Empower Your Business

Accounting is Just the Beginning

By

Save Money by Getting Your Rates Back

Do you wonder sometimes why your Council rates are so high and what they do with all the money? Especially when you see Council workers (as hard working as I’m sure they are) using leaf blowers on the Havelock North to Hastings cycle path?

Finding the money to pay your rates is hard enough as it is, but when you’re in business and you have a bad year it’s even harder, so did you know you can get a rates rebate if your income drops below a minimum threshold? The threshold level varies depending on your income and situation, but for example, a household with an income of $30,000 and one or two kids could get a $600 rates rebate. And then, even better, you can take the kids to Splash Planet and get in cheaply with a copy of your rates bill!

For further details click here, or email Nick for help if you’re not sure what to do next.

By

KiwiSaver Questions in New Zealand Answered

Watch this video on KiwiSaver as we answer some of your more common questions:

Why is it important to make my contributions by 30 June each year?

Should I have a KiwiSaver account if I have a mortgage to pay?

What if I don’t start my KiwiSaver until I am older?

KiwiSaver Accountants Hastings

By

Cut those costs!

Trying to reduce your outgoings can be a daunting prospect when you’re stressed by falling turnover and running out of cash. Hindsight being such a wonderful thing, you probably realise by now that you should have put the equivalent of three months overheads aside for that rainy day, arranged for the preparation of monthly financials and prepared a budget and cash flow forecast to predict your current predicament but what can you do now to alleviate the pressure?

Follow these tips to alleviate cash flow pressure

  • Reduce your drawings to the bare minimum. If this means cutting your personal outgoings so be it. Go through all your expenditure and prepare a simple budget and stick to it you’ll be surprised at how much you can save! Give your credit cards to a trustworthy friend or family member to prevent impulse buying – it’s better to be poor temporarily than go bust.
  • Cut your staff costs where necessary. No matter how loyal your staff sometimes the interests of the few outweigh the needs of the many – there is no point in carrying on to the point where all the staff have to be made redundant. In addition, there may be easier alternatives such as reducing hours or contractors.
  • Ask your landlord for a temporary rent reduction. Not easy to negotiate but many landlords are reasonable and recognise that it’s better to have some rent and an ongoing tenant than none. You’ll have to convince your landlord that you’re not a goner and that you do have a future but that you just need temporary relief.
  • Watch your finance costs. Are your interest costs too high? Do you know what these really are or is the true finance rate well and truly disguised? Are your borrowings appropriate to your circumstances and properly structured? Are you borrowing too much because you’re poor at collecting your Accounts Receivable?

Read more helpful tips to alleviate cash flow here

By

10 ways your accountant can help you increase your profit

If your business is not generating the amount of profit that you would like and deserve, then the first person you need to contact is your accountant. Let’s face it, accountants are the last trusted advisor and the cornerstone of the financial world. Your accountant should be the first person you call to help you grow all aspects of your business, especially your profit.

Often your accountant can see ways to improve your bottom line that you might miss because you are in the trenches every day fighting for profit and growth. From past experience, I have helped many business owners improve their profit, and more often than not it just from focusing on a few, fundamental areas in any business.

Read 10 ways your accountant can help you increase your business profit

By

Savings – Work Hard Then Throw it all Away?

A+BAC Accounting, Savings

We have seen many clients work very hard only to lose some or all of their savings. And they’re not stupid people, quite the contrary.

Keeping your wealth can be a challenge. You need to think about how to do this. Also, think about why the mistakes have been made. Greed? Bad advice? Putting all their eggs in one basket? Collapse of the share market?

You’ll be lucky to avoid making some mistakes. Let them be relatively small.

Here are a few examples of how you could have made mistakes:

  • Ross Financial Management promising exceptional results.
  • South Canterbury Finance Company was a safe finance company wasn’t it?
  • Lending to the wrong finance companies, often on the advice of a professional.
  • Many tax avoidance schemes such as pine trees, kiwifruit, alpacas and films have not worked out so well.
  • Bubbles bursting, such as the share market in 1987.
  • Over-exposure to debt when the market recedes, usually while investing in real estate or the share market.
  • ANZ Bank promoting ING to its customers. Do you remember what happened?

So what should you do? It’s not our job to provide financial advice and the law requires us not to do so. Besides, we don’t have the specialist knowledge required.

However, consider these points:

  1. The higher the return on your investment, the greater the risk. Don’t be greedy.
  2. Keep alert. Doing what everyone else does is, at times, wrong. Recently, gold was an example of this. It was going up for ever, wasn’t it! The 1987 share market collapse was another.
  3. Recognise your mistakes and maybe you should sell out before they get worse. Have you the courage to do this?
  4. It’s often a good strategy to get rid of your losers rather than cash in your winners. If your winners continue to win, you’re better to stay with them. You may have heard it said “No one ever went broke taking a profit”. It sounds wise advice but maybe it’s those who hang on to their good investments who really make the profits.
  5. Spread your risks. If you’re tempted into a scheme which looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you really are tempted, don’t go in big time. Only invest money you can afford to lose.

If you would like a review of your finances call Nick on 0800 ASK NICK, or e-mail nick@abac.co.nz.

The information in this article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific advice.

By

Is it time to get a new financial advisor?

New financial advisor_ABACLoyalty can be an admirable quality, but there are times when it’s just plain crazy. Take, for example, a new client of mine who was desperate for advice but was too scared to even contact his previous accountants for fear of receiving a big bill. These are the things you should expect from a great advisor.

Read 6 things you should expect from a great financial advisor

By

6 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Running Your Business

 cut_costs

While prospects for SMEs may be looking better, many cash-strapped business owners still need to be cautious and look for ways to reduce the costs of running their businesses. Here are a few ideas:

1. Analyze your premises.

Do you really need to be in the CBD? Could you work out of town from a cheaper (maybe industrial) area or from home? Perhaps you could encourage staff to work from home or hire contractors responsible for their own work space. Technologies such as the cloud, Dropbox or Skype mean it’s never been easier to keep in contact with remote team members.

Can you cut down on inventory so you can downsize your premises?  Rather than renting premises, can you buy a house in the right zone and use this instead? This way, you would be investing for yourself rather than helping someone else with their retirement plans.

By

7 Reasons to Trade as a Limited Company

7 reasons to trade as a limited companyIt costs a few hundred dollars to form a limited company but despite that, many thousands of Kiwi’s continue to start businesses as sole traders or even worse, partnerships. In more than 30 years of looking after small businesses I’ve seen so many unfortunate and unnecessary situations and countless examples continue to crop up, so here are a few I’ve seen in the last year or so.

 1.    Outstanding GST. It’s a fact that the IRD in NZ are rubbish at collecting tax, so much so that many business owners use the IRD as a source of finance. Take a new client of mine in Hawkes Bay, a husband and wife partnership who now owe $85,000 in GST. Their business is failing but guess what – as a partnership they are fully liable personally for ALL the GST. If they were a limited company they could have walked away. Bankruptcy and ruin beckon……………

 2.    Accounts Receivable. Another husband and wife partnership client has received a demand for $175,000 from the liquidator of one of their former customers, who says they have to repay the money they legitimately received for sales made. Ridiculous maybe, but as a partnership they are fully liable and needless to say, they haven’t got $175,000 sitting around!

 3.    Legal Claim. Another client, a sole trader, was on the receiving end of a totally unexpected claim of $260,000, and guess what, his insurance company refused to pay up! Bye-bye house!

 4.   Partner’s Debt’s. Another client was in a two-man partnership. His business partner ran up debts willy-nilly and then cleared off. Guess who had to pick up the tab for the partner’s debts?

And it’s not just debt or financial ruin that makes a limited company so valuable:

 5.    SelfEmployed Status. We are very lucky in NZ. You can trade as a limited company yet still retain your self-employed status so it’s crazy not to take advantage of this.

 6.    Tax. Both sole traders and partnerships are pretty useless for income-splitting to minimise tax. A company, on the other hand, is far more flexible.

 7.    Ease of Ownership Transfer. It’s so much easier to transfer wealth or assets when you have a limited company. No legal fees or tax issues to worry about!

Business is risky, so why take any more risk than you need to? If you need help with your business contact Nick on 0800 ASK NICK or email nick@abac.co.nz.

By

8 Free Marketing Strategies

Still_for_Marketing_Vid_post

10 Minutes of your time to get 8 Free Marketing Strategies you can implement now.

What Marketing Strategies do you currently use?

What other Free Marketing Tools would you recommend?

By

Simple Steps to Reduce Your Accountancy Fees

What accounting systems do you use now?

Any tips you would add?