• Follow-up flags in Xero

    | Categories: Online Accounting , Record Keeping , Tips , Xero

    Xero does not have any tagging or flagging system that would allow you to identify a transaction that has been coded but still needs some follow-up action or investigation.  However, you can simulate this using Tracking Categories. Xero provide two Tracking Categories that can be operated independently of each other.  Most Xero ledgers only use one or none of these two options.  If your ledger is already using both then you can’t use this approach, but for the other 99.9% – here’s how to create a flagging system.  It will only allow you to assign one flag per line, but that…

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  • Record Keeping 101

    | Categories: Business , Record Keeping

    We often get asked about what records you should keep, in what format, and how long you should keep them for. So here’s a quick guide to record-keeping for your business. What to Keep
    It is probably better to ask “what should I throw away?” The short answer is nothing. It is best practice to keep almost everything. From an expense perspective, you need to keep adequate records that prove that the expenses you have claimed were real, recorded correctly, and justifiably incurred in the process or pursuit of earning taxable revenue. For the first two parts, an invoice or receipt is usually sufficient. Additional notes are a good idea to help with the third. Who did you meet with? Why? What was the outcome? Common areas for the challenge here are entertainment, travel, and obscure training (that yoga retreat is only going to be deductible if you are a yoga instructor).

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  • Creating Buyer Created Tax Invoices in Xero

    | Categories: Record Keeping , Tax Invoice , Xero

    A “Buyer Created Tax Invoice” (sometimes referred to in other countries as a “Recipient Created Tax Invoice” or “RCTI”) is an invoice for sales tax purposes that is created by the purchaser of the goods rather than the seller of the goods. This is common in many industries especially where the purchaser has to assess the quality, quantity or price of the goods after they are delivered.

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  • Recent Changes in Xero

    | Categories: Accounting , Record Keeping , Xero

    The last eighteen months has seen some HUGE changes in Xero—our preferred online accounting system. Let’s run down just a few of the significant ones:
    Files
    About 18 months ago Xero added the ability to attach files to any transaction. You can email files in to a designated “inbox” and then move them to existing transactions or initiate a new transaction and have them attached automatically. In our office, and with many of our clients, we now scan all incoming bills and upload them to Xero. We don’t keep the originals anymore!
    Purchase Orders

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  • Go Directly to Jail, Do not pass Go, Give back $200

    | Categories: Accounting , ethics , Record Keeping , Tax Invoice

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    A few years back I was doing a minor alteration on the family home. One of the builders who I got in to do a quote gave me his price and then said “but if you can pay cash it will be $X” (a figure about 13% lower than his first quote). I didn’t hire him, even though I could have saved a nice chunk of change. I figured that if he was dishonest enough to defraud the government, what would stop him from trying to do the dirty on me as well. And with no records of the transaction, I would have nothing to fall back on.

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  • When Should You Call Your Accountant

    | Categories: Accounting , Accounts , Business , Record Keeping

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    Most people in business avoid calling their accountant. It’s a bit like going to the Dentist – you don’t know what they’re going to say but you presume that it’s not what you want to hear and you always get a big bill for the privilege. However, like going to the dentist, not checking with your accountant before making business decisions can often lead to more trouble down the line. Your accountant can often save you money by structuring things efficiently or avoiding pitfalls. It’s usually easier to start out the right way than trying to fix it after the fact.

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  • Update on Changes to Financial Reporting

    | Categories: Accounting , Business , Online Accounting , Record Keeping

    You may have heard about changes to the financial reporting legislation. In the short term, many people are finding it a bit hard to work out how or whether the changes affect them.
    The requirements are changing for some businesses that used to have to file financial statements based on the New Zealand version of International Financial Reporting Standards (NZ IFRS). For example, your requirements have changed if your business:

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  • Keeping a Mileage Log Book

    | Categories: Motor Vehicles , New Zealand , Record Keeping , Taxation

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Keeping a log of your motor vehicle mileage is an important (and often overlooked) aspect of your record keeping. In this article I will give you some pointers on how to properly maintain the required records. The requirements and issues are different for each of the three methods of accounting for motor vehicle expenses (for a primer on the different methods of handling motor vehicle expenses check out our earlier article “Pimping your Ride“):

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  • When an invoice is not a Tax Invoice

    | Categories: Accounting , Business , New Zealand , Record Keeping , Tax Invoice

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    I find it frustrating when I buy something for business and get given a receipt or till docket and find that it is not a valid tax invoice. It’s amazing how many businesses issue invoices that aren’t valid tax invoices for GST purposes. So, having the personality that I do, I point this out to the clerk/owner and politely request a “valid” tax invoice. The most common response I get is “we’ve been giving them out like this for years and no one has complained.” Yeah – maybe. But that doesn’t make it right! These rules haven’t changed in the time that GST has been around so there really is no excuse for not getting them right

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  • Getting Ready for your Year-End Accounts

    | Categories: Accounting , Accounts , Business , New Zealand , Record Keeping

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to New Zealand. If you are not a New Zealand business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    Last month I wrote about things that you should do BEFORE 31 March that could save you time or tax. This month I will highlight things that you should be doing now to make the process of creating your year-end accounts easier.

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