Business Goals for a New Year

Setting Financial Business Goals For A New Year

Another year is coming to a close, and a new one is about to start. Yep, you guessed it. Time to set some goals. But what does that mean? When you set goals, do you ever track your progress? Or do you simply rely on blind luck to help you succeed?

If you are going to the trouble of setting a financial business goal, you want to do it properly. Let’s face it; there is no point setting a goal if there is no hope of achieving it, or if it won’t benefit your business in the long run. So let’s explore how you can set the right kind of business goal that will push your financial growth forward.

What Is a Financial Business Goal?

It is essential to understand what this kind of goal is before you try and set it. A financial business goal is more than just a sales target. It is a goal that you set with your business purpose in mind and should ultimately progress your business down the path to financial success.

Because finances are a big part of making or breaking your business, you need to consider them when goal setting. But they should not be your only focus. Here is what we advise you to consider…

Money, Money, Money

It is nice to have money flowing into your bank account. It allows your business to keep operating in the way that you want it to and it pays the bills. But it should not be all about the money.

If you only think about financial gain, then your business purpose will fall by the wayside. You will lose the things that make your business special and those personal touches that draw your clients in. Don’t let the cash blind you and transform your business into something it isn’t.

It can be exciting to see your business grow, but not if you need to sell your soul to get there. All financial goals should be made with your purpose and vision in mind to prevent you from growing faster than you can handle, and also to prevent you from tarnishing your brand. It can be really hard to pull your business back from a negative space that is only concerned with profit.

Set goals that drive growth, but remain true to the reason you started your business and support the clients you serve. Then the money will follow.

Map Out Actionable Goals

Saying that this year you want your business to double the previous year’s revenue is a great goal to have. But how are you going to achieve it? Just because you want it to happen doesn’t mean that it will.

You need to set smaller goals that will help you achieve your larger goals. Have some substance behind the plan to double your revenue, and it becomes an achievable goal. Forecast your numbers and work out what you need to do to get there. Do you need to focus on your biggest profit makers, attract more leads, convert more clients, or review your rates?

Once you understand what you need to do, assess your resources. Do you need more staff members, more stock to sell, or better systems and processes?

When you have a plan for how you will double your revenue, then it is time to break that down into manageable monthly tasks. You will then need to track your progress as time goes. Keep yourself accountable and don’t let your monthly tasks slip.

People always have the best intentions when they first set a goal. But when things get hard, or they are overwhelmed, the goals tend to slide. Focus and constant progress are the key to turning those goals into reality.

Choose The Right Business Goals

Setting financial business goals is definitely important. But they should be set alongside other goals that support your finances and your business as a whole. Consider:

  • Branding: Your business will need visibility and the right image to land your ideal clients.
  • Customer Service: Great customer service encourages trust and repeat business from your clients. It also gives an opportunity for your happy clients to leave positive reviews and pass on referrals.
  • Your Team: Your business will not be able to grow to new levels without the support of your team. Allowing your team to develop with training, support and growth opportunities will show them you value their contributions and encourage their loyalty.

Your business goals should provide you with the opportunity for growth year after year. You don’t need to conquer Everest immediately. Keeping your annual goals realistic and manageable will allow steady growth and success. If you manage this growth correctly, then you will see the financial benefits.

Business Cash Flow

Business Cash Flow Tips For When Your Money Seems To Disappear

Does your business bank account feel like a bit of a black hole? Money seems to go in there, but it never ends up in your pocket. It just seems to disappear without warning. If you had one of those years, it is time to have a bit of a look at your finances and business cash flow. Turn that black hole into a well-oiled profit-generating machine.

I know, sometimes that is easier said than done. So, let’s have a look at how you can review your finances and see where the money is leaking out.

Where Did My Money Go?

Often you choose to start a business because you love what you do. But it is a bit of a shock when you discover that running a business is more than being able to make money from your passion. There is a lot to understand when it comes to business cash flow and finances. It can seem like your money just disappears, but we promise you that it is going somewhere.

These are the key things to keep an eye on…

Stay On Top of Things

With finances, it is essential to stay on top of what is happening on a day to day basis. If you bury your head in the sand and leave things for too long, then you don’t have a clear picture of what is happening in your business. How will you know what money you have to spend if you don’t know what your commitments are?

Keep Accurate Records

You can do this by hiring a bookkeeper, tasking it to your accountant, or by using a great online software. Record your daily transactions so that you can keep a handle on your income and your expenses.

Keep The Business Cash Flow Rolling In

Cashflow is really important in small business, and the best way to keep on top of your cash flow is to send your invoices out on a regular basis. Don’t wait to send them all out at the end of the month. Invoice your work as soon as you can. If you are time poor, then get assistance from a bookkeeper, virtual assistant or team member.

Chase Your Debts

It is one thing to send out your invoices, but you also need to ensure that the money comes in for them. Don’t let the debt age too much; otherwise, your business cash flow will suffer. Try to stay on top of your outstanding invoices.

Sometimes a business will genuinely have forgotten about or misplaced your invoice, so a simple reminder can get the money in the door. In other cases, you might need to take more drastic action and request the assistance of a debt collector.

Know Your Costs

It is really important to know where your money is going. Keep track of all your costs and review them regularly. Are there areas that you can save money, do things more efficiently, or cut costs?


Do you have any big expenses coming up? Forecasting for them will ensure that there aren’t any scary surprises. Try to set money aside for these expenses so that you don’t have to magic up hundreds or thousands of dollars when the time comes!

Call In The Experts

If you don’t have a good understanding of the ins and outs of your finances then you should really call on the help of an expert. Speak with your accountant as they will be able to do an in depth analysis of your profit and loss, and your financial statements.

They will be able to notice any holes in your processes, address any negative trends, and generally examine what is working and what isn’t. Your accountant can also help keep you on track with your tax and GST obligations, ensuring you only pay what you need to and don’t receive any penalties.

Now You Are In The Know

Once you have a clear picture of your finances, you will know exactly where your money is going and what you have left to spend. It will become apparent that there isn’t a naughty little elf stealing your money! Once you know what is happening to it, you can make a budget and a plan to use your funds wisely. That way you can ensure your costs are covered, and there is enough leftover to pay yourself!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus if you need some help understanding your business cash flow, or if those funds really do seem like they are disappearing without reason. We have a range of services available to help you manage your finances effectively.


Xmas Expenses – Tax Deduction Guide

Santa is coming and so are those Xmas time business expenses. Begs the question – What about the tax? Can you deduct all of it? Some of it? Ooooh – maybe none of it? Well, you have come to the right place to find out!

Keep the HO HO HO from becoming an OH NO with our handy tax deduction guide filled with tips to make your money work for you this festive season.


Yes! You can claim your end of year celebrations as business expenses. However, you may not be able to claim all of the costs, and they may also be subject to fringe benefit tax (FBT). FBT is a tax paid on benefits that workers receive as a result of their employment. Party expenses you can claim 50% of can include: Venue hire, food and drink, entertainment, or accommodation.

A general guide of 50% deductible expenses:

  • Corporate boxes
  • Tickets to events
  • Hiring marquees and tents
  • Holiday homes and timeshare apartments (although you can claim a deduction of 100% if using the accommodation is secondary to the business activities or employment duties. Contact us if you need help working this out)
  • Hiring yachts, launches, or other recreational boats
  • Food and drink consumed by staff (both onsite and offsite)

For a more comprehensive list, check out Inland Revenue’s business entertainment rules by following this link.


Yes! You can generally claim between 50-100% of the cost of staff presents, but you may need to pay FBT on such gifts. Keep in mind that there are thresholds, so you may avoid FBT if you only provide ‘minimal’ fringe benefits. For example, food and drinks and a local venue might be exempt because your team can’t choose when and where to enjoy that particular benefit.

Some 100% deductible gifts include:

  • Calendars
  • Books and gift vouchers (iTunes, store vouchers etc.)
  • Tickets to an event or movie
  • General presents (flowers, knick-knacks, clothing etc.)

Some 50% deductible gifts include:

  • Alcohol (beer, wine, champagne etc.)
  • Ham, biscuits, gourmet food hampers
  • Meal vouchers
  • Chocolate

Remember, the current tax exemption figures are $300 per employee per quarter and $22,500 maximum employer exemption per annum. If you exceed the exemptions you will need to pay Fringe Benefit Tax on the total value of the benefits. To double check your tax obligations for gifts, you can consult the IRD’s detailed information about FBT and the Fringe Benefits Guide here.


‘Tis the season of giving, so if your business is looking to get amongst the community with charitable deeds this Xmas; donating gifts, food, or some form of entertainment – you can deduct 100% of the cost!


  • Freebies/ giveaways promoting your business are 100% deductible
  • Entertainment you provide to a publication for review of your business is 100% deductible
  • Overseas entertainment is 100% deductible – Whoop! Take us to Mexico!
  • Vehicle use – Is your employee planning to use a business vehicle for a private trip over the silly season? This will most likely be perceived as a fringe benefit, so will be subject to FBT charges.

The IRD guides are very clear and provide great examples of what is and is not tax deductible, and when you need to be paying FBT, so we recommend making use of them this season.

We are always happy to field your festive tax questions. In fact, we dare you to come up with one we can’t answer!

Daylight Savings Blog

The Surprising Impact Daylight Savings Time (DST) Has On Business

“Spring forward, fall back” – The old adage that is supposed to help you work out which direction to turn your clocks when daylight savings starts and ends. Most of us are excited when we get to put the clocks forward as it means summer is coming! Woohoo! Longer sunlight hours, BBQs with friends and family, walks on the beach with the dog, cricket season, tending to the vege patch while it is still light out, and of course, getting some much-needed vitamin D that the Wellington winter has robbed you of.

What you might not know is that flicking the clock forward raises a number of things to be aware of with regards to your business. We thought it would be a great time to go over the impact daylight savings could have on your bottom line.

Economic Impacts

THE GOOD NEWS: One of the popular arguments promoted by business groups is that DST helps stimulate consumer spending. There are mixed reviews about this ‘fact’ and as far as we are aware, no substantial research around Kiwi spending habits during daylight savings time has been done in New Zealand. A new study out from JPMorgan Chase Institute in the US did find that the switch to DST time is associated with an increase in spending between 2.2% and 4.9%, depending on where you live. So that could be good news for NZ business as it would indicate that people are getting out and about and supporting local shops, bars and, restaurants as they enjoy the longer daylight hours.

Productivity Impacts

THE BAD NEWS: It is well documented that shifting those clocks forward causes sleep disturbances. This is going to be exacerbated for your employees with young children who will likely have trouble going to sleep and/or waking up at the new time. This ultimately results in productivity losses – which no business wants!

David Wagner and Christopher Barnes, professors of management at the University of Oregon and the University of Washington, found “workers tend to ‘cyber loaf,’” and use computers for non-work purposes. Another US study estimated a national productivity loss of nearly $434 million – just from fiddling with the clocks! Wagner and Barnes say we don’t regain lost productivity in the fall when time shifts back either, as it takes up to 3 weeks for someone to hit a normal rhythm.

Health Impacts

THE UGLY NEWS: Unfortunately it is a well-documented fact that Daylight Saving time brings a rise in the number of heart attacks. Yes, a 5% – 10% increase according to Swedish and US researchers.

An article published on the Business Insider site explains:

“The impacts of DST are likely related to our body’s internal circadian rhythm, the still-slightly-mysterious molecular cycles that regulate when we feel awake and when we feel sleepy, as well as our hunger and hormone production schedules…. The problems with DST are the worst in the spring when we’ve all just lost one hour of sleep. The sun rises later, making it more difficult to wake in the morning. This is because we reset our natural clocks using the light. When out of nowhere (at least to our bodies) these cues change, it causes major confusion. Like anytime you lose sleep, springing forward causes decreases in performance, concentration, and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness”.

On a sunnier note (sunny – ha – see what I did there. Pun intended!), the number of car accidents during DST goes down and the U.S. Department of Transportation has said that daylight saving time has a lowering effect on crime rates because many crimes tend to occur in the dark.

So if DST doesn’t actually save energy, or improve productivity, why do we have it? We are interested to hear your thoughts. How do you find daylight savings affects you/ your business?

If you have noticed major peaks and troughs throughout your financial year we are available to take a gander at your numbers and come up with financial solutions to both mitigate the negative effects of DST and capitalise on the positive ones.

Five bad money habits

The 5 Money Habits That Are Financially Derailing Your Small Business

As accountants, we want to see our clients succeed with their businesses. Liquidating hopes and dreams is not fun for anyone involved! Although there is a lot WE can do to help get you on the right track, there are some critical money mistakes that are often made in business that YOU want to try and avoid to ensure upwards growth and business success.

Listed below are our top five ‘no-no’s when it comes to money habits in small businesses.

Not Saving Money

Aye caramba! Not saving money is probably the worst mistake you can make in business. You need both operating capital and a separate savings account/ accounts for things such as: putting aside money for taxes throughout the year and having funds at the ready for when a great investment opportunity pops up. When you don’t have a dedicated savings plan in your business, you run the risk of digging too far into your operational accounts and being caught short when it comes to paying bills, staff, and even yourself! It can be one of the quickest ways to run your business into the ground.

Low Returns on Large Investments

Another common mistake and a bit of an all-round money-wasting black hole is continually spending money on things that don’t make (as much) money in return. This is especially important in small businesses that are not yet established. Bigger companies have the funds to take risks like running a new, edgy marketing campaign. It could be a huge flop and a waste of $200k, but hey – they have the capital behind them to shake it off and move forward. While we understand the importance of taking a leap of faith in business, it needs to be calculated. Start small, record your stats and build up a clear picture of what is working and what isn’t. From there you can develop a business plan to accommodate. Return on investment tracking is easy, not to mention incredibly smart, business. Yes, Facebook advertising might be all the rage, but are you getting more back than you put in? You might be surprised when you discover what your best business generators actually are. Once you find out, you can put a little more money and effort into that area and reap the rewards as your business kicks up a notch.

In a similar vein – try not to get caught in the ‘instant money’ trap. This is where you take a quick sale with no potential for repeat business in the future, rather than taking the time to build a sales pipeline that will help give you ongoing business. This will look different for every business type (services and products), but the concept is the same. Too much instant gratification could leave you with no future income.

Getting Too Creative With Your Bill Payments

‘To be paid by the 20th of the following month’ catches a lot of businesses out. It is important to establish robust payment schedules to ensure you are on top of your business debt. Knowing exactly how much you owe and have owed to you can get mighty confusing! You always want to know how much you actually have in your accounts after everything has been paid and accounted for each month. Make it a point to pay in the current month, so you don’t catch yourself out.

As an added bonus – Did you know that if another company decides to check your credit rating, your credit rating goes down! The whole thing works on a risk matrix system, so if you haven’t been paying your bills on time and someone decides to check up on you, the algorithm sees that as a little mark against your name. Yikes!

Money Tunnel Vision

An example of money tunnel vision in business might be: You have always wanted to make a business that sells homemade baby clothes. One day your dream is realised, and you open the doors to ‘Baby Made’. Things are going along quite steadily; you have a loyal customer base, and sales have been going so well, you’ve been able to turn the business into your full-time job! Talking to customers, you’ve started to notice that people are enquiring a lot about buying toddler sizes. Ha. Funny. You don’t currently stock/ make them because you are ‘Baby Made’, a store that is focused on baby clothes…. WAIT A SECOND. It is so important to diversify in business! Listen to your customers – is there a trend appearing? If they like you, they buy from you, and they are suggesting something else they want to buy from you – you pretty much can’t go wrong! If you don’t listen, guess what? They are going to go someplace else that can cater to their needs and you could lose them altogether!

Did you know that it is reported that millionaires have at least seven income streams! SEVEN! It sounds crazy, but it is very smart business. It is always good to have other options to fall back on, and/ or to help build up another area you are working on. You could achieve this by diversifying something you already offer, like the example above, or by having another income stream in an entirely different arena (stocks, bonds, private music tuition, yoga instruction – the list goes on).

Not Recording ALL Your Expenses And Transactions

Those $4 coffees, and business related parking costs you forget to record, really add up! Over an entire year, you could be missing out on hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. We want to know all your expenses so we can get the best out of your finances through tax deductions. The best way to track your expenses is with an EFTPOS/ credit card linked to your business account. If you happen to use cash, or a non-business card, remember to add it to your expense tracking and keep the receipt so we can process that transaction for you. Also, talk to us! We can help you work out all sorts of things that you might not be recording in your business, that you are eligible to be claiming tax back on.

If you have been cringing while you read through some of these, don’t worry. We are done with our scary list of small business money no-nos for now! Take some comfort in knowing that we all make one or two of these mistakes when we are finding our feet in business. Hopefully, something you have read here might help you with your small/ medium sized business money habits moving forward.

Remember, we are financial growth and good money habit experts, and we are here to assist you with advice and support if you need us!

Money hacks for Students

Seriously Smart Money Saving Hacks for Students

You’ve all heard the expression ‘Champagne taste on a beer budget’, but as a student, you are probably thinking: ‘Beer! More like a ‘bring your own tea bag and get free hot water’ budget!’

We know student life can be all kinds of tough. Including financially tough, but it doesn’t have to be so bad. When my brother came back from four years at Canterbury, I heard all kinds of insane student ‘life hacks’ although I don’t know how effective they were because I could swear he had scurvy and a major vitamin D deficiency…

We have come up with a list of sane PRACTICAL hacks to help you get the most out of your moolah while you are hitting the books. To save you time, we have broken these hacks down into categories too.


  • Step away from the credit card and pay with cash whenever possible. Parting with cold hard cash, rather than ‘tap ‘n goin’ makes spending a lot more difficult. Also, when you go out somewhere, only take a certain amount of cash to prevent impulse spending. If you don’t have it with you – you can’t spend it!
  • When you get paid on a certain day, make sure you have money automatically being deducted to start paying off student debt. Also, have some being put into a saving account. It doesn’t have to be a lot! Just a small amount each week/ fortnight will start to add up, and you will be able to afford that new MacBook Pro/ OE before you know it!
  • Set up a budget (link to fun personalised budgets – yay) – Work out what your expenses are and allocate money accordingly. What are your 100% fixed expenses (rent, power, internet, phone, etc..) What are some you can be a little more flexible with? (Food, clothing, toiletries…) What are luxury items? (a night out, an Audible book, a new hairdryer…) What about an emergency fund? (New car tyres, prescription glasses, doctors’ appointments…)
  • Put those random coins in a jar hidden away somewhere and take them out at the end of each month and use it for something you’ve been wanting/ needing. (“Or save/invest it!” the accountant in me is screaming!)


  • Bored? Don’t subscribe to paid TV. If you get free/ unlimited WiFi, just watch content online.
  • The world is a playground! Get outside and take advantage of parks and outdoor activities such as picnics, swimming, and sports.
  • Both on and off campus you will find free, fun events – maybe the drama students are hosting a play? Or the art students have a gallery opening?
  • Cities often have all sorts of free events and fun things going on too (often where food and drink might be provided). Some ideas include event openings, library events, community fairs for samples and tastings, house parties, and free tours at factories, breweries, newspapers, etc…
  • Join or create a social group (book club or coffee tasting with friends).
  • Find a cheap bar that does happy hour and/ or student discounts! (Even better if they have bottomless bar snacks!)


If you haven’t already subscribed to the minimalist trend, you should! It’s all the rage to be able to fit your life into a backpack… Ha-ha-ha! If you are not quite there yet – here are some tips to help you navigate shopping whilst living the student dream:

  • Reassess your phone plan and get a cheaper one. Often a new deal comes but you are oblivious that you could be paying $9.99 rather than $29.99 per month – pays to check. That’s an extra bottle of wine my friend.
  • Shop around! There are hosts of websites (like PriceSpy) that can help you see who is selling that item for the best price.
  • Online shopping can be a dangerous game but is very effective if used correctly. It saves on parking and gas or bus fares and can be done from bed while eating 2-minute noodles. Just make sure you opt for places that offer free delivery.
  • Share the love: Lend and borrow books, clothes swap with friends, have potluck meals with others, barter your expertise with mates (“Swap a haircut for some graphics work?”)
  • Bulk buy and save if you tend to purchase a lot of certain items.


  • Meal prep, cook at home, make your own lunch and eat before you go out, so you are not tempted by fast food and expensive junk. Often the healthiest foods are the cheapest: rice, oats, pasta, beans, frozen vegies and tinned food is inexpensive and tasty too!
  • Do you have space for a garden somewhere? Even a small one is great for growing herbs or the odd lettuce. Buying seeds and rotation planting bits and pieces can really save you a lot over a year
  • Buy fruit cheap when it is in season and preserve/ freeze it for the months when you would otherwise be without it. Stew apples and feijoa from Autumn for your porridge right through to Spring etc..
  • You don’t need a gym to get in shape. Just exercise at home – yoga, ‘freeletics,’ riding a bike, running, walking, swimming, even borrow a friends weights – or better still train together to keep each other motivated.
  • Community gardens + fruit trees. Are there any near you that you can access?
  • Does your part-time job provide meals during your shift? Often the restaurant industry will provide snacks or whole meals for their staff. Depending on how many days you work that could be a lot less money you need to spend on food.
  • Local sports clubs often have cheap food evenings (roast meals/ burgers etc..) on a certain night of the week. Get amongst that, and you might even discover a new sport and make some new friends.


  • Don’t use a car if you can avoid it and you will save a lot! Goodbye car maintenance, gas, rego, WOFs, insurance, and parking! Use your legs, a bike, or public transport with student rates if you can.
  • Grab-a-Seat, Air BnB, and couch surf your way around NZ and the world if you are in need of a cheap getaway between semesters.
  • Carpool or take advantage of free transportation with campus shuttles if your campus provides them.
  • Take advantage of free lodging and good exchange rates with study abroad programs.


  • Hooray for Student Job Search – They often have cool little jobs you can fit around study and give a bash for extra cash.
  • Try recruitment agencies for temp work and build up your experience in a range of areas – customer service, administration, communication etc.
  • Tutor students in years below you or freelance in your area of expertise.
  • Comedian? Got a musical talent or know how to pull a never-ending silk scarf from your nose? Maybe you should consider busking? Those guys make a small fortune sharing their not so hidden talents with the world!
  • Volunteer work is amazing- not only do you get experience doing something practical and have something to put on your CV, but you also get to meet great contacts, and these can lead to paid work.
  • Sell your stuff: Get rid of stuff you don’t need any longer by selling it online/ via school and community notice boards.
  • Get paid to shop as a mystery shopper or sign up to be called upon for paid research events. They could be about anything from chewing gum or ice cream to banking and lawn mowers! (Often these pay about $80-$100 for an hour!)


It’s been a while since we were at university but we think it would have been handy to have a few extra tricks up our sleeves back then to help us be smarter with our money. We would love to hear from you if you have any great stories about how you saved while you were studying. Hopefully, these tips will help students to clear debt and get ahead while studying to become the next talented wave of professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Who knows, Accountants Plus might just be the ones helping you manage your money one day!

Accountants Are…

Certain words come tied with connotations, evoke an instant thought reaction, and trigger our minds to conjure up imagery. For example, you can’t hear the word ‘rainbow’ without visualising the full spectrum of colours, and when you hear ‘snuggly’ you might imagine a cat curled up in a blanket by the fire. So what do people think when they hear the word accounting? Let me guess. You are now visualising suits, ties, spreadsheets, and stuffy offices. Or perhaps the words ‘boring’, ‘bean counters’, or ‘number crunchers’ are springing to mind?

Let’s be honest – this is nothing new. We ourselves are well aware of the stereotypes attached to our roles as accountants! When we go to a party and someone asks us what we do, you can bet your bottom dollar (see what I did there – accountants can be punny) we’ve been tempted to say: “Oh, me? I’m a Sky Dive Instructor/ White Water Rafting Guide/ Director at an Animal Orphanage”. (The best I could manage once was “Number Wizard” – Yeah, it was awkward…) Once people find out what you do, if they haven’t already fallen asleep, they will often ask for financial advice. *SIGH* Still, I imagine being asked about taxes is much easier than being a doctor who gets asked (or shown) all manner of lumps, bumps and ailments by complete strangers!

We like to think we break the mould a bit at Accountants Plus. Yes, we do all the taxey, numbery, things like all good accountants should, but we also pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our clients and the real effort we make to understand the ins and outs of their businesses. Clients like to chat to us about their Xero software AND the latest episode of The Bachelor. Sometimes they invite us to their office Xmas party and sometimes they invite us to a Bikram yoga class! Through our efforts, we are working to help combat the stereotype and change public perception. We have taken it upon ourselves to pave the way for multi-dimensional accountants everywhere; showing that we can be dynamic, are interested in more than your money, and that we have lives outside of work – sports, kids, pets, camping, fundraising and getting involved in our local communities. We have interesting hobbies, and we like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead as much as the next person. Dentists on the other hand – well, they have a way to go. No one really likes to go and see them!

We are now off to calculate some GST… JOKE! We are going paddle boarding in the harbour. Hope to catch up with you soon so we can discuss your accounting needs (as well as who you think the first NZ Bachelorette should be – our pick is Lily!)

The Accountants Plus ‘Next-Year-End’ Prep Kit

Accountants Plus. As the name suggests, we offer more than your average accountancy firm. Saving our clients time, stress, and money is high on the priority list so we go out of our way to help people get their heads around what can sometimes be a complex, confusing part of business ownership. In this particular instance, our ‘plus’ is delivered to you in the form of some VERY handy tips. (We mean print-me-off-and-keep-me-on-your-office-wall type handy!) We have been busy with end of year accounts processing, so we thought it would be the perfect time to share some advice on the subject to help get you feeling organised and confident for the next financial year-end.

Rather than all the last-minute scrambling around like a cat in the bath for all the documentation we require to process your accounts, we have put this doc together so you have the option of gently gathering it over the year so the majority of the hard work is done by the time we send out our ‘accounts due’ email. FYI – We have already sent out that exact email for the 2017 end of financial year, which included a handy checklist (Click here if you missed it!), but if you are looking to be a step ahead of the game for the 2018 financial year, then this will be especially useful for you!

So here goes – The list of thinga-me-bobs and whats-its for you to keep track of throughout the year. When year-end finally rocks around, you can totally wow us with your file that is titled: ‘Here’s a little something I prepared earlier’.


  • If you use Xero or another accounting package, your debtor and creditor information should be accurately captured (just make sure your software balances with your bank at year-end). If not, ensure to keep a comprehensive spreadsheet of all your incoming, outgoing and pending transactions, including dates, accurate descriptions, and amounts
  • At year-end, we will need your last bank statement for each business bank account (or bank statements for the entire year if you don’t use accounting software)
  • Your business credit card statements (including GEM VISA, Q-Card, Bartercard etc…)
  • Resident Withholding Tax Deduction certificates (sent out by your bank)
  • Documents showing any hire purchase, mortgage and loan agreements you have entered into in this financial year (including statements and loan summaries)
  • GST Returns/ FBT Returns for the year
  • Company dividends, interest received (in the form of letters, receipts, or certificates)
  • ACC invoice copies


  • When it comes time to submit your financial documentation, we will ask you for your ‘cash on hand’ amount. This is where you let us know the amount of takings you have not yet banked by the balance date, as well as the date you did bank them and the amount you hold in tills and cash floats.


  • Keep track of your inventory via stock takes because we will need an ‘as at year-end’ dollar amount at the end of the financial year (which is calculated at the lower of cost or net market value and minus GST).


  • Someone hasn’t paid you and you’ve written it off? Make sure to keep a record of any bad debts during the financial year and let us know the total amount at year-end.


  • Have an asset register to record your assets bought and sold and be sure to record information such as: dates, whether the item was bought new or second-hand, how much it cost/was sold for, and whether you paid GST on the item).


  • Make sure to record any goods you take from the business for personal use.


  • If you use your home for business purposes, record information such as: the square meters of your home used for business purposes (out of the total area of your house – i.e. 45sqm out of 210sqm), your mortgage interest, rates, power bill, and any repair bills.


  • Record your business mileage percentage (by recording km’s travelled in your vehicle for work, vs. personal use) – If you have paid FBT, this will not be applicable to you. Please check in with one of the team if you are unsure about mileage and vehicle use.

We have reached the end of our handy tips for today. If this was a face-to-face seminar, now is the time we would ask: “Does anyone have any questions?” so please feel free to get in touch to find out more about a specific area of your business that may not be covered here (maybe you have questions about staff payments, KiwiSaver, rental properties, boarder payments, trusts, or donations – to name just a few). We haven’t been faced with a question we didn’t know the answer to yet, but you might just be the first one to stump us!

Spring Clean your Finances


When winter comes, often we start letting things get swept under the rug. With finances, this can cause long term issues – so now it’s time to get yourself out from under all your snuggly winter blankets and out into the new spring sunshine, so you can get that money flowing in more than out again!

We have some great tips for getting the basics back up and running smoothly:

  1. Re-evaluate the savings and spending goals you set at the beginning of the year
    Did you decide your business was going to reduce spending on unnecessary items this year? It’s not too late to make a dent in your spending now – resize your goals and make them achievable in the time you have left in the year.
  2. Make deals with your providers
    If you run a business, it’s likely you are paying subscription fees for internet, business phones, and perhaps even stationery companies. Maybe it’s time for a quick call around to your providers – see if you can get a better deal with them. Internet and phone providers will often give you a better deal if you combine them together. Mobile plans are also changeable – even if you can’t get your plan for a more reasonable price, perhaps they can give you more bang for your buck.
  3. Take another look at 2015 spending so far
    Go back through your accounts and separate it into different cost centres. How much of your spending is occurring where you could save money? Where can you cut back? What have you under-budgeted for?
  4. Check your payables
    Check your payables – are there bills lying around that perhaps you have been avoiding, or have even forgotten about? It’s time to dig them out, and decide how you want to proceed; whether it’s in one big lump or if you need to spread out those payments – and if you do, how you will propose that to the vendor.
  5. Have an office spring clean
    While you spring clean the accounts, it’s also a great time to think about spring cleaning your office. Maybe you can get your business some cash if you discover you have actually got a perfectly useful printer sitting in a cupboard somewhere, or a spare desk and chair that really is taking up more room than it is worth.