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We all have tasks that get in the way of our business moving forward. It’s all these tasks that we tend to procrastinate, that we would rather void doing and that just suck up too much of our valuable time. Time that we should be spending on our businesses. Thankfully, there are lots of businesses, like MBP, that exist to help you identify what to outsource and take over completing those tasks for you. Get back to what you do best, what you enjoy doing and outsource the rest.

When looking to identify what to outsource in your business, we have a few simple questions you should ask yourself. What are the things you hate doing? What are the things you can’t do or struggle to do yourself? What are the things that you just shouldn’t be doing?

What Are The Things You Hate Doing?

It seems like common sense the the stuff you hate shot be what to outsource, right? You’d be surprised how many business owners don’t realise that there are people who love doing the things you hate. For example, that weekly payroll, bookkeeping and copywriting are all ideal things for you to outsource. These are the things you either push aside or neglect as you simply don’t have the passion to do them. The things you stress about but that aren’t really worth the stress. These things are the things you hate that are perfect for you to outsource.

What Things Can’t You Do Yourself?

None of us know it all. As much as us small business owners like to wear all the hats in our businesses and do everything, there are a lot of things that we simply don’t know how to do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing everything.

“Knowledge is everything you have learnt. Wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.”

It would be nice to know everything. It certainly helps to have a working knowledge of absolutely everything that goes on in your business. However, there simply is not enough time for you to be an expert in everything from payroll and bookkeeping to marketing and SEO. In order to run your business properly, you need to focus on what you know and do best. The rest is what to outsource.

Outsource the tasks you aren’t completely confident on to an expert. You can rest assured they will be done properly and in a much quicker time-frame than you could do. You can then sleep easy having avoided the stress of worrying about doing the task correctly and invest more time into the things you do best, further developing the expertise that makes your business thrive.

Are There Any One-Off Tasks You Need Done?

Every now and then, a job pops up that we don’t necessarily have time for. The job isn’t large enough or ongoing so there isn’t an option to hire an employee to complete the job. Even if it is a job that may take a few months, the added costs and delays of on-boarding anew employee can make the job unprofitable or considerably reduce it value to your business.

It could be something as simple as a few hours of data entry or something as complex as a transition to a new database or the implementation of a new software system. These are the perfect things to outsource. Especially with implementation of new systems as the experts you use can manage the change management process, implement the system and train you and your staff on everything you need to know. Outsourcing also allows you and your team to keep going with business as usual while the one-off tasks are completed. It’s a no-brainer really.

What Are The Things You Just Shouldn’t Be Doing?

Whether you are just starting out in business or you’ve been running a successful business for many years, the business landscape is constantly evolving and you need to be able to keep up. So focus on keeping up. As a business owner you need to be focused on your business and its growth. Everything that distracts you from that focus is something that should be outsourced.

These tasks aren’t necessarily business tasks. What to outsource can also include your cleaning, grocery shopping and anything else that sucks up your valuable time and distracts your from your business.

If you’re not sure where to begin, book in a free chat with an MBP Business Support Advisor. They are experts at assessing what tasks you can outsource to others. At MBP, we are expert Certified Bookkeepers, Accountants and Business Development Advisors but there is a lot of stuff that we don’t do. We outsource to experts ourselves and can put you in touch with our most trusted experts for whatever it is you are looking to outsource.

A business is only successful when it has the best people, processes and data. Without accurate, reliable data, a business has no solid base on which to make any informed decisions regarding sales, marketing or people. This is why making a decision to outsource your bookkeeping can be a beneficial and profitable thing to do.

Accurate Data Relies on Accurate Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is so much more than just running invoices and clicking ‘OK’ to reconcile transactions. Many business owners like to do their bookkeeping themselves, they often shouldn’t. Most business owners are no more expert at their bookkeeping than an accountant or bookkeeper is at building a house or fixing a car.

Bookkeeping feels easy. It feels like you’ve got your hands on your business finances. It feels like you’re saving money by doing it yourself.

In our experience, it’s best to outsource your bookkeeping to an expert.

Why You Need to Outsource Your Bookkeeping to an Expert

Better Data, Better Decisions

Bad bookkeeping leads to bad data. When you are looking to make informed decisions for your business, you need the best data possible. When you make decisions based bad data, you make bad decisions.

Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping is Cheaper than DIY

Yes, you have to pay for bookkeeping. However, a Certified Bookkeeper is quicker than you. This means far fewer hours spent by outsourcing your bookkeeping. You can then better invest your time in the activities that you love and that increase your turnover and profitability.

Expertly Implemented Automation can Streamline Your Business

When set up properly, there is a lot of great modern tech solutions that can help to automate your bookkeeping and streamline your business. An expert bookkeeper can help to highlight solutions that can best work for your business and implement them properly to automate parts of your business. Automation drives accuracy and helps to keep your data up to date.

Your Outsourcing Bookkeeping Questions Answered

Surely my software does my bookkeeping for me?

Software like Xero is an awesome tool for bookkeeping. But that is all it is, a tool. Bookkeeping (and accounting) is a lot easier with the use of tools like Xero. However, there is still a real need for quality control and insights from experts.

Software can be a dangerous and messy trap for DIY Bookkeepers. The ‘OK’ button in Xero, for example, can be addictive and misleadingly easy. Just because the ‘OK’ button has popped up doesn’t mean that the suggestions that the software is making are correct. Modern accounting software has good and improving AI ability to learn. However, it learns from its users so it and its suggestions are only ever as good as its users. If the users are making errors, the software will suggest that you continue making these same errors. This saves you time but compounds your errors and can create quite an expensive mess to clean up.

How can outsourcing my bookkeeping be cheaper than doing it myself?

It might seem impossible that paying someone else can actually be cheaper than doing your bookkeeping yourself. An expert, Certified Bookkeeper can often actually save you both time and money while boosting your bottom line.

Your time is one of the most important assets you have. Your time is best spent being invested on productive, value adding activities. Bookkeeping is not a good use of your time. A Certified Bookkeeper is going to be a lot quicker than you, meaning a fraction of the time it takes you to do the same tasks.

Let’s run some numbers. In 2019, the average salary in New Zealand was around $76,397.00. This translates to about $39.00 an hour. As a business owner you should be aiming to be above average to compensate you for the added risk of being self employed, but lets stick with the average. We find that a professional bookkeeper is capable of processing data two to three times faster than a DIY bookkeeper and with no errors. This highlights an average DIY time cost of $97.50 for each hour of professional bookkeeping time. The errors that DIY bookkeepers often make are generally fixed by accountants at end of year at accountants rates. If we assume three hours of accountant clean-up per year, this is likely to be around $345.00 at least.

Most small business owners can save at least 20 hours of admin time a month by outsourcing their bookkeeping. This equates to $808.75 a month in average DIY cost per month. If the work is then done on average 2.5x faster by a Certified Bookkeeper then the cost of outsourcing is likely to be roughly $520.00 a month, plus gst. This equates to savings of at least $288.75 per month, or $3,465.00 per year.

These savings can be even greater with MBP. Our bookkeeping service pricing decreases the longer the work takes us. Our entry-level plan to outsource your bookkeeping can help you to save an extra $80.00 a month plus gst.

The added value from having quality, reliable data to make informed decisions is priceless.

Why would a bookkeeper do themselves out of a job by automating my business admin?

Some don’t. You shouldn’t be working with these bookkeepers. It is important that you are working with a tech savvy bookkeeper who can advise and leverage technology to streamline your business.

It is also important that your bookkeeper is able to comprehend your overall business strategy. With this understanding, they will be able to best advise on the solutions to best automate your admin and free up your time to move towards your goals quicker.

What is automation?

Modern software like Hubdoc, Zapier, Receipt Stash, Fergus, and many others can make manual data entry a thing of the past. This saves you time, money and improves the accuracy and reliability of your data. These software solutions are like your silent assistants, working quietly for you 24/7. They help to keep your business books tidy and up to date and streamline the processes for your bookkeeper.

In order to benefit from automation, you need to select the right solutions and implement them properly. An expert MBP Business Support Advisor will be able to help you identify and implement the right solutions for you. No solution is set-and-forget.

Outsource Your Bookkeeping for Better Data and Reliable, Accurate Bookkeeping

To find out more about the benefits of outsourcing your bookkeeping to an expert, get in touch with the expert ICNZB Certified Bookkeepers at MBP. The great thing about working with MBP is that the longer it takes us, the less you pay. We therefore have a vested interest in working for you in the best, quickest way possible. Our fixed price bookkeeping packages start from just 45 an hour plus gst.

One of our Business Support Advisors will be in touch with you for a free consultation. They will review your business processes and identify activities you can outsource to boost your bottom line. They will also look for opportunities to automate processes using leading technology solutions. Click here to book in a chat with an advisor at a time that is convenient for you.

If financially things aren’t looking that great, you may be considering declaring bankruptcy. Making your debts go away may seem like the obvious solution, but there’s a lot to consider before you do. While bankruptcy can clear your debts from the time you lodge a debtor’s petition with the Official Assignee, it’s far from being the end of your problems.

We’re going to take a look at what declaring bankruptcy really means financially and personally, how bankruptcy works, alternatives to bankruptcy, applying for bankruptcy and what happens afterwards.

What Does Declaring Bankruptcy Mean?

When you declare bankruptcy, you are effectively saying that you are unable to repay any of your debts. This means that you are insolvent, and cannot pay any of your debts when they are due. If you have a debt of over $1000 or greater, you are eligible to apply to the Official Assignee for bankruptcy.

If you are declared as bankrupt, most of your assets can be confiscated and sold by the Official Assignee. The exceptions to this are personal belongings, tools for work, household furniture and appliances to a set value, a vehicle worth up to $6500 and cash up to $1300. The Official Assignee can shut down your business and sell its assets, sell your home, take any money you are given, cash out your term life insurance and any other savings.  If you have gifted money to others within the past five years, this can be taken back. The same goes if you transferred your assets to a family trust.

Alternatives to Declaring Bankruptcy

If your debt is smaller than $47,000, you could consider a No Asset Procedure or Debt Repayment Order instead. Both of these are formal alternatives to being bankrupt:

  • No Asset Procedure – best suited if you have no assets and owe between $1000-$50,000. You can only apply once, and it is a less formal situation with shorter consequences to bankruptcy. It is usually discharged after one year.
  • Debt Repayment Order – if you owe less than $50,000 in unsecured debt, a Debt Repayment Order can give you extra time to repay your debts. The Official Assignee and DRO Supervisor will work out a repayment scheme you must follow. Your assets remain in your control and your name is listed on the Official Assignees website. It is discharged once the terms of your order have been completed.

Other things you can try to do to help avoid a bankruptcy include:

  • Sell your assets – things such as clothing, jewellery, furniture
  • Cancel any subscriptions – things such as pay-TV, newspapers and magazines
  • Set a budget –identify ways you can cut costs and pay creditors
  • Restructure your debt – put into one low-interest loan
  • Offer creditors a final sum payment – sometimes creditors will accept a amount smaller than the total debt just to claim back something financially

The consequences of bankruptcy are quite severe, so if you can, seek other alternatives.

Consequences of Being Declared Bankrupt

Yes, once declared bankrupt, you will be released most types of debt that you listed in your application. However, there are other consequences including the seizing of all of your assets, except for the minimum as we mentioned above. Other consequences or implications include:

  • Negative credit rating – this can affect your ability to borrow money or obtain credit in the future. It can also make it harder to rent a property.
  • Banks may close your account or refuse you to open one.
  • All of your income and expenses must be declared to the Official Assignee.
  • Power, phone and insurance companies may refuse to provide services to you.
  • Your employee may not want to employ you anymore based on that your bankruptcy is a risk to their business.
  • Your details and related information can be seen online.
  • The Official Assignee may want to sell assets you own jointly with others.
  • You cannot travel overseas without the permission of the Official Assignee.
  • You cannot run a business or be employed by a relative.
  • You cannot take any legal action against anyone.
  • If applying for credit over $1000, you must declare you are an undischarged bankrupt.

Then there are the social implications, where people treat you differently and this can cause significant difficulties.

How to Apply for Bankruptcy

You can apply for bankruptcy by completing a debtor’s application to the Official Assignee. This can be done online. When filling out a statement of affairs form, you will need to list details about your assets, cash and debts. Once the Official Assignee has declared you as being bankrupt, most of your debts will cease and creditors will not be able to contact you for repayments.

Appointed to administer the Insolvency Act 2006, the New Zealand Insolvency and Trustee Service is responsible for controlling all No Asset Procedures, Debt Repayment Orders and bankruptcies. It is then the job of the Official Assignee to collect and sell your assets to repay your creditors.

Once your application has been made, the Official Assignee will be in contact within 10 working days and ask for any necessary information. If your application is successful, your details will be published on their website, newspapers or NZ Gazette, and your creditors will be sent a report about their next steps in getting their money.

What Happens After Bankruptcy?

Once declared an undischarged bankrupt, creditors can no longer contact you and ask for money. They instead need to work with the Official Assignee. You will though, need to cancel any current direct debits you have made and seek permission from the Official Assignee if you want to go overseas, be self-employed or employed by a relative.

You remain an undischarged bankrupt for three years, but your name remains on the Official Assignee’s website for seven years, or indefinitely if this is not your first bankruptcy. Its is obviously not ideal to be declaring bankruptcy multiple times. If you have paid your debt in full or have a significant change in income and can now pay your debts, you can apply for an annulment. You can also apply for early discharge to the High Court but seek legal advice first.

Once three years have passed and you are discharged from bankruptcy, the restrictions placed on you are no longer valid. You regain control of your finances, can become self-employed and travel overseas when you wish.

It is seriously recommended that you do not wait until things get so bad financially that you have no other option than to declare bankruptcy. We recommend coming and talking with us to discuss your options, which can include budgeting, working out debt repayments, identifying assets to sell or ways of generating additional income. It would also be beneficial to look at ways to improve your financial literacy and consider taking some financial awareness coaching if you are a business owner.

If you have found yourself in a challenging financial situation, please seek advice. We’re here to help.

The New Year is a time for setting goals and targets for the months head. Its also the best time to make sure you have the best people on your team to help you achieve those goals and targets. That makes it a great time to look for a new accountant.

Your accountant is one of the most important people on your team. They might not be the first person you’d consider. However, a having an approachable, proactive accountant can be the difference between success and failure.

When is it Time to Consider a New Accountant?

Any time is a good time to look at your options. Whether you want better results, better service or better value for money, its always a good time to look for your best fit.

If you aren’t happy with the services provided, don’t feel your treated properly or are not getting value for money, its definitely time to switch. No matter what time of year it is.

Take the Time to Find the Right New Accountant

Regardless of how long you’ve been with your current accountant, a new accountant could be the perfect match for you. Not all accountants are created equal and every single business is different. To get the best value from the relationship between you and your accountant, you have to be a good match.

For example, at MBP, we have a set of unwritten ‘clubhouse rules’. These aren’t anything hard and fast but are a way for us to get to quickly understand how a new business will partner with us. We use the term partner instead of client because its far more appropriate. We consider all of our clients to be our MBP Business Partners. As such, they get the best partner level service, direct access to the team and generous discounts on business products and services. If we don’t think a business will fit in comfortably or won’t be a good fit, we’ll refer them to another firm in our network who we think will be a better match.

Should You Look for a New Accountant with Fixed Fees?

Fixed fee accounting is a great way to ensure that you get everything you need at a price you’re willing to pay. Its also really easy on cash flow as you don’t get stung with any huge bills. The smaller monthly payments make cash flow management a breeze.

Fixed fees, no surprises.

At MBP, we have a range of fixed price packages built for every business. From sole traders to rental property investments, end of year essentials to monthly management reports, we have every solution you need at a fixed fee.

A Proactive New Accountant Will Highlight Potential Issues

Time seems to pass faster than ever in the modern world and in business it seems to fly even faster. Gone are the days when you can afford to only see your accountant once a year to discuss things that happened months ago. To not only stay ahead of the competition but to maintain your financial position in the face of increase competition, you need a proactive accountant.

A proactive accountant doesn’t just sit back and wait. They get stuck into your books throughout the year. At least bi-monthly they will review how things are tracking, and if anything jumps out to them as an issue. This gives you an invaluable opportunity to benefit from outside eyes looking in, holding you accountable and giving you any necessary nudges..

Often, business owners get stuck in the day to day. With a proactive new accountant, that isn’t an issue. You can get stuck into doing what you love while they focus on making sure the big picture is still working.

Is it Difficult To Shift to a New Accountant?

Moving to a new accountant is as easy as having a cup of coffee. In fact, you can sit there and have a cup of coffee while we get it all sorted. The team at MBP do all the heavy lifting, including handling the divorce with your old accountant.

You won’t notice any interruptions and before you know it, you’ll be all moved in with your new accountant and their team.

Make The Move To Modern Accounting With MBP

The team at MBP aren’t your old accountants. We don’t just meet with you once a year, we’re there by you all year long, through it all. With fixed price packages and unlimited communication, you never have to be afraid of getting a bill for a simple phone call or a quick query over email. Our team are here to support you and your business on your path to success.

We leverage the power of the best accounting software and tools available to streamline our services. This means we invest more time in dealing with our clients direct. Unlike old firms, we’re able to give you timely monthly reports, KPI tracking and business coaching in real time.

If its time for a new accountant, get in touch with the team at MBP. We’ll schedule a proactive accounting meeting to see exactly what your needs are and how we can tailor our services to give you everything you need and nothing you don’t.