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January 24, 2018

In June 2017, the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBEI) updated their guide to the Holidays Act 2003.  It now much clearer to read and includes information on all other types of leave, including, sick, bereavement, alternative, parental etc.

You can find the latest information here:   Employment New Zealand: Leave and Holidays

Or pull down the latest PDF from: Employment New Zealand: Pay for Leave and Holidays Guidance



Christmas Hours

December 8, 2017

I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Festive New Year.

I will be closed for business from Friday 22nd December returning to work on Friday 12th January. 

If you require urgent support, you can ring my mobile.   I will endeavour to get back the same day but I may be out of range at times.

For more information about my products and services visit my updated web site:

EXO Time and Attendance Cost Centre Changes – Update 2017.01

March 27, 2017

Just in case you’ve missed the note,  it is no longer possible to change the Cost Centre field when editing a time using the fields at the bottom of the window. To change a time’s Cost Centre, enter it directly into the Costcentre column at the top of the window:

EXOES CC changes 2017

MYOB AccountRight Live 2016.3 update

November 30, 2016

Hot on the heels of my notes on using Ctrl Shift F to search in MYOB AccountRight, AccountRight Live 2016.3 has been released and includes a powerful search ribbon in the cards file.    They have also simplified the icons on the navigator screen.  I like it but others have expressed a dislike.

New AccountRight Navigator screen:myob-simplified

This release requires you to download and do a fresh install on your PC.  The install and data file upgrade are both very fast.

I installed the Server edition and received a Hosts file error.  The error only happens with the Server edition.  There was nothing wrong with my hosts files.  Follow these notes at MYOB to see if you have a problem:

Error:  ‘Hosts’ file setup incorrectly

If you’re not sure what to do, give me a call.

November 2016 Update

November 30, 2016

Changes to Employment Law

In April this year, major changes were introduced to NZ employment law:

  • Parental leave
  • Hours of work
  • Wage deductions
  • Record keeping
  • Health & Safety

Most of you will be aware of the changes to Health and Safety, the calculation of holiday pay and hours of work, as they were in the news a lot but there were a few other changes that might have been overlooked.  Here’s a summary to job your memory (courtesy of *MyHR):


  • Increase to 18 weeks paid for biological & adoptive parents (under 6 years old).
  • Parents qualify after 26 weeks work for any employer in the past 52 weeks.
  • “Keeping in touch hours” allow parents to partially return.
  • Payments increased to $527.72 (or max earnings if less). Paid by IRD.
  • Protection of employment unchanged.


  • Permanent part-time & full-time agreements must specify hours.  Zero hours prohibited.
  • Extra hours by mutual agreement or paid compensation.
  • Reasonable notice and reasonable compensation for cancelling a shift.
  • Genuinely casual still OK.


  • Employees MUST CONSENT to wage deductions, the employment agreement is not enough.
  • Deductions must not be unreasonable.
  • No more penalties for unworked notice.


  • Increased power to Labour Inspectors, including issuing fines on the spot up to $20,000.
  • More Labour Inspectors.
  • Must have a signed agreement (no change).
  • Must have accurate wage and time records.


  • Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
  • Proactive two-way communication
  • New responsibilities
  • PCBU, Officer, Worker & Others
  • Increased penalties

(*MyHR is an online software company.  I have no affiliation with MyHR but I did enjoy the seminar they put on and I have tried their sofware with one employee.  So far, it is shaping up to be as promised.)

What is Leave in Advance?

Not everyone understands how annual leave entitlements work.

A common misconception held is that because holidays are accruing, that they are an entitlement.  That is not correct.  An employee only becomes entitled to holidays on the annual (12 month) anniversary of their start date.   Any leave that is taken before that is not yet an entitlement and is classified as leave in advance.

While it is good to get rid of some of the accrued leave liability, your employees need to understand that if they terminate before they become entitled to leave, the leave taken in advance may not be valued at the termination value.  This means there may be an adjustment, usually a deduction, made on termination.

Leave entitlements are paid at the HIGHER OF rate, while holiday pay on leave accrued on termination is just 8% of gross earnings.  Depending on the industry, 8% could be much less that the average rate over the past 12 months.

To avoid any misunderstanding, you should have your employee agree that they understand they are taking leave in advance and that their final holiday pay may be adjusted.  The easiest way to do that is to have a tick box and a note on the leave application form.    The employee signs their leave application in full knowledge that they are taking leave in advance and of any possible consequences.

Lump Sum Tax on Holiday Pay

Last year the IRD clarified their position on the taxing of termination holiday pay and holiday pay paid in advance.

In situations where the holiday pay is paid as a lump sum IN ADDITION TO the employee’s regular pay in a pay period, the holiday is to be taxed as an extra pay:

  • where the holiday pay is paid as a lump sum before the holiday is taken (holiday pay paid in advance)
  • where the remaining balance of the employee’s leave entitlement is paid as a lump sum at the end of their employment.

The higher tax on holidays paid in advance is a bit of an anomaly, seeing as the staff are in continuous employment with you, but that is the rule.  There are submissions to change this but for now you are required to abide by the legislation.

It will affect you at Christmas if you shut down and your staff take all their holiday pay at once; you will need to use the lump sum rate.   The simplest way to avoid this is to run a separate pay for each pay period and to pay each pay separately as it falls due.

How to work out the PAYE for lump sums

  1. Work out what your employee has earned (before PAYE) over the past four weeks.
  2. Multiply this figure by 13.
  3. Add the lump sum payment to the figure in step two.
  4. Use the table below to work out what income bracket your employee is in.
  5. Deduct PAYE from the lump sum payment at the rate shown in the right-hand column for that income bracket.

Choose the right PAYE rate

Total of lump sum payment and grossed-up annual value of employee’s income for previous four weeks PAYE rate (including 1.39% ACC levy) PAYE rate for redundancy or retiring payments
$14,000 or less 11.89% 10.50%
from $14,001 to $48,000 18.89% 17.50%
from $48,001 to $70,000 31.39% 30.00%
from $70,001 to $122,063 34.39% 33.00%

NOTE:  $122,063 is the ACC levy maximum for the 2017 tax year.

If you need help with Christmas pays, keep your eye out for training courses from your payroll providers, or give me a call and I can come in and check your payroll with you to make sure you comply with legislation, that you are paying based on employment agreements and that you have company policies in place for those tricky situations.

Accounting Software Hackers

It has been brought to my notice that hackers are gaining access to businesses’ on line accounting software and changing the bank account details for suppliers.  If you have a two-stage on line log in process, make sure you follow it and use two separate passwords, one to log on line, the other to get into your software.  Make sure you  TURN OFF “Keep me Logged In”.  Once a hacker is in, it doesn’t take much to change details in your accounting software to pay themselves without you noticing.

It is also possible to intercept and amend PDF invoices, this has been happening in Christchurch.  If you have an option in your software for the customer to download the invoice themselves from a secure site, choose that option instead of emailing.

Accounting Software Discounts

There seems to be an aggressive fight for space in the cloud right now.  All the providers are offering discounts for you to move to the cloud.  Make sure you call me if you are thinking moving to the cloud, or putting more files in the cloud.

AccountRight Tip – Use the Find Ribbon to search in All Registers and Lists

You have probably used the Find Ribbon in the AccountRight Bank Register but did you know you can access it on all registers and lists?

I have found it especially useful when searching for job numbers and purchase orders.

First you need to know how to access the find ribbon.

When you are in a register or list, click into the data lines and press the key combination: Ctrl Shift F.

Open a list or register, click on any line, in this example, Supercheap:


Use  Ctrl Shift F to bring up the Find Ribbon and type in the some information to search on, I’ve used a supplier name:


I could have searched for an invoice number:


Freeway: A Mobility App that allows you to work away from the office on your mobile device without the need for cell coverage.


Key Functions of Freeway:

Checklists: mandatory or optional checklists & data capture Sales & Jobs: creation of quotes, orders and invoices
Photos: take photos or link to existing images on device Maps: map and directions from your current position
Signatures: capture multiple signatures with mandatory setting Notes: internal or external notes
Timesheets: record job times or throughput quantities Products & Charges: standard lists or supplier catalogues
Tracking: GPS coordinates and timestamps for On & Off site Inquires: ad hoc user defined inquiries
Purchases: creation of receipts for supplier pickups Service Maintenance: assets & equipment
Sketches: freeform drawings SMS: Two-way text messaging
Barcodes: barcode scanning support Audio Recording: unlimited voice recording

MYOB AccountRight Live invoices won’t preview

April 4, 2016

When you do a Print Preview in MYOB AccountRight Live and it won’t display on the screen, the reason is most likely the default PDF viewer you are using.

TIP: You can get around this by using the ‘View online invoice’ button on the top right hand side of the invoice processing screen.

ARL online invoice button


MYOB EXO 2016 Payroll update

April 3, 2016

EXO Payroll 2016.01 includes a number of usability changes which are very nice and have been appreciated by everyone who’s seen them so far.

The user interface has been modernised and includes new list windows for managing employees and pays.   The lists can be filtered, sorted, exported or printed.

The custom payslip is working well now and is recommended for use going forward as this is the payslip MYOB will put most development efforts into.  Adding a logo is easy.  If your logo doesn’t fit, you can open the forms designer and enlarge the image area to suit.

EXO 2016 custom logo

The biggest tax change to be aware of is the taxing of lump sum holiday pay.   The IRD clarified last November that all lump sum and future paid holiday pay would be taxed at the higher tax rates.

The main concern that has been expressed about this change, is the higher tax that is required to be paid when staff take several weeks leave at once and take their holiday pay in advance, as they are entitled to.  This is being reviewed by the IRD and may change.

There is no longer the option in EXO to override the number of periods to tax holiday pay.

For more information on taxing holiday pay in New Zealand, you can check out the IRD position at Calculating PAYE on holiday pay.


Reminder – Xero NZ prices change from 01 December 2015

November 25, 2015

Xero NZ prices change from 01 December 2015.    Following on about transaction limits from my previous post, the upper limit is 1,000, as shown in the price list below.

Xero price change 01-12-15

November 2015 update

November 18, 2015

With only 5 or 6 weekly pays until Christmas, it’s timely to think about annual leave, public holidays, terminations and parties.    I’ve also included a couple of hints and tips, a reminder about reading the fine print and my availability over Christmas.

  • Public Holidays
  • Employee Terminations close to Christmas
  • Example: Calculation of final payment for annual holidays
  • Christmas Parties and Presents – what is deductible?
  • Excel Tip – Pin to List
  • Software fine print – a reminder
  • Some humorous answers from an accounting product quiz
  • aboutBusiness Christmas break

Public Holidays

This year Boxing Day and the Day after New Year’s Day fall on a Saturday.

If your employees normally work Saturdays, their Public Holidays are observed on the Saturday.

If they do not normally work Saturdays, their Public Holidays are observed the following Monday.

Christmas Day                          December, Friday 25th
Boxing Day                                December, Saturday 26th or Monday 28th
New Year’s Day                         January, Friday 1st
Day after New Year’s Day      January, Saturday 2nd or Monday 4th

New Zealand at Work has an excellent explanation of how to calculate rates for employees who work on a Public Holiday.

Employee Terminations close to Christmas

When an employee terminates in December, business owners sometimes get a shock about how much extra they have to pay the employee.

On resignation or termination, the employee’s final date of work is notionally extended by any annual holiday entitlements not taken.

For example, if an employee is to finish work 10 days before a public holiday and has more than 10 days remaining from their annual holiday entitlement, the employee is entitled to a day’s payment for the public holiday if it is a day on which they would normally have worked.

Example: Calculation of final payment for annual holidays

Lucy has been employed for 1 year and 1 month.  She leaves her employment on 11 December, and the last date she became entitled to annual holidays was 11 November.  Lucy has already used one week of annual holiday so has three weeks remaining at the end of her employment.  Lucy also has two alternative holidays from working on public holidays that are left untaken at the end of her employment.  Lucy is entitled to:

  • Payment for the two alternative holidays
  • Payment for the three weeks of annual holiday remaining of her four week entitlement from 11 November
  • Payment for 4 public holidays
  • Payment at 8% of gross earnings for the one month period between 11 November and 11 December.  The gross earnings for the 8% calculation also include the holiday pay paid to Lucy for her three weeks of unused holiday, the value of the two alternative holidays and the value of the four public holidays.

Unless agreed otherwise, the employer must pay outstanding holiday pay in the payday that relates to the employee’s final period of employment. This is normally what would have been the next scheduled payday had the employment not ended

If you’re not sure about your situation, give us a call.

Christmas Parties and Presents – what is deductible?

If you’re not sure what is 100% tax deductible and what is subject to fringe benefit tax, check out for the definitive answer.

If that’s too much for you, let me know and I’ll email you a summarised list.

Excel Tip – Pin to List

This cool feature allows you to pin a list of frequently used Excel files to the open recent list so that they don’t disappear when you open too many other files.

  • File…Open…Recent WorkBooks
  • Right Click on file to be pinned
  • Pin to List
  • File moves up to the top section

60% off MYOB AccountRight Files

Take advantage of this discount while it lasts.  60% off second and subsequent AccountRight Live files.  Offer expires 18th December.

The fine print – a reminder

Remember to read the terms and conditions when you sign up for software.   They change periodically, so it’s worth having a re-read occasionally.  Both MYOB and Xero have a fair use policy for their bank feeds.

  • Xero doesn’t specify a number – they say: “Xero reserves the right to pass on any charges related to the provision of bank feed data on a case-by-case basis at Xero’s sole discretion”.

Bank Feed costs are a small price to pay for the time savings it offers but it is worth remembering they exist.

Xero also has usage limitations:  “Use of the Service may be subject to limitations, including but not limited to monthly transaction volumes and the number of calls you are permitted to make against Xero’s application programming interface”.

This is unlikely to affect most Xero users but it is something to be aware of if you are a larger business with huge volumes of transactions. – click here for Xero Terms of Use

Some humorous answers from an accounting product quiz:

  1. How would you enter a quote?
    By typing “to be or not to be, that is the question”
  2. What does the 13th period mean?
    I guess I’m not pregnant after all.
  3. How do you delete a cheque you entered a week ago?
    Go to the bank and ask for it back.
  4. What do you enter through the Historical Sales area?
    All the lies you can to impress the bank manager.
  5. How would you record a payment from a customer for $250 if the outstanding invoices for that customer only totalled $200?
    Bank the $250 in your personal account and write the cheque for the correct amount. Then hope the customer doesn’t realise.
  6. When doing a journal entry for depreciation what would the transaction be?
    A guess at what the wear and tear on your equipment is by the owner (i.e. the IRD).
  7. What would you do before running Start a New Year?
    Have big booze up and sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

aboutBusiness Christmas break

I will be away from the office from Monday 21st December at 5.30 pm returning Tuesday 29th December 8.30 am.  If you need me during that time I am available by mobile phone.

Thank you to those of you that kept in touch about my health.  It’s been six weeks since the operation and I’m getting around like there’s nothing wrong.  Have to say that the healing took a lot longer than I imagined.

It’s unlikely that I’ll squeeze another letter out before Christmas so, if I don’t, thank you for your support in 2015, and I look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.

Colleen King
MYOB Certified Consultant
MYOB EXO Employer Services Business Partner
Reckon Professional Partner
Xero Certified Advisor
MoneyWorks Consultant
Ostendo Consulting Partner

Ostendo® adds advanced inventory, job costing, manufacturing, service and distribution to your accounting system.

For more information about my products and services visit my web site:

October 2015 update

November 17, 2015

MYOB purchases another well-known New Zealand payroll company

Following on from the purchase of Ace Payroll in May, MYOB has signed an agreement to purchase Hawkes Bay-based payroll solution provider, IMS Payroll.

For those of you using Ace and IMS Payroll, it is very much business as usual. You will receive that same great support through the same channels and receive updates as they have in the past. You will be updated with further developments. In the meantime if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me or your ACE and IMS Payroll support teams.

Price changes


IMS announced a small price increase to their annual product support fees effective from 25th September.

EXO Employer Services

MYOB has reviewed the way that they manage client licensing for EXO Employer Services for clients who exceed their employee license counts by very small amounts (“goodwill”) and for clients who have a large seasonal component to their workforce.

The level of goodwill granted for clients in the past has been somewhat informal and subjective, depending on team member interpretation of business rules and their reading of License Exceed report.

It is better that it happens at the time of the increase rather than waiting until the end of the year.

The following changes in the EXO Employer Services product and our internal processes aims to remove inconsistencies and ensure consistency in MYOB and our partners’ responses to our clients.

Goodwill Limits

  • From version 2015.01, both AU and NZ now have Goodwill Limits built in to the product
  • Products will now send an immediate notification to the Business Partner and/or MYOB the first time a client exceeds their Goodwill Limit
  • The product will display a permanent ‘License Exceeded’ message until license is increased to correct band

Exo grace numbers


Xero Payroll – The key changes:

  • Payroll is being unbundled from the Standard and Premium plans
  • Clients on the Starter plan can now add payroll
  • Adding payroll will cost +$10 which includes one employee
  • Additional employees will cost +$1 per unique employee per billing cycle

Xero Pricing Plans

From 1 December 2015, these price changes will come into effect:

Xero pricing


Important notice regarding Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)

The El Capitan GM release made available to developers by Apple earlier this month had an extremely serious bug which would erase all data belonging to server software, including MoneyWorks Datacentre data and Filemaker Server data.  If you are a datacentre user, please don’t install El Capitan on a Datacentre server (or in fact, probably any other computer) until you have heard from Cognito that it is safe to do so.


As per usual, you can never have too many.

Bionic Woman

I’m going to hospital on the 8th October for a full hip replacement of my right hip.  I’ve just completed the fastest new install of a toilet and shower in the history of my renovations so that I do not have to climb stairs to use the bathroom.

Hip joint

I should be up and around the same day but not allowed to drive for six weeks.  Phone or text if you need me, I’ll have my phone and laptop with me in hospital.  If I’m feeling well, I’ll be more than happy to have someone to talk to and something do.

My Food Sirens II

occasional indulgences of a fussy eater

The Spreadsheet Page

Colleen King's work blog