Facing challenges? Change your mindset

In today's world, we are constantly having to tackle new things and learn new skills. It can be overwhelming,... if you let it. Next time you feel like saying ‘I can’t do it’, replace it with ‘I can’t do it, yet’.

Support for farmers

Farmers under financial strain now have access to extra support and guidance. The Farm Debt Mediation Scheme came into play on 1 July and provides mediation services to help farmers and their creditors work through debt issues.

Support for commercial rent disputes

Many commercial lease arrangements in New Zealand have been affected by the response to COVID-19. Tenants may be unable to pay their rent as their business is not fully operating or generating sufficient income. Landlords may also be unable to meet their mortgage payments.

How do you invoice during a crisis?

It’s not easy to request payment right now but it is important to keep cash flowing into your business. As with all business dealings at them moment, a little empathy and a lot of open communication can go a long way.

Cashflow and cost control crucial now

Keeping everything running is the priority for now, whether you’re in recovery or growth mode. Regular cashflow forecasts will help you make informed decisions. And controlling your costs will potentially free up cash. We share more here.

How carry back of tax losses can help you through COVID-19

As part of the Government’s Covid-19 response, on 30 April 2020 legislation was passed under urgency that allows tax losses to be offset against income derived in a previous year, thereby enabling the taxpayer to obtain a refund comprising prior year income tax paid. This temporary tax loss carry-back scheme is available to most taxpayers, e.g. trusts, companies and individuals.

Pandemic rules that get you thinking

As we’ve moved through our COVID-19 alert levels, it’s taken some time for the rules to be refined and communicated. Not to make light of the importance of the rules, other countries have adopted some ‘interesting’ lockdown directions.

Budget 2020 Rebuilding Together – our take

Touted as a once in a generation Budget, yesterday the Government announced a $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, $20 billion of which remains uncommitted and will be allocated in the months to come. This fund builds on top of the initial $12.1 billion package, and the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced in January.

Insolvency relief

The Government is introducing urgent law changes to the Companies Act to give directors temporary relief from potential personal liability when the business faces significant liquidity problems.  The changes will not cover serious breaches of duty.

The value of a brand style guide

Your brand is an integral part of what makes your business unique. So, keeping your brand style consistent across all communications, marketing and online channels is important – and this is where having a brand style guide can become invaluable.

Can you steal GST?

Whether a price includes GST or not is important to know for the price of a product. In the case between New Zealand Police and Genesis Pure, ‘GST’ became the difference between a maximum penalty of seven years in jail, or one.

COVID-19 economic response package and you

The rapid escalation of New Zealand’s official response to COVID-19 is having impact on our business community - in some cases, it’s already significant. We believe that business owners and managers, ourselves included, will find dealing with the coming months challenging.  We want to assure you that we are here to support you.

Joining forces to strengthen our service

From next week, our cloud-based accounting expertise will strengthen when we are joined by our colleagues from HWI Limited under the Moore Markhams banner. Initially this will be from our home bases but we look forward to bringing them into our Newmarket offices once the COVID-19 situation is over.

Employee phones and PAYE / FBT

The devil is in the detail and there are conditions around employees using mobile phones and how PAYE and FBT rules apply. Recently Inland Revenue provided an easy rule of thumb for employers to adopt.

GST on loan repayments

GST is deducted on goods and services that are acquired for use in making taxable supplies. A recent High Court decision is a timely reminder that understanding the legal form of a transaction is important for applying the correct GST treatment.

Changes to donation tax credits

The Income Tax Act 2007 requires a donation to be a “…gift of money of $5 or more…”, but what does this phrase mean? Confusion arises because monetary gifts can take various forms. A dispute on the issue has been making its way through the Courts.

Work. Sleep. Eat. Repeat?

Working harder is not always smarter. Burnout is common among business owners and staff who are pushed to the limits. Ultimately, it’s not good for business or your personal life to be burning the candle at both ends. But how on earth are you expected to fit it all in?! Find a better balance with these helpful hacks.

Sharon Parker retires after 30 years

After 30 years attending to the financial needs of businesses from Wairarapa and further afield, Sharon is looking forward to a change in direction. This will be an exciting time for her as whilst some of her plans are mapped out there will also be something of a leap into the unknown.

Why you must set SMART goals

“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot”. A SMART goal has five parameters; any goal (if you want to achieve it) must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Need help resetting the goals in your Business Plan?

Wacky business ideas

Ever dreamt of being your own boss? Well, millions of people have turned that dream into a reality and some even claim it’s easy! Based on some of the strange, yet successful, business ideas out there, they might just be right.

Court case – tax avoidance arrangement

While all taxpayers are entitled to arrange their affairs in a tax efficient manner, tax should not be the main motive for a transaction with no commercial substance. Two recent (connected) cases at the Taxation Review Authority demonstrate why.

The Trust Act 2019 – key points

The recently passed Trust Act 2019 takes principles and rules in relation to trusts from the old 1956 act plus rules and principles that are now in common law and puts them into easily accessible legislation. We provide more details here.

Happy customers, happy bottom line

If customers are unhappy, they’ll leave you for one of your competitors. Customer satisfaction is important to any business, but the earlier you are in the growth of your business, the more critical it is to ensure that your early customers are highly satisfied.

What is influencer marketing?

With more choice than ever in consumer goods, brands are turning to individuals who promote to their large social media fan base. Called influencer marketers they may not be famous but have a huge online fan base.
 

Becoming a mentor

If you’ve got experience in business, there are others out there who want to learn from you. Passing on your business knowledge to help another person succeed can be a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally.

The cost of a new employee

It's a big decision to commit to having a new member on the team but the right person will drive your business forward or give you more time in your day. Here’s help to identify the costs.

Insuring your business

When it comes to business, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Protecting your business with the right insurance policy can guard against risk and compensate for any losses. Have the right policies and review them annually.

Identify growth opportunities

Business growth doesn’t need to mean more risk, more hours and more headaches. To be successful, start by identifying the opportunities for growth in your business and industry. Then take the first step to achieving it.

Calling time on cheques

IR received more than 430,000 cheques last financial year. ACC received around 25,000 cheques from business customers. From March 2020, they say ‘no more’. Read their plans to help customers switch to alternatives.

Until debt tear us apart

Don’t procrastinate on the collection of your debtors! The longer you leave it, the harder it becomes to get paid. Get in touch to review your payment terms and find out how you can get paid faster.

GST on land - Holdaway v Ellwood

It is common for disagreements to arise between taxpayers and Inland Revenue on the GST treatment of land transactions, but less common for these disputes to arise between a vendor and purchaser.

Profit vs cash

There’s a massive difference between profit and cash. Let’s explore the differences to make a better plan to increase both.

14 apps to help improve your business' productivity

We seem busier than ever without necessarily achieving much more. It’s time you made technology work for you, to save time and streamline processes. We have rounded up some of the best apps to maximise your productivity by addressing your communication, organisation, password management, performance and focus.

The Great Annual Street Appeal

Facebook has been in the headlines recently after announcing an ambitious foray into the cryptocurrency market with its new currency, Libra. Backed by Facebook, Visa, Mastercard, Uber, Paypal, Spotify and more than 20 other major global brands it represents a significant step forward in global acceptance of alternate, online currencies.

Wellbeing Budget 2019 – what it means for business

It has been said that a government is the only vessel that leaks from the top and this seemed an appropriate adage in the lead up to this year’s budget announcement. After numerous leaks and accusations of hacking in the days preceding the announcement, yesterday the government delivered New Zealand’s first Wellbeing Budget. Needless to say, there was not a lot of surprises.

GST and land sales

In 2011, the GST Act was amended to prescribe that a supply of land between two GST registered parties was subject to a rate of zero percent if the land was to be used by the purchaser to make taxable supplies and not as a principal place of residence.

You versus your Trust

It is common from a layman’s perspective to not appreciate the relevance of treating separate legal entities as separate. A recent High Court decision has an important precedent.

When is a gift not a donation?

If an individual pays “…a monetary gift of $5 or more…” to a charity they are able to claim one third of it back from Inland Revenue.  Prior to 1 April 2008, individuals could only claim donations of up to $1,890, i.e. a refund of $630.

Winding up a company

If a company does not file its annual return with the Companies Office, it may be struck off from the Companies Register. This is sometimes used as a ‘short-cut’ method, rather than completing the short-form company liquidation process.

Think hard about passwords

Are your computers satisfactorily password protected? Similarly, if someone got hold of your computer, could they easily access your bank account? If you have memorised usernames and passwords, are bank accounts still adequately protected?

Company record keeping

We share a reminder of the legal requirements from the Companies Act 1993 (section 189). The Act requires that a company must keep the following documents at its registered office:

Take the drama out of end-of-year

The end of the financial year can be either stressful or a seamless part of what you do. Ideally, your end-of-year accounts will confirm what you think your business has been doing for the past 12 months.

Anti-Money laundering regulations

Since 2013, financial institutions, such as banks, have had to comply with Anti-Money Laundering regulations. These rules have now been extended to other businesses providing financial services, such as real estate agents, accountants and lawyers.

Deductibility of bad debts

Many of the costs associated with running a business can be claimed as a tax-deductible expense, but not all. The Income Tax Act dictates that to be deductible, expenses must be incurred in the course of deriving assessable income, or in running a business.

Payday filing becoming compulsory

The way employers report payroll information to Inland Revenue (IRD) is changing. From 1 April 2018, IRD introduced a new electronic reporting system, providing employers the option of filing payroll information every payday. 

Let’s talk fraud and internal controls

Fraud. It does happen, but there are ways your organisation can work to prevent it from occurring. Having good internal controls – policies and procedures that ensure the integrity of accounting and financial information – can reduce the opportunities for fraud to be committed.

Transform your organisation from the inside out

Recently Moore Stephens Markhams Wellington directors Abbey Warner and Bruce Stormer engaged the services of Cathy Sheppard, the founder and ‘top trainer’ of BSI People Skills, an organisation that builds and strengthens individuals and teams, resulting in a transformed workplace culture.

How cyber-secure are you?

Blackmail, extortion and identity theft might sound like something straight out of a blockbuster movie but cyber crime is not only a reality, it’s on the rise and research shows the average Kiwi business isn’t prepared.
 

Employee engagement leads to business success

Modern HR practice considers people managers to be at the forefront of the employee experience, with employee engagement stemming directly from an employee’s relationship with their manager. It is often said that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. 

Tax Working Group Interim Report

The Labour Government established the Tax Working Group (the Group) in January 2018 to review the existing New Zealand tax framework and to provide recommendations for improvements to the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system over the next 10 years. 

Risky business: managing cyber threats

The digital revolution is well and truly upon us and businesses are reaping the rewards. Online accounting software automates bookkeeping, cloud solutions increase computing capacity while saving costs, online stores open up whole new markets for retailers. It goes on.
 

Proposed tax changes

The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018-19, Modernising Tax Administration, and Remedial Matters) Bill was introduced into Parliament in June 2018. 

Foreign shares and FIF

The global economy is seeing New Zealand (NZ) taxpayers invest in overseas companies. However, many people acquire foreign investments without understanding how they will be taxed. 
 

To claim or not to claim?

Planning a summer business trip with a personal holiday tacked on the end? Renting out the bach and unsure what expenses can be claimed? Whatever your situation, we want to make sure you’re getting the expense claim tax break you’re entitled to.

FBT… so what can you do?

An expert, independent set of eyes will help you determine what you need to do in all cases, what you don’tneed to do, and also how to go about doing it (including creating proper documentation).

Cryptocurrency and your tax obligations

Over the last decade, the use of digital or virtual currencies, known as ‘cryptocurrencies’, has grown dramatically in popularity. Operating in the digital world doesn’t absolve you from your tax obligations; it also doesn’t mean your activity is untraceable.

Bright-line breach warning

The bright-line test came into force from October 2015, introducing rules that a profit derived on the sale of a residential property is subject to tax if sold within two years of purchase, albeit subject to some exceptions such as the family home. These rules have recently been revised to extend the bright-line period from two years to five.

Daisy Jake Hairdressing | Styling hair and growing business a hand in hand success

After being a hairdresser for 24 years, winning numerous awards, managing a large hair salon with 27 staff and training hairdressers, Kerri decided the time was right to start her own hairdressing salon. Kerri Cox bubbles with enthusiasm when she talks about opening her hairdressing salon, Daisy Jake, almost a year ago. “It’s awesome and going fantastically,” she says.