DOING BUSINESS WITH THE GOVERNMENT
Lauren Taylor from MYOB on helping franchisees succeed
Compliance might not be the sexiest subject in the world, but it’s important for franchisors and franchisees alike. Spending hours doing tax returns or managing payroll requirements means less time serving customers, or less time with the family.
‘In recent years, good franchisors have been taking advantage of the digital revolution to improve franchisees’ ability to manage their businesses better and more efficiently,’ says Lauren Taylor. ‘What might surprise you is that the government is equally keen. The World Bank already ranks New Zealand as the top country in the world for ease of doing business, and the government is looking at ways of using digital technology to help our businesses stay ahead.’
Lauren is the Franchise Business Development Manager for MYOB, the online accounting specialists. She works with franchises to help them get the best out of digital technology by integrating their systems and reducing the hassle for all involved, and says that the business of doing business with the government is getting a whole lot easier.
‘That’s because Inland Revenue and software providers like MYOB are working together to build digital solutions to deal with requirements that can eat up a lot of a business owner’s time,’ she points out. ‘A new policy called AIM, the introduction of eGST and the launch of digital signatures are three examples of this.’
Next year will see changes to the provisional tax regime come into effect that will benefit many franchisees. The changes give businesses the choice of moving to a pay-as-you-go Accounting Income Method (AIM), which will shift tax from being an extra compliance process to being part of the normal accountancy work a business already does to keep on top of its finances.
The way the new system works is that for a business with less than $5 million revenue, every three months its MYOB cloud accounting software will calculate the tax obligations owed based on real time analysis of the business’s cashflow and expenses, and prompt the owner to submit a return.
That will then be lodged directly with Inland Revenue and, as long as the business pays what the system has calculated, if there is a difference at the end of the financial year the business will not have to pay use-of-money interest. The government calculates that 110,000 businesses could benefit from the changes.
‘MYOB supported the development of this policy and we’re working to make the changes as business-friendly as possible,’ says Lauren. ‘Cloud accounting software’s ability to provide up-to-date information about cashflow and costs in a business means that we can start to build in these tools for franchises of all sorts to make paying tax a whole lot easier.’
The introduction of AIM is part of the government’s Digital Transformation Initiative. Another of the initiatives involves making GST easier. For many business owners – especially first-timers or recent immigrants, like many franchisees – GST can be confusing or complicated. MYOB was proud to be the first company in New Zealand to offer its customers the ability to file eGST returns directly to Inland Revenue, saving time and significantly simplifying the GST submission process for many franchisees.
‘The way it works is that GST return data is pre-populated through MYOB software, based on the business’s sales,’ Lauren explains. ‘The return can then be securely sent to Inland Revenue directly through our cloud-based platform. It means SME owners do not need to manually enter figures into a separate GST return and print a copy to send to Inland Revenue.
‘We’ve had sensational feedback from many of the thousands of businesses that have used this service. Lodging eGST returns through our online accounting products means no more forms, envelopes or calculators – it’s quick and it’s easy.’
MYOB was also the first to launch a “digital signatures” service to its customers. That means they can use our platform to lodge documents such as tax returns directly with Inland Revenue using an electronic signature rather than in writing,’ says Lauren. ‘The result is that there is no need to print, sign and send in forms. This saves businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reduces the need for paper files in the workplace.’
Lauren says that the ability to digitally connect with Inland Revenue demonstrates just one of the benefits of cloud-based business accounting software for franchisors and franchisees.
‘MYOB is committed to delivering innovations in business accounting to enable New Zealand businesses to grow and succeed. In addition to working with government, we can also help manage everything from sales to payment times, stock control to forecasting.
‘We are particularly focused on the franchise sector – that’s why I’m here. So if you want to focus more on customers than compliance, and enjoy family more than financial admin, give me a call and find out how we can help.’
See this advertorial on page 35 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 3
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