Thinking about hiring your first employee? Reaching a point in your business where you need an extra pair of hands is a milestone to celebrate. It is also a time when you recognise that in order to grow your business, adding new team members follows along naturally.

Before you start asking for resumes, there are some steps to follow first:

  • Assessing if you are truly ready to hire your first employee
  • Identifying the role, they will play by creating a job description
  • Calculating how much it will cost you to hire an employee
  • Deciding how you will manage the hiring process
  • Learning about your employee’s legal rights and entitlements
  • Choosing a payroll system
  • Onboarding your new employee

We’ll cover each of those here today.

Are Your Ready to Hire Your First Employee?

How can you tell when the time is right to hire your very first employee? Here are some signs to look out for:

  • You are so busy that you can’t do all of the work yourself
  • Your business is growing and your cashflow is above what you planned for
  • You are ready to grow your business but can’t do it by yourself
  • Your customer service levels are dropping as you can’t provide excellent service by yourself anymore
  • You need new skills to work alongside yours to grow your business
  • There are new services or products you want to offer, but you don’t have the skills to do them yet
  • Your free time has completely disappeared, and you’d like some of it back

It’s going to be a combination of these signs that demonstrates to you the need to considering hiring your first employee. Talk things over first with a trusted advisor if you are unsure if it’s the right step for you and your business.

Writing a Job Description for Your First Employee

When taking on a new employee, you need to have a very clear understanding of what you want them to be doing. This means nailing down the specific roles they will be performing for your business. Creating a job description will help you identify their day to day responsibilities and tasks, the skills, experience and qualifications they will need to perform the role, the hours they will work and what their salary will be. You will also need to be clear on:

  • The type of employee they will be – casual, contractor, permanent, part-time, full time
  • The amount of responsibility you are happy to delegate to them
  • What resources you will need to have before they start, such as equipment, insurance, and wages
  • The specific skills they need to be able to demonstrate they have
  • What training you are prepared to offer, or if they need to be fully trained already
  • The number of hours it would take to do specific tasks each week

All of this information can be put together into a comprehensive job description which can be given to prospective employees and help you create the advertisements for hire too.

How Much Will It Cost You to Hire Your First Employee?

Here we’re not only talking their wage or salary, but also holiday pay, KiwiSaver contributions, business insurance, training, new equipment, uniforms and recruitment costs. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website has a handy Employee Cost Calculator which is free to use and can help you identify how much it will cost.

How Will You Go About Hiring Your First Employee?

You’ll need to decide if you will manage the entire recruitment process yourself, or if you will hire a professional to help you do this. Besides your budget, there are a few things to consider if you should use a recruiter to help you or not, depending on how confident you are with:

  • Writing job advertisements
  • Analysing CVs
  • Performing interviews
  • Making an offer to an applicant
  • Creating employment contracts
  • Checking references

There are pros and cons for both, but for your first employee, we’d recommend getting some support when you do it.

Understanding an Employee’s Rights & Responsibilities

Employment legislation is present for a purpose: to avoid employees being used and ripped off. Neither of you can opt-out of these entitlements, and they are valid regardless of any signed contract. To understand fully the minimum rights of employees, we recommend taking a read of the Employment New Zealand website’s employment rights guide. Generally speaking, an employee’s rights include:

  • Pay at or above the minimum wage
  • Paid time off and public holiday entitlements
  • Sick and bereavement leave
  • Maternity leave
  • Overtime pay
  • Leave for jury service
  • A safe working environment free from discrimination

Once again, a recruitment or human resource professional will be able to assist you further with these, helping identify specific ones in your unique situation too.

Choosing a Business Payroll System

It may not be too much of a biggie with just one employee, but what if your business continues to grow to five or twenty employees? A payroll is a list of your employees and contains information about the money you pay them, including tax deductions. You can run your payroll by:

  • Good old traditional pen and paper spreadsheets
  • Outsource to a payroll professional such as ourselves
  • Use a DIY software which can work out things for you, but you need to make payments
  • Full-service software which does everything including making payments on your behalf

Doing the payroll means you’ll have to do things such as calculate gross pay, pre-tax deductions including KiwiSaver, PAYE, taxes on benefits, student loan repayments, pay the wages, file and pay taxes and deductions, plus keep all of these things on record for at least seven years!
One of the things we’re here to do is to help you decide which payroll system suits you best, and even assist you with the running of it if required too.

Onboarding Your New Employee

The contract is signed, sealed and delivered. It’s time for your new employee to start work. This means you’ve already organised the equipment they will be needing to use, gotten all of the digital systems ready such as IT logins and let your insurer know they need to adapt your coverage. You’ll also have to start an employee file, where you keep information about them and their role, plus all of the specific onboarding requirements:

  • Health and safety policies
  • Dress codes
  • Hours of work
  • Detailed training required
  • Access to the workplace and other tools
  • Organise holidays and leave
  • Introducing to customers
  • How reviews will be done

Many businesses spend time creating a written onboarding process to make things easier for the first and subsequent employees.

Here at MBP, we like to think of ourselves as our client’s right-hand helper (not man, cause we’re all equals here). From accounting to bookkeeping services, business development and planning, we do it all. Get in touch with us today or check out our business packages to learn more about how we can help you grow your business.

If cyber security isn’t on your business’ list of top priorities, should you be worried? We think so. As cyber attacks grow in number and severity, keeping your business’ information safe is essential. Even if you’re not super technically minded, there are some key steps you can take to secure your data. We’ll explain what they are and give you a brief overview of what cyber security is.

What Is Cyber Security?

The term cyber security refers to the protection put in place to prevent online attacks from others of your information. You can think of a cyber criminal as an online burglar. They try to gain access to your information using internet connected systems. This can be done in multiple ways, including:

  • Ransomware – you are stopped from using your computer system by malicious software unless you pay a random
  • Scams – you are tricked or manipulated into giving away money, personal or financial information
  • Unauthorised access – someone deliberately accesses your online information without your permission
  • Phishing – an email scam where they pretend to be someone else to get you to share personal information with them
  • Online identity theft – when someone gets personal information from a source and then uses it
  • Insider threat – when someone from inside your business uses insider knowledge to get access to your information
  • Malware – software which harms a computer system
  • Credential dumps – someone takes passwords and email addresses, then publishes these online to be used by others

It is the responsibility of an individual business to put cyber security systems in place to prevent unauthorised access and use of all information.

7 Cyber Security Business Tips

If you leave your doors unlocked and windows open, people will take advantage of you. The same goes for cyber security. Without protection in place for your business, you’ll leaving your business vulnerable to cyber-attacks. However, by taking a few steps, you can secure your data and reduce the likelihood of things happening:

  • Keep software up to date. Automatic updates make this a breeze
  • Use two factor authentications when accessing data, such as needing a password and a code sent by text
  • Do regular back-ups of your data, so if an attack does occur, you’ve still got access to your information
  • Use unique passwords and update them regularly
  • Install antivirus software and scan your devices regularly
  • Never send personal details or passwords through unsecured emails
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments in emails unless you completely trust the source

CERT NZ is a website run by the NZ Government which offers plenty of advice on implementing cyber security practices, as well as what to do if you fall victim of one. When working with us, you can rest assured in knowing that our cloud based accounting systems offer two factor authentications, keeping your information safe and sound. Get in touch and let’s chat!

MBP’s preferred payment method for monthly package subscriptions is by direct debit. With our recent move to GoCardless, this process is now easier than ever before.

If you are on a subscription based service plan, you will likely receive an email notifying you of any changes to your payment process. This email will include a link to your unique direct debit mandate form. Update this form with your bank details and you’re done. You’ll never have to worry about making payments on-time ever again.

Why Pay by Direct Debit?

Direct debit payments make payments a breeze for both you and the admin team at MBP. We save hours of administrative time each week managing payments. This allows us to reinvest this time into continually improving the service we provide to you.

Here are some of the other benefits of making payments to MBP by direct debit:

Peace of Mind

Once you have direct debit set up you’ll never have to stress about remembering to make payments on time. Everything will be handled automatically but you’ll be kept in the loop with reminders before all payments are processed, just make sure you have adequate funds in your account when you get the reminder.

Direct Debit Guarantee

Your payments are protected. This means that you’re guaranteed a refund direct to your account if a payment is ever processed in error.

Saves You Time

Setting up the authorisation takes only a couple of minutes. Once its done, you never have to worry about setting up payments to MBP again. Each invoice or monthly subscription payment will automatically be paid on its due date. This not only saves you time in setting up each individual payment but also helps to avoid late payment penalties.

Saves You Money

Paying your invoices on time avoids any added late payment administrative charges. Currently, late payment of invoices incurs an added administrative charge equal to 2% of the total over due sum. This covers our additional time to send reminders and statements as well as manually processing the late payment when it is received. Direct Debit avoids all of this unnecessary hassle for both you and MBP.

You Always Know In Advance

We remind you in advance before any funds are withdrawn. Approximately three (3) days in advance you will get a reminder email to let you know the amount to be direct debited and the date that the amount will be processed. This allows you to ensure that you have the adequate funds in the account on the date in order to avoid the payment failing or being dishonored.

If you need to delay or come to an alternative payment arrangement, get in touch with the team at MBP as soon as you receive the reminder.

Ability to Cancel Any Time

You can cancel your direct debit authorisation at any time. To cancel, simply get in touch with the admin team at MBP by emailing mailbox@mbponline.co.nz.

If you have any questions, you can call us free from anywhere in NZ on 0800 86 85 86 or email the team here. As always, our team is here to answer your queries so feel free get in touch to ask anything you are unsure about.

Cloud accounting software has revolutionized how small business owners manage their businesses. This game changing software has had a massive impact not just on small business but on the quality of life of small business owners. By eliminating and reducing many of the time consuming, redundant work of older systems, cloud accounting streamlines processes and makes processing a breeze for business owners, bookkeepers and accountants alike.

You have probably seen or heard of cloud accounting solutions like Xero and MYOB Essentials. These systems have redefined accounting for small businesses. They allow business owners real time access to their financial data and the ability to collaborate from anywhere, at any time with their business advisors and accountants. This is invaluable in enabling these businesses to make well informed decisions based on reliable, timely data.

There are countless benefits of cloud accounting. We have narrowed this down to five and discuss some of these key reasons why cloud accounting is such a benefit for small businesses.

Data Integrity and Backups are a Breeze

With a cloud based solution you no longer need to keep track of which file is the most up to date version. You no longer need to have all your computer storage space consumed with large accounting files. You no longer need to remember to run a time consuming backup. Everything is securely stored online, accessible anywhere, anytime and always up to date with backups taken care of automatically. What could be easier?

Every File Up to Date, All The Time

Multiple users can have access and be working on the same file at the same time from multiple locations, without error. This is a game changing feature of cloud accounting that enables accountants and business owners to collaborate with each other in real time. Any queries you have can be sorted then and there. This allows your financial data to be processed in a timely manner and with the reliability required to inform those big business decisions.

No More Data Entry

Data entry is a major was of time, money and effort for all small business owners. Your bank data is imported into your accounting system direct from your bank. This offers a level of reliability not possible with manual entry. All that is left to do is allocate the bank data to the correct account codes and even most of this can be memorized by the software. What used to be a chore that took all day can now can be done in minutes. Less data entry time means more productive business time, allowing you the opportunity to make more money.

Reliable Data, Reliable Decision Making

Manual data entry and reconciliation is often time consuming and full of errors. Timeliness is increased and errors all but vanished with cloud accounting. This enables real time data to be viewed and better inform you business decisions. With cloud accounting your financial information is no longer lagging behind. It is now able to offer almost real time insight into your operations, enabling effective, well informed business decisions to be made.

Anywhere, Anytime

Cloud accounting allows you to see your business account balances, debtors, creditors and your overall financial performance from anywhere, at any time of the day or night, as long as you have an internet connection. This gives you the freedom to run your business from wherever you are. You are no longer chained to a desk in the back room. You are free to move about, visit customers or spend time on the shop floor while your accounting system remains at your fingertips at all times.

Try It Out For Free

Running your own business just got a whole lot easier with cloud accounting. If you are interested in discussing your cloud accounting options, give the team at MBP a call on 0800 86 85 86 or email any queries to mailbox@mbponline.co.nz for a free consultation. We can even set you up on trial version of the most popular options so that you can see the benefits for yourself before making any decisions or spending a cent.