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20-Jul-2016 Gus Hazel

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Take care with ‘NZ Made’ claims

A recent High Court case shows companies need to take extra care when claiming their products are New Zealand made, an intellectual property expert says.

20-Jul-2016 Russ Fujioka

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Cloud technology is easing the pain of the toughest business year

The first year in business is often both the toughest and most rewarding time. It’s when you start to figure out who you are as a business owner, and whether there really are people out there who will pay for your product or service.

20-Jul-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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R & D – Can Kiwis fly again?

The experts tell us New Zealand’s economy is dominated by the basics – farming and tourism.
The economies of many developing countries are much the same and some economists argue that these low-tech sectors do not bode well for the future.

06-Jul-2016 Ros Black

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5 ways to speed up your invoicing

Do you spend a lot of time entering invoices? At Xero, they're committed to helping you shave hours off your invoicing workflow. Here’s a grab-bag of ways you can use Xero to speed up your invoicing. Some ways might not suit you, it’s a case of picking the ones that make sense for your business.


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How to eliminate paper in your service business

Whiteboards took up half of Wendy Fallow’s office. The operations manager of Clear Concepts, a customised glass design business, said her working life consisted of sticking cellotaped magnets on pieces of paper and talking on the phone to her seven mobile installers and sales reps.

06-Jul-2016 Mallika Goel

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Are You Really Charging What You’re Worth? Here's How To Avoid Underselling Your Services

“The cheapest trainer in the world is too expensive if the client isn’t yet sold on your value” – Jon Goodman, Ignite the Fire.

06-Jul-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Working from home Friday

Anyone who lives in Auckland knows about the traffic. In fact, anyone who lives in New Zealand knows about Auckland traffic.

There is a familiar pattern happening across Auckland and BUSINESS buddy is taking affirmative action – work from home Friday.

22-Jun-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Giving back

Here at Business Buddy, we like to give back to the community and now we’ve gone global.
Our head honcho, Kirsten Hawke, heard a B1G1 speaker at the Panalitix conference and she was keen to include Business Buddy in the philanthropic programme.

22-Jun-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Don’t leave planning to chance

Give Business Buddy a call today, and get started with planning the success of your business.
All it takes is a ONE PAGE business plan, which keeps you on course for success.

21-Jun-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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FREE SmartPayroll workshop

Learn about getting payroll right, meeting MBIE requirements, health and safety compliance, Holidays Act, employment agreements, annual leave.

20-Jun-2016 Steff Green

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Safety And Security When Working Remotely

More people than ever work remotely, at least part of the week. Here at WorkflowMax, many of our users – and even some of our team – work remotely all across the globe. I myself work from my off-grid eco-home in rural New Zealand. Usually, this is a wonderful arrangement enabling staff the freedom to live and work wherever they want, and to facilitate a great work/life balance. But it comes at a cost.

08-Jun-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Business and motor vehicles

During the last six months the Government has made many changes that have an impact on businesses and in May they lowered the travel expense rate for the second year running.

New health and safety laws meant most businesses needed to revise their policy, which also raises the question – should the use of company cars have a health and safety policy too?

And, then there is much misunderstanding regarding the fringe benefit tax (FBT) especially concerning motor vehicles.

07-Jun-2016 Russ Fujioka

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The 3 worst days you’ll face as a business owner and how to deal with them

As a small business owner, you’re going to have good days and bad days. Some days will be worse than others.

Part of coping with the darker days that come with managing your own operation is being primed and ready to handle them when they arrive.

This involves building a network of advisors around you, hiring the right team and implementing the right technology so you have all the resources to push through and come out the other side with a healthy and stable business.

02-Jun-2016 Ben Thompson

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Get Ready for the Big Shifts in HR Tech

There are fundamental shifts taking place in HR. In these times of critical skills shortages, everyone has woken up to the fact that employees are the most important company asset. And using the right HR Tech will help you get the best out of them.

31-May-2016 Tim Howell

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Top 5 reasons why small businesses should pick Xero

A few years ago, who would have thought you could be watching your kids play sports while keeping on top of your business’s finances? All from a phone in the palm of your hand? Or that you could be travelling – across town or across the world – and be able to login to your accounting software and see where your business stands at that precise moment in time?

25-May-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Business plan now for winter boost

This year, many businesses hit the ground running and haven’t had much of a breather to take stock of where their business is going in the next 12 months and let alone five years.


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New banknotes: Is that $50 the real deal?

Your cash box has been brightening since New Zealand’s vibrant new $5 and $10 notes began circulating last October. Those tills are about to get even more colourful as new $20, $50 and $100 notes hit the streets in May.

24-May-2016 Lisa Wilkin

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e-GST and Xero Tax making it easier for small business

In December 2015, we started a GST pilot in which 1,400 businesses sent their GST returns from Xero direct to Inland Revenue. The very successful first phase of the pilot has just wrapped up. The small businesses who participated were enthusiastic:

23-May-2016 Francesca Nicasio

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A Retailer’s Guide to Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Giving Back is Good for Business

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming an increasingly popular concept in the retail world. More and more merchants are realizing that giving back doesn’t just make the world a better place, it’s also good for business.

11-May-2016 Sarah Chung

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Xero Gravity: Why digital marketing makes small biz better

Five customers from 100 leads is huge. But what about the other 95 that started out interested? The answers lay in digital marketing.

This week, Xero Gravity host Elizabeth Ü chats to Michael Mothner, Founder & CEO of online marketing firm WPromote. He’ll bust digital marketing myths and provide solutions that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. We’ll also explore questions like, “We created a website, what now?” and “I get business from world of mouth, why do I need digital too?”


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Upcoming health and safety seminars

With the recent implementation of the new legislation to keep everyone safe in workplaces, many employers and health and safety officers may feel slightly overwhelmed.

10-May-2016 Steff Green

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How to change your pricing without destroying your client relationship

It’s that time of the year again – the time when you’re looking over your books and seeing what worked and didn’t work. You’re thinking about goals for the year ahead and wondering how you can improve profit in your company. And one simple solution is staring you in the face: you can raise prices.

09-May-2016 Don Stephens

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Why you shouldn’t give up on the ‘slackers’ in your company: 5 ways to re-engage your staff

We’ve all worked with them at some point – the employees or coworkers who are chronically late for work but who are the first ones to head home at the end of the day.

When they’re on the job, they do the minimum that they can get by with without getting fired. Many label them as ‘lazy’ or ‘slackers’ and quickly write them off as a potential layoff candidate.

27-Apr-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Employment law changes you need to know

April 1 has seen a few changes to the employment law that you need to know about.
The main change is the increase in the minimum wage, it is increasing to $15.25 an hour, while the training hourly wage increases to $12.20 an hour.

27-Apr-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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It’s official, we’re award-winning accountants

Our head honcho has been away attending the ThePac 2016, the Panalitix accountants’ conference and came home with a prize – the most innovative accounting business.
Whoop, whoop!

25-Apr-2016 Olivia Brooks

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Be authentic, and discover what your customers really want

Over the last few years we’ve been able to get a pretty good handle on your biggest pain points as a business.

25-Apr-2016 Bhavika Thakkar

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4 ways to ensure your business survives

A few months back, Xero released the Make or Break report, which identified key traits of successful business owners. Surveying 2,000 small business owners across the US and the UK, we gathered data on the perfect ingredients a small business owner needs in his/her pantry to survive the hardships that come along with owning a business. As we are kicking off a new quarter, here are some of the tips on how Xero can help formulating the right recipe –

12-Apr-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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Preparing professional quotes

You’ve been asked to prepare a quote for a new client and you’re not to sure how to do it.

Picking a number out of air, multiplying it by a magic number and flicking off an email will do, right?


First impressions count.

A quote is often the first formal contact a client has with you and you want it to be impressive.

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.

29-Mar-2016 Bhavika Thakkar

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Top 5 reasons your small business needs a website right now

With smartphones at our fingertips, customers are searching online more than anywhere else to research a product. As a small business owner, it’s critical that you have a website ready for customers who are looking you up. Understanding why it is important and figuring out where to start can be intimidating. Here’s what you need to know.

29-Mar-2016 Andrea Silvers

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3 business owners share their advice on optimizing your business as you grow

Striking out on your own and starting a business is one of the hardest things you can do in your professional life, but the work isn’t over the second you open your shop. Once the business is up and running you constantly have to improve and optimize to stay ahead of the curve and, most importantly, to become — and stay — profitable.

29-Mar-2016 Ben Thompson

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8 Employee Engagement Trends For 2016

Engaged employees are the secret weapon of successful organisations of any size. If your people are happy, committed and empowered, they’ll stay with your business. Your customers will get a better experience, you spend less on recruitment and re-training, productivity soars and absenteeism plummets.

29-Mar-2016 Mallika Goel

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10 Productivity Hacks To Make Your Life Easier

We love curating list posts, especially list posts that feature apps and tools to help you work smarter. We recently published a post on handy browser extensions to improve productivity and get more done. This is one landscape that’s always changing however and we’re always looking to provide the most up-to-date and helpful information to help you achieve more. A conversation with a colleague sparked this particular post, and I hope you find it helpful – I certainly have.

29-Mar-2016 Alexandra Heber

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Things small business owners need to know in tech this month

Keep up to date with the latest in the tech sector.

29-Mar-2016 James Maiocco

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Streamline your workflow and interactions with Xero + Google Apps for Work

Keep tabs on your business relationships without fuss. Connect and collaborate seamlessly with your contacts. That’s what you get from the tighter integration of Xero and Google Apps for Work announced today.

16-Mar-2016 Erin Haywood

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Building a service culture

A strong service culture within your business leads to improvements in customer experience and can give your business a competitive advantage in your industry.

Because customers now have more choice than ever — making it even easier to switch suppliers or service providers — field service businesses must work harder and smarter to build relationships with customers and sustain long-term loyalty. Building a service culture within a company is an extremely valuable way to do this, as it leads to opportunities for higher growth and revenue and helps create strong relationships with your customers.

16-Mar-2016 Kirsten Hawke

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It’s award season

Awards don’t only belong to celebrities and big corporates.
Winning a business award for your small or medium business is a great way of putting your team or business forward for recognition and improve your business reputation.

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.


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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?

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.

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.