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Simply defined in the Oxford Dictionaries as “The action of working with someone to produce something”.

From our lengthy experiences with businesses we have found that generally those involved are good at what they do within these businesses.  They will have people employed that are great organisers, persuasive salespeople, skilled craftsmen and affable front-of-house.

What they tend to lack is a good understanding of what the numbers mean and how to use these to improve on what they are doing.  That is where we come in.

We have a huge amount of education and experience in those matters from producing and filing tax returns, to specific tax and business advice, through to structuring the business appropriately and providing guidance on how to record actions to deliver set goals.  We talk in plain language (wherever possible) and we are happy to educate as well as directly advise.

Where we start is by getting to know more about our clients – what exactly do they do, who do they compete against, what is their USP (unique selling point), why are they doing this, and what are they hoping to achieve.  All this information helps to paint a picture of why the owners are in business and provides us with a platform for our advice and a target for us to aim at.

Without all this background we could never guide you successfully nor could we advise appropriately as we wouldn’t know what you do exactly or what you were trying to achieve.

Which brings me back to the simple definition:- “The action of working with someone to produce something”.  The ‘something’ for us is ‘your goals’.

Other accountants may just want to work with you to achieve a tax return and fee.  We want to work with you to achieve your goals.

Beware of the accountants that try to hide their fees.  This often happens by omitting the cost of the software from their published rates or suggesting that they will do your bookkeeping and reconcile your bank for you, but won’t.  If in doubt, always ask so that you can compare apples with apples.

We want our packages to be simple and clear for both you and us.  We have included in each package a varying degree of service that can be easily understood (if not then please let us know).  Some have extra software, reports and bookkeeping and others don’t.  We can recommend what would work best but the ultimate choice is yours.

We have split the annual fee into monthly instalments.  That way our clients can understand the ongoing cost and don’t get a large one-off fee that cripples them part way through the year.

All our published fees are exclusive of GST.  This isn’t a trick to lull you into purchasing but rather these are the fees that we take.  The GST is not ours and whether it is an actual cost to you is dependent on whether you are GST registered or not.

We will always endeavour to let you know of likely costs prior to you incurring them.  Where this is not possible we shall be fair with our fees and explain ourselves to you.

As all our fees are essentially annual fees broken into monthly instalments it would be unfair if new businesses could join in, say, March and enjoy the full year service for the cost of one month.

So we back-date the fee to the start of trading or financial year, if earlier.  This fee is then charged at the start of our relationship and effectively brings the business up-to-date with their fees.

However, in fairness, we do discount the rates charged as we don’t necessarily have the same level of costs involved in only providing services for part of the year.  These costs will most likely be software costs for Xero and Receipt Bank and we shall deduct these from the charge for the prior months.

That way it is fairest for you and us.  If you’d like to know more then please choose a package and ask for a quote.

We are a member of the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (formerly NZICA) and hold a public practitioners certificate that allows us to offer services to the public.  This is one of the areas in which we differ from other online accountant services.  And one which we hold dearly and pride ourselves in.

To become a Chartered Accountant (CA) in NZ requires an enormous amount of education, experience and application.   There is a good summary provided on the CAANZ website as to what makes a CA, why they are different, and why you should choose to use one.

CAs are required to undertake a large amount of CPD (continuous professional development) training each year to ensure that they stay up to date with changes and new thinking.

On top of that, More CA is routinely audited by the professional body to ensure that high standards are retained in all the work that is done.

Andrew, the head of our operation, has earned his honours degree in accountancy and business from the University of Edinburgh in the UK (ranked 21st overall in the world, QS World University Rankings 2015/16) before continuing his training in public practice in both the UK and NZ.  Since then he’s furthered his knowledge at Massey University before undertaking his CA training and becoming qualified as a Chartered Accountant in NZ.  He also completed a rigorous national tax training programme in 2012 in association with the University of Waikato.

All up that’s about 12 years of structured education since leaving school.  Now, that is more than what is required to become a CA in NZ but it goes to show that learning doesn’t just stop when you gain a qualification.

We have a wide range of services which are not included in the packages, such as:-

  • Company set up and incorporation
  • Bookkeeping
  • Valuation of small businesses
  • Virtual CFO
  • Management reporting
  • Forecasts, budgets and projections
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI) development and measurement
  • Tax consulting
  • Other tax return compilation – FBT, RWT, DWT

If what you want is not covered above, then please ask as we have a wide range of skills.  We are happy to tell you what we are proficient in, what we excel in, and where we would need to get other specialist help.  We appreciate that we are not specialists in everything and never intend to be.  Instead we focus on being really good in certain areas.

If you want a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ accountant, then there are plenty of them out there looking for their next fee.

Well, within reason.  Obviously, the questions you have will vary in complexity and time involved.

So what we say is that as long as we can give you an answer at that time, or point you in the direction of where to find the answer, then there is no extra charge.  This will typically cover things that we consider routine business, accounting and tax advice.  We may have already dealt with similar situations for others and have put something on our blog which we can show you or it may concern something in Xero that we can take a look at and fix right there and then.

What won’t be covered will be situations where you have particularly complex or technical issues requiring a solution.  When we face these sorts of questions then we will explain to you the issues that need further investigation and let you know your likely costs to have these resolved.  The decision will be yours as to whether to incur the extra cost involved or not.

If you have chosen a package that suits your needs then take a few minutes to fill in our client on-boarding form.  We can then arrange a catch up to discuss what exactly we need to do.

We’ll need to know things like:-

  • What is your business name?
  • Addresses – email, physical and postal
  • What do you do/make/sell?
  • How are you structured (company, partnership, sole trader, trust)?
  • Who are the key people and what do they do?
  • What software do you use?
  • What makes you different from your competitors?
  • What are your goals?
  • Whether there are any issues currently affecting you
  • Who is your current accountant?

We can teach anyone how to use Xero! We can spend the time you need until you feel confident in using Xero. We’ll show you how to access Xero’s excellent learning resources. If you get stuck, just give us a call or an email, we provide unlimited phone and email support for simple questions.

We can help you achieve this with little disruption.  This may involve continuing to run your other software for a short time while we ensure that things are working correctly but it should not impact on your business or cost you much more.  You will need to learn a few tricks but we shall provide you with videos to watch which will answer most of your questions.  The rest can be learnt through playing in Xero (it’s fairly bullet-proof) and if you have a curly question you can always ask us.

We certainly can, we’ll be an intermediary between you and IRD and help you get yourself back on track.

This sort of thing comes up more often than you may appreciate and we have had some great wins with IRD simply through communication, reasonableness and documentation.  At the end of the day IRD simply want you to file your returns and pay any taxes.  As we help you to achieve this, IRD are very open to dealing with us and can be very helpful.

Absolutely, there are various options open to you depending on your personal or business circumstances.  Ultimately IRD can have a say in whether you close the doors but where the errors are inadvertent or where you are seeking to pay the outstanding taxes they tend to be very reasonable.  We can therefore discuss with you options such as full payment, payment by instalments or settlement.

What is important is that you act on this as soon as possible.  Penalties and interest will continue to be applied until an arrangement is agreed with IRD.

We have a fair amount of experience working with these so can give some suggestions.  However, there are now so many different options it is hard to keep track of them.  We would suggest talking to others in your industry to determine if there is a market leader and get a feel for the costs and benefits of each one.  Believe me, there is no one size fits all solution.  Different apps have their unique attributes which makes them more or less suitable for a given set of circumstances.

Absolutely, it’s our online collaboration that makes us unique.  We have embraced technology and feel that this has many advantages for collaborating with businesses such as online meetings where you avoid traffic chaos, parking woes, discomfort of alien accounting offices, forgotten documents, etc, etc.

If you’d like to try this for size, then book a free initial consultation by Skype and we can show you what can be achieved and how much better it is.

We are open and honest so it is important that we let you know about the kick-backs, discounts and commissions we receive for using certain third-party services, such as software.

Xero gives us a discount for bulk subscriptions.  These vary in value dependent on the numbers of clients but tend to be pretty small.

However, as our packages tend to be sold inclusive of Xero subscriptions then we don’t feel that this discount is much of an issue to our clients.

Flexitime give us a small, one-off commission once our clients have using their service for a period of time.

Rest assured we chose Xero and Flexitime for the benefits and support they bring to client businesses and we were in no way motivated by their discounts and commissions.  We firmly believe that these are the best solutions for the majority of businesses that use us and shall review these relationships at regular intervals to ensure this remains the case.

In light of that we would welcome any feedback both positive and negative that you have.

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