Beany is an online accountanting firm. All this means is that we do all the normal stuff an accountant does, but we use technology to make it cheaper, faster and better for you.
What does a small business accountant do?
Our job is to go into your accounting file and make sure that the numbers are right. And, to be honest, no one’s file is ever 100% right. To give you an idea of how not right they usually are, on average the adjustments we put through save clients hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in tax to pay each year.
What are the mistakes that we fix?
- Sometimes people put expenses through their business which the IRD don’t allow, such as gym memberships, life insurance or grocery expenses for their family. You’d be surprised by what we find in files.
- We account for expenses that don't go through the bank account - this includes home office costs and expenses you may have paid on behalf of the business.
- We can also bring in assets that you’re using and claim depreciation. We can also save you a bunch of tax by looking at how your business is structured. You could be trading as a sole trader, but if you change to a company, there could be significant tax savings. And vice-versa - sometimes is better to operate as a sole trader.
Once we’ve made all these accounting adjustments, we prepare financial statements for the business.
What are financial statements?
This is a formal term for your financial information which is set out in a specific way to comply with international accounting standards, the requirements of New Zealand’s Companies Office, and Inland Revenue, so that anyone on the planet reading the financial statements knows that they have been prepared to the same standard using the same rules.
They show all the business income you’ve earned and all the business expenses you’ve paid, with the difference being your net profit or loss for a year (usually). They also give a snapshot on one day, the last day of the year, of everything you own and everything you owe, and the difference is how much the business is worth on that one day.
There’s a whole bunch of notes before the profit and loss, the balance sheet, and a whole bunch of notes afterwards. These are meant to make it easier to read the financial statements and explain them. We're pretty sure no one reads them, but they are required in law!
The regular stuff
We look at your total financial situation - are you married, do you have children, have you made donations, do you have other businesses or assets, do you have a rental property, do you pay child support or have a student loan, or dividends or a house in the Coromandel? We look at the whole enchilada and this is where the clever Beany qualified accountants come in. They look at everything and work out, using our software, the very best tax position we can find for our clients.
Sometimes we will need more information from you - what are your plans for the next few years? Do you have tax losses to use up? Are you getting married (you’d be surprised how important this information can be)?
Once we have all this knowledge about you and your situation, we can prepare tax returns and explain to you why we’ve done what we’ve done to minimise tax.
Then we file your tax returns - but it doesn’t end there. We keep an eye on your tax account and warn you if you haven’t paid, we look at the provisional tax you need to pay and let you know when you need to pay and maybe if you need to pay more, or less, than the standard amount.
The not-so-regular stuff
Then there’s other stuff that we routinely get asked about. Should I buy this truck? Can I claim expenses on my boat if I take clients out on it? My Xero file doesn’t reconcile - help! We get lots of questions about any kind of accounting and tax issues and we answer them all via our support desk with a median response time of 1.2 hours - we’re there when you need us.
We also do business valuations, provide specialist tax advice (what happens if I’m buying from China, selling into Europe and I’m a tax resident in NZ?), and provide lots of support around cash flow forecasting and cash management*.
We also spend quite a bit of time either setting up your Xero file, unscrambling your Xero file or converting your shoebox into a Xero file*. We love training you on how to get the most out of Xero*.
Finally we also run some software in the background which gives you a daily snapshot of your business with suggestions on how to improve it. You can benchmark to your competitors and map progress to your goals. This is through our new Xero Partner App - Wealthier.
These types of services almost always require an additional one-off fee because of significant time spent by your accountant. They're not part of your Beany package which covers the 'regular stuff'. We'll let you know the cost before we start work, so you know what to expect.