Mar 17

Putting some structure into your business

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Friday, March 17, 2017

Your business and your team are growing, and you can’t be everywhere at once. Sound familiar? 

It might be time to rethink your organisational structure. Small businesses do well with flat structures. At their best there’s a friendly, informal, ‘just get on with it’ feel to them as the team deals directly with the owner. 

With growth, some degree of hierarchy becomes inevitable. It can have negative connotations for people. Businesses described as ‘hierarchical’ can sound like they’re oppressive to the people who work in them and frustrating to customers.  

It doesn’t have to be that way. Depending on your approach, it can improve morale, productivity and your overall business success. It can be a very pragmatic solution when a business is growing and suddenly the team (and you) can’t keep everything in their heads any more. 

It’s possible to create a structured environment, with individual roles and responsibilities and, at the same time, encourage employees to express ideas freely. Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us like a bit of structure.

Aim for:

A guideline for employees to understand where they sit within a business model and what needs to be achieved in order to ascend the ranks or be promoted. Better communication flow; knowing the right person in each department or area to chat with regarding particular issues.


An environment where employees feel a lack of power, leaving a sense of being devalued. Stifling creativity when those at the bottom of the pecking order lack the confidence to come forward with new ideas and approaches.


What should you do?

Involve your team. Let them know why you want to change the current structure.
Seek their views on what works and what doesn’t. 

Whiteboard out the major processes to identify bottlenecks and where the business would benefit from better systems e.g. a ticketing system for repairs and complaints. 

Talk through options and how best to achieve the right outcomes. 

Hold regular meetings to support innovation amongst staff members and reiterate the company culture.

Put the structure back in your business today.


Mar 08

Alleviating reconciliation ailments

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The joy of using Xero is that it makes bookkeeping tasks pain-free
and ensures your business accounts stay fit and healthy all year round.

Invariably, a late night or exposure to some bug when defences are weakened can cause an unexplained ailment that you may not know is lurking in the depths of your Xero account.

We’re talking about an unhealthy statement reconciliation report. In the same way your blood pressure should be regularly checked – you should regularly check the reconciliation report.

It’s a good habit to review it each time a compliance return is made, for example a GST, VAT or BAS report, depending on where you operate your business.


Click here to read the full tutorial in the latest edition of XU magazine.

Mar 01

There's a new Nurse in town

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Wednesday, March 01, 2017

We  are excited to welcome Camille De Guzman to the Number Nurses Family.

Camille has put on the gloves, signed up for a Number Nurses Franchise and will provide Xero care in the West Auckland area.

So... Who is Camille?

Camille is the First Franchise Owner of Number Nurses NZ and Director of SME Accounts Services.

With an extensive background in finance & job management software She has more than 5 years of experience in Accounts/Finance role in the Property and Building Maintenance Industry. 

In addition to her many years in this role, she has a lot of experience using different accounting and job management software.

With a Diploma in Business and Business Management, Camille is also a Certified Accounting Technician and a Certified NZBAI Bookkeeper.

This Nurse means business, she is here to give West Auckland business owners their time back.


Want to join Camille & our Number Nurses family? It's as easy as 1,2,3....

Become a Number Nurse today.

Number Nurses® Franchises are ready for purchase now! 

For more information about this opportunity get intouch today.

Jan 16

Do you pay yourself from your business?

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Monday, January 16, 2017

Do you take regular cash drawings from your business profits to meet personal living costs? You need to be aware of how your personal drawings sit with your tax position.

Sole traders

Sole traders complete an IR3 tax return at the end of the year. Include all business income and expenses in your tax return. This includes drawings. They are not a deductible business expense. It’s much easier to track if the cash drawings are taken like a regular salary or wage: weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Record your drawings for personal use in a cash book or with accounting software. Make sure you do your forward planning so there is enough money in the business to cover the bills after you take your drawings.



Partnerships are largely in the same position as sole traders: you can take regular drawings from the business profits. These are not deductible so don’t include them as a deductible expense in the end-of-year partnership return. The split of profits to the partners at the end of the year does not take into account any drawings taken from the profits.

There is the option for a partner to be paid a salary or wage if there is a written contract of service and this might suit you and the business better. PAYE would be deducted from your salary or wage like a regular employee. You could then claim this salary or wage as a deductible expense in the partnership’s end-of-year return.



If your business entity is a company, you have more options. Shareholder-employees can:

  • Draw money from the company periodically throughout the year. These drawings are recorded in the shareholder current account as a loan. At the end of the tax year, the company calculates a salary amount from the company profits and credits the current account with this amount. Shareholders must pay income tax on this salary amount and it is declared on your IR3 Individual income tax return. The salary is a deductible expense for the company, while drawings are not a deductible expense for the company

  • Be paid a regular salary, whether monthly, fortnightly or weekly. PAYE is deducted as for a regular employee provided you have an individual employment contract with the company. The company can claim this salary as a deductible expense in its end-of-year return

  • Receive dividends from the company profits, after the tax on those profits has been paid

The company can pay directors and management fees from its profits. These may be included as deductible expenses in the company’s end-of-year tax return.

Whatever the business entity, as with other business records, you must keep records of all drawings, salary or wages for at least seven years.

If you need help with coding your drawings or have questions about what goes where - talk to a friendly Number Nurse today.

Dec 05

5 Tips for surviving the holiday season

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Monday, December 05, 2016

Let’s face it, the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times in business. Managing staff, extra costs and everything in-between.

These five tips will help prepare you and your business for the holidays.

1. Track Inventory

A lot of a business’s success this holiday season will depend on what it’s able to offer its customers when they want it. That starts with inventory.

By looking at last year’s sales, owners can gauge the products that resonated best with customers — and what didn’t do as well.

2. Minimize Back Office Work

High volume sales and extended hours are likely to keep owners from managing the back end of their business in a timely manner. It’s the customer first, everything else later.

Small businesses today should be taking advantage of the myriad technological advancements that ease the burden of handling tasks like accounting, billing, collecting customer data - Try a virtual assistant.

3. Stay On Top of Sales and Expenses

During this time of the year, things tend to move at a more frenetic pace, which can make it more difficult to stay up-to-the-minute on the daily business tasks. This also means spending more time than usual trying to reconcile checks and balances when you do finally get to it.

This is where automation and technology become a small business owner’s best friends.

4. Develop a Marketing Strategy

Small businesses should focus on offering holiday promotions specific to their products and services.

  • Email marketing still proves to be the most effective with the highest conversion rate for owners with a robust email list.
  • Social media is also an obvious first step
  • Gather customer data to keep them aware of future promotions and offerings. Consider a promotion that offers a discount in exchange for an email address.

5. Maintain Momentum

Preparation for the holiday season hopefully leads to less clean up after it ends. There should be no penny unaccounted for at the end of the season. Organisation, proper tracking and planned strategies prepared in advance are important to a successful and fruitful holiday season.


Contact us today about Xero add-on's & back office solutions to admin that can make life easier.

Nov 22

Six Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Tuesday, November 22, 2016

If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you'll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create — and stick to — a solid budget. Talk to us today about cash flow planning & budgeting.

1. Define and understand your risks

Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Make sure you explore these risks & understand their impact.

2. Overestimate your expenses

Budget slightly above your anticipated expenses, so that if you do go over, you won't be fully unprepared.  What you don’t spend goes back on the bottom line.

3. Pay attention to your sales cycle
Many businesses go through busy and slow periods. If your company has an "
off-season," you'll need to account for your expenses during that time & be prepared.

4. Plan for large purchases carefully and early

Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them. Planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a budget blow out.

5. Remember that time is money, too

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Treat your time like money & monitor yourself too.

6. Constantly revisit your budget

Your budget will never be static or consistent — it will change and evolve along with your business, and you'll need to keep adjusting it. Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions.

Talk to us today about how to use Xero reports to stay on track.

Oct 31

Cut your losses: Why written off fees are not a fact of life

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Monday, October 31, 2016

18% of all accountancy fees are written off each year.

That’s an average of $314.2k per firm and a huge chunk of lost revenue that could be ploughed back into growing your practice. So are these lost revenues just a fact of life, or can you take positive action to make sure those fees aren’t written off in the first place?

In this eBook, Receipt Bank explain: Why written-off fees are the ‘hidden’ revenue you need to track. The three core contributing factors that result in lost fees. How to troubleshoot the causes of lost fees to improve your recovery rate. 

Download your copy here today.






















Oct 18

Key Performance Indicators vs Key Predictive Indicators


Before the cloud, businesses could only dream of having daily visibility of their figures.

Paul Shrimpling, one CrunchBoards Cloud Advisors, recently held a session on Key Predictive Indicators versus Key Performance Indicators and this blog shares some of the key insights discussed. 

The term ‘KPI’ can be taken for granted because everybody is familiar with them to some degree. Paul Shrimpling has a very refreshing approach to their meaning and usage…

Key Performance Indicators = “Performance” equals “past”.
It is historic, it measures output and tells you where you’ve landed without a guide.

Key Predictive Indicators = “Predictive” equals “future”
This measures activity so you have a map, not simply an end-destination point. It’s an input measure not an output measure and a leading, not lagging, indicator.

Read the full Crunchboards article for Paul's insights here.



Oct 04

Number Nurses are Back

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Check us out in the latest edition of XU Magazine

Check out our article in the latest edition of XU magazine - issue 8 available online and in print now - subscribe today. You'll find us on page 6 - read here now.

Things have been a little hushed for Number Nurses this past year - but we have scrubbed up and are looking for like-minded numbery-type people who are prepared to take a leap of faith to start their own business.
Number Nurses® Franchises are ready for purchase now! 
For more information about this opportunity  PAYMENT PLANS AVAIALBLE
get in touch today.

Aug 25

Leading the charge

Posted by Kirsten Hawke at Thursday, August 25, 2016

There is a saying that your biggest market is the one you currently have - most of your sales are likely to be repeat business from existing clients. The reason these clients keep coming back may be partly about what you sell, but chances are that customer service plays a big part. The people you employ can greatly affect the business you do.

You can guide your team to greatness. Here are a few simple steps:

Teach adaptability

Every client is different and this means being flexible. Instil in your team a desire to learn, listen and roll with the punches. Not only is each customer different but so too is every employee. The same adaptability can prove beneficial in the workplace and encourage good relationships amongst co-workers.


Promote work ethic

When no job is too big or too small for your staff, it reflects in their customer service. Clients will appreciate the effort put in to each transaction. Good work ethic in a team is a huge positive - if all cogs in the machine are keen to turn together, you create a great team culture.

Encourage knowledge

Knowledge is power. It’s also persuasive when customers see that your team know about your products and services and can explain how they can meet client needs. They should expect nothing less and it’s also a great way to build trust, growing the relationship between your business and your clients.

Walk the talk

At the end of the day, you guide your team. Make sure that your team understand what’s going on at all times. Demonstrate friendly, professional customer service and clear communication. Show your team how you want them to interact with you, with each other and with your customers