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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.

Christmas Payroll Reminders December 2012

December 6, 2012

Tax on Christmas Pays
Additional Allowances and Deductions
Terminating Staff at Christmas
Extra Pays at Christmas
What Does Extra Emolument Mean?
Clear Communications
Timing of Holiday Payments
Going Away – Need to do the Payroll?
Entertainment Expenses (not payroll but still important)
If a single holiday payment is made for a number of weeks, the tax is significantly reduced by apportioning it over those weeks.
If you are paying staff their holiday pay in a single pay at Christmas, and it covers more than one payroll period, your payroll will think the higher earnings are for one pay only and will tax them at a higher rate.  Check the tax and override the tax paid where necessary.  Different payrolls use different methods, give me a call if you’re not sure.
Don’t forget to pay extra allowances and deductions if your staff are on extended leave and receiving a single pay. 
Examples: child support, court fines, loan repayments.
If you terminate staff near a Public Holiday, you are obliged to pay holiday pay plus any statutory days their outstanding annual leave entitlement extends their termination date past
In December, this could be Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, the Day After.  
Extra pays are taxed at the extra-emolument rate for that employee. 
Examples of extra pays include:  Cashing up Holiday Pay, Cash Bonuses
Not sure how to do it, call me.
extra = more
emolument = salary, wages, fees or benefits from employment
So an extra-emolument is simply an extra payment or benefit.
Thank you to Bell Gully Lawyers for mentioning this one.  If you are going to pay a cash bonus, be clear to your staff about whether you are paying the bonus gross or net of tax.  If you decide to pay a $2,000 bonus, it is best to tell the staff whether it is $2,000 in the hand, or $2,000 before tax.  You don’t want to end up as the Grinch who Stole Christmas, or with a personal grievance on your hands.
An employer must pay an employee for an annual holiday before the holiday is taken
Unless the employer and employee agree otherwise, or the employee is terminated.
If the employee is terminated, you must pay the annual holiday pay in the pay that relates to the employee’s final period of employment.
To help with cash flow, many employees prefer to have their pay continue as per their normal pay cycle.  If you can accommodate them by preloading their pays to the bank, you will take a lot of pressure off Christmas for yourself and your staff  If staff come in to work over Christmas, payroll adjustments can be made in the first pay on return to work. 
Set up a free web connection and do it from anywhere you have a computer and a broadband connection – home, laptop, internet cafe.  Don’t know how, give me a call. 
ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES (not payroll but still important)
Christmas functions on or off the premises are an entertainment expense.
This means that 50% of the cost is deductible for tax and 50% is non-deductible for tax.  If you do not split the transaction at the time of the event your accountant will need to make an end of year GST adjustment.  You will have GST to pay back.
Best wishes for smooth Christmas payroll processing.
If you are working through the Christmas / New Year period, I will be available for urgent phone or web support at my standard rates.  Please ring or text first as I may not be checking my emails. 


Colleen KingDip
aboutBusiness | PO Box 3756, Christchurch
Business Software and Systems Consultant
providing customised setups of business management solutions
Simplify, Sytemise, Demystify
PS:  Got a friend who’s frustrated with their current business systems?
Just tell them about your experience with us and if they later engage our services, you will receive a $100 petrol voucher. 

Newsletter July 2012

July 26, 2012

Know your entitlements as an employer – Sick Leave
Get your business online for FREE – MYOB Atlas
Closing Soon – MoneyWorks Business Angel Award – $15,000 cash for your business
Annual Accounts    

Know your entitlements as an employer

Sick Leave

With winter upon us, and some major colds and flu around in Christchurch, I read this timely reminder about sick leave from IMS:

A common misconception is that all employees are entitled to 5 days sick leave per year once they had completed 6 months service, whether they are Full Time, Part Time or Casual employees.

However, there is a qualifier:
Employees must have worked an average of at least 10 hours per week including
at least one hour per week or 40 hours per month.

The entitlement is subject to the same test each 12 months – if in any year the work pattern does not meet the above test, then no sick leave entitlement arises.

Get your business online for FREE

Thanks to you can use MYOB Atlas for free for 12 months to build your own business website. It’s easy to use, easy to manage and you can have your own website in minutes not hours.

It’s got everything you need –

  • A personalised domain name ( free for one year
  • Your own business email address to match your domain name
  • Google tools that help you be found
  • Multiple layouts and colour palettes to reflect the personality of your business
  • An online shop so you can start selling
  • A payments page to accept invoice payments online via PayPal
  • Mobile optimised so customers can connect with you from their mobile phones 24/7

You are not obligated to continue after the first free year.

Research tells us that 80 per cent of New Zealanders look online to research products or services before purchasing them, but only 32 per cent of New Zealand businesses have their own website.  Go figure.

Call us if you would like training.

Closing Soon – MoneyWorks Business Angel Award

$15,000 cash for your business 

The MoneyWorks Business Angel Award is looking to reward a deserving business with a $15,000 cash boost.   A business will qualify by just completing an online questionnaire, so long as the judges think your answers sound credible!

As well as $15,000, the winning business will also get:

  • Free MoneyWorks accounting software (if not already using MoneyWorks)
  • One-on-one MoneyWorks mentoring with Dr Grant Cowie (Founder of MoneyWorks)
  • Instant kudos (winners announced in media in September 2012)
  • A seat on next year’s judging panel.

In addition, if you are not already using MoneyWorks, your accountant will receive a full support package to transition your business to MoneyWorks worth over $5,000.

Over the last 2 years I have worked with clients that use the MoneyWorks accounting software for their business.  It works well.

Competition closes 31 July 2012.  Give me a call and I will help with the application.

Annual Accounts

Yes, I can hear you groaning from here.    If you haven’t got the time to prepare everything for your accountant, that’s what I do well.  I know what the accountant requires and can tidy the accounts so it makes your life and your accountant’s easier.  Let me take the angst out of this area for you and be the buffer between you and the accountant, so you can do what you do well.

Don’t forget that I can also do month end accounts reconciliation so that’s it’s not a big hassle at the end of the year.

Call me if you’d like more information on my Business Management Services.

Colleen King, aboutBusiness

Office:  03-359 4231

My Food Sirens II

occasional indulgences of a fussy eater

Spreadsheet Page Blog

Colleen King's work blog