Blog

Apr 15

Be Prepared

Posted by Craig Weston at Monday, April 15, 2019


 

Every year we do our annual back-country bike ride I learn something new.

Back up the story - each year a group of 4 old-boy scouts including me reunite to do an NZ mountain bike ride for a week.  This year was in February and we did the Motu area (in behind Opotiki).

So what did I learn this time? Read on....

When you don't fall off your bike for a while you start to think you have it licked.  You seem to be pretty good at surmounting problem areas, tight turns, rocks on the tracks etc.  I've heard it said 'Pride commeth before a fall" - not sure about the pride in this instance but I sure had the fall!

One of our party was injured - fell down a slope and cut his leg.  Slowed him down.  I was delegated to ride on ahead and get the vehicle and bring it to the road head to pick up the team who would follow up slowly.

Somewhere down the track alone about 17K from the vehicle, I came off my bike - went over a river bank and landed in a dead tree perched above the rocks below.  Upside down, bike on top of me, foot caught in the bike, no one around.  What to do?

Rising panic!  But managed to extricate myself from the bike, climb down the dead tree, jump onto the rocks below and climb back up on the track then go down the tree and pull my bike back up.  I noted some cuts and bumps on the body, jumped on the bike and carried on.  Another few km down the track the bike gave up! Turns out the tree had damaged the hanger mechanism which the chain goes through.  Nothing left but to walk the rest of the way!

Did that - got the vehicle and returned to pick up the guys.  Big day out, totally stuffed!

What did I learn?

When you think you have it licked - do a reality check. Are you prepared for the unexpected? The old Boy Scout motto - "Be Prepared"

Don't go it alone - should have been two of us going and two left to follow slowly.

Relates to Biking as well as Business I reckon.  In business:

  • Plan well and have a back up plan - be prepared

  • Involve others - don't go it alone

Craig


Dec 17

As 2018 comes to an end

Posted by Craig Weston at Monday, December 17, 2018

It's almost the end of the calendar year - an opportunity to glance back at what the past year held, take a long breath over the break, and then look at what could be for 2019.

There is something about looking back that is positive - reviewing what went well and what went not so well.  It's an opportunity to learn from the past to give us wisdom for the future.

As we end this year, our wish for our clients and friends is that you will truly enjoy your Christmas break (whether that be short or long) and come back positively renewed for the new year ahead.



May 08

Inland Revenue - a transformation

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, May 08, 2018

When I first started out my career in accounting (many years ago!), I remember you could write a letter to Inland Revenue and you sometimes might not receive a reply for 12 months!

How times have changed.

These days Inland Revenue are on top of things like they have never been before.  They have introduced new initiatives over the past few years mainly based around access via the internet.

Coupled with this is a new desire on their part to want to seem friendly and able to assist.

Sure, get on the wrong side of them and things may not be so friendly, but they have a job to do for the Government and they seem to be doing it better.

Last night I looked at a very good example of the new Inland Revenue.  I looked for some information on the IR website about the Research & Development (R & D) Loss Tax Credit system and how to apply for cash early.  What did I find? - an updated easy to understand explanation (no big words, just common sense) and a short 2-minute video interview with a business that had applied for and got the tax credit.  Brilliant!  If you are interested check out the link...

http://www.ird.govt.nz/campaigns/2016/campaign-research-development-loss-tax-credit.html

So well done Inland Revenue.  I still don't like paying the tax but I like what you are doing.

Craig

Mar 20

Alps to Ocean

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A2O (Alps to Ocean)

This stands for the bike/run trail that runs from Mt Cook to Oamaru. It's a (mainly easy) trail that winds along beside mountain lakes, rivers, open country, power stations, and small towns.  With 3 mates I biked the trail 2 weeks ago.  Took us a relaxed 6 days.

There is something about this area that easily draws me back.  The magnificent vistas easily calm the soul and put life in perspective.

A great place to think about the future.  I love to think about business and the next steps - its easy to do in this area - see the picture!

 

Jan 25

Keep It Simple

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, January 25, 2018

I am recently back from my annual Christmas and new year (three weeks) away from work.  Being away from work every now and then for an extended period is great.
It recharges the batteries, helps us appreciate what is good about life and relationships and allows us to reflect in an unstructured and even abstract way on our business - what we do and how we do it.
The old saying, when I slow down, I go faster seems to ring true.
One reflection I had was around the amount of information that comes at us every day 24/7.  There is a lot and we need to keep up with it.... or do we?
I am challenged about being a bit more structured around what information I let in each day.  Yes, I need to keep up with things in my industry and wider life interests, but I should not need to feel driven to do it.
It's about taking control of what you let in - I have started unsubscribing to emails I don't need to see.
Feels good!
Craig

Nov 21

Franchising in NZ

Posted by Craig Weston at Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It's quite amazing how big Franchising is in New Zealand right now.

Some recent key stats show that:
  • There are 631 Franchised brands operating in NZ
  • There are 37,000 Franchise businesses in NZ
  • Annual Turnover is $27.6 billion! (this excludes motor vehicle & fuel sales)

So it's BIG!

Our firm has been privileged to be involved in working with the Franchise Community for the past 12 years.  We assist would-be franchisees to make their decision as to whether to buy a franchise business or not and we help the head owners (called Franchisors) with advice in operating their businesses.  And as well as that our firm is the external accountant to the peak body for Franchising in NZ - the Franchise Association of NZ Inc.

It's an important part of what we do at Inspired.  If you want to know more about this growing business format called Franchising, just let us know.

Oct 05

What's it like being virtual?

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, October 05, 2017

This is a question we get asked a lot!
You see, our accounting team of 6 people have been operating in a virtual space for the past 4 years.  This means we don't have a set office in a set location.  Each of our team works from their home office.

When we started this new way of working it was a bit scary but we had some great advice from the team at Xero and our IT advisors and this gave us confidence we could do it and do it well.

So 4 years on you may be interested in what we now know about it !

The Advantages:

We get to go to work without having to hit the Auckland traffic - the office is just down the hall!
We make use of modern technology - we use Skype for business a lot - we use it for team meetings and meetings with clients.
We use the Cloud for all our applications and file storage - no expensive and clunky servers any more.
For face to face client meetings - we get to stay out of the early morning and late afternoon traffic - it's great!
Our team have flexibility - if they have an unwell child at home from school, they can still do some work while looking after their child.

The Disadvantage:

Social interaction for the team - there are no conversations around the "water cooler" anymore - but we make up for this by booking in regular team meetings, on-line conversations, social events, dinners and conferences.

Summary:

We have proved to ourselves that it can work and that it works well.  So if you would like to know more about how this might work for you - give us a call - we would be happy to answer any questions.

 

Yvette Young - hard at work!

Aug 31

Inspired Team Conference

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, August 31, 2017

Omaha provided a truly Inspired location for our August team conference.  We brainstormed, discussed, collaborated and looked at the future of accounting.  We are excited about working with our clients on their business and helping them reach their goals.  The future is going to be fast paced, technology-focused, with real-time results, and we will always be there to support and inspire our clients.

We may look a small team in number but we quickly scale up as required using all the up to date ideas and resources that are now available.  We value our time together as we plan for the future, re-align our roadmap and take action to ensure we reach our goals and aspirations.

How do you plan and set your goals for the future? We often talk to our clients about the importance of having a business plan, a roadmap that sets out the future.  Give us a call if you want to discuss how to do this better (09) 969 7450.


Aug 09

Zones Conference

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Recently we presented to Zones Franchisees (Landscaping Specialists) at the Chateau Tongariro - our brief was to impart key accounting knowledge that Franchisees could use in the running of their business.  Some of the Franchisees are relatively new to running a Franchise so were eager to learn and develop their business.

Three key areas we looked at were:

  • Cash is King! Invoice weekly or monthly.  Collect your accounts receivable quickly!

  • Tax. It's a pain but it means you are making money.  Claim all the expenses you can.

  • Planning. A financial forecast for the next 12 - 36 months is key to know where you are going.

We also presented on Xero and how to best utilise it in your business.  Wow what a great session! Once you know xero and update it daily it's a very powerful tool.

We thoroughly enjoyed being part of a great Franchise and meeting all the Zones Franchisees.  If you need advice from us or training on xero, just ask. We are always happy to help.

Craig

   

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.

Craig