From 1 April 2006, the income thresholds for family assistance will
increase and the rate at which family assistance payments start reducing will
change. Families on higher incomes may now qualify for family
You can check out the IRD 2007
family assistance entitlement chart - this shows the income limits for
each type of family assistance payment from 1 April 2006.
You can also estimate your family assistance for the 2007 financial year
by using the IRD calculator,
and register for family assistance by either using the new IRD online
family assistance registration form, or downloading and completing a Family
assistance registration form 2007 (FS1).
You can choose whether to receive your family assistance payments weekly
or fortnightly based on your estimated income or as a single lump sum
after 31 March based on your actual income.
If you are already receiving family assistance and you want to change to
weekly payments (instead of fortnightly) just give IRD a call on 0800
INCOME THRESHOLDS FOR REPAYMENT OF
The income threshold at which borrowers must begin repaying their student
loans will rise from $16,588 to $17,160 a year from 1 April, 2006. The
increase is in line with annual movement in the September Consumer Price index
INTEREST FREE STUDENT LOANS FROM 1
Interest free student loans will be delivered by an interest
write-off. Your Inland Revenue and StudyLink student loan
statements will show interest being charged but if you are eligible, this
interest will be written off after the end of each tax year (31 March).
The first interest write-offs under interest free student loans will occur in
Only the interest charged from 1 April 2006 will be written off.
The interest free student loan change does not cover interest charged before
If you have met the 183-day requirement then leave New Zealand for 184
or more consecutive days, you may still be entitled to an interest write-off
for the period up and including the date of your departure from New Zealand.
Any entitlement will be credited to your loan account after the end of
the tax year (31 March).
What is written off?
All the interest you are charged while you are eligible to the interest
free loan will be written off.
Inland Revenue will write off the interest charged from 1 April 2006,
including any interest charged by StudyLink for the period you are eligible.
This write-off will happen after the end of the tax year (31 March).
Refunds requested on or after 30 November 2005
excluded from interest free write off
If you have requested a refund from your student loan account on or
after 30 November 2005 (and the reason for your request was not due to
significant financial hardship - see below for an explanation), you may not be
entitled to have all of your interest written off. This only applies to
refunds for the 2005 and 2006 tax years. Over-payments relating to tax
years prior to 2005 can no longer be refunded. (An overpayment is an
amount paid in excess of a repayment obligation.)
However, you may still qualify to have all or part of this interest
written off under one of the other interest write-offs.
Significant financial hardship includes significant financial
difficulties that arise because of:
|a borrower's inability to meet minimum borrowing expenses; or
|a borrower's inability to carry out his or her usual occupation
because of his or her temporary or permanent illness, injury, or
|a borrower's inability to meet mortgage repayments on his or her
principal family residence resulting in the mortgagee seeking to enforce
the mortgage on the residence; or
|the cost of modifying a residence to meet special needs arising from
a disability of a borrower or a borrower's dependant; or
|the cost of medical treatment for an illness or injury of a borrower
or a borrower's dependant; or
|the cost of palliative care for a borrower or a borrower's dependant;
|the cost of a funeral for a borrower's deceased dependant.|
HOW TO BALANCE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT
When you enter records of money paid into and out of your bank
account into the cash book, there is a delay of at least a couple of days
until these transactions are cleared through the banking system and appear on
your bank statement. Therefore, the bank balance according to the cash book
will normally be different from that on your bank statement at any given date.
To ensure that the difference between the two balances is due merely to the
time difference in entering items, you should draw up a bank reconciliation
|1: Bank balance per the cash book:
|Balance at beginning of month (in
|Add cash book receipts (total for
|Less cash book payments (total for
|Balance at end of month (in hand)
|2: Bank reconciliation from the bank
|Balance at end of month
(from bank statement)
|Add outstanding bankings
(bankings made in the last few days of the month that do not appear on
the statement until after the end of the month)
|Less outstanding cheques
written before the end of the month but not yet presented to the bank
|Balance at end of month:
If after your reconciliation there is still a difference between the two
balances, check the cash book and bank statements in detail to find the
Common mistakes are:
|Cheques either not recorded in the cash book or entered twice
|Standing orders or direct debits not recorded
|Bankings or direct credits not recorded
|Mis-additions in the cash book
|Cheques still outstanding from the previous month|
You should amend the cash book to agree with your bank reconciliation.
FINANCIAL AND NON-FINANCIAL KEY
If you are not measuring the performance of your business, then:
|you have no way of knowing how well you are doing
|you canít make improvements
|you are unlikely to spot critical trends in your business performance
that need to be corrected.|
If things are going wrong, the sooner you can spot trouble (for example,
a deteriorating profit trend or a blow-out in overhead costs) the sooner you
can take corrective action. Speedy intervention can save a business.
other hand failure to spot dangerous trends can lead to business collapse.
In every business there are key areas that need to be measured against a
benchmark on a regular basis. These are known as Key Performance Indicators
(KPIs). They can be divided into financial and non-financial KPIs.
Examples of financial KPIs
|Gross profit percentage. How does this percentage compare to
previous figures or to a benchmark figure for your industry?
|Operating profit as a percentage of income. Is this rising or
|Debt collection period. How many days, on average, it takes you
to collect debts. The more you can improve this figure, the better your
cashflow and working capital are likely to be.
|Quick ratio -a test of whether you can pay your debts as they
Examples of non-financial KPIs
|The return on marketing promotions. For example, coding
advertisements or including a coupon to measure the number of sales from
each advert or the returns from a direct mail campaign. Knowing the
returns will allow you to work out if the exercise is worth repeating or
whether you need to change the advert or direct marketing package.
you donít measure the returns, you really have no way of knowing
whether you are wasting your time and money.
|Employee turnover and the number of sick days. These two
measurements provide an indication of employee motivation and morale.
|Customer service satisfaction. One way to gauge customer
satisfaction is to use mystery shoppers.
|Customer conversion ratio (measures the number of customer
contacts or visits converted into actual sales). This measurement allows
you to work on sales skills and training (for instance, better telephone
answering skills) that result in a better conversion rate.
|Website visits (measures the number of Ďhitsí per webpage
per month, which webpages were most popular, and the ratio of visits to
actual sales). Your ISP provider should be able to provide these figures
which will enable you to fine-tune your website for better results.|
Non-financial KPIs are often more important as they can influence the
financial KPIs. For example, if you can improve the customer conversion
ratio this will lead to increased sales which in turn should feed into a
better operating profit.
Because there are many possible KPIs that you could measure to help you
improve your business, it is more practical and realistic to focus on a
provided in this email newsletter is for informational purposes only.
McLean and Co. accept no responsibility for the opinions and information
expressed in the information provided and it is provided "as
is" without warranty of any kind. The user
assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and use of this document.
Readers are asked to seek professional advice pertaining to their
own circumstances. The McLean and Co. email newsletter
may be copied and distributed subject to the following conditions:
All text must
be copied without modification and all pages must be included.
must not be distributed for profit.
we can assist further, please email McLean and Co as
McLEAN AND CO. BY EMAIL BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK
BACK TO HOME PAGE