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We believe in passing on knowledge.

Cloud accounting is transforming small business financial management. More and more businesses are choosing a cloud product to run their business, achieving cost and time efficiencies as well as superior reporting and other benefits.

To find out more about the two leading products on the market (MYOB and Xero) and to help you assess which will provide the best solution for your business, attend our free seminar in March. Click here for more information.

Netiquette - Maintaining Your Inbox


1.  Have trouble receiving emails from certain people?  Add their email address to your approved senders or address book so they get through your spam filter.

2.  Clear your spam filter regularly. Nine times out of ten this is where that important email you were expecting ended up.

3.  Regularly check your junk email.  Sometimes important emails will end up here so don't bin them by mistake.

In our last blog post we talked about how to recognise burnout - before you get burnt. However, if you feel you feel you might be starting to burnout, here's some ideas for minimising the effects:

1. Establish a morning ritual.  Don't start the day late, groggy or hungry. Enjoy time in a favoured spot (living room, local café etc). Feed your brain, breathe and ease into the day.

2.. Exercise regularly. It will increase blood flow to your brain, relieve stress and offer much needed time out from work.

3. Expand your social horizon.  As they say, get a life! Don't be trapped by daily boredom. Bring back variety.

4. Relinquish control.  Enjoy your time outside the office; your business can probably survive without you.

5.. A holiday is a break from work. Turn on your Out of Office message, record a detailed voicemail message, ignore your mobile and if necessary delegate responding duties.

6. Get out and improve strategic brain flow! Partake in regular strategic brainstorming outside of the office.

7. Don't get hung up on what hasn't been done. Focus on the current task and give it your undivided attention.

8. Don't take on other people's issues. It's great to support a colleague or employee in personal conflict but don't let someone else's baggage weigh you down.

9. Learn to say no.  Too much on your plate? Surrender! Analyse what is consuming your time and delegate.

10. Invest in your personal development. Grow your skills, both relevant to and independent of your current role, You will never know when a new role could emerge.

11. Carefully manage your calendar.  Leave space for impromptu things and 'share' your schedule with others.

12.. Writ a blog. Direct some of that pent-up creativity and vision online - it might even help your business!

13. Become a volunteer. It might satisfy you to offer your skills to something outside of your own organisation.

14. Get back to the drawing board. Review your job description and key tasks, what could you do better, more creatively? Just imagine it's your first day on the job.

Burnout can take years to set in and finding the right solutions won't happen overnight either. Learn to recognise your triggers and the reasons why you're feeling stressed by your working life. Then you can make direct choices to get back on track.

Recognising burnout - before you get burnt


Whilst you've just had a summer holiday and hopefully are rested and refreshed, it's important to remember that burnout can sneak up on you. Burnout is a contributing factor in the downfall of many SMEs. What once made you joyously jump out of bed can leave you hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock.

There are many reasons for burning out:

- Burning the candle at both ends. Driven workaholics often find their ambition pushes them over the edge.

- You're tired and bored.  You've been a mouse on the same wheel for too long and productivity is probably slipping along with your enthusiasm.

- You're under-stimulated. Your current role offers few challenges and little recognition of your skills. You feel unmotivated, on a one-way trip to nowhere.

Any bells ringing? Perhaps it's time to figure out why you're feeling this way in order to make effective choices and get your career on track. Your job accounts for roughly 40% of your waking life - generally it should be stimulating and enjoyable.

Christmas Holidays 2013/14


Our office is now closed until Monday 13 January 2014. Wishing you a very happy Christmas and holiday season and we look forward to working with you in 2014.

The concept of green business is nothing new. As the world embraces cloud based software and aims to reduce carbon emissions, it's time to get on board - whether you're motivated by minimising costs, attracting energy conscious customers or making a difference.

According to the EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) most businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and save at least 20% of their energy costs. It's estimated that 10% can be saved through simple no/low cost actions (with a payback of 12 months or less) and a further 10% with some investment and a longer payback of 1 - 5 years.

Nominate an energy saving leader who'll oversee the development of a meaningful plan and its implementation. Remember it's best to make several changes at once.... you'll notice a real difference and happily monitor your on-going success. Being energy conscious should be a part of your business' daily decision making process.

For more information visit the EECA business website at www.eecabusiness.govt.nz. You'll find some nifty tools and calculators to help you measure your existing footprint and the success/savings you'll achieve as you implement subtle changes in your business.

The Remote Workforce


Working remotely can be an attractive proposition for both employers and employees. The virtual worker is rewarded with job flexibility - providing their services from home, separate or even multiple office locations. The employer can streamline their business, and minimise overheads.

The fundamental reason for this increasingly popular workforce is the growing access to technology. Technology such as the smart phone and tablet are becoming mainstream amongst professionals. We can now perform tasks very effectively from almost any location. Quite simply, technology is driving efficiency and communication.

Remote workers can wear whatever they want, avoid traffic and related travel costs, potentially dictate their working hours, all while avoiding the bulk of office distractions and internal politics. In some industries, it's highly likely that this style of working and managing will be prevalent in the future.

As the world heads towards the 'post PC phase', now is the time to test the 'remote office' with your staff. If you remain inflexible you may miss the boat and run the risk of losing touch with your employees and customers. If your competitors are cutting operating costs by managing a virtual workplace, this will be reflected in their prices and their share of the market place.

There are possible downsides. Workers may feel out of touch, find it harder to communicate with their seniors, losing sight of a tasks and predetermined outcomes. Achieving the ultimate remote work balance will be important and perhaps heavily dependent on management.

Not everyone is suited to this style of working - or managing. The virtual workplace suits self-motivated employees, capable of working around distractions, and comfortable working in solitude. If your employee doesn't tick these boxes then perhaps they're better off in the office.

Holidays for busy business owners


Think you don't have time to take a holiday? Holidays are vital for tired, stressed business owners. Not only is the habit of taking regular holidays linked to reduced mortality and lower incidence of heart disease, but holidays have myriad benefits.

Going away with friends and loved ones, or taking solo time out is great for your mental health, reducing risk of depression and also alleviating stress. Extra sunshine helps boost Vitamin D and a few hours' extra sleep helps our well-being in general.

Holidays also allow more time to bond with family and make exercise fun. Go for walks on the beach, a city walking tour, hiking and tramping or playing backyard cricket.

Depending on your destination, you are likely to expand your mind also. All that botany, marine biology, history and culture leave little room to stress out about the banalities of the office. And there is the added benefit of keeping your mind challenged and taking your family members on a voyage of discovery.

A reminder, you are no longer able to use investment losses such as from rental properties to reduce your income for working for families (WFF) tax credit.

The definition of income now also includes an extra nine types of income:

  1. Attributable trustee income
  2. Attributable fringe benefits
  3. PIE income other than registered superannuation schemes such as Kiwisaver and retirement benefit schemes
  4. Passive income earned by children (includes interest, dividends and rent). Amounts over $500 per child will be included as family income
  5. Worldwide income received by a non-resident spouse
  6. Tax exempt salary or wages under specific international agreements
  7. Income equalisation deposits made by you, your trust or a company controlled by you or your trust
  8. Certain pension and annuities - includes 50% of payments from life insurance policies or a superannuation fund (excludes NZ super)
  9. Other payments received from any sources that are used for your family's day-to-day living expenses (but only if the total amount from those sources is more than $5,000). An example of this might be board received.

In future, when you apply for WFF tax credits, you'll need to let IRD know about amounts from any of the above sources.

For those clients who receive or are entitled to WFF credits, when we prepare your tax return we'll need to request the above information.

Renting your beach house out?


New rules on claiming expenses for mixed-use assets such as holiday homes (assets being used both privately and for earning income) have been passed in to law.

Previously expenses have been subject to a private to business ratio (including when the asset was available for use even if it wasn't being used). The new rules restrict the deductibility of this expenditure by limiting the expenditure allowed for the period that the asset is available for use and not used.

Even though these rules have just been enacted, they actually apply from 1 April 2013. If you own any assets such as a holiday bach or a boat and rent these out during the year, please come and talk to us. The government has publicly stated they are expecting an extra $50m in revenue from these new rules, so they will be enforced.

Call us on (09) 576 4166 for assistance.

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