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15-Mar-2016 Don Stephens

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Social media meets field service

We all know by now that it’s essential for a business to have an internet presence; a company website is the mainstay for anyone doing business in the 21st century.

But what about a company Facebook page, Twitter account or LinkedIn profile? Are you losing out on potential customers by ignoring these social networking heavies? Do you panic when you think about how your lack of social media savvy has caused you to miss out on reaching your sales goals?


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The Art of Change Management

Change. It is the one crucial element an organization needs to be able to execute if it wants to remain relevant and profitable in an increasingly dynamic and challenging global economy. It is also the one vital element that generates the greatest amount of resistance, and throws up the largest number of obstacles to success, than any other business necessity.

02-Mar-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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MBIE checking employers

The word in the workplace is that the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is on its way to Auckland to audit employers who may not be meeting the minimal requirements for staff.

01-Mar-2016 Ryan

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Tactics to cure procrastination and get more done

Procrastinators act as though they have all the time in the world. The truth is, the tasks we put off become the roadblocks that prevent us from moving forward. Breaking this behaviour is as simple as following a few practical tips that will put your time back under your control.

25-Feb-2016 Alex Herdman

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Don’t split your focus, split your screen with iPad multitasking

Mobile devices give us convenience and efficiency. Like taking a quick photo of a receipt and submitting an expense claim while on a business trip.

But there are still times when you need the convenience of a larger screen. Sometimes you need to look at multiple things at once. Closing Xero to open a browser, your banking app, Dropbox, then jumping back into Xero does the job, but it’s not efficient.


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How a flexible workforce helps your business

Offering your staff flexibility means allowing them to work in ways that fit in with their home life. It could mean letting staff work some hours at home or work a mix of long and short days.

17-Feb-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Due dates in February

Need to know when tax is due?
Business Buddy is sending a friendly reminder to you about what is due in February.

17-Feb-2016 Erin Haywood

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Why cash flow can be more important than profit

It could be one of the most asked questions by trade contractors: should I be focusing on my cash flow or my profits? It can be a difficult question to answer, as cash flow and profit both play critical roles.

16-Feb-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Taking business global with online marketplaces

We’ve all heard of Amazon and eBay and you’ve possibly even heard of platforms like Etsy and Alibaba.

Now is a great time to use these platforms to expand your business and open doors to international markets for your goods and services?


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Free Business and legal issues seminar

A Wynyard Wood seminar about legal aspects affecting your business.

Wynyard Wood Lawyers and Notaries are hosting a seminar on Tuesday, February 23 2016.

The seminar will cover the following topics:

03-Feb-2016 Alexandra Heber

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Things small business owners need to know in tech this month

03-Feb-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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The cost of hiring new employees.

Hiring new employees can be extremely costly and time-consuming, but it’s important for businesses if they want to grow.
The staff of any business can become the most valuable asset so it’s important to get it right.

02-Feb-2016 Harriet

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6 Benefits of Cloud Accounting Software

If you are a business owner, moving your accounting software from “on-premise” to “the cloud” can bring huge benefits. Not only could you save bucket loads of time, but cloud accounting software is cheaper, more secure and accessible anywhere.

02-Feb-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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How to attract new customers?

Our communities are changing and our businesses need to adapt and change to suit the needs of our expanding multi-cultural population. As local businesses we need to find creative ways to attract these newcomers and turn them into customers.

20-Jan-2016 Graham McGregor

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The power of content marketing

I received some excellent marketing advice recently from Lori Nash Byron the founder of Famous in Your Field. Lori was talking about the power of content marketing. And here a few of the tips she shared with me about content marketing.

20-Jan-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Train to retain your team

At the end of 2015 New Zealand employees felt more positive about their job stability and they expected their income to rise.
You could say it’s an employees’ market out there, so what can companies do to stop their crew from jumping ship?

19-Jan-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Nifty App to organise tasks

We all use some form or other to-do list system in our organisations and daily lives.


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Using your home for business

Many people who run a small business use an area in the home for work purposes. You do not have to have an area specifically set aside for the business. If you're doing this, you can make a claim for the area so long as you keep a full record of all expenses you wish to claim.

06-Jan-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Back to work, back to reality

This week the alarms, in many cases, were set for the first time in two weeks. Well some workers might have set 10 alarms, at a series of five minute intervals to get them back to work.
Coffee is being drunk by the litre and out-of-office messages are being removed.

06-Jan-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Help – you’re an unsecured creditor

Once again New Zealand’s holiday season media has brought the unpleasant news of the demise of a well-known business – Dick Smith electronics.
It seems to be a common occurrence as businesses head into a new year and no one likes to see a business fail; least of all those who are owed money by the company.

05-Jan-2016 Ryan

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Essential Reading for Entrepreneurs

When building a business, it is important to learn as much as possible from industry leaders and people with experience. Fortunately, many of these people have written about their experiences and distilled their most influential and successful ideas into books. There are thousands of business books, each claiming to teach you something vital to your success. Below are some of our favourites and ones we find genuinely enlightening.

05-Jan-2016 Mallika Goel

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How To Make (Work) New Year’s Resolutions That Actually Stick

So you’ve made a New Year's Resolution. Several in fact. You’ve declared next year is YOUR year. Your business is going to triple, you’re going to be more productive, manage your teams better, nail time tracking on its head, and finally learn all those collaboration tools and apps you’ve been meaning to. You’ve got it sussed...or so you think until February rolls around, you’ve started none of the above and the year is about to slip past as it’s always done.

22-Dec-2015 Erin Haywood

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Keeping customers loyal: it’s easier with tech

In today’s competitive marketplace, there is little room for error for owners and operators in the field services industry. Businesses are under more pressure than ever to deliver an exceptional service that aligns with what customers expect.

22-Dec-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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’Tis the season to be giving

Christmas is a time when many companies give gifts to staff members, clients and many also make donations to charities.

Business Buddy was impressed to read in Philanthropy New Zealand’s December 2015 report that Kiwi are generous givers and we rank third in the world for making donations to charities.

21-Dec-2015 Graham McGregor

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Graham McGregor on wacky marketing strategies…

One of my favourite marketing experts is my good friend Troy White in Calgary Canada. 7 years ago Troy had an epiphany. He realized that the best marketing promotions he had done for his clients involved some wacky themes.

21-Dec-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Kiwi global start-up accelerator – Vodafone xone

If you come up with a bright techie idea over the holidays, Vodafone xone could be just what you need to get the app functioning.

16-Dec-2015 Alexandra Heber

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Things small business owners need to know in tech this month

The latest you need to know.


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Remember the tax man this Christmas.

The end of year is nearing and it’s that time when you are probably planning a staff Christmas party.

09-Dec-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Tips to create business champions

Every employee is a potential sales person and at every new meet and greet, there is a potential client.

25-Nov-2015 Francesca Nicasio

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27 Social Media Tools Retailers Can Use to Boost Influence and Sales

Social media isn’t just about viral videos or selfies. For consumers, sites and apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are playing an increasingly large role in their path to purchase.

This is why it’s so important for retailers to invest in social media marketing. Having a strong presence in relevant social networks not only gives you an avenue to communicate with your audience, it also allows you to stay in the radars of your customers. This in turn, increases the likelihood of a shopper choosing your brand when they’re ready to buy.


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Government hours over Christmas and New Year

Most government agencies close down over Christmas and in early January. Here’s a list of who will be open and who shuts down for holidays.


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Make a mobile office work for your business

Offices used to be essential for most businesses. But mobile technology and new working practices mean that many small businesses don't need any office space. Here's what you need to know about having a mobile office.

30-Mar-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Sunrise Walk for Hospice

Gather friends, family and your work colleagues and enjoy a five km walk or fun run around the Auckland Botanic Gardens.
Sunrise Walk is all about celebrating life and remembering those we love, while raising funds for Totara Hospice South Auckland.


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Special tax codes and deduction rates: What to do

Sometimes an employee will ask you to make tax or student loan deductions from salary or wages that are not at the standard rate.

25-Nov-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Keys to managing debtors

Good debtor management can make a real difference to cash flow in your business.
Poor debtor management can be a major roadblock.

25-Nov-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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What is your back up plan?

Everyone is completing vital end-of-year work while squeezing in social events to prove you're not a complete workaholic but businesses must consider IT plans for the holiday season.

What would you do if the unexpected happens while you’re on the beach giving it some Christmas cheer?

11-Nov-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Do the same and expect less

Viv Brownrigg tells it like it is and at the latest Business Buddy seminar she cut to the chase.
If businesses keep doing the same as they’ve always done, they can expect less in a rapidly changing market.

11-Nov-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Fraud Awareness Week – 15 to 21 November

Almost everyone must have clicked on something or shared something that arrives in the inbox or pops up on the screen when using the Internet and then regretted a moment of naivety.


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Health and Safety 2015

The new health and safety legislation has passed and we all need to start planning.
Your business needs to be compliant by 4 April 2016, when the new Health and Safety at Work Act takes effect, replacing the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.


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Put down that app

After a long winter Labour Day is often the first break from the daily toil for many business owners and their team but how many entrepreneurs will completely switch off?


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Pricing plan changes for New Zealand

Xero recently announced they would increase their pricing as of December 1, 2015.


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Property tax changes for trusts

Does your trust have an IRD number?
From October 1, 2015 trusts will need an IRD number if buying, selling or transferring a property, whether it is a residential or commercial property

20-Oct-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Upcoming Event - 7 ways to grow your business- seminar

At Business Buddy Chartered Accountants, we are committed to supporting local businesses achieve growth. This month we are holding a seminar to help you understand the most important things you can influence to achieve growth in your business.

14-Oct-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Driving your home-based business like a V8 supercar

Building an empire from a home office can be as exhilarating as Bathurst – one minute you’re in front and the next you wonder how you smashed into the barrier.


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Feedback sought on proposed GST rule fixes

On 17 September 2015, the Revenue Minister, the Hon Todd McClay released an issues paper, GST – Current issues, that provides options to improve the way certain GST-related rules operate in practice.

02-Oct-2015 Graham McGregor

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Marketing Opportunities are everywhere...

Great opportunities to grow your business are actually all around you.

30-Sep-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Take payments with a smartphone

Technology marches on and now your smartphone or tablet can easily receive payments from customers – before you have climbed back into your ute.

29-Sep-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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New information for Companies Office annual returns

Don’t panic if you have been asked to provide extra information about company directors – a new requirement of the Companies Office from July 1, 2015.


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Business Perspective

Starting a business doesn’t need to be the next great new idea. New businesses are doing well, simply by sticking to proven products and services.


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Changed your bank account?

If you have changed your bank account, please let us know before we undertake your tax return, otherwise you might miss out on your tax refund.

16-Sep-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Vehicles – buy or lease?

VEHICLE sales are heading towards record highs in New Zealand and commercial vehicle sales are leading the way.


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ACC CoverPlus Extra – are your levies overdue?

This year ACC has cancelled unpaid CoverPlus Extra policies that were overdue. In July they had cancelled about 2,600 policies and expected to cancel the remaining 1,600 policies with unpaid CoverPlus Extra invoices in August.


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Employment standards

The Employment Standards Legislation Bill has been introduced to parliament, proposing changes to strengthen enforcement of employment standards. This will introduce tougher sanctions for breaches and greater accountability for people and entities associated with the employer — such as directors, senior managers, legal advisors — if they are knowingly involved when an employer breaks the law.


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Risk and Reward

The Health and Safety Reform Bill, which started its slow progress last year, took another step forward in late July with its second reading in Parliament.

02-Sep-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Surfing economic waves

SHAREMARKETS boom and bust, Auckland property prices are like a runaway train and the price of milk is more variable than the weather – but what impact will this have on small to medium businesses?

01-Sep-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Reducing the burden of provisional tax

Here at Astill Hawke we work hard with you to try to plan your tax payments and minimise the compliance costs associated with the provisional tax system.

26-Aug-2015 Luke Gumbley

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The new look Xero Android app

We’re pleased to announce the biggest release since the native version of our Xero Android app. Every pixel of the dated Android 4.x ‘Holo’ look is gone! Xero now follows Google’s ‘Material’ design guidelines. We’ve revisited every single screen with an eye on consistency and #beautiful design. We think you’ll find it a vast improvement.


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IRD’s mileage rate decreases

The Commissioner has announced the result of the review for the 2015 income year for persons whose business travel is 5,000 or less in an income year.

19-Aug-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Aging workforce opportunity in construction

AS the number of older workers in New Zealand grows the time has come for the construction industry to look at how to incorporate mature workers into the workforce.


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Rupinder Kaur becomes a Business Buddy

DETERMINATION and dedication are paying off for the newest Business Buddy, Rupinder Kaur.

17-Aug-2015 Francesca Nicasio

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4 Tips for Training Your Staff on How to Use New Technology

Whether in a large corporation or a small retail store, implementing a new piece of software can be a daunting task. One of the largest mistakes an organization can make is overlooking the training investment required with new software.SoftwareInsider recently conducted a survey of potential software buyers and asked what the most important buying factor was when choosing a product. Here were the results:

10-Aug-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Corporate Portal scam rips off small businesses

MOST email scams seem so obvious but every now and then we can all get caught out – especially with a new one that uses good old snail mail.

05-Aug-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Why numbers count

WHEN a Business Buddy is immersed in numbers they can be taken aback when they learn that not everyone in business is quite so enthusiastic about the ups and downs of numeric tales.

It may be hard to see an epic adventure emerging from a page of numbers but ask any accountant and they will tell you how digits can dish up the dirt or divulge exceptional deeds.


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Due dates in August 2015

Business Buddy is sending a friendly reminder to you about what is due when in August.


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Exit: stage right

We read a lot about the ageing population and its potential impact on the economy but what does it mean for small business?


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Closing the sale

You've put in all the hard work. You’ve marketed the product or service, established a relationship with your client and you've worked through the early negotiations.
Now, you have to seal the deal. Aside from the initial contact, this can often be the hardest step to take. It's about asking the big question and not being afraid to follow through.
Whether you’re negotiating a large deal or something on a smaller scale, here are some pointers to help you see your client over the line.


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Tips and tricks to shake it off

Practise these simple tricks, if you catch yourself in a negative mind set:


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Don’t bring me down

We all have an Achilles heel. Sadly, negativity can take us unawares. Negativity is productivity cancer. Heavy words but, in truth, it can hugely hinder success. It saps your energy and the team’s. It’s deadweight in all your dealings with customers. And if you never want to have a great idea again, negativity’s the way to do it. But by being mindful of negative thoughts, we can change our thinking and prevent the effect it has on how we operate.

Here are some of the biggest hindrances to our thought patterns.


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Learning the art of referral business

Much like cold calling, asking for referrals can seem daunting. However unlike cold calling, referral business usually comes off the back of having done a good job for someone, so you’re already on the front foot. The first step is asking for the referral. Before that you need the confidence to ask and, of course, to know how to ask for it and who to ask.


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Workers dropping like flies

Here are some top tips to keep your team happy when coughs, colds and a siege of bugs seem to be taking out staff faster than a Business Buddy can calculate your GST with Xero.

06-Jul-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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It’s all happening with Business Buddy’s app

Earlier this year Victoria Crone from Xero threw out the challenge to businesses to get up to speed by developing an app and Business Buddy has nailed it.

That’s right – you can download the Business Buddy NZ app from App Store or Google Play and have a tinker with the nifty functions.


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IRD reminders July, 2015

A friendly Business Buddy reminder about what is due when with the IRD throughout July.
Put reminders in your smart device to keep everyone happy.

02-Jul-2015 Francesca Nicasio

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5 Questions Every Retailer Should Ask When Opening Additional Locations

Opening additional retail stores is always an exciting endeavor. When implemented correctly, expanding to new locations enables you to tap into new communities, create more jobs, increase revenues, and more.

In other words, opening additional stores can catapult your business to higher levels of retail success. But in order to achieve that success, you need to plan your expansion thoroughly. Rapidly sprouting up new stores can do more harm than good if you don’t think things through.

24-Jun-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Provisional Tax Payments

The next 2016 provisional tax payment for most tax payers are due on 28th August 2015.


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Building better Business Buddies by giving

Sometimes work must not be all about work.

In the middle of winter, when everyone seems to leave home in the dark and come home in the dark it’s up to the boss to keep the Business Buddies feeling chipper.

17-Jun-2015 Xero

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How to understand your customers

In more than 20 years of writing for and about a wide variety of companies, I’ve noticed something important. The businesses that flourish are the ones that truly understand their customers – who they are and what they want.


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Move from Excel to accounting software

Small businesses often start out using Excel – but that’s only doable up until a point. Like every teenager eventually becomes an adult, your business needs to evolve and grow. Find out why the smartest organisations are using online accounting software instead.

10-Jun-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Call before you click

If you have a company, we’ll let you into a secret. We know, each year when we speak with you about what you want to do about dividends, that the minute we start to talk about imputation credits and the imputation credit account, we watch your eyes glaze over and we know the ‘la la la la la la’ soundtrack is playing in your head. It’s okay. Almost everyone finds them hard to understand. And really, that’s okay with us because… that’s what we’re here for, right?

02-Jun-2015 Xero

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What does the NZ Budget Mean for Small Business?

The Government this month handed down the 2015 NZ Budget with a few surprises in store. This Budget continues to deliver on National Government’s pattern of fiscal responsibility. This is a positive thing for New Zealand business as it creates an environment of certainty and stability for businesses to invest.


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How to Have a Paperless Office

Busy offices can generate a lot of paperwork. But too much paper can reduce the efficiency of your business – and cost you money. So what steps can you take to cut the amount of paper your business uses?

29-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Companies and Partnerships

New Companies Office Requirements

26-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Dialling for a dollar - Perfecting your cold call

Most of us loathe the sound of those two words, ‘cold calling’. It can be labour intensive and takes a fair amount of courage. We worry that it can often be seen as annoying to the receiver, putting us at a disadvantage from the beginning. However, if you’re willing to put in some effort, there are some top tips to help you to make cold calls effectively.

25-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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How do you know what to insure?

It’s a bit of a Murphy’s Law principle that businesses often don’t really come to grips with their risk management plan (or the lack of one) till some random accident takes out a key manager or lead hand and it hits everyone what it will mean for the business.

22-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Just Breathe - how to cope when the heat’s on

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘the customer is always right.’ Behind closed doors, this may not always be the case but as a business owner, manager or customer services representative, it’s the number one rule you need to follow. By doing so, you can try to defuse a potentially tricky situation and, if you don’t succeed, you can at least walk away with your head held high and your dignity intact.

22-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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What’s with the Fitbit fad?

What possesses someone to wear a device that tells them how many steps they’ve knocked off and how many calories they’ve burned in a day seems beyond many people.
However, the producers of Fitbit are onto a winning formula because the nifty gadget is being adorned by those who get a buzz out of seamless technology that boosts motivation.

12-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Upskilling and schmoozing at Xerocon

The Business Buddy team loves to soar with the eagles and the annual Xerocon gig in Auckland is definitely where the highest fliers are winging their way to success.

Almost all of the Business Buddy team attended Xero’s annual conference at the Viaduct Events Centre and immersed themselves in two days of add-ons, updates and awesome speakers.

08-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Business Buddy Client Showcase

We love sharing our stories via our blog and we are finding our clients are doing the same, so we thought it would be great to showcase some of our clients stories here. If you are a client, and would like to showcase your story via your blog, please let us know. This week we would like to share a blog from Claire at Bliss Revolution.

08-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Upcoming Event - Start up business successfully - Free Seminar

Being your own boss is exciting, challenging and sometimes, frustrating.

Learn from successful local businesses how to give your own enterprise a great start.

08-May-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Updated UOMI rates

Use of money interest rates on underpaid and overpaid tax will change on 8 May 2015

29-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Chaser works for Business Buddy

Money, money, money – it is one factor that can make or break a business, especially when it ceases to be available.

The Business Buddy team spent many hours investigating systems that bring in the money owed to businesses with minimal fuss.

It can be awkward picking up the phone to get payment from a good client who may have overlooked paying your invoice but Chaser is a whizz at speeding up the process and is never embarrassed.

24-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Receipt Bank rocks for Business Buddy

Every manager has been there – lost under the pile of receipts and invoices and wondering if there is any way out of the endless task.

The same frustration exasperated Michael Wood when he ran his own business and his accountant constantly chased him to get things in order so they could “do the books”.

21-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Business Buddy Client Showcase

We love sharing our stories via our blog and we are finding our clients are doing the same, so we thought it would be great to showcase some of our clients stories here. If you are a client, and would like to showcase your story via your blog, please let us know.
This week we would like to introduce Amy from Powerhoop NZ – This is her story.

29-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Building great client relationships - The R words: relationships, rapport, retention

There is a saying that the best customers are the ones you already have. So once you’ve schmoozed and wooed someone into your client base, how do you go about keeping their business? Establishing trust and maintaining rapport in your business will be critical to building strong client relationships.

15-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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What do your customers think about you?

Do you realise that customers are evaluating your business every time they buy from you, use your services, or receive an email, phone call or even an invoice? Do they speak positively about your business? Do they talk about you at all? Or even worse, do they bag you to other potential clients?

14-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Upcoming Event: Attaché Software - Renovate Your Business

Haven't yet attended one of the Attaché Software Business Renovations events yet? Attaché are running an event that has been created to help put start-up energy back into business.

09-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Upcoming Event - Receipt Bank and Chaser

Here at Astill Hawke and Associates Ltd we understand that the time you spend on your bookkeeping and expenses could be better spent building your business.

Therefore, we would love you to join us for a free presentation to hear about these efficient and easy to use products.

08-Apr-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Business Buddy Client Showcase

We love sharing our stories via our blog and we are finding our clients are doing the same, so we thought it would be great to showcase some of our clients stories here. If you are a client, and would like to showcase your story via your blog, please let us know. This week we would like to introduce Scott from The Alternative Board.

31-Mar-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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Building business is child’s play

EVERY parent has that moment when they wish their kids would get off the damn computer and go and play outside – but are all games as bad as older generations think?

Minecraft is an international phenomenon that anyone younger than 25 with a computer or smart device has probably played – if not been obsessed with for a period.

The computer game may look like it is little more than digital Lego but the experts argue there is a lot of learning happening, especially about the fundamental principles of trading and economics.

31-Mar-2015 Kirsten Hawke

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What changes on 1 April 2015?

Find out how you may be affected by changes from the 1st April 2015.