GoFi8ure’s BKED Training Courses to Support Business Owners Manage Financial Matters

GoFi8ure’s BKED Training Courses to Support Business Owners Manage Financial Matters

Business owners who need assistance with their accounting tasks and financial statements can take GoFi8ure’s BKED and training course. The company has designed a series of business courses to help company owners focus on their business while GoFi8ure can take on the other time-consuming accounts.

Designed to suit every business, the Bookkeeping Education and Training Courses include important topics such as:

Bookkeeping for Business Owners 101

Business owners will learn how to reconcile all of their balance sheet accounts and get an introduction to understanding financial reports. They will also learn about the 12-step bookkeeping process; checking their own data; knowing where their money goes; and learning the difference between cash flow and profit.

Business Owner Duties & Responsibilities 101

The course will delve into the Companies Act 1993, compliance, governance, Inland Revenue, and an introduction to tax legislation and responsibilities.

Accounting Principles into Practice

The course will cover Accounting principles, Accounting practices, reconciliations, balance day adjustments, knowing the difference between management accounting and financial accounting, problem solving and learning how to run a practical health check on their ledger.

People Courses: Employers

People courses that focus on employers will touch on employer duties and responsibilities, payroll training, payroll audits, compliance, legislation, contracts, recruitment, profiles and testing, culture creation, and getting the most out of your team.

People Courses: Leadership

The leadership focused people course will teach business owners how to get the right person, in the right job, and do the right thing. It will also cover fundamentals of leadership – “I have a business, I have staff, now what?”

People Courses: Management

People Courses focusing on Management will cover topics on Attraction; Promotion; Selling a solution; Call to action; Marketing; Relationship building; Networking; CRM; Onboarding; and Process for creating a raving fan.

Business Strategy Course

The course will discuss Marketing and promotion, IT (infrastructure), Financial, HR (balanced scorecard), and Organisational structure and culture.

Strategy Implementation Course

The Strategy Implementation Course will revolve around motivation, communication, leadership and growth, efficiency, effectiveness and enablement.

Business Finance Course

Last but not the least, the Business Finance Course will discuss in detail what financial literacy is, how to budget and forecast, how to prepare documents for a loan, how to read and understand reports and explain what the figures really mean.

What is employee engagement and why does it matter?

What is employee engagement and why does it matter? 

Employee engagement will improve your bottom line. It leads to better quality/service/productivity, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, increased sales (repeat business & referrals), and ultimately, higher profit.

An engaged employee is a team member who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work, and who takes positive action to further a company’s reputation and interests and achieve their goals.

More importantly, what does a disengaged team member look like?
The symptoms range from a negative attitude, poor communication, absenteeism, lack of initiative, laziness, lateness, lack of participation, and doing the bare minimum at work… all the way to actively damaging the company’s work output, culture, and reputation.

The impact of having a single disengaged team member can be catastrophic.
The effects are not limited to their own poor productivity and output. This person can infect the core of your culture; damaging morale and lowering the performance of the entire team. They could even cause the resignation of a key team member or, if client facing, cause irreparable damage to your brand.

Improved employee engagement leads to improved productivity and performance.
Numerous studies have proven that companies with engaged employees significantly outperform others. Why is this? People who are engaged in their role want to come to work, therefore take fewer sick days. This ultimately leads to reduced team turnover and less unproductive time spent recruiting and inducting new employees.

Not surprisingly, team members who are engaged feel more supported by their peers and are more likely to work collaboratively, leading to significantly less re-work and wastage. Also, fewer workplace accidents and incidents occur when team members are engaged. All of the above reasons contribute to much higher productivity and profitability.

The Engagement-Profit Chain* is another take on why engagement improves performance:
Engaged employees leads to… higher service, quality, and productivity, which leads to…higher customer satisfaction, which leads to…increased sales (repeat business and referrals), which leads to…higher profit levels, which leads to…higher returns.

There is a difference between employee happiness and employee engagement.
Your team could be happy but not necessarily working efficiently and productively to deliver optimum outcomes.

A number of factors can influence and improve employee engagement. These include developing and utilising Core Values, documenting an effective Organisational Chart, providing clarity on the roles and responsibilities in your organisation, and introducing KPIs to help define what a good day’s work looks like for your team.

Need help building a happy and high-performance working culture? Get in touch.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant

*The Engagement-Profit Chain was created by Kevin Kruse

Successfully implement and embed change in your business

Eight ways to successfully implement and embed change in your business 

Research by Kotter International found that more than 70% of change projects within a business fail. Why is this?

The research findings show that employee engagement is the biggest factor. Whether it is a small change to one or two processes or a company-wide change, it’s common for staff to feel intimidated by it.

So what can you do for successful implementation of change? We have outlined eight progressive steps.

1. Get the team onboard

communicate the benefits with the whole company to build support and create momentum behind the changes you are making.

  • Start honest discussions with your team and give dynamic and convincing reasons to get people talking and thinking about the change.
  • Demonstrate what would happen if you didn’t make the change and what else it could affect in the future.
  • Request support from customers in this instance who may love the product, outside stakeholders and others known in the industry to strengthen your argument.

Kotter suggests that 75 percent of a company’s management needs to support a change in order to succeed.

2. Form a Powerful Coalition from all areas of the business

Share the support you have from all areas in the business (not just the leadership team). Visible support from key people within the organisation will bring others on board and create a sense of urgency. Give these people key roles in the change process to help progress it.

Once formed, your “change coalition” needs to work as a team, continuing to build urgency and momentum around the need for change.

What you can do:

  • Identify the influencers in your organisation for this change, as well as your key stakeholders.
  • Ensure that you have a good mix of people from different levels within your firm.
  • Ask for a commitment from these key people.
  • Work on team building within your change coalition.

3. Create a Vision for Change

Create an overall vision that helps everyone understand why you’re asking them to do something.

What you can do:

  • Determine the values that are central to the change.
  • Develop a short summary (one or two sentences) that captures what you “see” as the future of your organisation.
  • Create a strategy to execute that vision.
  • Ensure that your team leading the change are all on the same page.

4. Communicate the Vision

Embed this in everything you do so it is not lost in the day-to-day operation but a powerful part of this.

What you can do:

  • Talk often about vision and change.
  • Make sure the vision is applied to all aspects of the operations. For example, ensure it is added to the training and induction program and is encapsulated into the relevant job descriptions and evaluations.
  • Address people’s concerns and anxieties about it openly and honestly.
  • Lead by example.

5. Remove Obstacles

Check constantly for processes and structures that need to adjust to allow you to execute the vision and help the change move forward.

What you can do:

  • Look at your organisational structure, job descriptions, and performance and compensation systems to ensure they’re in line with your vision.
  • Recognise and reward people for making change happen.
  • Identify, or hire, change managers whose core role is to deliver the change.
  • Identify areas or team members that stand in the way of change, and find solutions.
  • Take action to quickly remove barriers rather than letting them fester.

6. Create Short-Term Wins

Create short-term targets – not just one long-term goal. Each “win” that you produce can further motivate all the staff especially if it’s a big change requiring a longer process and help keep them on task.

What you can do:

  • Reward people who help you meet the targets.
  • Look for sure-fire projects that you can implement without help from any strong critics of the change.
  • Don’t choose early targets that are expensive. You want to be able to justify the investment in each project.

7. Build on the Change

keep looking for improvements to the system to ensure the long term goals are achieved.

What you can do:

  • After every win, analyse what went right, and what needs improving.
  • Set goals to continue building on the momentum you’ve achieved.
  • Develop a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new people to lead the change.

8. Anchor the Changes in Your Culture

Finally, to make any change stick, it should become part of the core of your organisation. Make continuous efforts to ensure that the change is seen in every aspect, giving it a solid place in your organisation. It’s also important that your company’s leaders continue to support the change. This includes existing staff and new leaders who are brought in.

What you can do:

  • Talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear.
  • Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff so it is enforced from the start.
  • Publicly recognise key members and enablers of the change.
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

The principals for this article were taken from Kotter’s 8-Step Program for Leading Change.

How to create a transformational strategy for 2019

How to create a transformational strategy for 2019

How was 2018 for your business? Did you have a great year and achieve all your goals? Or did you just stay afloat? If you would like a more successful year in 2019, now is the time to think about implementing a transformational change strategy.

In the business world, transformational change requires a business making radical changes in their business model, often requiring changes in company structure, culture and management. Companies may undergo transformational change in response to crisis, or in order to re-position themselves in the market. Transformational change also occurs in response to changes in technology, or as companies adapt to take advantage of new business models.

Truth is, when a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour or a new competitor enters the market, transformational change becomes a matter of survival if a business is going to be able to keep up with competition and move forward. As we all know, many business transformations fail. In a recent McKinsey Quarterly survey, only 38% of leaders believed their transformation had a “completely” or “mostly successful” impact on business performance.

There are 3 core parts to achieving a successful, effective transformational strategy. They are:

1. Content of Change
The business focus of the change (structure, strategy, business process, systems, technology, product, or service).

2. People in Change
People’s mind-set, emotional reactions, behaviour, degree of engagement, acceptance, commitment, and cultural dynamics.

3. Process of Change
The way in which change is planned, designed, and implemented, how it unfolds, its road map, governance, and course corrections.

So you want transformational change for your business, where do you start? Here are a few things to consider and think about when creating the business you want:

  1. Magic wand time – If you were to achieve the business or personal goals of your dreams, what would that outcome look like? Your business should be able to provide you with the lifestyle and business you desire. Be very specific as you imagine exactly what your outcome would look like in terms of work, health, family, love life, finances, and also in fun.
  2. Entry points – These are the means of moving away from the “find it, fix it” modes of solving problems and moving towards the first steps that would advance you towards a new goal. For example, saying “I’ll get fit when my business is thriving and profitable” is a “find it and fix it” approach. But what about finding a way to begin steps in the right direction towards greater health and fitness right away, beginning today?
  3. The driving force of your values – What are the values that define you most heavily when you run into a stumbling point or a roadblock? Which ones represent your finest and highest priorities and goals? It is important to use these values as a roadmap for your desired destination, the author maintains.
  4. Speedbumps, detours and roadblocks – Many times on the path to dramatic achievements we feel stopped or entirely stuck. These are chances to cast our occurrences into a broader light for further reflection on what these experiences are meant to teach us, and how we can use these obstacles to help us instead of slowing down or preventing our ability to achieve remarkable goals.
  5. The power of your vision – The expression “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it” holds strong weight. It is vital to understand exactly what your outcome will look like. Using a Vision Board can be a useful exercise for this. Have you ever sat down and thought about what you really want your business to look like? What do you desire?
  6. Acknowledging where the gap is – What is out of alignment that is standing between you and your goal? How could you reconcile this chasm? Instead of fearing or resenting the space between you and your desired achievement, learn to “lean in” to that empty space and take steps, knowing that you will require time and help and even without the exact knowledge of how you are going to get to the goal. Now it becomes achievable. What are your gaps and what can you do to fill them?
  7. Software and tools that add value – This one is an important one to consider. There are always ways to be more efficient and effective with your business by having the right software and processes in place. Take your accounts for example – are you able to get the right data and information from them? Are your accounting processes seamless or are they causing you stress? According to Xero, there was a 24.9% growth in New Zealanders getting onto Xero. Image how well your business could do with the right tools in place.

Tip: Use a hybrid model – During a transformational change effort, acceptance hinges on hybrid methods that tailor the tactics and solutions to the people, processes, tools and infrastructure components.

To find out more about how GoFi8ure can help with your internal accounting processes, systems and software requirements, send us a message or call us on 0800 463 488.

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.

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.

 

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 to avoid going insane in your business in 2018 eBook

"How to avoid going insane in your business in 2018" GoFi8ure eBook.How to avoid going insane in your business in 2018 GoFi8ure eBook.

As 2017 comes to an end, it is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has been and the new year that is coming.

Click here to download your copy of our complimentary How to avoid going insane in your business in 2018 GoFi8ure eBook. 

From the team at GoFi8ure, we wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and much success for 2018.