Can you remember life before the internet? I can’t – well, not my business life.
Over the years I have found a number of new websites that I use to help not only my clients but also myself in business. You’ll also be happy to know they are not all about tax either!
I thought it would be interesting to see what internet sites the Legacy team also use, so I sent around an email and thought this could be an interesting directory for business people in New Zealand in particular.
Expensify is an awesome tool that aims to take the pain out of expense reporting. It streamlines the process of handling expenses and, thankfully, largely does away with paper receipts. It is very well reviewed and enjoyed by those who use it. Links with Xero!
MYOB, like Xero, has started moving its platforms online. It offers a full suite of options for anything from small business to large enterprises.
Smart Payroll is an easy to use cloud-based payroll system. Smart Payroll is specifically designed to be affordable and easy to use for small to medium sized businesses. This is our preferred software program to use with our clients.
Does Xero need to be introduced? Xero is a New Zealand-based software company that seems to be taking over the world… well, the accounting world.
The key features of Xero include automatic bank and credit card account feeds, invoicing, accounts payable, expense claims, fixed asset depreciation, purchase orders, and standard business and management reporting.
Xero can automatically import bank and credit card statements. Over 275 third-party software vendors have built Xero add-ons and it also supports multiple tax rates and currencies.
www.whakatane.info is our local directory online featuring local businesses and information about the local area. Built for locals, relocators and visitors to our region.
My goto website for information and phone numbers
Business Mentors New Zealand
BMNZ is a free service which provides an independent, confidential, non-judgemental ear, bringing a fresh perspective – someone to bounce ideas off. A business mentor for free!
A range of calculators to help you with calculating the cost of borrowing, saving and retirement, foreign currency and the like.
Sorted offers New Zealanders free, impartial information and calculators to help manage their money throughout life.
Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on their computers, which Dropbox then synchronises so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder are also accessible via the Dropbox website and mobile apps.
It is also a great way of transferring large files between different locations. I often will upload a file for a client and share a link that allows them to download the file to their computer without any hassles.
If you don’t have Google Apps for business you can still use Google Drive, a free service where you can save all internal documents. You can also use Google’s own programs that are similar to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
Base® Sales CRM
Working your sales pipeline has never been easier. Customise sales stages and enjoy an easy drag-and-drop interface. Invite your team to work with you on current opportunities and share deals, contacts, notes and tasks.
Track sales, set goals and team quotas, and manage teams in different areas.
Having a domain name for your email address does make your business look more professional.
If you want to check if a domain name (i.e. www.legacyaccountants.co.nz) is available or to register a domain name, here are a few different websites.
Deputy helps businesses unlock their potential and enables managers and employees to work in unison to create an easier work life. With a clean and modern interface, it makes employee management easy.
Easy to use for rostering, keeping a track of where your team is working, setting tasks, and it even integrates into payroll providers such as Smart Payroll.
Employers & Manufacturers Association
EMA is New Zealand’s pre-eminent business association and for over 100 years we have partnered with New Zealand businesses to help them grow, be confident, and seek out new networks and new markets. We provide our members with a real competitive market advantage – they are better informed, able to engage with government, and the first to know about market trends and changes. Being a part of the EMA community means access to free legal advice, quarterly market briefings, national wage and salary information, employment law guides, export opportunities, targeted business training, and the opportunity to be the voice of New Zealand business.
GENERAL BUSINESS INFORMATION
A government initiative trying to provide quality information to the general public. Everything from starting a business, staff, tax, financial reporting, laws and regulations, marketing and so much more. All the information is general in nature but useful for a discussion point.
The companies office has just changed its URL to fit under the business.govt.nz website. You can check company names, check shareholder and directors details, incorporate companies and the like.
IRD Tools for business
This demonstrates IRD trying to help businesses. IRD developed an online interactive tool to help you get all your small business tax issues sorted quickly and simply. Some of the detail is also given via video.
The PPSR is an electronic register that allows security interests in personal property to be registered and searched.
GOOGLE FOR BUSINESS
Google Apps for Work can help your teams stay a step ahead by creating and communicating from anywhere, on any device.
Google Apps includes practical and powerful tools for email, calendar, text and video chat, document creation, project websites, and online storage and sync.
Another awesome New Zealand company starting to take on the world. Their software is built for use on computers, iPads, and smartphones.
Their guest check-in suite optimises the arrivals of your customers collecting the information you need for their visit, collating the information and storing it. Weather it’s liability waivers, medical information, feedback forms or even shoe size, Wherewolf collects the information, displays it how you need, generates your marketing data, emails your customers, all automatically. Target your audience, save time and money and create the best ever first impression with Wherewolf
The ACC website is useful to make sure you have your business industry description correct when reviewing your ACC invoice. It is also a useful source of information of the differences between the different types of ACC insurance cover.
The website interest.co.nz has most of the published interest rates from the major banks.
as well as for savings!
Council rating databases
A lot of local councils have a ratings database. These are useful to find the government valuations of properties in that area. Here is a list of councils in New Zealand which you can use to find the database
New Zealand Legislation
For the geek in you a full database of Acts, Bills and Legislative Instruments… This will either be useful or boring as hell…
Some of the team also have their homepage as TVNZ, the New Zealand Herald or Stuff to keep up to date with what is going on in the world. Personally mine is set to Google…
Plus many more local news sites.
Post Code Finder
This is used almost daily at Legacy. The NZ Post postcode finder is used to ensure the client’s postal details are correctly entered into the database
MailChimp is a web-based email marketing service that allows you to send newsletters to your database of contacts. It comes with a great suite of tools. One of the most important things to know is the service is completely free if you are mailing less than 12,000 emails per month to fewer than 2000 email accounts.
An easy to use online tool for creating and publishing online surveys in minutes, and you can view results graphically and in real time. Survey Monkey even has a free version.
A great tool for accepting online credit card payments and even to set up recurring billing. Braintree offers a huge number of customisable options for payment solutions – great for businesses that have a subscription base.
All you need to remember is one password (hence the name), which will in turn give you access to all of your other passwords. Once you add a password, your web browser (like Chrome) can log you into your favourite sites using only that one password you made. It’s like magic.
But 1Password is a lot more than that. It keeps track of secure notes, passport numbers, medical information, frequent flier numbers, and even your credit cards.
Does putting all of your passwords in one app sound scary? It shouldn’t. As long as you never tell anybody your ‘one password’ (that you don’t use for anything else), you have nothing to worry about.
I have client who use this for password management. At enterprise level it allows different users access to different sites. For example the whole team can access the MailChimp account, but only the directors and accounts people the Xero account.
POINT OF SALE (POS)
Vend is retail POS (point of sale software), inventory management, ecommerce and customer loyalty for iPad, Mac and PC. Easily manage and grow your business in the cloud. Links to Xero.
Easy project management. Never exceed your budget – track expenses, monitor progress and deadlines easily within projects. Track time while you work. Increase productivity, your bottom line, and boost transparency between you and your client. You can add clients and employees to tasks, keeping the conversation in one place. Stay in the loop with notifications when a task is updated.
You can even invoice clients for projects with one click. Send to Xero, or direct to their inbox.
High Profile Enterprises
High Profile Enterprises is a boutique marketing consultancy based in the sunny Bay of Plenty (recently relocated from Auckland) which specialises in search engine optimisation, content marketing and social media management strategies for innovative businesses in New Zealand and Australia.
Mike and Midge blog about all aspects of SEO and it’s well worth a read!
Sharesight is useful for finding information on historic dividends paid by companies.
This needs little introduction. Facebook has become a valuable tool in business and often is a great way of spreading your business message to a targeted group of people. Your page is an extension of your business. It’s an easy way to share updates and more with the people who matter most. It’s ready to help you engage with your customers on desktop and on mobile.
LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally.
Personally Twitter used to confuse me – for those who are interested in learning more about twitter, here you go: http://highprofileenterprises.com/category/twitter/
IRD Calendar and Important Dates
This is quite a cool tool. Inland Revenue allows you to develop a calendar to remind you when taxes are due. Be careful you enter the right information though!
Yes, a necessary evil of doing business is paying tax. IRD has a useful directory of their forms and guides. IRD is starting to make a push for tax returns to be filed online.
TO DO LISTS
A free tool or upgrade to Business for $30.00 a year.
Evernote can be your note-taker, to-do list manager, reminder, read-later app, cloud storage service, or you can even use it to capture and edit photos, business card, or anything you want. You can use the Web Clipper browser extension to bookmark and save full web pages (or a simplified text only version) to your Evernote and can even mark it up to draw attention to a specific part in the web page.
The Web Clipper also lets you save emails, or PDFs, or images directly from the web browser to your Evernote account (and also lets you take screenshots and annotate it with text, arrows, etc. before saving it).
This is my number one most used website and application on my phone (well, after Facebook of course). I often find myself with a large number of projects and requests to deal with at work and at home and Todoist lets you manage your tasks anywhere and also collaborate with others.
At home. At school. At work. Online. Offline. And on 15 platforms and devices. I honestly cannot give this app enough credit. It also has a free version.
Another ‘to do list’ program which allows task management, project overview and team management. It has a nice feel to it.
A great tool that is well used in the Legacy Office. We have an office in Whakatane and also one in Tauranga. Additionally we have clients not only all through New Zealand but also internationally.
A great way of having a face-to-face meeting without the expense and time involved in travel.
It’s also FREE! Can be used on your cell phone, computer, tablet and the like.
Seems Vicky from Legacy got a little carried away when supplying useful websites for business… It seems when you (Vicky) need a quick break from work you (she) can (does) use online shopping sites like Mighty Ape, Grab One, etc.
Here are some more!
Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. You can learn a lot about visitors to your website. A must-have for businesses with a website.
So this is my list… what have I missed? What do you use that I have not included? Email me your suggestions and why! I would love to know!
This post is from Jason Lougher. Jason is a chartered accountant who moved back to the Bay of Plenty – his favourite part of the world – to work with small and medium enterprises. Jason’s passion is taxation and effective tax structuring, trust set up and intergenerational planning, Inland Revenue audits and tax disputes, and business development. Jason works closely with the other directors to combine their skill sets to achieve the best outcome for clients. Additionally Jason is on the NZICA Bay of Plenty Local Leadership Team and is a Business Mentor with Business Mentors New Zealand.
Legacy Chartered Accountants has offices in Whakatane and Tauranga.