Client Gift Deduction Rules

By . Posted in Small Business, Small Business Advice, Solutions, Tax Advice.

While we encourage giving your valued clients gifts to say thank you, congratulate them on an achievement, or whatever the reason for celebration may be, there are certain rules in regards to deducting these gifts as a business expense that we want you to be aware of.

The rules around deducting client gifts can have a few grey areas, so remember that only certain client gifts can be fully deducted. The tricky part is when you are gifting food or drink – if you provide or consume the gift away from your business premise, the gift is only 50% deductible. However if you provide or consume the food or drink at or from your business premise, the gift is 100% deductible.

Any gifts outside food and drink, e.g homewares, are 100% deductible whether you provide them on or off your business premise. The IRD have given a real world example to help understand the rules around this, which we’ll put below to help you understand the rules a little more. If you have any questions or concerns about gifting, get in touch with your Sidekick Accountant and they’ll happily help you out.


Bob is a real estate agent. Each time he arranges the sale of a house, Bob delivers a bottle of champagne to the owner. He also sends a gift basket by courier to the purchaser. The gift basket contains a bottle of wine, some cheese and various household items such as tea towels and soaps.

Bob will only be able to deduct 50% of the cost of the bottle of champagne. This is because he is providing entertainment in the form of drink and doing so off his business premises.

For the gift basket, Bob can deduct the full cost of the tea towels and soap, because an appropriate apportionment should be made for items that are not food and drink. However, he can only deduct 50% of the cost of the wine and cheese (or, if the cost is not separately identifiable, an amount appropriately apportioned as the cost of the wine and cheese).

The Way Forward – Online Signing

By . Posted in Cloud Software, Solutions.

Our clients will now enjoy an even smoother end of year process this year with the introduction of online signing. Thanks to a powerful tool called HelloSign, we can now send Financial Statements and Tax returns directly into our client’s email inboxes for immediate signing.

You can sign using your finger on a touch screen, by uploading an image, typing your name, or drawing your signature with your mouse. Here are the three simple steps of signing online with HelloSign.

1. Heads up email

When we send out your Financial Statements and Tax return, you’ll get a courtesy email to let you know that they’re coming your way.


2. Time to sign

First you’ll receive an email saying your document is ready to sign, it’ll look a little something like this:


Click the blue Review & Sign button and it will take you to a page like this:


Click the Get Started button and it’ll take you where you need to sign. You can choose from the following options, HelloSign will remember your signature for the future.


Once you’ve inserted your signature in the necessary places, there’s one last step – accepting that by continuing you agree to be legally bound by the document.


3. View & Save

Once all parties have signed the document, you’ll get an email to let you know and to give you the option to view and save the final document for your records.


And that’s it! We’re so pleased to be streamlining this process for our clients, we all know how slow the post can be at times! If you’re a client and you have a question about HelloSign for us, get in touch here or call us on 0800 SIDEKICK.

How can Social Media help your business?

By . Posted in Sales and Marketing, Small Business, Small Business Advice, Solutions.


Social media is being used more than ever to the advantage of people and businesses. And why not, when it’s a free way to show potential customers what they’re missing out on? Here are six tips from our London djca team to ensure you use social media to your advantage.

1. PROMOTE. The likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn hold enormous potential for promoting your business. Make the most of these tools by creating account in your company name and regularly updating them with relevant content.

2. PUBLICISE. Along with relevant content, make sure you post your content to help spread it around out there. Blog posts, case studies, offers – anything that would appeal to clients (or potential clients) will be happily accepted by followers.

3. EXPAND. Making sure your audience is continually expanding is one of the most important ways to ensure you continue to get new custom. Take the time to find people who you think would be interested in your business. Reciprocation is an innate human behaviour, and the majority of people will return the favour if you demonstrate some interest in them. Even if some people do not need your service, the chances are they’ll still take a look at your page and might even click through to your website, thus increasing traffic and spreading awareness.

4. CAMPAIGN. Use social media to run marketing campaigns such as competitions. At the very least, share the competitions through this, but where possible, make the post the competition. Create a Facebook app or ask your followers to compete in a photo challenge with the offer of a small prize and your customer base will begin to increase.

5. ADVERTISE. Most social media pages now allow you to advertise or boost posts with them for a fee. Don’t go hell for leather on this, but dedicate a small budget towards doing some advertising testing. It is not always fruitful, but works incredibly well for some businesses so is worth a try if nothing else. Remember, you can also advertise your job vacancies through social media, which will enable you to reach out to as many people as possible and provide you with plenty of options.

6. ENGAGE. One very important, and often underestimated tool of social media is engagement. Try asking questions and commenting on other posts. Social media is all about creating some transparency to your business; people like to see that companies are not run by a bunch of robots. Engage with your audience and try and have a sense of humour about it – people will warm to you and become more interested in your business as a result.


Client Profile – B&N Properties

By . Posted in Accountants and Business Advisors, Business Growth, Small Business, Xero.


This months client profile for Sidekick is on Brent & Nikki from B&N Properties who run a specialist property management company in Blenheim, Picton, Christchurch & Ashburton. It’s their goal to free up your time and distance yourself from any tenant problems. We’ll let Brent tell you more about B&N Properties, keep an eye out for a special deal for Sidekick clients.

Tell us a little about yourselves and what you do at B&N Properties.
We make rental property ownership stress free for the investors, we take care of every aspect of property management with emphasis on tenant selection and thorough property inspections

Where can people find you?
We operate from home to keep our costs down, we can be contacted on 0800 111 252 or

How did you get into the Property Management industry?
Firstly by investing in properties ourselves, then we started managing other people’s properties, it grew from there

What is one piece of advice for business owners in your industry? Can you share any lessons learnt from business struggles or challenges that you’ve overcome?
Don’t be convinced to sell if things are not going as well as expected, tenant problems or maintenance issues can be resolved, you don’t want to be that investor that looks back 10 years later and says “I wish I didn’t sell that property” (when the value has doubled). Either educate yourself well to manage your own property or employ an independent property manager. Independent property managers have no ulterior motive, they don’t want to sell your property.

What accounting system (if any) were you using before moving to Xero? How did that compare to Xero?
MYOB. Xero is a superior product, easier to use, more functions.

Why did you choose our Sidekick service for your business?
Ric made me! Plus our old accountant wasn’t up to much.

We hope that with Sidekick on board taking care of your accounts, you have found more time to do the things you really enjoy. So what is it that you love to do with your spare time?
Boating and fishing.

Do you have any deals that you’d like to share?
Sign with us before the end of October and pay no advertising costs for the first 12 months.

There you have it! To find out more about B&N Properties go to

Xero’s best kept secret – Xero Files

By . Posted in Cloud Software, Solutions, Xero.

Xero has it’s own document storage facility and we want you to be making the most of it!

Not only can Xero store online copies of your documents, but you can attach them to transactions when reconciling, invoices or bills, expense claims, or you can simply leave documents in your files inbox for your accountant to use when doing your end of year accounts.

Here are the simple steps to take to save you from keeping shoe boxes full or receipts, or clogging your email inbox with power bills. Scroll down to see how to use the phone App to add files.

On your computer:

Log into Xero, and click the Xero files icon that you can see circled below, this will take you to your files inbox.

xero files

The email address you can see on the right is your own unique email address for your Xero account. Any documents that you send to this address will automatically upload into your Xero files inbox. Alternatively, you can upload a file from your computer, or take a photo using your webcam.

xero files2

Keep your files tidy by creating folders. How you organise them is up to you, you could create a folder per year, month, file type, or whatever makes the most sense for your business.

xero files3

Once you have imported your files, simply drag and drop them into your folders on the left or tick the box next to the file and choose a folder by clicking “Move to”. Alternatively you can open a folder and upload files directly into it. If you click “Add to new” you can add the file directly to a new invoice, bill, expense claim, or a receive/spend money transaction. To rename the file, click the cog to the right of the file and select “Rename”.

xero files4

On your phone:

Log into the Xero app on your phone, and click on the menu symbol in the top left hand corner. Click on the “Files” option to open your Xero files inbox.

Xero files phone 2 pics

Click “Upload Files…” then select “Take Photo” to use your phone camera to take a photo, or select “Choose Photo” to pick a photo from your camera roll. To upload a file into a particular folder, click on “Inbox” at the top of the screen to bring up a list of your folders.

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Client Feature: Silk Estate – Marquee Weddings by Toni May

By . Posted in Business Growth, Cloud Software, Small Business, Small Business Advice.

silkestate banner

Silk Estate – Marquee Weddings by Toni May is an Ashburton based company who have gown to fill the need of providing beautiful marquees and wedding services. We’ll let Toni fill you in on more about what they do.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Silk Estate.
Silk Estate is a marquee hire business specializing in weddings but also catering for other events. We pride ourselves on making marquee weddings the most enjoyable process for the families involved. Our passion for your special day is reflected in all the details we take care of for you. Through the process of assisting families with their weddings we have identified areas that families really appreciate support with now offer wedding day set up, bar service for the day, and event planning services.

Our wedding day dressing service means we arrive at the crack of dawn (or before), arrange your tables, place linen, set cutlery, crockery, glassware, place your centrepieces, named guest cards and table numbers/names. Style the supper table, fill and heat hot water urns, check power, and run heaters if required. Really all those little jobs that just need doing. We ask our brides to visit our showroom to do a mock table setting (with photos taken) to ensure every detail is carried out to our brides wishes.

Our bar service starts before your ceremony and continues through to the wee hours finishing with a refresh of your marquee ready to go for the next day event. We bring the ice, stock take and monitor your alcohol and offer table service through your wedding breakfast. Recycling of bottles and rubbish removal can all be part of your package. We are a firm believer that you have enough to do without worrying about these details.

Why did you choose to get into this industry?
Silk Estate – marquee weddings derived from our canvas fabrication business Peter May Ltd. Peter started making smaller branded marquees for A & P Shows and a few of our farming clients started to request larger marquees for their daughter’s wedding on the family farm. At first we thought we would supply marquees and hire the other products but quickly discovered the quality and availability of doing this would be a problem, so took a huge step and invested in quality, chairs, tables, linen, cutlery, crockery, glassware, lighting, dance floors, stages, luxury restroom, heaters, furniture, chiller trailers etc.

What’s your favourite part about the job?
My favourite part of the job would have to be seeing the long awaited day come to fruition. For it all to go well and everyone to have a lovely time in outstanding surroundings and the huge smile on the brides face with usually relief and relaxation smiles on that of the families.

What is one piece of advice for other small business owners? Can you share any lessons learnt from business struggles or challenges that you’ve overcome?
Right from the start of our business we identified that the correct software and support would be crucial. We trialled various software packages for our hire product and found a great product that was an ‘add on’ to Xero. Before Xero we had been using the same software for twenty years, but knew for the last five years that it was not giving us the information we really needed. Now Xero and the add on software is such a powerful tool and really easy to use.

What I have learned so far is to persevere. In business there are so many challenges to work through. Having good support is great. I like to have an outsider’s viewpoint to challenge us – to make us realize what we are capable of. Someone to set that bar a little higher than you would have set it yourself and then the satisfaction of achieving that goal. DJCA have been a great source of this prompting.

We hope that with Sidekick on board taking care of your accounts, you have found more time to do the things you really enjoy. So what is it that you love to do with your spare time?
Spare time for us at Silk Estate is spending time at our family bach. This is an off season activity. I must say most of our time is work related, but I really don’t worry too much about work life balance as when you really love what you do and are passionate about it, then it doesn’t feel too much like work. As we are in this for the long term, I believe in being able to stay fit, well and happy even on the most busy of days. Spare time for me would be the morning gym session and the lovely early morning runs I enjoy.

Do you have any new products announcements or favourite recommendations that you’d like to share?
Silk Estate is a forward looking company, interested in current trends and ideas in the wedding industry. Our stock is new and fresh and we take great pride in delivering this standard to our clients. Last season we bought in the wooden cross back chair which have proven to be so popular. This season we have added 2 very exciting items too, copper cutlery and a cut glass tumbler. These have also proven to be very popular for the coming season.

You can get in touch with the team at Silk Estate on Facebook, Instagram, or their website.

silkestate bottom banner

Client Spotlight – Pedro’s House of Lamb

By . Posted in Cloud Software, Small Business, Small Business Advice.


If you live in Christchurch or Queenstown and you haven’t tried Pedro’s House of Lamb, you’re missing out! We had a chat with the Pedro’s team to learn a little more about how they’ve come to be so successful.

Tell us about Pedro’s House of Lamb, how did you get started?
We launched Pedro’s House Of Lamb at the end of 2012. We had run a restaurant in Christchurch successfully for 30 years until the earthquakes. The new situation meant we had to think differently about the business and adapt. Which is how Pedro’s House of Lamb evolved – we took a product that was well loved in our restaurants and found a way to offer that when the city was short on premises.

Where can people find you guys?
You can find us at 17B Papanui Road in Christchurch and at 48 Gorge Road Queenstown.

What is one piece of advice for business owners? Can you share any lessons learnt from business struggles or challenges that you’ve overcome?
We did something in the food industry that was a little bit unusual. We offered just one dish –roasted lamb with a side of potatoes. People often asked us to extend the menu or whether we’d start providing accompanying dishes. But we’ve stuck with our original business plan and that’s proven to be successful.

By keeping it simple we’ve been able to produce a quality product, keep operating expenses lean and predictable.

Our experience has taught us to:
Trust your instincts.
Know your market.
Stick with what you’re good at.

What accounting system (if any) were you using before moving to Xero? How did that compare to Xero?
Prior to moving to Sidekick we operated a traditional accounting system – paper, paper and more paper. Moving to Xero has allowed us to streamline our accounting and provided more day to day visability.

Why did you choose our Sidekick service for your business?
We approached DJCA about Sidekick on the recommendation of our digital marketing agency, Empire9. After finding out more we saw that the sidekick offer would compliment our business and simplify our businesses finances.

Find out more about Pedro’s and how you can order from your local store here.

CrunchBoards – the Xero add-on we’re loving right now

By . Posted in Business Growth, Cloud Software, Solutions.


We sat down with Cameron Robertson, our Senior Manager at Sidekick Christchurch to learn more about a Xero add-on that his clients are loving at the moment called CrunchBoards.

CrunchBoards is an all-in-one forecasting and reporting engine with all the time-saving tools you need to grow your business. Features include business planning, budgeting, forecasting and real-time business intelligence.

So Cam, what are your favourite features of CrunchBoards?
It’s a great forecasting/budgeting tool which incorporates directly into management reporting. The customisable management reports allow our clients to focus on particular areas of their business.

What do your clients like best about using CrunchBoards?
The way the information is displayed is the real upside of the software. CrunchBoards turns the numbers behind your business into easy to read graphs, that tell the true story.

How much does it cost?
It’s free in our Sidekick+ package, otherwise it’s only $25 per month plus a setup fee with our other Sidekick packages.

Who is the perfect person to be utilising CrunchBoards?
Anyone with particular points of focus. For example someone in hospitality may want to focus on % of food & beverages against sales, or wages against sales. This can all be displayed on one easy to ready graph.They also need to have good administration processes because CrunchBoards pulls data directly from Xero.

How does it work in with Xero?
It syncs daily with Xero. If your Xero is up to date, so is your CrunchBoards. It can be accessed using the browser on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer.

Any final words?
To me it’s a must-have tool for any business looking to grow and keep their business in check. CrunchBoards on any device

IRD Telephone Scam

By . Posted in Updates.

You may have seen in the news recently that there has been a high number of telephone scammers pretending to be the IRD at the moment. Here are some tips to remember if you suspect you’ve received one of these calls:

– If you’re a client of ours, the IRD should speak with us directly as we are your tax agent. Ask for the person to call your tax agent and hang up.

– The IRD will never call you out of the blue to tell you that you’re due for a refund, to demand money on the spot for overdue debt, to threaten you with jail time for tax evasion, or to ask for personal information over the phone.

– The IRD will always call you from a blocked number, if you have any concerns of the legitimacy of the person you’re speaking to, you can ask for their name, hang up and call the IRD on the numbers listed on their website or in the phone book, and request to speak to that person.

You can follow this link to see examples of phone and email scams, and who you can get in touch with at the IRD if you’re concerned that you may have been a victim of a scam.

Tips from Sidekick for the New Financial Year

By . Posted in Small Business, Small Business Advice, Solutions.

The new financial year has kicked off with a hiss and a roar and we’re well underway with helping our clients process their end of year accounts.

To make sure this financial year starts smoothly for you, we have a few tips to share. As always, any questions you can get in touch with the Sidekick team here.

Review Your Receivables
Now is the best time of year to review the accuracy of your receivables. We recommend to take a thorough look through your aged receivables to see if any are bad debts, or there are any other inaccuracies.

TIP: To write off a debtor as a bad debts expense, you must determine that there is no reasonable likelihood that the debt will be paid. A clear indication of a bad debt is if a debtor has become bankrupt or has gone into liquidation. In other words, you should only write off a bad debt if you have no hope of receiving the money.

If you use Xero, you can review your Aged Receivables Ledger by clicking “Reports”, then “Aged Receivables”.

If you hold stock, try to set aside some time as soon as you have the time to do a stock-take. It’s in your best interest to do this as soon as you can so you can work with accurate margins and data going forwards.

Donations to an approved charity are deductible, so if you’ve made a charitable donation this year, be sure to let your accountant know.

Fixed Assets
You can claim a deduction on the purchase of fixed assets that cost $500 or less (excl gst). Now is also a good time to look through your fixed assets and ensure all assets are currently in use in the business. You can review your fixed assets in Xero by clicking Reports > All Reports > Depreciation Schedule. A deduction can be made for the book value of assets if they are no longer in use.

Legal Fees
Legal fees of less than $10,000 (excl GST) can be deducted as revenue expenditure. If your total legal fees are over $10,000 (excl GST) they may be recognised as capital expenditure, and therefore not deductible for tax purposes.

Employee Related Provisions
A deduction can be made for employee related provisions (such as holiday pay or long-service leave) as long as they are paid within 63 days of your balance date. For example if you have a standard balance date (31 March), payment needs to have been made by June 2nd for the amount to be deductible.

Be sure to keep reconciling your bank accounts in Xero. Did you know you can reconcile easily on your phone? For a step by step guide click here for Apple and here for Android.