Back on the Track Again: Latest Biking Adventure in Otago/Southland

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the spring season. As a busy accountant, I know how important it is to balance work and life, and to find some time to relax and recharge. That’s why I decided to take a break from the office earlier this month and go on a biking adventure with my cousin Pirie (right hand guy in the photo) in the Otago/Southland area of New Zealand.

We chose to cycle the Around the Mountains trail, which is one of the 22 Great Rides that make up the New Zealand Cycle Trail. It is a 180-kilometre journey that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the country, from the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the rolling farmland of Northern Southland. Along the way, you can enjoy the views of majestic mountains, rocky outcrops, and snow-capped peaks. You can also explore the rich history and culture of the region, from the gold mining heritage to the Maori legends.

We also cycled the Dunstan Trail, which is a 38-kilometre loop around Lake Dunstan, a man-made lake formed by the Clyde Dam. This trail offers a different perspective of the landscape, as you ride along the lake edge, past vineyards, orchards, and historic sites. The lake was sparkling in the sun, and the reflections of the surrounding hills were breathtaking.

We were lucky to have good weather for most of our trip, although it was cloudy and cool at times, and there was some snow on the tops. We also went early in the biking season, so we didn’t encounter many other cyclists on the trails. It felt like we had the whole place to ourselves, which added to the sense of adventure and freedom.

We used high-quality heavy Scott e-mountain bikes, which were great machines. They had powerful batteries and motors that helped us tackle the hills and the distances with ease. They also had comfortable seats and suspension that made the ride smooth and enjoyable.

One of the big highlights of our trip was meeting the friendly and hospitable people who live and work in the small towns along the route. The Great Rides cycle trails have added life to these places, as they attract tourists and visitors who are looking for a unique and memorable experience. We were impressed by the small businesses that sprang up to service the mountain biking tourists, such as cafes, pubs, accommodation, and transport.

We were especially impressed with our hosts in the Southland town of Mossburn, Tom and Vicki Law. They operate Wheels and Reels, which incorporates the local pub and accommodation and shuttle services for travelers like ourselves. They went out of their way to assist us, feed us, take us to the track starts and pick us up at the end of the day, and give us lots of local advice. They employ a great team of staff who are also very helpful and cheerful. We met Tom (middle guy in the photo) first, who mentioned his wife was Vicki. When we met Vicki, we said, “Oh, so you are Tom’s wife.” She playfully rolled her eyes and said, “I get that all the time. Why can’t Tom be referred to as Vicki’s husband?” Good call, Vicki!

I think there is a parallel between the biking that we did and the enterprise of small businesses in the area that take advantage of the business opportunities from having biking tourists in the area. Both require passion, perseverance, and creativity. Both also offer rewards that go beyond the financial, such as satisfaction, joy, and connection. I admire the people who have chosen to pursue their dreams and make a living out of what they love.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest biking adventure. If you are looking for a way to escape the stress and routine of everyday life, I highly recommend giving it a try. You won’t regret it. And if you need any help with your accounting needs, you know where to find me. Cheers!


2022 has kept us on our toes

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Tuesday, December 13, 2022

2022 has provided plenty of twists and turns! We have seen many clients grow and develop their business, and we have also seen the realities of tougher times in business. We are always trying to provide the best advice we can for the current situation, while looking ahead and assisting to map out the best path to take.

We have concluded a good number of due diligence assignments for clients looking to purchase a business, and it has been rewarding to see most of those clients start in business this year – well done.

We have also assisted clients with financial forecasts and helped them see the numbers ahead – sometimes it’s the small changes that can make a big difference!

Recently we spent a few days together as a team in Onemana. Reworking our strategy and goals, discussing how we can best serve our clients in a changing world and just spending some time together as a team.  Much fun was had and as we work virtually, it’s always nice to reconnect like this as a team.

Two of the questions we still ask ourselves are “What is our Big Hairy Audacious Goal?” and “What are we really wanting to achieve in 2023 and beyond?”. They are great questions, and we would encourage you to ask the same questions of your business.

As we roll into the festive season, we want to thank our clients and loyal supporters for being part of our Inspired business. We wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Have fun and stay safe everyone.

Our office is closed from 5pm on the 22nd of December and will reopen on Monday the 16th of January.

Great Rides

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Thursday, June 16, 2022

A few weekends ago a friend and I decided to go up north, hire a couple of e-bikes for two days and do the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

The trail goes from Opua on the East Coast and ends up at Horeke on the Hokianga Harbour in the West.

A number of our other friends had already done the ride and spoke highly of it.

The thing that impressed me, and impresses me every time I go for a ride like this are the number of small businesses that have sprung up to support the recreational biking community.

Whether it’s bike hire businesses, accommodation providers, restaurants or small cafes, it’s really great to see how small business can thrive, based on this NZ initiative known as “Great Rides”.

On the second day about 2 hours into that days ride, we came down a steep hill to the flats below and there not far from a bubbling stream and beside the track stood a small cabin. Inside the cabin was a farmer serving coffee and homemade muffins and scones. This really was “way out in the sticks” and proved a must stop for many!

No, these are not large businesses, but I love seeing this wonderful entrepreneurial spirit. It’s great!


New Normal

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Bet you are looking forward to a holiday break!

It’s great that people will be able to move around more freely than the past few months. Yes, those beaches beckon!

Thinking longer term, perhaps the past two years’ experience is our new normal and we can’t expect the old normal to come back.

New normal means we will all have to adapt to whatever gets thrown at us.

We are pleased the Government has put in place measures to help business such as the wage subsidy and the resurgence support. Also, Activate Tamaki Makaurau has just launched a fund for which we are registered to provide business advice and implementation support. They pay us to help you. More information coming from us on this shortly.

Please stay safe over the coming holiday period – we are closing on the 23rd of December and will reopen on the 17th of January.

Covid Update

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Thursday, August 19, 2021

Hi everyone

This message will no doubt catch many of you at home, and for some of our clients in essential services, you will probably be reading this at work.

I’m sure we are all watching developments as they are announced – and as we have been through this before, we all know the drill to some extent.

Inland Revenue have today sent out a summary of support that is available – view summary

If you need our assistance with anything, please do let us know – we are very happy to help.

Stay safe. We will get through this again.

With best regards

The Inspired Accountants Team

Succession Planning

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Tuesday, May 18, 2021

“Yep, I need to get around to it”

How often do we say those words.

Indeed, I once saw a sign that said “Rountuits $1 each”. If only it were that easy!

One of the important “Rountuits” is succession planning – when and how will we exit our business and what will we do after that?

Rather than a straight exit sale, perhaps it’s handing over to a family member or maybe even a management buy out!

Every situation is different – so what’s the best approach?

As with almost everything worthwhile, it starts with good planning.

I am really excited when I get to work with people who want to set up their succession plan.

The relief that comes knowing that a good plan is in place is wonderful.

So yep – lets really “get around to it “ and give me a call if you want to know more about succession planning.


Time for some team bonding

Posted by Katie Pinfold at Tuesday, April 20, 2021

We recently managed to squeeze in some time together as a team…

We each work from our home offices so it’s important to our team culture that we set time aside each year to spend together.  To reconnect, plan for the year ahead and have some fun (fun is one of our core values)!!

Craig took us on an adventure and we rode from Waihi to Karangahake Tunnel and back – it was a lovely 28km bike ride.  A good way to stretch the legs and have some fun.

We are each refreshed, passionate and energised to take on the challenges of the year ahead and Inspired to see what we can achieve as a team.  We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals over the next year.

How Robust is your Trust?

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, September 24, 2020

Many years ago I formed a couple of personal family trusts.  They were put in place for the protection of assets, a common reason for forming a trust.

There has been quite a lot of discussion around family trusts of late.

As a lot of people know, a new Trusts Act comes into force on the 30th of January 2021.  The Trustee Act 1956 (it’s predecessor) was well and truly overdue for review, and that has now happened.

Many of our clients have trusts which have done the job well for them over the years.  But now is definitely the time to review trusts with a view to making sure they are fit for purpose going forward under the new Trusts Act 2019.

A number of our clients are looking to wind up their trusts, and others will be making amendments before the 30th of January.

We’ll be contacting our clients shortly to discuss what this all means for them – and please, look out for our webinar “How Robust is your Trust” coming your way in October.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Posted by Craig Weston at Thursday, July 23, 2020

This morning I presented a speech at my regular Toastmasters meeting.

The title was Dr Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

I have long been a fan of the late Dr Stephen Covey.  He has left a legacy of thought and action that encourages us to be the best version of ourselves.

He tells us how we can apply 7 Habits into our lives that move us through dependence to independence to inter-dependence (ie working productively with others to get great outcomes for all parties).

Probably the key thing that stands out to me in what he says is that in order to be effective in our public life we must first be effective in our private life.  This means being “glass half full” type of people, having the “end in mind” and putting “first things first” (doing the important things, not just the urgent things).

His recently updated book is a great read and life changing (and is a very low cost right now on Kindle).

How did I get on with the speech? – I received the Toastmaster of the Day Award.

Thank you, Dr Stephen Covey!

Fraud Trial

Posted by Craig Weston at Wednesday, May 20, 2020

As I start to write this, I am sitting at the Auckland District Court waiting to give evidence in a fraud trial.  A company was defrauded of a large sum of money by a trusted employee.  We were asked to calculate the level of offending.

The matter has left the owner frustrated, hurt and out of pocket.

It’s made me think about what can be done to reduce the possibility of this type of thing happening.

Here are some ideas:

  • Don’t implicitly trust people (employees) who seem very nice and committed on the outside, without putting checks and balances in place to materially reduce the level of possible offending.
  • Ensure any cash coming into the business is soundly reconciled to back up documentation eg daily till totals
  • Make sure the boss authorises all payments made with supporting documentation available to check things
  • Keep an eye on monthly gross profit margins – how do these compare (actual vs expected).  If actual is way lower this may (or may not) indicate money is being siphoned off to where it shouldn’t be
  • Ensure payments to employees are legitimate and in line with their employment agreements
  • Review monthly income and expense numbers against expected budget – are the variances explainable? This one is how the theft was picked up.
  • Take out officers and executive coverage on your Insurance policy
  • Never share logins – you need evidence to be attributable
  • Watch for sole charge people who never take holidays and hoard info, and have large debts (these can be fraud signs)

If any of the above throw up questions, then it pays to address them immediately.  Don’t wait until later when it may be too late.

The outcome – the perpetrator was found guilty on all 32 counts but with reparation unlikely.  The person got 2 years 9 months prison.

Fortunately, the business will survive but it may not always be so for others unless the above things are taken heed of.


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