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 Welcome to the Accounting Solutions Blog

Christchurch Land Use Recovery Plan

 

This newly appointed Body are seeking our views on issues to be considered in preparing a draft
Land Use Recovery Plan.

The first point I noticed was the authority they have above Council and all new bodies set up since
the earthquake.  This body forms part of the CERA Act 2011.  I was there as a member of New
Zealand Exporters and Manufacturers Association and was representing small to medium business
owners.

First Priority

The main point our workshop came up with as a pressing issue right now is 'direction'.  There are so
many subcommittees, plans and Acts but no one overseeing the entire recovery of Canterbury.  These
subgroups all have their purpose but no one has an overall plan and ensuring everyone is working
towards the same goals.  An overall body needs to take total responsibility and be accountable.

Other Priorities

We saw housing and land prices as a concern for the community.

 We suggested large land areas be available for Industrial and Manufacturing businesses where all
supply is already setup such as power, water, sewer, internet and land has its resource consent,
priority given at Council for permits etc.

Another outcome for change is Councils background context/culture to one of 'can do, help and support'
to do what it takes to support businesses to relocate efficiently and effectively.

We requested funding support for business; whether it is land and building, working capital or relocation.

There were many others such as the roading system; we can all relate to this with road works everywhere
and not a great deal of traffic flow consideration as you go from one roadwork site to another.

IT'S PURPOSE:

  • The Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP) is needed to provide certainty about future land use patterns in greater Christchurch, particularly over the next 10-15 years.  We need to provide clear direction to assist in decision making about where and when to reinvest in greater Christchurch, particularly with regard to residential and business land supply.
  • There are significant impacts that have occurred as a result of the earthquakes.  Land use planning needs to provide for necessary housing demand and the relocation of businesses, and acknowledge red zone decisions, changes in flood levels, business relocations, emerging building trends, changing demographics and many other issues that may be having an impact on the recovery.  This means we need to re-examine the existing planning and policy framework, to ensure it is enabling an efficient and effective earthquake recovery, and furthers the purposes of the CERA Act.
  • The LURP will also need to be consistent with the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan and support the vision for the central city to be the thriving heart of an international city.

We were given the statistics of our present environment so please contact me if you would like a full copy but I've put
in the stats I thought you maybe most interested in: 

Net Impact on workplace staff and revenue levels due to the earthquakes by eight industry groups

Industry Group

Canterbury Annual % Change

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

-13.3%

Mining, Electricity, Gas, Water & Waste Services

-47.4%

Manufacturing

-1%

Construction

18%

Wholesale Trade

-10.2%

Retail Trade

-12.9%

Accommodation & Food Services

-35.9%

Transport, Postal & Warehousing

-9.5%

Information Media and Telecommunications

-44.8%

Financial & Insurance Services

-8.3%

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services

-44.3

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

-7.6%

Administration & Support Services

10%

Public Administration & Safety

11.9%

Recent Statistics NZ Business Demographics data released for February 2012 for Christchurch show changes in the number of business locations and employees:

Painting & decorating services

Business locations up 37.5% to 470

Employees up 88.3% to 1,200

House construction

Business locations up 11.2% to 1,190

Employees up 49.3% to 2,200

Other construction services

Business locations up 14.5% to 130

Employees up 38.9% to 500

Auxiliary insurance services

Business locations up 19.8% to 280

Employees up 13% to 500

Cafes and restaurants

Business locations down 19.1% to 550

Employees down 14.7% to 4,700

Pubs, Taverns and Bars

Business locations down 13.5% to 120

Employees up 3.1% to 1,300

Accommodation

Business locations down 8.8% to 320

Employees up 35.9% to 2,100


A snapshot of residential land supply issues

Matter

Statistic

Net households lost

3700 households

Likely migration trend

Net household gain

Permanent housing demand - red zone and other existing households

4,000 - 5,000 new homes

Permanent housing demand - household formation, migrations & natural increase

1,500 new homes per year

Temporary accommodation demand - displaced households during repairs

6,000 units at peak

Temporary accommodation demand - rebuild related workforce

5,000 - 15,000 units at peak

Potential sections to become available since Feb 2011

55,600

Sections zoned for residential development on greenfield land (excludes infill)

27,500 - sufficient for 15 year demand for permanent housing, insufficient for temporary accomm. demand at max peak


Demand for Business Land

To assess the medium term demand for business land is it helpful to consider the anticipated Full Time Employee's
(FTE's) for growth by industry group within Christchurch. This provides an indication of these sectors where growth is
forecast through to 2031.

 

 

Sector

FTE's 2006

FTE's 2031

2006-2031 % Change

1

Business Services

20,712

32,462

57%

2

Retail Trade

21,998

27,721

26%

3

Health & Community Services

20,017

22,771

14%

4

Construction

11,851

18,972

60%

5

Accommodation, Restaurants & Bars

9,272

17,881

93%

6

Wholesale Trade

12,025

16,892

40%

7

Education

12,160

15,593

28%

8

Machinery, Equipment & Manufacturing

5,402

15,435

186%

9

Cultural & Recreational  Services

4,456

7,502

68%

10

Personal & Other Community Services

4,737

6,644

40%

11

Other Food Manufacturing

3,390

6,062

79%

12

Central Government

5,305

5,985

13%

13

Air Transport, Services to Transport & Storage

3,968

5,891

51%

14

Communication Services

4,241

5,240

24%

15

Road Transport

3,502

4,642

33%

16

Sheet & Fabricated Metal Production & Manufacturing

2,769

4,381

58%

17

Textile & Apparel Manufacturing

3,760

3,716

-1%

18

Real Estate

2,828

3,625

28%

19

Printing, Publishing & Recorded Media

2,607

3,600

38%

20

Finance

2,280

2,895

27%

 

The team from LURP currently want business owners input so please if you have any suggestions or concerns please contact

 

Stephen Timms, Project Leader

Stephen.timms@ecan.govt.nz

Phone 03 365 3828

Or email LURP directly lurp@ecan.govt.nz

From April 1st 2013 the following changes may affect your payroll calculations and the details you enter on your Employer Monthly Schedule.
Some of these changes may reduce your employees take home pay... so prepare now and make your staff aware of the changes.

The team at ASL also offer affordable wage processing packages! If you are interested in getting your payroll online or having ASL take
over completely give me a call today!

The Changes Are:

·   Kiwi saver contribution Increase – this will affect every employer!

The minimum contribution rate for employees and employers increases from 2% to 3%. I recommend you let your employees on kiwi saver know
that in April their take home pay will reduce by the 1% increase they will have to contribute to Kiwi saver. As an employer you will be paying an extra
1% into the employee's kiwi saver fund.

 ·  ML and ML SL: tax codes can no longer be used

If any employees are using either ML or ML SL tax codes you will need to change them to M or M SL tax codes on the 1st April 2013, unless they give
you a new Tax Code Declaration (IR330) – I recommend you have a conversation with any employees this will affect in March.

 ·     Student Loan Rate Change

The repayment rate for student loan deductions will increase from 10cents to 12cents. If you have employees paying off student loans this will also
reduce their take home pay.

·    Primary and Secondary schoolchildren

If you pay salary/wages or scheduler payments to schoolchildren you must now deduct tax and records their details on your Employer Monthly Schedule.
If your employee or the IRD request you to, you will also need to deduct Kiwi saver employee contributions for existing kiwi saver members under the
age of 18. You do not need to make employer contributions, and employers under the age of 18 are not subject to auto enrollment.

I have been advised by the NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association that the Department of Labour have established new visa rules to help streamline the process for employers and ensure Kiwis are first in line for jobs.

Employers wanting to hire migrant workers for all jobs in Canterbury (excluding highly skilled professions or those on a skill shortage list) will need to follow new visa application rules from 28 January 2013.

Employers will need to register vacancies online.  You may also make contact with the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub via email  or by phoning 0800CanHub (0800226482). 

The Skills Hub will check if there are suitable New Zealanders available to do the job. If there are, the Skills Hub will put the employer in touch with these candidates.  If there are not, the Skills Hub will confirm this in a letter that the employer can attach to a visa application for a migrant to fill the vacancy. The letter means Immigration New Zealand will not be required to do further checks to see if there are New Zealanders able to do the job.

This will make the visa application process more transparent for employers, as well as ensuring that Kiwis are first in line for jobs during the Canterbury rebuild.

The new rule affects most jobs in Canterbury, including trades, clerical and manual jobs. It does not affect highly skilled occupations, or occupations on the immigration skills lists (including the Canterbury Skills Shortage List).

If you have any questions concerns or feedback I would love to hear from you!

Louise

Business Loan Considerations

Getting a loan from the bank can put cash-flow into your business, but remember you have to pay it back and with interest. So when drawing down a loan it's important to be getting that loan for the right reasons. A loan isn't always the best method to inject money into a business.

The Right Reason?
Is the loan going to be what I call "good debt"? By doing this will you generate business growth where there will be capital gain and profit as a result? If you can answer yes to this, it is the right reason!
 
The Wrong Reason?
  • To Pay creditors or tax bills, because you have already drawn the money out and spent it.
  • The business is making losses so the loan is funding a bottomless pit that just gets worse. You end up still owing a loan and on-going creditors. This unfortunately just delays the inevitable.
  • You're spending it on things that don't add value to your business or make you anymore revenue.

At the end of the day the business has to sustain the cash repayments including principal, and preferably all debt repaid within 3 to 5 years. Being conservative and sensible creates a good foundation and future wealth.

Remember do it for the right reasons, not just for the need of money.

Loans to your children

A warning to family members, especially parents. When your children ask for money to bail them out of a business issue - find out more details, and give me or my team of Christchurch Accountants a call. Make sure it's not a bottomless pit of endless losses. Sometimes letting them lose it ll is better than letting them lose it all and their inheritance!

How Healthy Is Your Staff Turnover Rate?

One of the key indicators of the health of your business is staff turnover. If your turnover is low, you must be doing something right!  Yet attracting and retaining quality employees who can keep the business running smoothly while you take that well earned break, is not always that easy. Take this test to see how well you're performing on the employee front.

1.    Is your staff turnover low (say with an average tenure of 3 years+)?

2.    Could you take holidays and leave the business to your staff?

3.    Do you have high quality employment contracts in place?

4.    Are you on top of annual leave, superannuation and sick leave entitlements?

5.    Do you pay your staff well and pay special bonuses for performance?

6.    Are they appropriately qualified, skilled and trained for the job?

7.    Do you give them regular training and access to educational programs?

8.    Do you seek their input and ideas into how to improve your business?

9.    Do they actively promote your business and look for new business opportunities for you?

10.  Are they well presented, groomed and punctual?

11.  Are they good communicators with your customers and do they offer professional and responsive customer service?

12.  Are your OHS policies in place and are staff trained up on it?

13.  Are your staff safe at all times on all projects?

14.  Do you have the appropriate insurances in place to protect your staff?

15.  Do you celebrate your successes with your staff?

16.  Are your staff happy, diligent and hard working?

17.  Do you have regular social outings with your staff and their families?

18.  Do you thank your staff regularly, praise them for their good work and reward them in front of their peers?

19.  Do you involve your staff in the process of employing new staff?

20.  Do you authentically connect and genuinely care for the wellbeing of your employees?

How did you go? How many yes' did you score? If you got more than 15 you're doing great! If less than 10, it might be time to go through the list again (maybe with your staff) and set some goals for improvement.

 

 

 

Are your products and services still relevant?

Staying relevant in today's dynamic market

Have you ever been left perplexed at why there doesn't seem to be much new work in the pipeline or why you can't seem to be converting enquiries into sales? Of course, being in Christchurch, the aftershocks of the earthquake can have a dramatic effect on new business but sometimes business can slow down for no apparent reason. If this does happen, maybe there's a good reason for it and it's not about the 'economy' but about you. Maybe you need to consider if your products or services are still fresh, relevant and sought after? Follow these five steps to ensure you'll always be in demand:

1.    Stake out the competition – If you have competition find out what they offer, what their payment terms or prices are (if possible), check out their website and get a good idea of how they're marketing themselves and how their staff present themselves and work. Maybe they've got a WOW factor that you just don't have.

2.    Stay in tune with what's happening  – We all know that since the earthquakes, great business opportunities have been opened up for many people. Be sure to keep abreast of what's happening around Christchurch - economically, politically and environmentally. Keep involved in the local business community, stay open and create the business conversations you need to have. You never know what opportunities may present themselves.

 

3.    Ask your customers – If you happen to lose a contract, ask the potential customer why, find out who they ended up employing for the job and why they chose them. You could also ask your existing customers what they like about your services, what else they'd like to see you offer, how you can improve your products and services. Even simple suggestions like improving punctuality, presentation of staff and customer service could make all the difference. www.surveymonkey.com is a great tool for surveying customers to get feedback on your services and your customer service.

4.    Critically review your current products and services – Armed with an insight into the competition and feedback from your customers, you'll be in a great position to critically analyse your products and services.  Get your staff together and present the issue to them. Then let everyone get creative by brainstorming ways to improve your product or service to meet customer demand. Perhaps you need to provide a guarantee on work, offer a warranty or amend payment terms,

5.    Add new services and products - Now that you've reviewed your current services and products, ask yourself, would your customers buy another product or service from you if you were to offer it? If so what would they buy? What service or product would make sense to offer and is complementary to what we already offer? For example if you're a concreter you might decide to also offer concrete cutting services.

 
The health of your business is dependent on your willingness and ability to adapt your products and services to meet customer and economic demand. Make time today to undertake a product review! And call Accounting Solutions if we can help!

Working ON your business, not IN it...

How Business Consulting & Financial Advice Help you Succeed

The plight of every business owner is finding the time to work ON the business rather than IN it. So what does working ON the business really mean? It definitely doesn't mean doing the books, answering emails or spring-cleaning your overflowing office. It means taking time out to work on your business strategy and goals, review your products and services, reconsider how you'll market your business, develop procedures and systems for others to follow and more. Of course, it's difficult to make time for this big picture stuff, but it's vital to future business success. Try these five ideas to kick-start your working ON the business program:

 

1.    Book a tax-deductible weekend retreat for yourself to plan and map out what you really want for the business. Take a computer, notepad, pens and some inspirational business books. Don't take your kids or too much red wine!

2.    Find a mentor to guide you through the process of working ON the business and to advise you on strategic planning decisions. Perhaps there's a business owner you admire or a friend that has had real business success that wouldn't mind mentoring you?

3.    Make time in your busy diary each week for working ON the business. You don't become a great golfer overnight. It takes patience, time and practice. And it's the same in business. There's no silver-bullet to success. Like anything worth doing, working ON the business requires time. Devote at least four hours per week just to work ON the business.

4.    Make yourself accountable by finding a business-buddy. The best way to achieve your business goal is to state it publicly and have someone else to be accountable to. That person shouldn't be a family member, but a trusted impartial businessman or woman who will also be accountable to you. Make it a competition to see who can achieve their goal first.

5.    Get educated and improve your business know-how. It's easy to work within the parameters of what you've always known and practiced. Instead of spending your spare time watching TV, spend it reading great business books, attending a business course or doing an online course.

At Accounting Solutions, we're ready to be your business-buddy and make valuable connections for you, so you can have the business you've always dreamed of.

What are you going to do today to work ON the business more?

Is your business really profitable?

Business Cashflow & Profit Questionnaire

Last time I wrote about the number 1 key to business success -  Cash Flow - the lifeblood of every business. Now I'm taking it to the next level by uncovering the top 10 secrets to running a profitable business - now and in the future. Answer these questions to see just how well you're doing.

1.    Are your total monthly expenses easily covered by your total monthly income?

2.    Does your business pay you your desired wage?

3.    Are you able to pay all taxes from your cash flow without incurring debt?

4.    Do you have enough for the Inland Revenue Department?

5.    Can your profit easily convert into cash? (Many businesses have profit tied up in stock, debtors).

6.    Do you make enough to give back to the community and fulfill your social obligations?

7.    Would your business still generate an income and profit without you?

8.    Do you regularly check your break-even point and adjust your prices to ensure each service/product is profitable?

9.    Have you got the essential business and taxation structures in place to protect your profit?

10.  Are you accumulating personal wealth from the profits of your business?

If you answer YES to more than 5 of the 10 questions, you're doing well! If you need some help, you know who to call...the team at Accounting Solutions of course.

Top 5 Ways to Create Healthy Cash Flow

Improving Cash Flow: The Lifeblood of your Business

Welcome to Accounting Solutions! Regularly I'll be posting articles and tips to help you get your business on track to create real wealth! Enjoy this blog on Cash Flow – the lifeblood of your business. There's no silver bullet to improving cash flow overnight but a series of small incremental steps can make a big difference over the long term. Try these five ways of improving your cash flow:

1.    Perform a strong cash flow forecast – Develop a 12-month forecast to account for regular expenses such as wages and running costs and projected income. Be sure to include a serious buffer for unexpected expenses and seasonal fluctuations. This is particularly important here in Christchurch, when work can virtually stop overnight if earthquake tremors are experienced.

2.    Allow for growth, taxes and drawings – As we rebuild the Christchurch community, many businesses are benefiting from increased work opportunities and contracts. This is great news but it also means more staff, more equipment, more overheads, more income and more taxes. Be sure to consider cash flow projections for growth, taxes and drawings.

3.    Evaluate your payment terms – Take a look at your customer terms and your supplier terms to see if they're balanced. If your average payable is 24 days and your receivables are 48 days then you'll be most certainly dipping into your capital. Aim to reverse this imbalance immediately and see what a huge difference it will make.

4.    Have a good debtor system - Be clear with customers about your terms of trade before commencing work and where appropriate put in place a contract to ensure they understand this. Put in place a system to ensure customers are invoiced as per your terms. If payments are late be sure to follow up promptly with a further invoice and call. Measure your debtor payment days and make someone responsible in your business for following up outstanding accounts.

5.    Make it a company wide priority – Educate your staff on the importance of cash flow to your business and the payment terms you prefer. Reinforce the fact that cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. This is particularly important for your administration and finance staff who may be purchasing goods and services or invoicing clients.

 

If you'd like to book an Initial Consultation with us to see how we can help you improve your cash flow, contact us! Don't forget you can now follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In!

 

Welcome to the new look Accounting Solutions

Hi there! My name is Louise Neville and I'm the Director of Accounting Solutions. Welcome to my first blog and the beginning of a new era for our business… and yours.

Since opening our doors in 1998, we've been the financial brains behind many successful businesses in Christchurch, including my husband Barry's double-glazing business.

Since the earthquake, like many of our clients, Barry and I have worked long and hard to get things back on track. During this time, we've also re-evaluated our priorities, both personally and professionally.

My priority at Accounting Solutions is to provide stability for staff and clients while growing our business and supporting you in the growth of your business too.  That's why we've undergone a complete business makeover by refreshing our brand and repackaging our services to become a 'one-stop accounting shop' for clients. 

And we've also embraced new ways of communicating.  You can now find us on facebook and LinkedIn and I'll be blogging weekly with practical tips on cash flow management, profitability and other hot topics of interest. I'd welcome your comments and questions below!

Please join my team and I on this journey to business success. Together we can contribute to employment, the economy and the rebuilding and strengthening of our Christchurch community. Till next post!
 
Warmest regards

Louise Neville

  • "With our previous accountant, I had all this information but didn't really get a grasp of what it meant. Now with Accounting Solutions I understand my overall business and where we are going."
    -Richard Allin, Managing Director, Push Bikes Ltd
  • Accounting Solutions has surpassed my previous experience of a large international accounting firm. An experienced accounting team who can manage complex financial tasks."
    -Phil Bryant, Channel X
  • "We have been clients of Accounting Solutions for over 13 years now. Their proactive approach has helped our business to continue to grow and helped make business simple, profitable and enjoyable."
    -Bernie Hunt, Managing Director, Sydenham Joinery Limited
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