May 10

Property is Booming

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Each morning in semi-rural Southern Auckland I hear earthmovers working to clear what was once farmland into what will soon be residential sections, and after that homes for families.  For some it will be a step up, and for others a step in for the first time.

Interest rates are low but we are hearing more and more about how they will soon be rising.

With many first-time home owners stretched to the limit on funding home loan debt, a small rise in interest rates will have big ramifications.

For those that own their own business, this will put extra stress on the business to come up with extra after tax income to service the increased interest bill at home.

Accountants have experience in ensuring that debt servicing is treated as tax efficiently as possible while making sure that the appropriate tax treatment is always within the law.

Now might be the time to have a chat about ensuring your loans are treated as tax efficiently as possible.


Mar 31

Hello from the other side

Posted by Craig Weston at Friday, March 31, 2017

Well nearly! Tomorrow we venture into the new financial year.  It makes us at Inspired think about what we want to achieve over the next year.

What went well this year? What areas can we improve on?

Our roadmap is ready, our KPIs set in place and the year ahead is ready for us to grab with both hands.

We often ask ourselves what do our clients want? How do they feel? Look out for our short client survey coming your way soon as your ideas and thoughts are of great value to us.

Best wishes with your planning and execution over the next 12 months! We look forward to being part of your journey...


Jan 25

I've just got off the phone...

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I’ve just got off the phone with one of our great clients.

They run a really good business and are looking to buy another totally unrelated business to the one they already have.

They ran some numbers and asked me to tell them what I think.

The numbers themselves looked quite good BUT when I took a closer look I could see that there were some key things missing. Things like missed overheads, missed variable costs, Kiwisaver etc.

I think with any business purchase it’s important to get a second opinion. Often as a buyer one can get too emotionally involved to see things objectively. 

They have agreed to let us prepare a simple but comprehensive plan for the new business.

I’m glad because I want them to do well and the plan will help to de risk the venture and give them solid information on which to base their purchase decision.


Dec 20

Keep the Ball Rolling

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I’ve been involved in advising clients for more than 25 years and I have noticed a few things over this time.  One thing that stands out is that business success is never a given. In other words, we can’t rely on past sales, past performance and past success to see us through. We always need to have an eye to the future and what key activities need to be done to “keep the ball rolling”.

With the Christmas holidays almost upon us, I find it is a good idea to plan to make the most of this time. That can include doing absolutely nothing, spending quality time with family, and can also include some thinking time – maybe sitting under a tree with a notebook and pen for an hour or two and jotting down the key actions that will “keep the ball rolling” for 2017.

Have a safe and happy holiday time.

Our office is closed from 5pm on Thursday the 22nd Dec and opens on Monday 16th of January.

Nov 22

Online Signatures

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This is ground breaking!

No more printing, signing and scanning documents back to us – now you can sign your important documents electronically!!

Over the next 12 months we are rolling out a new system for signing documents electronically through our client portal.

You will be able to access your key documents in your secure client portal, drop your signature onto the document and with the click of a mouse, voilà!

We can also send your documents to other key people that need to sign (eg other directors and trustees).

We will be in contact to see if this is something that will work for you.

We are always looking at ways to be more innovative and efficient, and we think this one will work really well for both of us.

Inspired Accountants, Inspiring you!

Client Portal - how to video

Oct 03

Flying away!

Posted by Craig Weston at Monday, October 03, 2016

I am writing this from the Hawkes Bay. We are down here for a Fly in Fly out weekend attending our niece’s birthday party.

Air NZ was the airline and I determined before we left to pay specific attention to how they dealt with their passengers. I have long been impressed with this iconic Kiwi company. They have recovered from disasters including near financial collapse but have survived and gone on to win awards around the world in a range of categories. This does not happen by chance.

I have to say I am impressed. We were dealt with in a very professional but friendly way - just the way we Kiwis like it.

How come they are so good?

I think it comes down to three things:

  • The culture that comes from the top and inculcates everything
  • A motivated and involved team
  • Systems that drive & monitor performance

As I look at my own organisation and the others I am part of, I am challenged to check each of them out in these three areas. There is always room for improvement and it always comes back to the question - what will I do to improve things?


Jul 13

Back to the Future

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Vision – I’ve been thinking about this. It’s important to have one.

It’s a view into the future – what we would like our business to be and what we want it to deliver to us in the next 1 to 5 years (or longer).

It’s easy (and sometimes not so easy) to sit down with a notebook and plot out the parameters of what we want to see.

  • Sales to grow at x% pa
  • Net Profit to grow at x% pa
  • Personal Income to grow at x% pa
  • Positively influence my community by ………
  • Retirement plan in place by 20XX
  • Retire by 20XX

These things represent what we want and that’s good. BUT to get there we also need to understand where we are now, and how we will get there.

Yes, it's not new – you have heard this before lots of times. My question is how many of us actually do this stuff?

I am really keen on helping people do “this stuff”.  We actually quantify the Vision – that is we put this into a holistic plan with detailed numbers and dates against which regular progress can be measured.

Lofty plans are all well & good but might as well go in the waste basket unless we actually do something and measure our progress.

So it’s back to the future – lets get started !

May 25

Buying a business

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Currently I seem to be helping people plan out their business futures. I have a good number of people regularly asking me if I can help them look at a new business they want to buy. It’s an awesome responsibility assisting potential buyers. Some buyers are very cautious and some are perhaps, almost over-keen.

Some of the key early questions that need to be asked include:

  • Is the buyer actually capable of being self-employed? (which is quite different to working on a regular salary) 
  • Why is the vendor selling?
  • Is there a good track record of acceptable past profitability?
  • How much of the past business success is down to the owner’s personal influence (ie will the business drop off under new ownership?)

Once we get through the above questions and a few others, we get down into the numbers in a lot of detail. We employ good processes and tools to help us.

We can point out the upsides and the downsides but in the end the decision to purchase is not ours, but rests with the client. It’s an awesome responsibility and a privilege.

Mar 31


Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hello to the new!

Yes that’s right – as I write this a whole new financial year is about to start.  Makes me think again about the need for a roadmap for the next 12 months. Roadmap is another word for a business plan. But I like the word roadmap.

When we want to go somewhere but are not too sure how to get there we look up a map either electronically or in a book. The map tells us where to go and how long it will take. It gives us signposts along the way to measure how far we have come and how far we have to go.

A business roadmap is the same – it plots out the planned route to our objective and helps us follow the steps to get to our destination.

As we have been talking to our clients this past year we have discussed the need to have a clear roadmap. We love helping with this aspect and it really does make a positive difference.


PS for those that followed my previous blog our recent bike trip went really well. Only fell off once – lost a little bit of skin and a whole lot of pride!

Feb 25

Another Bike Trip ahead!

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, February 25, 2016

As many of you know I take a week off with a few old scouting mates at this time each year. We pull out our mountain bikes, find a back country trail that looks interesting and go for it!

We have had some great trips in years past. Some relatively easy ones and some quite demanding ones. Each time it’s not just the finish that we look forward to, but the journey along the way.

Like anything, the quality of the venture depends on a number of things, not the least of which is preparation. Anything done well demands good planning. In our case it’s the transport, the bookings, the meals, provision for the unexpected, and a host of other things. If we just grabbed our bikes and went for it, we probably would have to pack it in very early. No achievement, no enjoyable journey.

Business is no different – good preparation (planning) is essential. Last week a client showed me a plan for the next stage of their growth. It was all there in 2 to 3 pages – all the known areas covered. Great preparation on which to base the next stage of the business. Impressive.