• Office Parties – Deductible or not?

    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.

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  • Christmas Presents

    | Categories: New Zealand , Tax , Taxation

    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.

    Thinking about giving your staff a well-deserved Christmas Present of Bonus this year? Cash bonuses are always subject to

    PAYE and should be put through your standard payroll process. There is a category called “Extra Emolument” designed to avoid overly penalizing lump sum payments. Other non-cash gifts (gift baskets, flowers, vouchers, etc., are subject to the FBT rules. An FBT-free allowance of $300 per employee per quarter is available.

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  • Handling Retail Sales in Xero

    | Categories: Xero

    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.

    So you have a retail outlet and are using Xero to manage your accounting. Great start. But in retail you have a number of settlement issues. There are sales on account, customers may pay on account over the counter, EFTPOS (debit cards) and various credit cards may settle on different days and some settle gross and some settle net of commissions. How do you handle all this?
    First, let me recommend that you consider using a Point of Sale system that integrates with Xero. We use Vend, and highly recommend it. Vend has a Register Close function that will handle the balancing of each register and post the appropriate totals to Xero. If you would like to look at implementing Vend please let us know – we are Vend partners and can help you evaluate, implement and integrate properly with Xero.

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  • What You Can Learn From My Recent Experience Of Buying A Car For My Son

    My eldest son, Thomas, turned 17 last November. Since then, in between his studying, he has been learning to drive (no accidents yet, although his driving instructor reliably informs me there have been a few close shaves!). He will shortly be taking his test, so my wife Helen and I decided to buy him his first car (ouch!).
    As always, I can’t help myself in evaluating the sales process businesses use. Most businesses really don’t have any ’process’ at all when it comes to sales and selling and, whilst the car industry is a fairly old and sophisticated market in terms of ’selling’, it’s no surprise to me that there are hugely differing approaches, most of which SUCK.
    One of the problems we have in the UK is that once new drivers pass their test, especially at 17 – 21 years old (but in particular at 17 and 18 years old), the insurance companies hike their prices to a ridiculous level. So much so that it just wasn’t feasible to put Thomas on either my wife’s car insurance or mine (the lowest figure was £8,400 a year – yes, that’s eight thousand four hundred pounds!). Typically, most people will therefore drive very small cars with engine sizes of less than 1.4cc.

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  • Offsetting Receivables Invoices and Payables Bills in Xero

    | Categories: Payables , Receivables , Xero

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    There are plenty of times when you need to be able to offset Receivable Invoices against Payable Bills. This is usually the case when you working on “trade” with someone (no cash changes hands, but you each do work of equal value to each other – you still need to account for the HST and income tax on these transactions) or where you allow a customer to offset an amount you owe them from their bill.

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  • Fixing Common Bank Reconciliation Problems in Xero

    | Categories: Bank Reconciliation , Xero

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    The Bank Reconcile screen is one of my favourite places in Xero. It was, and still is, what makes Xero a clear leader over the other cloud-based accounting systems. If used properly it puts an end to unnecessary data entry and reconciliations. But there is always a catch – if used properly! It is possible to be unreconciled even if you no more entries in the reconcile screen or if the Statement Balance equals the Balance in Xero.

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  • Working with Petty Cash in Xero

    | Categories: Petty Cash , Xero

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    Most businesses deal with Petty Cash at some stage. For the sake of clarity here I will define “Petty Cash” to refer to managing disbursements from a central pool of cash. The following are not meant to be addressed in this article as they are covered elsewhere:

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  • Reimbursing yourself for out of pocket expenses

    | Categories: Xero

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    As a business owner it’s not uncommon for you to have to pay business expenses from your personal funds. While we have previously written about the importance of keeping business and personal transactions separate we also know that in reality it happens. Whether it’s some cash spending from your wallet, using a personal credit card, or office expenses on the same receipt as domestic expenses, you need to be able to get these items into Xero (or other accounting system) so that you can claim back the HST and get the appropriate tax deduction for them.

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  • Paying Expenses/Making Multiple Personalities Work for You

    | Categories: Building Strategy , Business , Business Growth

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    When you own a business everyone’s got their hands out for some of your money. Whether it’s employees, suppliers, the government or even customers – you’re paying bills and paying people left-right, and center. But it’s not just business – you have a family and friends and the sports club and the girl's night out – many things that require you to make payments. Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep it all straight. In fact – it really is like having multiple personalities with you that sometimes all try to come out together,

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  • Fixing Bank Reconciliation “Out of Balance” problems in Xero

    | Categories: Bank Reconciliation , Xero

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    Xero is a highly complex accounting environment. While the developers have worked wonders to make it simple and user friendly, this approach often masks the fact that it is a complicated accounting system under the hood! The bank reconciliation process in Xero, if provided with correct data and intelligent user interaction, should result in a perfect bank reconciliation where everything balances as expected. But the reality is that this does not always happen.

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  • Repeating Journals in Xero

    | Categories: Xero

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    UPDATE

    Xero has now implemented Repeating Manual Journals. The actually reached out to us for feedback because of this article. We’ve kept this article here just so that we can gloat – although it is no longer necessary!!

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

    | Categories: Accounting , 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

    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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  • Evaluating employment changes

    | Categories: Business , New Zealand

    A new report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment looks at outcomes of key changes to employment law made in 2011 to see if they are working as intended.
    What the changes were meant to do
    The broad aims of the changes were to:

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE »


  • Moments Of Truth

    | Categories: Small Business , Business

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    Creating Outstanding Customer Service Levels To Obliterate The Competition

    In 1987 Jan Carlzon, the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines, wrote the book, ‘Moments Of Truth’. It explained how he took the airline from deficit to profit by ‘moving’ the airline to a customer-focused organisation.

    Now, as you know, there have been many books written on customer service, but where this book and Carlzon’s strategies really differ is his focus on each interaction the customer has with the business.

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE »


  • Minimum Wage heads up

    | Categories: Business , New Zealand

    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.

    After the government increased the minimum wage rates earlier this year, it made a further amendment to the Minimum Wage Order, issuing a new fortnightly rate. The fortnightly rate is $1,140 for adult employees and $912 for starting-out workers and trainees. If you’re an employer already fully compliant with minimum wage requirements and your employees’ hours don’t vary from week to week, stop reading here. For you, nothing has changed.

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  • Focus On Customer Frustrations & Your Profits Will Take Care Of Themselves!

    | Categories: Business

    We recently returned from a week’s holiday in Turkey. I love spending time away with the family—these days it’s the only real quality time we get together. Plus, it gives me time to catch up on reading. I often read what I consider to be ‘classics’ again and again. One of those books is ‘Broken Windows, Broken Business’ by Michael Levine. I read it again in Turkey.
    The book focuses on the principle that neglecting ‘small’ problems ultimately ends in anarchy. It was a principle founded by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in 1982 and put into practice by mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1993. He basically cleaned up New York with his tough stance and zero tolerance on the ‘small’ crimes such as graffiti and prostitution.

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  • Update on Changes to Financial Reporting

    | Categories: Accounting , Business , Online Accounting

    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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  • 5 Simple Time Management Strategies To Increase Productivity & Accelerate Your Growth

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    One thing that constantly amazes me is how quickly each year passes. The days, weeks and months seem to roll into one, and before you know it 6 months has passed. You’re left wondering ‘where did the time go?’ Now that’s okay as long as you plan your year out. However, most people spend more time planning their holidays than planning THEIR YEAR AHEAD.

    If you plan – you get more done, much more done. If you fail to plan and set goals it’s surprising how little you’ll accomplish.

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  • Is Facebook right for your business

    | Categories: Business

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    The world of social media has come a long way in recent years and Facebook, in order to stay at the top of its game, has taken the phenomenon one step further. Offering strategic marketing solutions, paid advertising and even the option to sell retail online, Facebook has created a portal for businesses to get their name out in the marketplace with ease and in real-time.

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