Blog JDW: Jobs Done Well

Should I Change Accounting Software?

Article – Should I Change Accounting Software?

By Serena Irving


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Are you using the most suitable Accounting Software for your business? If you are using a Desktop product, do you have the most recent version?

These are valid questions, considering:

·         Payday filing will be mandatory from April 2019

·         MYOB is ceasing support for its Desktop products from September 2019

·         Banklink and Xero have both put up their fees recently

Mandatory Payday Filing

From 1 April 2019 employers will be required to provide details of employees' incomes and details of new or departing employee within two working days of the payday. For employers with payday filing capable software, this will be either an extra push of the button through the software's gateway service (API) or a file download which can be uploaded using your MyIR login. This is very similar to how GST is lodged through the accounting software.

We suggest that you opt in early for payday filing as soon as your payroll software provider is ready. If you have any implementation and training issues around the software, the IRD and software provider helplines will be extremely busy in April 2019. By early adopting, you will be ahead of the rush.

MYOB Ending Desktop Support

From 30 September 2019 MYOB will no longer be providing compliance updates, feature patches or product support for its Desktop version of AccountRight v19. If you are happy to continue using the Desktop version you can still do so, but you may be missing out on additional functionality that the Online version has available. This may be the best time to move to a cloud-based solution because MYOB and Xero are offering free migration to their products.

Banklink and Xero Fees Increased

MYOB increased its Banklink subscription fees in January 2019. An insider has suggested that MYOB is gradually phasing out Banklink in favour of its MYOB Essentials Connected Ledger option, which is in the cloud, has more functionality and daily bank feeds. Other alternatives to Banklink are Xero Cashbook available only through Xero Partners such as us, and Reckon One Basics with Bank Reconciliation.

We will contact our Banklink clients before 1 April 2019 to discuss options.

Xero increased its Standard and Premium plans in late September 2018, soon after adding Xero Expenses to its Standard and Premium plans. We recently achieved Xero Gold Partner status, so our 25% discount which we pass onto our clients, will absorb most of the price increase.

Why Accountants Prefer Cloud-Based Online Software

We prefer online software to desktop options, because we are accessing the same data that you are working on, from wherever we are. No need to send us backup files, post year end journals. We can sign in any time of the year, so we can help you with issues and see how your business is tracking on a regular basis.

You get a high-quality product with dashboards to show your business health, real-time tracking of your customer balances and cashflow. No need to install new versions of software. Access your accounts from most devices, anywhere, as long as you have internet. Xero is introducing automation and machine-learning capabilities which will speed up your processing time.

Our preferred cloud-based accounting providers are Xero, MYOB and Reckon One. Their software is written for the NZ tax system, easy to learn, and rich in functionality. For micro-businesses there are some good free options, like Wave.

How Do I Move Accounting Systems?

Consult us first to help you choose the right accounting system and to ensure the transition is smooth. We have several years' experience and can help you to avoid the pitfalls.

Before switching accounting systems, make sure that the old system is as tidy as possible. Delete old contact and inventory records, tidy up the chart of accounts. Make sure that your bank, debtors, inventory and creditors balances are correct as at conversion date. Ideally choose a year end for your conversion date, otherwise a GST period end would be the next best option.

 

If you are moving from Banklink to MYOB Essentials Connected Ledger, or from MYOB (Desktop) AccountRight to MYOB (Online) AccountRight, MYOB will do the transition for you, for free.

http://help.myob.com/wiki/display/ar/Upgrade+to+the+new+AccountRight

If you are moving from MYOB (Desktop) AccountRight to Xero Standard or Premium, Xero's Jet Convert will do the transition for free, if you sign up before 31 March 2019. There are extra charges if you use tracked inventory, multiple currencies and/or need data beyond the previous two years.

https://www.xero.com/nz/freemove

For other types of migrations, we have skilled staff and contractors who can do this for you and train you in the new system. Contact us for a quote.

Download a PDF version here or contact the author by email. Like our Facebook page for regular tips.

Serena Irving is a director in JDW Chartered Accountants Limited, Ellerslie, Auckland. JDW is a professional team of qualified accountants, auditors, business consultants, tax advisors, trust and business valuation specialists.

Is It Worth Keeping a Rental Property?

Is It Worth Keeping a Rental Property?

By Serena Irving

Residential property investors were targeted in the latest tax Bill before Parliament in December 2018. The Bill is likely to have the numbers to pass into Law, so if you have rental property or are considering investing, keep reading.

Figure 1: Photo by Alex D'Alessio on Unsplash

The proposal to "ring-fence tax losses" means that investors who previously offset rental losses against other earnings will no longer be able to do so. Rental losses of one property can be offset against other rental profits in the person's portfolio, or against gains from the sale of properties, or carried forward to offset future rental profits/gains.

The change will take effect from the start of the 2020 income year (1 April 2019 for most taxpayers). If you are considering any major repairs, we suggest that you complete them before 31 March 2019. The rule changes do not affect a person's main home or mixed-used properties such as beach houses, but do apply to overseas residential rental properties.

Under the bright-line property rules from 29 March 2018, people who sell a house in New Zealand within five years of buying it must pay income tax on any gains, unless it's their main home or another exception applies.

In addition, there are increased requirements on landlords for giving notice, limiting rent increases and improving living standards. It may be tempting for some landlords to consider selling their investment properties, even though there is a rental property shortage.

Without the tax refund, would you have enough funds available to cover vacancies or major maintenance work? Auckland Property Investors Association board member Amanda Watts said in her June 2018 blog, Removal of Negative Gearing, "My concern is that for some landlords this may mean the difference between doing or not doing maintenance if there is no immediate tax relief. They might have to postpone the repairs until another year, increasing the risk that the property will deteriorate and that vacancies might result." Source: www.apia.org.nz/apia-blog

There are a lot of factors to consider other than the tax. What are your long-term investment objectives? Could you get a better return in other investments? Could you pay down the mortgage to reduce interest costs? Could you increase rents to improve your income?

If you would like to chat about how the ring-fencing of tax losses will affect you, please give us a call.

Download a PDF version here or contact the author by email. Like our Facebook page for regular tips.

Serena Irving is a director in JDW Chartered Accountants Limited, Ellerslie, Auckland. JDW is a professional team of qualified accountants, auditors, business consultants, tax advisors, trust and business valuation specialists.

Accounting For Success

Accounting for SUCCESS

"If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." - Peter Drucker

If numbers aren't your forte, you aren't alone. Thousands of NZ small business owners admit they struggle to understand profit & loss reports and balance sheets. Chartered Accountant Serena Irving says that is when they ask for help.

"Outsource what you aren't good at. Focus on your strengths." But if year-end accounts, GST and income tax returns are all you request from your Chartered Accountant, Serena says you are missing out on a valuable resource. See her hot tips below.

Pricing

"Don't compete on price, especially if you are creating something unique." Serena's cake topper client was struggling to get sales and profits. They discussed hourly rates and ingredient costs. They compared prices with competitors. They created set prices for standard icing toppers and increased her prices for one-off creations.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Dashboards

KPIs are your early warning systems for business health. It's difficult and costly to track them all. "We help you select and focus on the three or four which have the biggest impact on your business."

Xero and other accounting packages have basic dashboards. Chartered Accountants also create specific dashboards suitable to your needs. Using graphs and colour indicators, you get a snapshot of business performance.

Planning for Growth

Whether you are investing in people or capital to grow, your Chartered Accountant helps you manage it successfully. Serena's film editor client found spare capacity by re-organising his team's work and spacing out jobs more evenly. He grew his business without adding on more rent and wages costs.

Mentoring

A business issue arises with your customer or supplier. Your best friend is sympathetic but can't help. Your spouse suggests getting paid employment. Chartered Accountants can be mentors for those times. "We listen with understanding and experience. Other clients have worked through similar issues."

Cashflow Forecasting and Budgeting

Life and cashflow are hardly ever smooth. Your Chartered Accountant helps you through rough patches too. "A client owed over $300,000 income tax, GST and other taxes before he joined us. We set cashflow budgets, negotiated with IRD and arranged tax pool finance. He paid his tax bill off in 4 years."

Keeping Fees Down

If you already pay enough to your Chartered Accountant, chat with her/him about that too. Fix your regular coding errors. Negotiate an agreed fee with your Chartered Accountant so help is there when needed. Spread payments monthly to help cashflow.

Engage with your Chartered Accountant regularly and not just when your taxes are due. Get your Chartered Accountant working alongside you, improving your business success.

Download a PDF version here or contact the author by email. Like our Facebook page for regular tips.

Serena Irving is a director in JDW Chartered Accountants Limited, Ellerslie, Auckland. JDW is a professional team of qualified accountants, auditors, business consultants, tax advisors, trust and business valuation specialists.

 

Business & Taxation Services


FIND OUT MORE

Specialist Services


FIND OUT MORE

Audit Services


FIND OUT MORE