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We believe in passing on knowledge.

 If a business owner said to you that they run their business without a budget, what would you think? You'd think they were incompetent. Or perhaps lazy? Or both?

But what do most families do?

When you think about it, a family is actually a mini business. There is income, there are expenses and there is, hopefully, something left over to invest and to enjoy.

So why don't most families operate to a budget?

After all, a personal budget helps you to see your financial direction and helps you stay (or get back!) on track. It's a great comfort.

One reason some people don't put together a budget is the feeling of being  overwhelmed, of being too busy, of feeling like life is too complex to keep track of all that.

Well the good news is we can handhold you through the process and make it easy for you.

But before we look at the 'how' aspects, let's consider 3 more reasons why a personal budget is such an important tool to help you achieve your financial goals and dreams.

  1. Most of your money is already spoken for long before you get it

The money you earn has already been promised to keep the electricity on, make the loan repayments and pay for the insurance. Most of what many people think of as budgeting is really honouring the commitments you have already have.

Now since we are all honest people and plan to pay these bills, the first step is to track these bills and see what is left over for your day-to-day living.

Read more…

Cloud computing and web-based apps have undoubtedly improved business efficiency. But once you and your team start using various online apps, one aspect quickly becomes inefficient (not to mention downright annoying): having to repeatedly enter usernames and passwords to log in.

It's bad enough having to enter a multitude of login credentials when you first open the apps each morning. But many apps automatically log you out if you haven't been using them for a few minutes. And while it's a nice security feature, it means you have to repeat the entire process whenever you take a breather.

Wouldn't it be great if a 'master control' app could automatically enter your username and password whenever an app asked for them? Of course, you'd have to log into the master control app first, and that login process would have to be very secure. But just imagine how much time and frustration it could save.

Read more…

electronic-signatures

"Signing on the dotted line." It wasn't all that long ago that phrase meant signing pen-on-paper. Increasingly these days it can also mean signing on-screen with a stylus-or even with your finger tip!-or by using your computer and keyboard.

So why have many businesses (including Paul Martin Chartered Accountant Ltd) moved to using electronic signatures? What are the advantages over using pen-on-paper for signatures on agreements?

In a word, efficiency. Electronic signatures provide efficiency gains at every point of the legal document process: from distribution, to storage, security and retrieval.

Why are businesses now finding the use of paper-based contracts and legal documents so inefficient?

Read more…

Small Business, Big Decisions: Why Savvy Business Owners 'Rent' CFO-Level Experience

Larger businesses have a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) on staff. But what can small and medium sized businesses do in this regard?

Clearly, larger businesses can afford an in-house CFO. But it goes beyond an affordability issue: Large, successful businesses also understand how crucial the CFO role is to their business performance.

The CFO in a business:

Why are business plans important for small businesses?
Some small business owners still seem a little confused about why business plans are important.

Well, our last two blogs discussed financial forecasting – in particular, how to get where you want to go and measure your progress along the way.

However, before you can start using them as a guide, there are two important things you need to know:

1. Where are you now?

2. Where do you want to be?

How do we answer these questions? We write a business plan.

Read more…

3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Budget Now

business budgeting

For many, the word 'budget' is about as appealing as the word 'diet'.

It seems to imply what you will go without, rather than what you will achieve.

To a successful business owner, however, the word 'budget' has a very different meaning.

It's more like a map than a diet. It's an outline of where you want to take the business, and what you need to achieve to get there.

Running a business without a budget is like a ship's captain setting off on a voyage without a map. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it. Who would do that?

Yet this is, figuratively speaking, what many business owners do.

Successful business owners, on the other hand, not only set clear targets and budgets each year, they monitor them closely each month, even each week, and adjust them as they go throughout the year.

Read more…

starting a businessThe year is just starting and there are many things you could do this year that could change your life - like perhaps starting a business.

Starting a business can be overwhelming. But the rewards are great once you know how to handle the responsibility and get the business planning right. To get you excited and inspired to start a new venture, here are some of the reasons you may decide to start a business this year.

1. Monetary success

The main reason why people launch their own business is to make money! A successful business should provide financial stability. You can earn a very decent income if you get things right. However, many established and experienced business owners would say that money should not be the sole purpose for starting a business. If it is you may end up failing. Read more…

Business survivalThe business industry is very competitive and unpredictable. Your business may be booming one day then the next day it isn't. There are many factors that can affect your stability including the economy, politics and technological advancements.

In New Zealand, about 10% of all small businesses fail in their first year of operation, while a significant number (70%) will fail in their first five years. Some of the most common reasons why businesses fail include poor management, sloppy records, too much or too little stock, failure to plan, misuse of time, neglecting marketing, and general management incompetence among others.

That is why business owners need to have a solid business strategy to help them stay on track and not get lost along the way. Read more…

Buying a businessAfter understanding the business acquisition process, preparing the projected costs and expenses and creating the business and marketing plans, it is now time to understand some of the key legislative requirements businesses and their owners must comply with.

Whether you are starting a business from scratch or have acquired an existing one, as a business owner you need to be aware of the legal environment you are operating in. Here are some laws you may need to know about so you can legally operate your business, regardless of what line of business you are in: Read more…

Creating a Marketing PlanIn our previous blog discussion, we talked about how to write the important components of an effective business plan. Now that you have a strategic plan for your business, it is time to introduce your brand to the market.

The next important step is to create your marketing plan.

We have invited Jo Martin, Marketing Manager for Paul Martin Chartered Accountant Limited to answer some of the many questions you may have and to give us some tips on how to create the most effective marketing plan for your business. Read more…

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