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27-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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What is RSS?

RSS is short for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication.  RSS feeds allow you to subscribe to news, blogs or websites without having to regularly check back to see if the content has been updated.  Instead, when an update is made, a link is sent directly to your email address to notify you.  It’s a great way to stay informed on your favourite sites, without being bombarded with regular e-newsletters.

23-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Minimising human capital risk when buying a business

Buying a business in NZ?  Chances are you’ll be buying a Small to Medium Enterprise - a business with between 3 and 50 employees and a turnover of $250,000 to $10,000,000.

22-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Netiquette - Maintaining your inbox

Have trouble receiving emails from certain people?  Add their email address to your approved senders or address book so they get through your spam filter.

21-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Need iPad help?

Have you recently purchased an iPad but are not using it to its full advantage?  If so we have teamed up with Computer Coach Annette Bannon to provide you with iPad 10. August 8th 11am - 1 pm.  Please RSVP to dee@astillhawke.co.nz if you wish to register - details below.

20-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Free Content Ideas Generator

Do you struggle to write blog titles, subject lines or headlines?  If so, check this out.

20-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Re-leased Seminar

Tom from Re-leased showed a number of our clients his Commercial Property Software last week.    This is a fantastic Xero add on and well worth letting any Commercial Property Investors and managers know about.

14-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Ideas for minimising the effects of burnout

1.      Establish a morning ritual.  Don’t start the day late, groggy or hungry.  Enjoy time in a favoured spot (living room, local café etc).  Feed your brain, breathe and ease into the day

13-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Signs you may be experiencing burnout:

09-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Attracting followers and promoting your blog

Once you start writing your blog, you want to ensure someone is actually reading it.  There are a number of ways you can engage followers.

08-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Maintaining your blog content

Maintaining the content on your blog is a big commitment and one of the biggest pitfalls bloggers find.  You need to be patient, persistent and disciplined.  Make a plan and establish how often you think you should be posting (the recommendation is at least two to three times a week.)  Work out whether this is feasible, who on your team can manage it and then start to think about what you should be writing about.

07-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Recognising burnout - before you get burnt

Burnout is a contributing factor in the downfall of many SMEs.  What once made you joyously jump out of bed can leave you hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock, post-work related nightmare.

01-Jul-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Business Buddy Growth Program - starting soon

Heads up small to medium business owners – here’s a great opportunity to develop your skills, motivation and business smarts to stay one step ahead of the competition.

30-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Payroll Workshop

What a great event the Smart Payroll Workshop was.  Very informative and interesting.  The Smart Payroll team put on a fantastic presentation and the chocolate was an added bonus.

24-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Marketing your eco-friendly status

More and more businesses are branding themselves as eco-friendly hoping to net eco-aware clientele.  If your business is cleaning up its act then this is a great way to promote your efforts.  However, if it’s just ‘greenwashing’, it can blow back at you.

22-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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A gift of more time

Here at Astill Hawke we are always looking for ways to add value to our

22-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Turning client contact into great client testimonials

Whenever you’re in contact with a client or customer, take the opportunity to ask them about their buying experience.

18-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Re-leased workshop July 11 4-6pm

Astill Hawke Re-leased commercial property workshop

17-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Calling Commercial Property Owners - FREE seminar

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16-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Jammies for June

We are supporting Jammies for June.  This is for Kidz First.    Please help by dropping off new flannelette PJs for 0 - 15 year olds to our collection bin by the end June.

11-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Xero Coffee and Chat - last Friday every month

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10-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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FREE Payroll course - some seats remaining

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09-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Child Support Amendment Act 2013

The Child Support Amendment Act 2013 introduces significant reforms to the child support scheme that will come into effect over the next two years. The intention is to make the child support scheme fairer, taking more factors into account and being more flexible. The changes will take into account a wider range of individual circumstances and reflect changes in family structure and involvement in child upbringing since the child support scheme was first introduced.

07-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Do you need to register for GST?

The end of the tax year is a good time to review your GST status and check whether you need to register.

05-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Here’s our gift of more time

Here at Astill Hawke we are always looking for ways to add value to our

03-Jun-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Keeping records and claiming business expenses

Individuals who earn taxable income from their business activity may claim relevant expenses. The expenses listed here can only be claimed as tax deductible if they were incurred through business activity.

28-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Nominate a budding entrepreneur

Heads up small to medium business owners – here’s a great opportunity to develop your skills, motivation and business smarts to stay one step ahead of the competition.

27-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Blogging for business - is it right for you?

What is a blog?

26-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Unpleasant IRD tactics

We have been informed that the  IRD has outsourced it’s debt collection and that they are by-passing us as the Tax Agent.

25-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Serious steps to reduce your carbon footprint

Serious change starts at the top of an organisation.  Management should enlist specialist help and commit resource to implementing smart, effective and ongoing change to environmental practices.

24-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Your Trade Biz Magazine now available on Newsstand

We are proud to announce that the first edition of Your Trade Biz is available for downlaod on Apple Newsstand - you will need an ipad.

21-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Free Payroll Course - 27th June - RSVP now

17-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Creating a passionate work culture

Company culture is a term for the way an organisation behaves collectively.  A culture is based on the shared attitudes, customs, visions, beliefs, habits, written and unwritten rules, and the values that affect team interaction.

14-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Rod Drury Event - Check out the photos

13-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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It’s time to reduce your business carbon footprint

The concept of green business is nothing new.  As the world embraces cloud based software and aims to reduce carbon emissions, it’s time to get on board - whether you’re motivated by minimising costs, attracting energy conscious customers or making a difference.

11-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Drinkies with Rod Drury - few spaces left - Please RSVP today!!

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07-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Do you have cashflow issues?

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07-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Employment Law Update May 2013 - A Dukesons Business Law Update

By Steven Dukeson

Netiquette - the meaning of email

04-May-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Simple ways to minimise waste and costs

There is a common misconception that using ‘green’ products or practices is cost prohibitive.  Here are some simple ways to tread lighter on the planet and reduce energy consumption:

30-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Drinkies with Rod Drury - few spaces left - Please RSVP today!!

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13-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Clouds keep business fluffy

NIPPING into the local watering hole for a cold one is a good strategy to avoid end-of-year financials but eventually the shoe box of bank statements and invoices has to be confronted and sorted.

13-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Writing An Effective Position Description

A position description is a written summary designed to ensure job applicants and current employees understand their roles.  They’re an important resource when hiring and managing team members, as they reinforce employee accountability.

09-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Drought declared over the North Island

Minister Peter Dunne has extended relief provisions across the whole North Island following the declaration of drought.

08-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Have you made the 1 April changes?

Use this checklist to make sure you've completed all the 1 April 2013 changes.

05-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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IRD cutting down on paper statements and notices

IRD are  taking steps to save you time and reduce the volume of paper they send out by decreasing the number and type of notifications we issue.

02-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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IRD annual tax statistics updated

IRD annual tax statistics have been updated.

01-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Don’t be blasé about tax debt

When it comes to paying bills, we often tend to be blasé and put our financial responsibilities into the too hard basket.  Ignoring debt is the easy option at the time but eventually things catch up with you.  When it comes to paying tax, it is even more important to stay on top of your obligations to avoid potential tax debt.

01-Apr-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Tax due in April and again in May... A bridge too far?

Some of you have a terminal tax bill due 7 April 2013.  If you have IRD interest on these payments, you can pay a lower interest rate through Tax Management NZ.

31-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Year end checklist

When it comes to the end of the financial year, you need to consider a few key factors.  Here are some of the most important ones.

29-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Audit Shield Master Policy

What are random Tax and Government audits?

23-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Changes from April...

Changes from April...

23-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Use of home claims for repairs

Generally you would claim a proportion of the costs for replacing the roof. What is the situation if the repairs are carried out in relation to a part of the house not used by the business, such as rotten weather boards? You would still claim the overall floor area percentage. Anything that is structurally part of the overall house should be claimed on the floor area percentage irrespective of its physical location to the actual business area. It is the opposite for repairs internally.

19-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Employment Law Update March 2013 - A Dukesons Business Law Update- written by Steve Dukesson

Restraints of Trade

18-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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FREE Business Health Check

We are offering our clients a free Business Health Check.    This will highlight your key numbers and your business health indicators.   It will also quantify potential cashflow improvement.

PPSR and Shareholder Loan Account

Whilst the PPSR cannot be used to provide security for equity, there is a way to secure your shareholders loan account in your company using the PPSR.

15-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Tax deductibility life etc premiums

Employer payments of endowment, whole of life, term life and sickness and accident policies for an employee are tax deductible if the employee has an indefeasible right to the proceeds in the event of a claim. However, this is a fringe benefit and FBT is payable. Some insurance agents are telling clients the first part but omitting the second.

12-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Leak proof contracts that stick

10-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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It's that time of year!

It's that time of year!

09-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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2014 PAYE Tables Available

The PAYE tables for the 2014 tax year are now available on the IRD website

08-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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When is a “school fees” payment claimable?

05-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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1 April checklist

Use this checklist to help you get ready for the 1 April changes.

05-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Creating An Online Customer Survey

Online survey tools allow you to easily design and conduct your own surveys, providing a cost effective alternative to printing and posting client feedback forms.

02-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Introducing Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is a popular online survey web tool.  It’s free at the basic user end as well as incredibly intuitive to use.

01-Mar-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Netiquette - Focus On Fonts

Whenever you’re tempted to style your emails with a particularly smart font remember!  Plainer also means easier to read.  If your readers scroll through hundreds of emails a day, they’ll want to delete anything that looks choppy or hard to read.  And then you’ve lost them.

26-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Avoiding A Termination Grievance

It can be extremely testing when an employee pushes the limits of his or her employment.  You may have given that person the benefit of the doubt too many times, and then the final straw breaks....  Failing to follow correct process at the final hour can be extremely costly for an employer, as this Employment Relations Authority ruling demonstrates.

26-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Writing Effective Copy

When you write effective copy for your website, newsletters or marketing material, it helps your customers understand who you are and what your business is all about.  It can persuade potential customers to buy from you or send them directly to your competitors.

The Importance Of Client Feedback

Keeping your customers satisfied should be top priority.  So how do you measure their satisfaction?  The key is communication; ask the questions.  One of the most cost effective ways to do this is with a client survey.

23-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Bubbles for Bookkeeping Babes

Thank you to all the lovely ladies who attended the Bubbles for Bookkeeping Babes Event last week.

22-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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CRM Systems

CRM translates as customer relationship management.  A CRM system develops and manages customer relationships in an organised way so you can help your business improve customer satisfaction.

17-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Are you ready for the 1 April changes? Part 3

Government announced several tax-related changes as part of Budget 2011 and Budget 2012. With the new tax year fast approaching, we thought we'd revisit what you need to know about some of the changes happening on 1 April 2013.

17-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Making sure you enter gross earnings correctly on your EMS

Figures on your Employer monthly schedule (EMS/IR348) can be read incorrectly by our processing system if they're not clearly written.

How Action and Happiness are related

"Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. "Benjamin Disraeli

12-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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ACC rate for 2014 tax year

The ACC levies have been set by Cabinet for the 2013-14 tax year. These levy rates will be formalised when they're passed into Regulation.

10-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Employees with a special tax code

For some employees the standard tax codes (eg, M, ME, S, SH or ST) or the tax rates on schedular payments don't deduct the right amount of tax for their overall annual income. This can mean they're significantly over- or under-taxed.

10-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Power Questions that create more happiness

"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else." Peyton Conway March

08-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Are you ready for the 1 April changes? Employing primary and secondary school children

From 1 April 2013 you must deduct PAYE from salary or wages or deduct tax from schedular payments made to school children. The details will need to be included on your Employer monthly schedule (EMS/IR348).

05-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Are you ready for the 1 April changes? Part 1

Government announced several tax-related changes as part of Budget 2011 and Budget 2012. With the new tax year fast approaching, we thought we'd revisit what you need to know about some of the changes happening on 1 April 2013.

04-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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5 High-fibre solutions to get cashflow moving

Every business can experience that uncomfortable, bloated financial blockage feeling that inevitably drags everything to a stodgy halt.

01-Feb-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Eliminate the mosquitoes in your life

"If you think small things don't matter, try sleeping with a mosquito." Des Moss

29-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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IRD tightening up

IRD has produced an Issues Paper for discussion “Review of Employee Allowances and Expenses”. The department proposes to crack down on:-

29-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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The Happiness Power of a 'Success List'

"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis".

27-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Shares in lieu of dividends become taxable

From 1 October 2012, companies which give their shareholders shares in lieu of dividends as part of a profit distribution plan, as defined, will no longer be able to treat the transactions as exempt from tax.  Previously, such an issue of shares was tax free and anyone who wanted the cash dividends would ask the company to purchase their shares.  These people would then have taxable income and potentially imputation credits. An example was Contact Energy, which has been issuing shares instead of paying dividends. Ref TIB Vol 24. NO 10

26-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Signed documents - Company Administration

If you are looking for a big disaster, it is going to come on the day when you are asked for official company documents and you can’t produce them.  Do you have a system to ensure you get a signed copy of all minutes and financial statements?

21-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Bookkeeping Women Balancing Life

[caption id="attachment_492" align="alignleft" width="400"] Xero Accountant, Auckland Accountant[/caption]

21-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Experience more 'Adventures' in your life

"The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure."  Joseph Campbell 

20-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Live fully each day

"One of the most tragic things that I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.  We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our window today." Dale Carnegie

19-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Mixed use assets - gearing up for change

With summer set to sizzle no doubt you’ll have serviced the motor home and prepped the launch or bach to reap the seasonally high rents….  Let’s consider the proposed new rules around mixed-use assets and how they could affect you from 1 April 2013.

18-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Changes to student loans and allowances

The following changes will come into effect on 1 January 2013:

15-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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The easy way to success

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." Helen Keller

13-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Importing goods? New GST risk

The administrative penalty regime for NZ Customs has been amended to include GST errors - affecting incorrect import entries, from June 4, 2012.

12-Jan-2013 Kirsten Hawke

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Introducing Timely

18-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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Netiquette - starting a new business?

18-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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Recruiting the right employee

14-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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FYI... What is crowdsourcing?

11-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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‘High’ cost employee dismissal

A recent employment case shows the need for perfect process - even if your employee breaks the law.  Mr O was employed as a full-time builder by Consortium Construction Ltd for 4 years until he was dismissed without notice for using drugs in the workplace.  He denied the accusation and complained that there was no investigation.

11-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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Timely reminders

11-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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Why you need a web presence

10-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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KiwiSaver changes for employers from April 1 2013

As outlined above, the KiwiSaver contribution rates will change from 1 April 2013. This will affect both your contributions and your employees'.

10-Dec-2012 Kirsten Hawke

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Making sure your GST return processes correctly

IRD scan all paper-based returns and sometimes the figures are read incorrectly if they're not clear. When completing your GST return, please: