Asking the hard questions so you don't have to

It’s always hard knowing what questions to ask, why you should ask them and who to ask them to. So we’ve helped you out with a few FAQ’s from our clients.

What are the most popular services offered?

Our ‘Get Outside’ and ‘Free Yourself’ services are our most popular for trading companies – each fixed fee package can be tweaked to suit what your business needs at any given time. Check out our packages here.

Do you offer a free initial consultation?

We sure do! Our initial consultation is completely free. We offer 4 meeting options for new clients, including 15, 30 and 60-minute slots, with your choice of team member. The consultation is aimed to gather a deeper understanding of your business, where you want it go and how we can help you get there.

Who will be acting as my Accountant?

We all have different roles here at Outside, so this means there may be a few of us dabbling in your accounts throughout the year. However, you will most likely be communicating with Harriet, Tom or Cam. To get to know the rest of the team, check out the ‘Meet Us’ section of the website.

Should I be a fixed fee or time and cost client?

Either way, our clients get the same awesome service. It really depends on the type of business you’re in, the level of support you’re after, and a bit of personal preference. Our fixed fee packages are popular for businesses who want access to us on tap for all their Xero, compliance, and general business queries. It also encourages clients to pick up the phone and have a chat without the fear of the clock ticking in the background. The fixed monthly fees also give clients a level of certainty in fees and helps to smooth cashflow throughout the year.

What are your credentials as a team?

Out of our team of eight, there are five brilliant, fully qualified Chartered Accountants and one in the making. We are also lucky to have an Accountant based in the Philippines. Outside is also very proudly a Xero Platinum Partner, and the team are Xero certified.

How do I transfer from my previous Accountant?

When we have a signed letter of authority from you (and any associated entities), we’ll fire off a professional clearance letter to your previous accountant. This asks if there is any reason we should not act on your behalf. Once they’ve ticked you off, they’ll send over all prior year records, access to any subscriptions (e.g. Xero), and done!

How much would a Xero subscription cost?

The price of Xero ranges depending on what plan you’re wanting to get your hands on. The simplest of plans starts at around $16 to around $70 for premium. These prices vary depending on any add-ons that might be necessary. If you’re struggling with what plan would be suitable to your business, don’t stress, we’ll go through it with you in the initial consultation. You can also check out pricing plans on the website here.

How would a Xero subscription benefit me?

A Xero platform enables us as accountants and bookkeepers to have a greater insight into your business’ data in real-time. This is incredibly helpful for us to access important information and respond quickly to every need. Xero subscriptions also makes it easier to view your business information and communicate with us as your Accountants!

What is my tax rate/ how do I find this out?

Tax codes are required if you receive a salary, wages, interest, dividends or any other income that is taxed before you’re paid. Tax codes vary depending on what type of income you receive, what residency status you have and the bracket amount your income would fall under (as well as other factors). To find out what tax code you’re on, log into your ‘my IRD’ account. If you think you may be on the wrong tax code, don’t worry, IRD will inform you of this, where you should then inform your employer. To work out your tax code, click here.

Do I need to register for GST?

You must register for GST if you carry taxable activity and your turnover was $60 000 or more in the last 12 months or will be in the next 12 months (however you could be exempt  in some circumstances). If you’re stuck with registering your business for GST, we’re more than happy to help. If you’re already registered for GST and are looking for help regarding your GST return, we’re your guys!

Should I be on a payments/invoice basis and 2 monthly/6 monthly?

This can often be tricky to figure out alone, so here’s the low down:
Essentially, your accounting basis determines when you owe GST on sales (and when you can claim it on expenses). A Payments basis is used when you owe GST on a sale when you receive payment from a customer. Whereas an Invoice Basis is when you owe GST on a sale when you raise an invoice or when you get paid, whichever comes first.

There are also three filing frequency options to consider for GST:

Monthly- This is for businesses with more than $24 million in yearly turnover.

Two-Monthly- Most small businesses are expected to file two monthly.

Six-Monthly- This is for businesses with an annual turnover of less than $500 000.

If you’re still a bit confused, check out IRD’s information page on GST registration. Otherwise, we’ll talk this through with you during our initial consultation.

How do I set up a company?

You can incorporate a company at the companies office. If you would like us to incorporate a company for you, we would be more than happy to do this. We even provide registered office services including holding the share register which is required by law. Get in touch with us!

Should I employ or contract staff?

The decision is situation specific, and we’re happy to talk through the type of team member you’re after – as a general rule, we would suggest you err on the side of caution and if there’s any doubt make them an employee. The backlash from getting it wrong from the get go can be rather costly! In any case, we can suggest payroll solutions that ensure you are fully compliant with IRD and remove the headache of processing payrolls and filing with IRD. There’s a great support page by Employment NZ that talks through the nitty gritty of the differences between a contractor vs. employee – instead of re-writing it, check out the link for you to have a read.

Can I offset losses against other income?

It depends on where the income and losses are earned – if you are a trading business, a contractor, or similar, and make a taxable loss (this is when your deductible expenses are greater than your revenue) you can bring this forward to the following tax year. This means income earned in the next tax year is offset (partially or in full) by the loss made previously.

In saying this, there are some pretty clear cut limitations to this – most recently, from the 2020 tax year onwards, losses incurred from rental income are unable to be used to offset other income you’ve earned. For a company to carry losses forward to offset future earnings, shareholder continuity needs to remain at 49%. It’s best to get in touch so we can look at the big picture and give the best advice to be the most tax efficient!

Do you recommend a payroll system?

We have clients on a range of different payroll providers from cafés to builders. Some of the payroll systems our clients use include Xero Payroll, Flexitime and Thankyou Payroll. Get in touch with your go-to at Outside to see what one would be best suited for your needs.

That's all from us!

If you have any burning questions we haven’t managed to answer in our FAQ’s, flick us an email: hey@outsideaccounting.co.nz or book a time to catch up with us!

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Grab some time with us!