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.

 

 

GoFi8ure able to help with Xero training for the New Financial Year

GoFi8ure able to help with Xero training for the New Financial Year

It is generally accepted that preparation for the financial year can start from as early as February, to as late as July or August. Getting a head start can help businesses avoid rushing and making miscalculations.

The end of a financial year is a great time to take a look at business from a broad perspective, and see what worked and what didn’t. Companies have the chance to do activities such as segmenting expenditures and revenues into separate groups. Reviewing tax returns and other related processes is also a great step toward getting prepared for the new financial year.

Creating a calendar is also a common tactic to help businesses flourish instead of flounder at critical turning points. This includes creating deadlines, and sorting tasks by their priority. Such tasks could include creating a system for dealing with batch emails, creating templates for sending replies or inquiries, and delegating bank processes to automated accounting software.

Another great practice is to settle the cash flow system early. As one of the most important facets of a business, keeping a healthy cash flow is important, in order to avoid funds bottlenecking at a time a company needs them the most. Xero training can help a company’s employees track and manage their cash flow better.

Budget checks are another important stage for monitoring business’ finances. After designing a cash flow stream, companies need to allocate their resources intelligently. Creating a budget plan for the business will ensure that a lot of important sectors of the business are covered.

Technology is ever-changing, and a good business should stay up-to-date. Budget plans usually include spending for good software and new technologies, like digitising their transactions and accounting processes. It could also be used to purchase new hardware for accounting software – investing in this is a big help to companies in taking their business to the next level.

Let GoFi8ure help you set up new processes like Xero training to get ahead! Visit our website at https://gofi8ure.co.nz/ and find out how!

 

Xero Reporting: Drilling down into your numbers

Xero Reporting: Drilling down into your numbers

Knowing the status of your finances is a vital part of running your business successfully – and with Xero reporting it’s incredibly easy to run key financial reports at any time.

With a wide range of standard and custom report templates, you’ll get a better view of your profit margins, your cash position and how expenses are affecting your bottom line.

Real-time reporting at your fingertips

Cash is king when it comes to business success, so having Xero’s real-time reporting at your fingertips means you can control your cash flow, your aged debt and your profitability.

With Xero’s easy reporting tools you can:

  • Run a Profit And Loss report and see how your business is performing over time
  • Review your Aged Receivables so you can understand who’s not paying invoices
  • Dip into the Cash Summary and get more control over your operating expenses

Talk to us about getting more from Xero Reporting

If you are want to get in real control of your numbers, we can with you to set up simple, customisable reporting templates – giving you the key financials you need. Find out more by sending us a message.

How to turn your passion into a business

How to turn your passion into a business  

Ever dreamed of turning your passion into a business? It can be a rewarding way to make a living.

With the rapid growth of online shopping and affordable ecommerce platforms, some of the traditional barriers to launching a small business are gone. You can potentially make sales without buying a shop or giving up your day job. Here are some thoughts to help you monetise your hobby and turn your passion into a business!

1. Be prepared to lose some love – Once you turn your passion into a business, you’ll never feel the same way about your hobby again. The idealism of doing what you love for a living will collide with the reality of:

  • tracking sales and cash flow
  • hitting targets
  • managing inventory
  • watching competitors

2. Balancing creativity and commercialism – When you create something for personal fulfilment, you can make it to suit yourself. But when that creation becomes a service or product you wish to sell, you have to work within boundaries that suit your customer’s needs and requirements.

3. How do you monetise your hobby? – You’re enthusiastic about your hobby and the business idea that flows from it but ensure you fully test ideas within your market to find out what works and what doesn’t. Try to solve a problem or find a product that already exists and find how you can improve on it.

4. Building your brand with free content – Sharing relevant content is a great way of building up your customer base.

5. A pragmatic approach to social media – Find out where your audience spends their time (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and focus there. It sounds obvious but this simple piece of research can save hundreds of hours of lost effort.

6. Separate your personal and professional goals – When you turn your passion into a business, it’s easy to lose track of time. Both the passion and the business soak up a lot of energy – making it hard to get your work-life balance right.

Talk to us about turning your business ideas into reality

Turning your passion into a business is an exciting prospect and you could earn money doing what you love. Talk to one of our team and we can help you to come up with a plan and put steps in place to help turn your passion into a business reality!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why put off until tomorrow what you can achieve today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.