-business accounting firm, GoFi8ure

Every January we set ambitious resolutions to eat healthier food, hit the gym or spend more time with our family. But what about your business? Like your personal life, making one small tweak to your business habits in 2018 could deliver tremendous results and set you on course for your most successful year yet.

We all put off things, particularly if we do not consider them ‘fun’. A 6.00am start at a spinning class, easing off the booze and opting for a salad instead of a steak sandwich and a portion of steaming hot chips may not epitomise ‘fun’ at first. But, once you have made a start towards the new you, or the old (younger and trimmer) you from a few years ago, you will soon feel the benefits of choosing a healthier, fitter lifestyle and you’ll quickly find the fun factor.

The same goes for your business. Who doesn’t want their company to leap over the hurdles nimbly and effortlessly without being slowed down by too much excess and a lack of energy? And just think how elated you’ll feel if your business is running on more lean muscle than fat. How much fun would that be?

Now is the time for change
But, I am jumping the gun a bit. Let’s back track a little. I always think that the hardest part of decision-making is actually deciding what you want to do. Only you know what you want for yourself personally but when it comes to your business’ finances

I’m sure everyone wants a smooth running operation that utilises good accounting software to save time and cost as well as track how the company is going.

Most small business owners I talk to definitely understand the importance of good book-keeping for their company. They can see the value of best practice records, logs and filing – and they know that they are legally obliged to make sure they are accountable for every cent that flows through the business.

Yet, while so many small businesses agree that book-keeping is the backbone of healthy accounts, and a healthy business plan, some get stuck on implementing change. This sticking point seems to come down to human nature but I can see that there are three main reasons that hold people back.

The first is that most of us need a ‘defining moment’ to start something new. That is why New Year resolutions are so popular – and why diets always start on Mondays. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact the idea of creating change with a clean slate; a new beginning is fantastic. And that is why I am talking to you about implementing change just before the start of the new financial year. This is the perfect time to start afresh and set new financial systems in place so that from 1st April everything is ready to roll just how you want it to.

If you need a benchmark to get you going then that benchmark is now; before the end of the tax year. If you’re lucky enough not to need a calendar marker then ‘there’s no time like the present’.

Out with the old in with the new
The second reason why many small business owners stall over the thought of changing an aspect of their business – particularly when it involves number-crunching – is a lack of knowledge. And I do not mean this disparagingly.

Just think back to when you started your business. You knew then that you needed a system that could capture all your financial information. So, you may well have signed up for the first package that you came across. And, it probably works just fine. But since Xero entered our world accounting technology has moved on tremendously. Xero’s commitment to cloud computing has revolutionised book-keeping and the gap between older financial software and what Xero can offer is huge. If you’re using an older programme it’s likely you won’t be getting as much financial information as you need to help grow your business. This might be OK for you, for now, just as long as you are aware that a system like Xero will illuminate your business. Tailored to your company, it will show you where your business is at (in real time), what your projections are, how your cash-flow is tracking, your profits on any date and, importantly, it will flag any inconsistencies.

Nearly all of GoFi8ure’s clients now use Xero. Some have jumped at the chance of switching, others have been reluctant to change, and that’s understandable, but all have been blown away by the difference between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ and none have looked back.

Call in the professionals
The third reason why, I think, people stumble when it comes to changing the way they manage their books is because figures just aren’t their forte. One of my mantras is ‘you didn’t go into business to be a Bookkeeper, but I did’. And it is true. You started your business because you had a great idea and the drive and ambition to make it happen. You did not do it because you love working out your tax credits, your GST and your payroll – unlike me.

Unfortunately, in New Zealand, many small business owners work by an unwritten rule that says ‘You Must Do Everything Youself’. I think this is in our Kiwi make-up but we really need to shake ourselves out of it and recognise that each of us have different strengths and weaknesses. Very rarely is someone extremely good at everything. If you accept this, then you may just have to accept that if you’re doing your own figures, then you’re probably doing them averagely – and you might not be doing them correctly.

Wouldn’t you rather bring in someone who can sort our your finances professionally and accurately? This is actually the smart thing to do since it will save you time and money. Think of the hours you spend battling with your accounts – wouldn’t you rather spend that time doing what you love in your business?

If we zip back to our fitness analogy this is similar to finding that new resolve to be healthy, heading to the gym and jumping on all the equipment for hours on end. But, oops, you haven’t attend the intro session to find out how the cross-trainer works and how to change the setting on the treadmill. You’ve put the hours in, but, I’m afraid, you’re not getting any thinner. It’s time to call in a personal trainer.

In a nutshell, my new year message is – take a good look at your finances, assess the system you’re using and if it is not giving you the information you need then it is time for change. Do it now and do it properly. Do not do it yourself if you do not know what you are doing. Be smart, bring in a financial fitness trainer and reap the financial rewards.

To read the PDF article click here

 

 

 

Hutt Valley Business Expo 2014 – Such Fun!

Wow what an amazing Hutt Valley Business Expo hosted last month. There was such a great turn out, with so many great opportunities for businesses to sell their services and build new connections and leads.

Did you have a stand this year? If not, did you consider it? Expos, conference and trade shows are not for everyone, so how do you know you will get a worthwhile outcome for your investment?

You start by deciding your goals and expectations for exhibiting before you decide to invest. So what do you need to consider before taking the next step? Below we list some key factors to think about:

Exhibition planning – Preparation is vital for success and for maximising opportunities, giving you better value for money. The more thought and planning you put in before the exhibition, the more likely you are to succeed at the event. Make sure to have giveaways, special offers and an inviting stand or display.

Be seen at the right exhibitions – Exhibitions can be seen as a large investment, particularly by small and medium-sized businesses, but by investing in the short term, you can reap the benefits in the long term, turning the leads collected at an exhibition into loyal customers and clients. Just make sure you choose one that will benefit your business and brings you the clientele you require.

Build relationships – Exhibitions, conferences and trade shows are the perfect platform for meeting people in your industry; it also gives you the opportunity to market your business face to face. Talk to as many people as possible, take time to learn about their business and remember to take their business cards.

Marketing messages – Make sure all your marketing messages are prepared in advance of the event. Your messaging should be consistent across your stand, company brochures and giveaways. You also need to ensure you have a clear, practiced pitch so you can show your potential future clients just how knowledgeable you are.

To put it simply: with the right preparation, exhibitions can provide you with an excellent platform for building brand awareness and generating sales leads. It’s important to build a pipeline of new business opportunities all the time and to keep your current customers happy.

GoFi8ure loves being involved with expo’s especially the Hutt Valley Business Expo, and we love to market ourselves as much as we can. We hope you found these tips useful.

 

Verve Magazine October – GST is not yours so don’t spend it

The first in a six month series of Small Business Basics by Lisa Martin, Executive Director of professional bookkeeping and accounting firm, GoFi8ure.

GST is not yours – so don’t spend it

If you run a small business it’s likely you’ll be GST registered. While you don’t have to register for GST if you earn less than $60,000 many small businesses sign up anyway – often because having a GST number looks that bit more professional and who knows how quickly the company will take off and smash through the $60k barrier.

Of course, if you collect GST at 15%. You then have to pay back GST at 15%. GST comes in and then the same GST goes back out to the Inland Revenue. Simple eh?

Well, you would be amazed just how many people find themselves short when they come to do their GST returns and make their GST payments. You see, some people very foolishly think GST money is theirs to dip into. And they genuinely think they’ll pay it back before the GST deadline.

If that’s you, or you are tempted, listen up. Once you start spending or ‘borrowing’ the GST money I can guarantee you, you will not ‘pay it back’ before you have to file your return. The consequences of this will be disastrous. It’s far better not to touch it in the first place. Put it in another account and forget about it. Say out loud, ‘this is not mind to spend’.

One great way of keeping track of your GST is by signing up to Xero. Xero is linked to your bank transactions, so you can see how much GST you’ve collected at any point in time. Xero then helpfully prepares all the information you need so you can do your GST return and make your payment without faffing about for hours with receipts and an excel spreadsheet.