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 »

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.

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.

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 »

Why Billing is the New Black

Here’s a fun factoid for you… billing your customers for the work you’ve done gets you paid!  AND, when you get paid, you can pay your bills!  And eat!

One of the most important things about running an SME is to get your invoices out- as quickly after the job is done as possible. Simply put, people won’t pay you if you don’t bill them. Invoice fast and often.

I know, I’m hearing you say that it’s the last thing you feel like doing after spending all your time on the job; you’re just too busy and it becomes a chore for the end of the month or a wet day.  But that sort of business practice is what gets you a gigantic debtors list and believe me, chasing that up is a far worse chore! Read More »

TrustTALK – July 2016

As a member of NZ CA Limited we receive a quarterly newsletter from them all about Trust’s called TrustTALK.

The latest issue talks about the importance of having a will and touches on the topic of having a power of attorney.

Click the link here to receive your copy NZCA Issue 7 BW Miller Dean.

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

Changes at IRD

Changes to the interest and penalties regime

IRD have announced that from 1 April 2017 they will be changing the hated interest and penalties.  For provisional tax payers using the standard uplift method (based on prior year) there will be no interest charged on the first two instalments. I.e. they won’t take the interest calculation back to the first payment retrospectively.

For late payments on new returns filed there will still be the initial 1% penalty the day after for late payments and 4% after 7 days but the 1% monthly incremental penalties will go. UOMI will still apply.


Proposed Provisional Tax payment Changes

You may have heard through the media that the IRD are doing away with Provisional tax. As with a lot of their recent releases, this is only partially true. But (hopefully) from 1 April 2018 your business could qualify to pay tax using the AiM Accounting Income Method.
Read More »

Our Christmas Holidays

Holidays are always a great time of year- especially in summer! We all love to celebrate in different ways.


1 Peta Xmas Photo 05                1 Peta Xmas Photo 06                1 Peta Xmas photo 7

1 Peta Xmas Photo 04        Clayton Xmas Photo 01

Clayton Xmas Photo 02        Clayton Xmas Photo 03

aClayton Xmas Photo 04          aClayton Xmas Photo 05         Nicole Xmas Photo 4

IMG_6341        Jaime Xmas Photo

Nicole Xmas Photo 02 Nicole Xmas Photo 3 z20151024_140828 z20151209_201626-1

Xero Tips and Tricks

This month we are talking about getting the most out of your Xero.

In Peta’s last blog she went over a few of the common areas people make mistakes in Xero. This time I want to give you some tips so you can use Xero as efficiently as possible.

Here at BW we all use Xero on a daily basis so across the whole team we have all picked up little tips and tricks here and there to make using Xero that much easier.

Here is a list of some of our top tips in Xero: Read More »

Peta and Pete from South America

As many of you know Peta and Pete are spending 5 weeks making their way around South America. They have been keeping us updated with some pictures on Facebook. See them below!

11924948_686502411484956_8448880160483595366_n     10325335_686502494818281_4711376767184381789_n


11924956_686502434818287_3219613114448981974_n     11990642_686502518151612_2337861356467651177_n
11953117_686502461484951_7397856712378069899_n       12003415_690877774380753_2042917872332542068_n       12009784_690877827714081_6578321923769617425_n


12003921_690877874380743_3767101544123807806_n    12002095_695032773965253_2056719684347879746_n




Health and Safety Reform – Are you prepared for the changes?

Following on from the blog I wrote in the middle of last year, the Health and Safety Reform bill has just passed through Parliament and will come into effect on 4 April 2016.

You will have all heard the outcry from opposition politicians about high risk industries such as worm farms and mini golf while sheep and dairy farming are considered low risk. This has distracted attention a bit from the real purpose and impact of the new laws and how they will affect you.

Basically the implementation of the new regime will see more onus placed on people at every level of responsibility (in particular senior managers and company directors) who are required to understand and proactively manage health and safety in their workplace. There are now stronger penalties and wider enforcement tools for non-compliance.

I have gone through the Act and various articles including this summary from NZ Law Society on the implications and have tried to simplify them into a summary of the areas that everyone in business will need to be aware of.

This is not the complete Act so for further information about the legislation please go to Worksafe.

Who does the law apply to?

The new act widens the definitions of workplace and now applies to everyone who meets the new definition of a ‘Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking’ or a “PCBU”

Read More »

Running a great business

I spent a few days last month getting together with a group of colleagues who meet twice a year to work “on” our business’s. We’ve been getting together for 5 years now so we know each other very well. As one of them said “Its a bit like getting undressed together!”

Many Chartered Accountants call themselves “Accountants and business advisors”. To be honest, many of them have never really run a business themselves, or they have run a pretty sloppy one so I’m not really sure quite how they can advise their clients on how to.

I’ve been an owner of BW for over 20 years, and have many clients running small and medium businesses so I’ve gathered a bit of knowledge over the years.

Here are a few simple tips to running your business from me:
Read More »

Help us to help you

How you can help us to be more efficient with producing your end of year accounts and tax returns – so we can keep the costs down for you?

We understand that most people only have their accounts and tax returns done because they have to; it’s not a favourite expense of the business and you often don’t understand the time and cost it takes.

There’s a certain amount of work we just have to do in preparing your annual accounts and tax returns. I spelt some of it out in my last blog.

It is possible for you to help make this process more efficient, therefore quicker and cheaper.

We send you a checklist with a list of the information we require. Most of this is around compiling the working paper file to support your balances.

  • Make sure your bank reconciles to your accounting system. If you prepare a spread sheet cashbook and the totals don’t agree to the bank statement, we have to go through and find the difference. Even in straight forward systems like Xero there can be items that sit as unreconciled in the bank account. Check the bank reconciliation report. If you need help fixing these up, we’re happy to give you some training.
  • The same applies to any other operating systems you use. For example a stock system or fixed asset system. It needs to agree to your accounting system, or we have to find the difference.
  • Provide bank statements as at the balance date, for all bank accounts, credit cards and bank loans.
  • If you only keep cash records through the year we need to pick up all amounts owing to you and by you at the end of the year, provide us with a list.
  • Take a physical stocktake at balance date. If you have a computerised stock system, compare the totals. It’s the cost of that stock we’re after, not your selling price.
  • If you’ve had any unusual transactions bring them to our attention and provide supporting documentation.
  • Provide copies of all invoices requested. Generally this is around being able to prove the cost of an asset, or why an expense in repairs and maintenance or computer expenses is not a fixed asset. It also helps make sure we list the asset correctly on your asset list and claim as much depreciation as we can.
  • Provide details of any loans or hire purchases taken out during the year.

Read More »

Business Planning

There’s a quote that says “Failing to Plan, is planning to Fail.” (Alan Lakein, adapted from a saying from Winston Churchill).

That sounds a bit drastic, I’m sure nobody plans to fail but there’s an element of truth in it. Every business does need to continue to grow, adapt and develop, even just to stand still. Otherwise it will stagnate and lose ground in the market place.

You have to have goals to be able to plan forward. So the first step in any plan is working out what your goals are (both for the business and the business owners). We know that not everyone wants their business to grow into a huge multi-national corporation, or even to become a business that a multi-national corporation would want to buy. But what do you want from your business? It may be to have an amount of money in the bank; it may be a certain lifestyle. It may be to be able to work doing something you love, in the hours you want to spend in it, and earning enough to have a comfortable lifestyle. And the money, time and energy to do the other things in your life you enjoy.
(The kiwi goals of bach, boat and bmw). Read More »