Country manager at Xero New Zealand
It’s a huge date on small and medium business’ calendars across the country, but it feels like the financial year end passes just as quickly as it rolls around. Suddenly we find the financial year of 2017-2018 is in the past and we’re well and truly into the new year.
With the chaos of March 31 behind you, it’s a good time to take stock of how your business is performing, what you could improve, and where you are heading.
Having happy staff that perform well and are invested in the success of your business is absolutely vital. How is your staff morale? This is a great time to reward your team for their hard work over the previous financial year. Get the new year off to a good start with a team lunch or dinner, or perhaps a bonus if your finances allow.
It’s also a good opportunity to share your new financial year strategy with your team. It’s important they are across your vision for the year, and what role each of them will play in achieving the business’ goals.
You could also workshop what the year ahead looks like with your staff. Many of them will have experience in areas of the business that you may not be completely across, or simply have an alternative point of view that you hadn’t considered. This is an opportunity to get them involved in the planning process and make a real contribution to the business.
As we ease into the new financial year, there are a couple of changes to legislation and new resources available that will impact businesses in different ways.
If you have staff who earn the minimum wage, April 1 saw an increase to their hourly rate to $16.50. While it’s a win for these staff, your business may be feeling the pinch. Talk to your accountant or bookkeeper if you’re concerned about the effects of this raise on your bottom line.
Stage two of the IRD’s Business Transformation Programme also came into effect in April. This included introducing the Accounting Income Method (AIM) for paying provisional tax and making it easier to file PAYE online.
Talk to your accountant about what these changes mean for your business. The increase in the government contribution for parental leave to 22 weeks comes into effect on July 1, so be aware of any impacts on your staff or leave they wish to take.
I’d recommend any new business owner takes a look at the resources on business.govt.nz. These resources can have a really positive impact on small business owners who often wear many different hats.