Looking to improve business performance?

Looking to improve business performance?

Here are ten ways to make sure that you continue to drive through each business quarter with purpose, vision and the courage to super-charge your business.

1. Eliminate distractions: Time is the scarcest resource and biggest killer for most businesses. When we get busy we can also get distracted and focus too much time and energy on the wrong things. Be brave – slash standard meeting times, reduce unnecessary admin and delegate roles and responsibilities.

2. Say goodbye to bad customers: If possible in your business, get rid of ten time-wasters, bad payers, or customers who cause you pain. You will feel instant relief and spend your time better elsewhere.

3. Invest More: Having freed up time and headspace from deploying points one and two above, make sure you ring-fence time, key people, and money for some of the initiatives below. Redeploy with passion!

4. Get a Plan: You don’t go on a journey without a map or any idea of where you’re headed – so why fly blind with your business? Have a planning process, create a kick-arse plan – and execute. We can help you get started.

5. Surround yourself with positivity: Make sure the people in your business understand and share your vision. Bring them onboard, listen to them and give them ownership. Don’t let people who don’t get it, or don’t care, be a millstone around your neck. If they’re not right, do them a favour and free up their futures.

6. Use Technology: Technology can help you decrease admin, improve comms, improve reporting and accountability. Whether it’s for team communication or cloud accounting, slash paper and automate where possible.

7. Keep on top of the numbers: Do you have enough information to monitor business cashflow and see emerging trends? We can help you identify the metrics to track on a regular basis, in order to run your business efficiently.

8. Be Different: Break the mould and position yourself to attract ambitious, growing and engaged clients, and employees.

9. Deploy Marketing: Create a simple marketing plan to increase reach and penetration. Set aside a budget to treat this seriously. Start by making sure you really understand your customers. Existing customers are prospects too, keeping them happy is your first step. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to attract more of the same.

10. Take a break: Don’t underestimate the time you have away from your business. It can allow you to come back refreshed with new enthusiasm and inspiration for the way forward.

Do you know what you don’t know?

Do you know what you don’t know? 

The Knowledge Pie depicts the proportion of what we know, what we know we don’t know, and what we don’t even know we don’t know. What will you do this year to extend your knowledge?

There’s a simple concept called The Knowledge Pie.

This concept segments one’s personal knowledge into three key areas; what we know, what we know that we don’t know, and what we don’t know that we don’t know. You might want to read that again.

An example to better explain: Jane, a young qualified plumber and business owner, knows how to do plumbing. She also knows that she does not know how to do a Tax Return… or orthopedic surgery. However, she doesn’t know that she does not know that if she tightened her Terms of Trade and debtor management policy, she’d get paid faster and improve her cashflow, making her business life less stressful and more successful.

No-one knows what they don’t know.

Many people think this ‘cluelessness’ is a lack of experience thing that affects young people… but everyone, even experts, are completely unaware of what they don’t know that they don’t know.

Imagine the average pie for any person… it could be lemon meringue or steak and cheese – you choose. Now, cut your pie in half and cut one half in half again (creating two quarters). One quarter represents what you know, one quarter represents what you know you don’t know, and the half represents what you don’t even know that you don’t know.

How do I learn about what I don’t know even know that I don’t know?

Some ways to grow your knowledge this year:

  1. Join a new network.
  2. Do some volunteer work.
  3. Get a mentor or coach.
  4. Coach or mentor someone else!
  5. Collaborate with someone that brings different skills and knowledge to the party.
  6. Learn a new skill – it could be pottery, coding, or the ancient art of tai chi.
  7. Visit a new place, town, or country; immerse yourself in the history, culture, and language.
  8. Subscribe to a new magazine, publication or podcast.
  9. Read books on different subjects.

Growing your knowledge can grow your business.

The fact is that for all of us there is much more that we don’t even know we don’t know than what we actually know. Breathe. It’s ok.

Next fact: we will be more successful in life and business if we remain open to new learning, and learning extensions and distinctions on what we already know.

Avoid having an ‘I know’ mentality about the things you do know about.

Some people close their minds when hearing about a topic they have knowledge of. They may assume that they know it all. But we can always know more… and if we shut ourselves down to new learning, we could miss an important distinction that could make a big difference.

Get in touch if you’re interested in how we can help you extend yourself this year.

“Those who keep learning, will keep rising in life.” – Charles Munger

Making the 2021 Financial Year the Best Yet With GoFi8ure

Making the 2021 Financial Year the Best Yet With GoFi8ure 

Most business owners would agree that the best accounting situation is wherein their financial statements are managed properly and tax returns are filed timely – all without expending long hours. With GoFi8ure, even small businesses can accomplish their mandatory, lengthy to-do lists without mentally taxing themselves with all the demands of financial management.

GoFi8ure ensures entrepreneurs a fast and efficient way of handling accounting tasks before starting the 2021 financial year.

Working alongside trained accountants, businesses’ administrative tasks and expenditures are cut in half. GoFi8ure can professionally take care of one’s invoicing, bank and cashbook reconciliation, GST, financial records management, expenses and creditor management, wages, periodic management accounts, and annual accounts for tax returns.

It is legally required for New Zealand businesses to file their tax summaries for the income earned within the previous financial year. And, understandably, even small businesses will lack the capacity and time to do these themselves. As reliable tax agents, GoFi8ure can take care of one’s filing requirements to make sure tax returns are filed on or before the expected date of filing.

More than just filing tax returns, GoFi8ure is capable to provide businesses valuable administration knowledge. As a Xero partner, GoFi8ure offers one-on-one Xero and bookkeeping training to businesses wherever they are located. GoFi8ure can travel to Wellington, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Auckland, and Dunedin for the one-one-one training using real-life data while also providing cloud-based services nationwide for those who are farther away.

Xero training is customised to suit a business’ specific requirements. This allows businesses to remain hands-on when it comes to running the business smoothly this coming financial year.

Make your business more profitable

Make your business more profitable  

Making a profit isn’t something that happens overnight – to create a good return from your business you need a clear focus and a well thought-out strategy for increasing profitability.

This means reviewing your business model and looking at every area of the business, to see where you can cut costs, increase margins and maximise revenue.

Focus on your key drivers

Having surplus cash at the end of the year allows you to invest back into the business, fund your growth plans and increase the size of your own dividends and drawings as the owner.

To achieve these profits, it is important to focus on the key financial drivers in your business.

To drive profits:

  • Boost sales – the more sales you make, the bigger your net revenue, so investing in marketing, sales activity and business development will be key to a better bottom line.
  • Increase prices – by setting a higher price point, and keeping your ‘cost of goods sold’ number low, you create a larger profit margin on each sale – upping your profitability.
  • Cut costs – operational costs and overheads eat into your potential profits. So spend management and cost reduction are vital to creating a more profitable model.
  • Reduce taxes – tax liabilities will be one of your biggest costs, so sensible tax planning and use of tax reliefs will help to reduce your taxes and ramp up your end profit.

Talk to us about boosting your profits

If your business goal is to increase profitability, we will help you review your business model, identify your key financial drivers and proactively drive your profit performance.

Get in touch and let’s start boosting your profits.

 

What do you need to do to get ready for the New Financial Year?

What do you need to do to get ready for the New Financial Year?

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

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

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

Step 1: Gather your paperwork aka “source documents”

The more information/paperwork you give to your Accountant, the less time they need to spend chasing you (which costs time and money).

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

Paperwork includes at a minimum bank, credit card, loan statements as at the 31.3.2019, copies of all fixed asset invoices purchased during the last financial year, GST work papers and returns/receipts to IR, year to date payroll records, ACC invoices, insurances and premiums, legal, repairs and maintenance, lease expenses, finance agreements, use of home office, out of pocket expenses and year to date personal tax information if you are a shareholder. Depending on the complexity of your accounts you may need to provide more examples of source documents. Your Accountant will ask for these so be prepared.

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

  1. On the top left hand side click on the company name
  2. Click on the Files option
  3. Create a new folder called EOFY2019
  4. Label each file with a clear name. For example: 00 Savings Bank Statement 31.3.2019 or ACC Levy Invoice etc
  5. Upload labelled files into the electronic folder – it is that easy! This will keep everything your Accountant needs in one easy to view/access location in the cloud

Step 2: Complete a Stock Take / Stock Valuation

If you are carrying stock, you are required to do a stock take to record how much and the “value” you have on hand as at the 31st of March 2019. The figures should be at cost, excluding GST. It is important when you are dealing with stock that you use the best tools available. Whatever tracking system you use, make sure you have the right software to support it. If you are currently using Excel spreadsheets to manage your inventory, you may want to consider moving to a cloud based inventory system like Unleashed.

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

Step 3: Round up those overdue invoices and debt collect

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

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

Step 4: Review Creditors entered and reconcile to Supplier Statements

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

Need help actioning a creditors reconciliation? Send us a message so we can help.

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

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

 

 

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Get onto Xero

There Has Never Been a Better Time to Get onto Xero

GoFi8ure, a company that provides premium accountancy solutions, urges customers and businesses to look into Xero training. Xero is an online accounting software designed to aid small businesses and their advisors to adopt more efficient processes.

GoFi8ure has developed a tailor-made training programme that makes use of your unique data for ease of learning. It utilises a 12-step ‘best practice’ checklist to ensure ease of learning.

The team at Xero explains, “With Xero’s online ‘in the cloud’ accounting software, your accounts are transparent, giving you a real-time view of your business at a glance with a snapshot of all of your transactions on the dashboard and so much more.”

GoFi8ure also provides custom-fit Xero training designed to tackle specific needs. Xero Training is available in four options:

– Xero Fresh is a refresher course designed to test the checklist in-action in your business, and covers output requirements, management reports, GST reconciliation and end of year preparation for chartered accountants.

– Xero Mate is an entry-level course where you learn steps 1 to 6 of the checklist and cover basic Xero concepts, such as the Xero dashboard, accounts basics, bank accounts, contacts, finding help within Xero, and general Xero queries.

– Xero Hero is a comprehensive course where you learn steps 1 to 12, and cover reports, price lists, charts of accounts, organisation, tracking, fixed assets, foreign currency, and more!
Last but not the least, Xero2Max is a course for business owners who have completed the Xero Hero course, and are now able to harness the data in Xero in order to measure their performance, and reconcile their financial position monthly.

Contact us to discuss your Xero training requirements further. 

Set your business up for success with the right structure

Set your business up for success with the right structure

 

The structure of your new business has repercussions in terms of tax, costs and the protection of your assets. When you decide on what structure you’ll use, keep in mind your future plans, because this may impact your decision.

There are three main structures you could consider.

Sole trader:

If you’re operating on your own, this may seem an obvious choice. It’s a quick one to set up and incurs minimal costs. Bear in mind that a sole trading business can be trickier to sell, and you are taking on greater personal risk in establishing the business. It may be worth looking into how you can protect your personal assets, should anything go wrong.

Partnership:

If you’re working with a partner, you could consider this option. It lets you share the load, along with the costs of getting a business established. You’re also sharing the risk and potential liabilities.

Company:

Setting up a company means more admin and higher costs to get going. You’ll become a ‘director’ as the person who runs the company, and a ‘shareholder’ as a part-owner. Companies have additional reporting duties, but you assume less personal risk. Also, the clear structure and reporting involved, may set you up for an easier sale when the time comes.

You could also consider setting up a trust, but as this is a relatively expensive and complex undertaking, it’s less likely you’ll go this way initially. You can change the structure as your business develops, but it’s important to consult with your accountant, lawyer or advisor as you go.

Before deciding, think ahead to the future you want for your business.

Ask yourself:

How am I hoping to grow the business? If you plan to bring on additional people to run the business alongside you, a company or partnership arrangement may suit.

When do I want to sell the business? Again, while selling any kind of business is possible, the clarity provided by a company may be an advantage and make your business more attractive to a buyer.

How sure am I that this business will succeed? It may be that you are setting out to prove a concept or explore a business idea. If this is the case, you may not look to incur too many costs up-front, and a sole-trader or partnership model may appeal.

Whatever you decide, make sure you understand the tax implications. Talk to us before setting out on your new venture.

 

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.

Xero’s new Navigation page

Xero’s new Navigation page

Have you heard? Xero are changing their navigation bar!

Why have Xero changed the navigation bar? 

To make it faster and simpler for you to find the tools you need.

What does this change mean for you?

It means by the end of November when you go to use Xero, the items that you would normally use are no longer in the same place. 

To read Xero’s update click here.

What has changed?

The biggest change with the navigation bar is that business and accounting tools have been separated, making it easier for you to find what you need.

Business vs accounting

The most obvious change is that business and accounting tools have been separated, making it easier for you to find what you need.

Business

Everyday tasks are grouped logically under the Business menu. Here you’ll find all the tools that most small businesses use on a daily basis, such as:

  • Invoices and quotes
  • Bills and purchase orders
  • Expense claims
  • Inventory, now labelled Products and services

Accounting

The Accounting menu holds the advisory and compliance tools that are more commonly used by advisers and partners of the organisation. These include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Reports
  • Advanced accounting tools and settings

Any reports, tools or settings that have been set as favourites show in the Accounting menu. By default the following tools and settings are set as favourites:

  • Chart of accounts
  • Find and recode
  • Manual journals
  • Fixed assets

Each user can set their own favourites by selecting any of the options in the Advanced accounting settings.

Now is the perfect time to get a Xero fresher training session booked in. Our qualified and experienced Xero trainers are ready to show you how the new navigation tool bar works so you can still work efficiently and effectively. 

Book your Xero refresher training by clicking here.

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.