• Your Business Response Plan – what to do NOW?

    The onset of the COVID-19 crisis has put many businesses into lockdown and severely restricted revenue. Here are some thoughts on what you should be doing NOW to ensure that your business not only survives this crisis, but can thrive through it.

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  • What to do when your supply chain faces disruptions

    If your company relies on suppliers in various geographic locations, it’s likely that at some point your business will face a supply chain disruption. Whether that disturbance is caused by a virus, regulatory lockdown, international tensions, changes in local laws or a natural disaster, there will probably be scenarios in which your suppliers or transporters face obstacles that affect your company.

    Here are some steps you can take to respond to such situations and even prepare ahead of time for them.

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  • Communicating during a pandemic

    Most small business owners face a time in their career when they have to communicate in ways or about topics they aren’t comfortable with. COVID-19 has put small business owners in the position of having many conversations that are uncomfortable and stressful.

    Whether you’re communicating with employees about business issues during the pandemic, hoping to negotiate a rent reduction or changes to credit terms, or asking customers for help in keeping your store open, here are some strategies that will help you be more effective in your communications.

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  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Bookkeeping

    According to Wikipedia, bookkeeping is “the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business. Transactions include purchases, sales, receipts, and payments by an individual person or an organization/corporation. “Simply put, bookkeeping is an organized recording of financial transactions made in an organization. Or you can say that bookkeeping is all about recording and tracking the financial data across the business. Apart from businesses, bookkeeping is important for non-profit organizations as well as individuals. Bookkeeping provides the information from which accounts are managed. Therefore, maintaining solid and systematic bookkeeping ensures that the records of your financial transactions are accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive. In this digital era, digital or online accounting software makes bookkeeping easy and quick. A bookkeeper is supposed to record all data that are related, including but not limited to loan payments, invoices, monitoring asset depreciation, generating financial reports, payments.

    Contrary to popular belief, bookkeeping and accounting are not the same. Accounting is the overall practice of managing finances while bookkeeping deals with the tasks and practices involved in the recording of financial performance. Detailed and thorough bookkeeping is important for organizations of all sizes. Bookkeeping can become more complicated with the introduction of loans, assets, investments and taxes. Recording the financial activities of a business is the key purpose of bookkeeping, letting you keep up-to-date data of current incoming and outgoing amounts.

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  • Ways to run your business if you can’t open your premises

    The COVID-19 pandemic has proven challenging for many small business owners. It’s difficult to run your business remotely, especially if you’re not set up to do so. If you run a business that requires customers or clients to come to you, you might be very concerned about how you can continue to operate without opening your premises.

    If you have access to technology, are adaptable, and are willing to look into financial assistance, you can make it through this pandemic. Here are some ways to keep your business operational through COVID-19.

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  • COVID-19 and your Business (New Zealand)

    | Categories: New Zealand

    Things are moving fast. This page has already been superseded. Please consult our COVID-19 summary page for more direction.

    What you need to know about COVID-19 for your businessCOVID-19 is hitting business owners really hard. In this video Fuel Accountant’s founder, Peter McCarroll, discusses what you need to be thinking about and doing right now and what government assistance is available to you and your staff in New Zealand. Based on data available to 19 March 2020.

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  • COVID-19 and your Business (Canada)

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

    Things are moving fast. This page has already been superseded. Please consult our COVID-19 summary page for more direction.

    What you need to know about COVID-19 for your businessCOVID-19 is hitting business owners really hard. In this video Fuel Accountant’s founder, Peter McCarroll, discusses what you need to be thinking about and doing right now and what government assistance is available to you and your staff in Canada. Video is based on data available on 18 March 2020.

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE »


  • Why Your Business Needs Accounting Software

    Gone are the days when accountants used to spend a month at the end of the year going through the piles of ledgers. Today even the smallest organization owns some form of accounting software to simplify and organize their bookkeeping. However, if you still rely on the traditional bookkeeping practices, you know better how challenging it is to keep up with the high volume accounting and finance records. It is quite overwhelming for you to manually process every monetary transaction at the end of each month from the financial data resting in various accounting systems. Worse yet, inaccurate accounting data can cause a rippling impact in your business operation, from inventory to sales. It simply means that you are wasting your time and even putting your enterprise in jeopardy.

    Accounting software is a remedy to all these woes associated with finance management. Accounting software handles accounting and bookkeeping, including storing your enterprise’s financial data and business transactions. It’s an efficient solution that eliminates manual data entry, such as keying in data on the quote, processing the work order, and then performing the invoice. This way, it helps you with paying bills on time, invoicing customers, and managing your books. It also keeps you in compliance and avoids tax penalties. And the good thing is that you don’t need to be an accountant or a math freak to operate today’s accounting system. Thanks to their user-friendly interactive.

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  • Step 3 of Building a Better Business: Define exactly where you are now – warts and all

    This crucial step is so often overlooked. But without knowing your starting point, you don’t know what your path to success looks like. It sounds obvious, but many business owners plan for the future without fully understanding where they are now.

    Answer the following questions honestly to help define where you are now (warts and all):

    1. How aligned are the owners / leaders of your business?
    If asked independently, would the leaders have the same vision for the business? Conflict must be addressed and thinking aligned before we can plan the future.

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  • Step 2 of Building a Better Business: Be open to change and new learning

    It’s amazing what we, as humans, don’t even know that we don’t know. New learning opportunities are everywhere, and in this digital world, there’s simply no excuse to avoid new learning.

    Consider how many new things a five-year-old learns each day. Children enthusiastically embrace the world of possibility and the desire to learn. Why is it that, the older we get, the more likely we are to close our minds to new learning?

    We’re all busy, and sometimes we feel like we just don’t have the time to sit down and read a book. We need to make the time. Set yourself targets and share these with someone who will hold you accountable to achieving these.

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  • Step 1 of Building a Better Business: Define what success looks like for you

    What exactly does your better business look like? Be crystal clear on what you want from your business; it’s there to serve you, not the other way around.

    The average person spends 40,000 hours at work over their lifetime and life is simply too short to be stuck doing things we don’t enjoy. Make the most of your time and do what you love doing.

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  • Best Practices for using Xero

    | Categories: Bank Reconciliation , Bookkeeping , Xero

    We have lots of clients who do their own bookkeeping in Xero. Here are our Best Practices for managing your own bookkeeping:

    • Keep your personal transactions out of the business bank account.  If you need to spend on something personal transfer funds to your personal account and pay from there!  The transfer to yourself (and any personal spending you do include) is Drawings/Shareholder Loan.
    • Add your expenses as Bills or Spend money as you incur them.  This will avoid missing things.  Use Xero’s Email to Files or Email to Bills feature to get documents into the queue, or for more powerful features talk to us about Receipt Bank.

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE »


  • Building a Better Business in 10 Steps

    You’re in business, congratulations, that takes courage and commitment.

    It’s not easy, and at times you might question why you’re even doing it, particularly after the impact Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns had on business.

    But you’re here because you had a vision. You decided being in business was a better way to achieve that vision than working for someone else. And, you’re right; you just have to work on it.

    CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE »


  • Should I take Dividend or a Salary from my Corporation?

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

    Many Canadian business owners operate their business through a corporation rather than as a Sole Proprietor. The most common question we get is whether the owner should draw their income as a salary or as dividends. The answer, like most tax questions, is: It depends!

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  • Should I make charitable contributions from my company or personally?

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

    Many Canadians support non-profit organisations through Charitable Contributions. But as a business owner, which is the most tax-efficient way to donate? Through your corporation or personally? The answer, like most tax questions, is: It depends!

    Let’s look at a scenario of a company with $80,000 in net income and a target $5,000 donation. For the sake of this example we are assuming that this is a Corporation (not a Sole Proprietor – see below), all income is active business income eligible for the Small Business Deduction, the owner is receiving remuneration exclusively by dividend, company is distributing all available bet income to the owner and has no other income or deductions. I am using 2019 Ontario tax rates.

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  • Don’t be blasé about tax debt

    | Categories: New Zealand , 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.

    When it comes to paying bills, we often tend to be blasé and put our financial responsibilities into the too hard basket. Ignoring debt is the easy option at the time but eventually things catch up with you. When it comes to paying tax, it is even more important to stay on top of your obligations to avoid potential tax debt. So what happens if I do get behind? You should try to avoid getting to this point, but it is likely the IRD will contact you if you miss your payments.

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  • Starting a Business?

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

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

    Wonderful – welcome to the excitement of owning your own business. If you’re still in the early stages of starting your business here are some things you might want to do early:

    Incorporate a Company

    There are several advantages of trading as a Corporation rather than a Sole Proprietor. These include:

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  • Withholding Tax Changes for Contractors

    | Categories: New Zealand , 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.

    For the purpose of these changes a contractor is someone who supplies their labour to a third person as an “independent contractor”. Those in the trades are commonly referred to as contractors and may not necessarily be affected by these changes (although labor-only subcontractors are). The changes are:

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  • Improving Your Management Skills Is Key To Your Success

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    One thing that constantly amazes us is how quickly each year passes. The days, weeks, and months seem to roll into one, and before you know it, 8 months have passed. You’re left wondering ‘where did the time go?’

    Now that’s okay as long as you plan accordingly. However, most people spend more time planning their holidays than planning their time. 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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  • What documents should I keep?

    Blog by Fuel Accountants

    You need to retain sufficient documentation to substantiate your claim to an expense deduction and GST Input Tax Credit. The requirements are slightly stricter for something that includes GST (Note: GST refers equally to GST, HST and QST – we’ve simplified to GST here).

    Debit/Credit Card receipts and Paypal transaction receipts are generally not sufficient – they are merely proof that a transaction occurred and contain much of the same information as found on the bank statement, but not much else – you should keep the original invoice/order detail.

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