Digital Automation and Its Impact

A recent Sunday Star times article talked about the impact of digital disruption in the Accounting profession. That much of what we do has now been automated and simplified and therefore clients believe that we’re doing less. And yes, in terms of processing data we are.

It went on to say that now our work is “all based around strategic advice on top of traditional compliance activities such as financial and tax reporting”.

I would argue that this is nothing new. Those of us in public practice have always worked in this field. However, we’re now in the fortunate position of being able to get more accurate, timely information from our clients’ systems, so we can work in the now and the future, instead of only adding up the past. Read More »



Systems, Systems, Systems

Modern business technology is an amazing thing (though I suspect all generations say that). I’ve recently had conversations with several clients that have reiterated this.

For one, they are a wholesaler where all the knowledge of the products’ quantities and whereabouts in the warehouse is held by the owner and a warehouseman who’s wanting to retire at some stage soon. This is a business risk, what happens if they’re not there? How much time and effort would be wasted by the rest of the team trying find everything, or know when to reorder? They have a basic product list in their accounting system, but it’s really just for pricing invoices.

For a manufacturing client, they make several grades of a product but can’t tell how much each grade costs to make and therefore what lines they’re making money on and what they’re not. There’s a capacity to how much they can make, so wouldn’t they be better to concentrate on making more of what they make good margins on, as opposed to other products? Read More »



In Favour of Holidays

I’ve just had a glorious holiday. 2 ½ weeks in Nepal, including a week trekking in the Himalayas.  I love to travel.  I also love to go to places in NZ or even have time off and stay at home. I’ve always believed in working hard and playing hard.

 

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I’m a great believer in holidays. They’re good for you. They replenish your energies and your spirit. Time off gives you a chance to let go of the day to day frustrations and details of people and tasks in your job. It gives you an opportunity to sit back and think about the bigger picture. You come back refreshed and full of energy, with a clearer vision of what needs to be done.

There’s good reason why it is entrenched in our law that everybody is to have 4 weeks holidays, as well as the statutory days off for their personal enjoyment. Read More »



TrustTALK Issue 11 October 2017

As a member of NZ CA (an association of independent chartered accountants), we receive a quarterly newsletter from them all about Trusts called TrustTALK.

The latest issue talks about Trustee responsibilities, family loans, and information about the newly released Trusts Bill.

Click the link here to receive your copy: CCH – Issue 11_BW Miller Dean

If you are interested in past issues you can find them on the NZ CA Limited website here.



What Will You Get Paid If You Have an Accident?

ACC is a large bill for any business (particularly for tradesmen and those in high risk industries) that none of us like getting.

When you get the next invoice, check the details are correct because if the levy rate or income details are wrong you may be paying too much for not enough cover. Read More »



Going Paperless

There’s no question about it, computer systems are replacing the need to employ people, and making things happen so much faster in a business.

Just one example is creditors and the payment cycle.

In the old days, after purchasing something, you received the invoices in the mail, sorted them, and reconciled them to a statement. The invoice may have been processed into a creditors system, maybe by about the 10th of the month you had an idea of what your creditors balance was at the end of the month previously. Read More »



Provisional Tax Changes

You may have heard that the IRD have introduced some changes to the way they manage Provisional Tax.

For many years, some of the biggest gripes we have heard from our clients have related to Provisional Tax.

Why do you have to pay tax based on guesses as to what you are going to earn, and then get penalised if you get it wrong? And yes, we know that Use of Money Interest (UOMI) is actually interest and not a penalty, but people still see it as a penalty, especially as the IRD charge and pay interest as if they are a bank- they pay it at a low rate and charge it at a high rate.

Finally the IRD have listened and have taken the first steps towards making it a bit fairer. Read More »



TrustTALK Issue 10 July 2017

As a member of NZ CA (an association of independent chartered accountants), we receive a quarterly newsletter from them all about Trusts called TrustTALK.

The latest issue talks about Residential Care Subsidies, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Removal of Trustees, and reviewing your Trust Deed.

Click the link here to receive your copy: CCH – Issue 10_BW Miller Dean.

If you are interested in past issues you can find them on the NZ CA Limited website here.



Does your business earn enough to pay you what you’re worth?

Many years ago, one of my sons asked me, “What do you get paid, Mum?”

I said, “I own the business. I get what’s left over.”

“Well,” said my son, “how do you make sure there’s enough left over for you to get paid?”

I replied, “That’s my job as the business owner, to make sure the business earns enough to pay the staff, pay all the bills AND then has some left to pay me.”

As the saying goes: ‘Out of the mouths of babes.’ Read More »



Business Values

What are your business’s values? Do you know? Have you articulated them to anyone?

Any business book you read these days will ask if you know what your business’s core values are. It’s a bit of a step on from mission or vision statements, although these things are still talked about.

A business’s core values are defined as the philosophies or principles that guide its internal conduct as well as its relationship with its customers and other stakeholders. They are the guiding principles that help to define how the business and its employees will behave.

I find all this airy fairy talk a bit hard to follow. Much of what people say are core values are just basic must haves to me. For example, to say we act with honesty and integrity. Of course we do; that’s to be expected. Read More »



Goals

Goals- BW Miller Dean Ltd

My husband and I have a goal – to walk the whole of the Te Araroa in our lifetime. Check it out here. www.teararoa.org.nz. It’s a 3000km walk from the top to the bottom of NZ and joins together many existing walks. We could do it as “through walkers”- start at one end and keep going till we get to the other end- but we don’t have the time or dedication. So we’re what’s called “section walkers”; we do it in sections. We fit in pieces where and when we can: a longer tramp at New Years, several day walks through the years, etc. It’s a logistical challenge. The biggest problem is always getting transport to one end to walk to the other.

We aim to do between 100-150km per year. That makes it a 20-30 year plan. Sounds ridiculous I know, and it certainly did when we started in 2012. (We realised we’d done some of the walks already so why not keep going?) However, we’ve now done 762km. That’s over 25% so it seems more realistic.

And how do I know that? I keep a record of all the pieces we’ve done. It’s drawn on a map and a spreadsheet of course. After all, I’m an accountant. Read More »



TrustTALK Issue 9 March 2017

As a member of NZ CA (an association of independent chartered accountants), we receive a quarterly newsletter from them all about Trusts called TrustTALK.

The latest issue talks about the Draft Trusts Bill, winding up Trusts, and new Enduring Power of Attorney forms.

Click the link here to receive your copy NZCA Issue 9 BW Miller Dean.

If you are interested in past issues you can find them on the NZ CA Limited website here.



Trusts

Do I need to establish a Trust? Do I still need the Trust I have?

We often get asked these questions by our clients. And the answer, as it so often is, is “it depends”. It depends on why you want it. Then it depends on the balance between the advantages and the disadvantages to you.

The principal purpose of a Trust is to set assets aside to protect them from a variety of people and organisations such as:

  • Creditors
  • Family
  • Relationship Partners
  • Asset and Income tested benefits and assistance

Protection from family members and organisations tend to be emotive reasons that vary from person to person.

Read More »



New Years’ Resolutions: Business Planning

Happy New Year!

I hope you’ve come back to work all fired up and ready to get into it- declaring that this year, you’re going to make the time to work ON your business not just IN it. You know what your goals are for the year and have a plan to get them underway.

Or does it feel like groundhog day? You just get bogged in the same old detail with no clear picture of where you want the business to be going.

Without a clear idea of why you’re in business and what you want to achieve, you cannot complain when you don’t achieve the lifestyle you want from your business. If you aim nowhere, that’s where you get – nowhere.

I’ve been reviewing our plan for the last quarter, ticking off what was achieved. We’ll be meeting next week to set the new objectives for the next quarter and the coming year. From all I’ve read this is the best way to do your plans. Have longer term strategic targets, anywhere up to say 3 years, then break it down into what has to be achieved this year, then this quarter, to move you towards that goal. Often the tasks on this are not things that are urgent but they are important. Things that if you don’t do you won’t move forwards. Read More »



Another scam to be aware of

It has recently come to our attention that clients have been receiving invoices which appear to be from the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office, but they are NOT. The following warning was posted on the NZIPO website in November.

“We have noticed an increasing amount of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotion or advertising services being offered to IP holders.

If you receive any communication about your IP case from anyone other than:

  1. Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ),
  2. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
  3. your appointed IP professional,

you should treat them with caution. Particularly if they are preparing to charge you a fee for the service. Read More »



Natural Disasters and Your Business

What a week we had from the 14th November, starting with the Earthquake early Monday morning and followed by torrential rain and floods. I know we’ve always got plenty to talk about with the weather in Wellington, but that week really topped the list.

The effect on businesses vary depending on what the business does and where it’s situated. We’ve been talking to many clients since, and it seems the effects on their business swing both ways.

A supermarket client had a mad morning clean up, but were then able to open Monday morning. They were really busy as their competition weren’t able to open. Sadly, they’ve been shut down 10 days later because of a building over the road being deemed to be risky. A firm of lawyers have moved in temporarily downstairs from us, they’re locked out of their building because of a risky neighbouring building. They can’t even get their records and equipment.

On the other side, a client with a pub had an extremely busy Monday. People couldn’t go into the city and wanted the companionship of others. Clients that work in engineering, alarm systems, tiling, or anything else to do with building and maintenance have been inundated with work since. Read More »



Fraud Awareness Week

This week, 13-19 November, is Fraud Awareness Week.

 

Financial scamming is an everyday problem for many New Zealanders. A scam is an illegal scheme that persuades people and businesses to “invest” in a (non-existent) project. These can come in many forms, from scam emails to phone calls. So how can you keep yourself safe from these fraudulent activities?

 

NZCA (an association of independent Chartered Accountants) has released a newsletter warning us of the dangers of fraud and what you can do to protect yourself from scams. You can read the newsletter here.



An Insider’s Guide to Awesome Administrators

Good administrators, the ones who get things done before you have to ask, the ones who are meticulous and detailed yet friendly and fun, are as rare as hens’ teeth.  But if you find one… your business will skyrocket, as they are a very crucial part.

Not only are they the first face clients see when they come in the door, they are also behind the smooth running of any office environment.

As the practice manager of our office, I lead our administration team and I love my job!  We make the most of having a very strong admin team in our office, so our accountants can get on with what they do best – strategic planning, budgets and cash flow forecasts, and, of course, accounts! We take care making sure our office is clean and tidy. We enjoying making cups of tea and coffee for our clients and having a chat as they come in the door. We make sure our annual work is in so our accountants don’t need to worry about getting the work in but can focus on getting high quality work out the door to our clients. And we take pride in the relationships we get to build with our clients. Read More »



Trust Talk Issue 8 October 2016

As a member of NZ CA (an association of independent chartered accountants), we receive a quarterly newsletter from them all about Trusts called TrustTALK.

The latest issue talks about asset and estate planning, and what you can do when a Trustee has dementia.

Click the link here to receive your copy NZCA Issue 8 BW Miller Dean.

If you are interested in past issues you can find them on the NZ CA Limited website here.



How Planning and Budgets Make Business Better

When I come back to work after the summer break, I spend the first week or two planning for the next financial year. I like to get a head start on it when I’ve been out of the nitty gritty of day-to-day stuff and when we’re not so busy with clients’ work.

It’s important to plan what you want the business to achieve, then look at what it has done in the past and work out how you’re going to bridge that gap.

The financial aspect of a plan is a budget. And because cash is king, the even more useful version of this is a cash-flow forecast.

It’s not unusual for a client to ask us to prepare one for them because the bank has asked for one. It then gets handed to the bank or put in a drawer and promptly forgotten. That’s about as useful to the business owner as an annual set of financial statements we prepare long after the year end to calculate the tax payments!

But a budget and cash-flow forecast can be very useful to help manage the business. Read More »