The trustee's role
Trustees play a vital role in managing a family trust. As custodians of trust property, they are entrusted with making sure the trust operates in accordance with its objectives and maintains a high level of financial responsibility. This includes keeping accurate and up-to-date accounting records that document their financial transactions and decisions.
The legal bit
The trustees' responsibilities to maintain the trust's accounting records are governed under the Trusts Act 2019 and the Trustee Act (Requirements and Notices) Regulations 2003. These regulations detail the minimum requirements for trustees to maintain accounting records to provide a clear and concise picture of the trust's financial position.
The accounting requirements
First and foremost, trustees must keep complete and accurate records of all financial transactions within the trust. This means documenting all assets and liabilities, all investments and disbursements, and any adjustments or changes to the trust's financial position throughout the year. The records must also indicate the individuals or entities involved in these transactions and the purpose for which they were made.
Additionally, the trustees must be able to provide clear documentation detailing their rationale for any financial transactions or decisions made on behalf of the trust. This includes any investment decisions or distributions made to beneficiaries. Trustees must keep careful records of how they evaluated these decisions, including the risks and rewards associated with each one.
Trustees must also keep detailed records of any income earned by the trust through investments, interest, or other means. Income must be documented separately from other trust transactions, and the trustee must provide evidence that they have taken steps to ensure the income has been accounted for.
It is also important that trustees regularly review their accounting records to ensure they are accurate and complete.
Why it's important
Keeping accurate accounting records is a critical responsibility of trustees in New Zealand family trusts. Not only is it a legal requirement, but it is also essential for maintaining the trust's financial integrity and achieving its objectives. Trustees who fail to take this responsibility seriously risk legal action being taken against them and could ultimately harm the trust's beneficiaries.
The property market is certainly hot in Wellington right now with pricing at an all-time high with no sign of abatement. Anyone seeking to invest or review their existing portfolio will no doubt be aware that legislation has / is changed and changing. Picking up an investment property is no longer a simple matter and much needs to be taken into consideration. Clear thinking, a level head and unemotional decisions need to be made, and that’s where Human Accounting excels.
The idea that just ‘picking up’ a property for either development or rental purposes to create easy additional income, or a nest-egg for the future, is no longer the simple task it once was. The days of buying a simple bach or crib by the sea for a pittance have long gone. However, that doesn’t mean that good margins cannot be made in the property market, and Human Accounting have all the skills you need to understand obligations and keep one step ahead with your finances.
Adding it Up
There’s a lot to consider when looking at not only the obvious expenses such as taxation of profit, but also insurance, rates, depreciation and a whole list of expenses that you may or may not be aware of. Knowing that your accountant is knowledgeable and informed about current practices will give you peace of mind. In turn you can relax and get on with the job in hand.
Is your accountant fully qualified? So many small businesses claim to be able bookkeepers and ‘number-crunchers’, yet only a qualified charted accountant has invested the time in really understanding the law and regulations that need to be met. Human Accounting carry a wealth of certifications and the right qualifications to get the right results for you.
Not only do you need to know that your accountant knows their stuff, but reputation is vital. Have they been audited themselves by Inland Revenue? Regular audits take up time and can be arduous to complete. A qualified chartered accountant such as Human Accounting, with a great reputation ensures a smooth process with government departments
Like every building, your investment must also be built on strong foundations. There are many ways an investment can be structured, and Human Accounting understands this may sometimes be complex or confusing. They make it easy and will explain the different options. This will enable you to make a clear decision. Be it a company, body corporate, family trust or something else entirely, Human Accounting knows all.
Key to Success
Human Accounting has a specialist in property accounting who will help you understand how to gain the most from your investments. The extensive experience and knowledge they have makes the process simple and straightforward. Covering commercial property, rental investment, tax and returns, you can be sure they have it covered.
There is so much to take into consideration once the decision has been made to use an accountant for your business. After all, whoever you choose will have access to the heart of your business and direct knowledge of your private financial records. They must meet a range of requirements before you can safely trust someone with the important information you’ll need to hand over. Here are our top five tips for choosing an accountant that will suit you and your business.
In a post-Covid-19 world location has become a little fluid. However, for some it’s still something to think about. Knowing that your accountant can visit to pick through those receipts might be something that’s useful to you. Of course, everyone has learned the value of online conversations and the power of Zoom. Many of us hadn’t even heard of this until the arrival of Covid-19, yet how we have learned to adapt and pick up new skills.
Having said all that, location and actually knowing where and who your accountant is carries value. You might be able to cut some corners and save a few cents by using one of the new online offerings available from big data companies, but can you really get value for money and real expertise from a nameless upload on a website? Who is looking at those accounts? Worse, if something goes wrong and you need to speak to someone, how do you get through?
Human Accounting is just that. Real, flesh and blood human. Keitha is perfectly placed in Hutt City, Wellington, allowing her to travel easily across Wellington and the Greater Wellington region if required. As you’d expect, she’s also available via phone, email and keeping up to speed with things, the eponymous Zoom. She also has a host of other online options, including good, old-fashioned real life meetings.
Did you know that in New Zealand anyone can set themselves up as an accountant? Horrifying, isn’t it? Especially when you consider the type of information these people are dealing with. You wouldn’t learn to drive a car from someone that had only read a book, so why use an unqualified book-keeper or faux accountant?
Chartered Accountants (CA) have studied their craft well. It takes seven years to become a fully qualified CA. It helps to know that they are bound by professional ethics and a code of conduct from the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ). Not only that, but once qualified, there are continuing education courses and staying up to date with current laws and legislation.
Why would anyone take the risk of handing over vital financial records to someone off the street who thinks they’re good with numbers and call themselves an accountant?
Keitha from Human Accounting is, of course, a fully trained and qualified Chartered Accountant meeting all relevant requirements and industry standards. You can be sure that she fully understands all aspect of handling your data safely, securely, and has the highest regard for the importance of ethics and confidentiality.
Proactive Not Reactive
Some accountants will just take your records and ‘do your books’. However, a really good CA will be able to suggest improvements to how you operate. This in turn helps save you additional monies, and avoid pitfalls that you might otherwise stumble into!
Do they understand the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion? It’s one thing to make recommendations on how to reduce your tax bill, yet do they understand how to help you save as much as you can without falling foul of the law? It’s all very well knowing you can offset some home costs if you are running your business from the spare room, but are you aware of all the fine print, rules and checks you should make before making that claim?
Naturally Human Accounting are adept at understanding New Zealand law and will help you navigate the waters of your tax records whilst offering useful advice to help you stay on track.
Find the Right Software
It might sound like a small matter, but does your accountant use up to date, leading-edge software? Many modern software packages integrate directly into the Inland Revenue, making the lives of everyone easier.
If they don’t use the same package as you, is it something that they would consider? Of course, anything that is transferring files must be secure and encrypt the files properly. This will help remove the fear of losing data when its exchanged.
Human Accounting prides itself on using only the very best computer software and fully understands the safest way of getting your data to Inland Revenue.
Trust your instincts
t Finally of course, meet your accountant in person for a friendly chat or coffee. This will really help you gain a ‘feel’ of their personality, which will in turn enable you to know if you would be able to work with them. Anyone looking after your accounts has access to so much personal information, and it’s often a long-term commitment. It’s therefore easy to understand why it’s so important that you can hold a long-term enduring business relationship.
Perhaps they can offer references from existing customers that can independently answer any questions that you may have? Are they happy for you to contact their clients to ask what their service is like?
It goes without saying that Keitha McClure at Human Accounting leaves no stone unturned when checking details. She’s keen on detail, yet approachable and friendly. After all, that’s what real Human Accounting is all about!
The Human Touch
Of course we expect you may still have questions and we’re only too happy to help answer them. There is no such thing as a ‘silly’ question, and we will endeavour to help you understand the whole process from beginning to end.
We want you to be comfortable with your accounting process. After all, why else would you return? We have a long list of happy clients from the past decade that wouldn’t look anywhere else, so why don’t you join them?
Contact Keitha McClure at Human Accounting today. It’s a sound business decision you won’t regret.
You’re here because you need an accountant. Perhaps you’re a small business, perhaps you simply want to check out how this all works. Whatever reason for your visit, Keitha McClure at Human Accounting will make everything easy.
Based in her office in Wellington, New Zealand, Human Accounting owner / operator Keitha McClure is calm, measured and has a wealth of experience. Trained at Victoria University of Wellington and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ), she qualified with exceptional results and enjoys nothing more than helping businesses keep the complex simple. She deals with all areas of tax, accountancy, GST and has an in-depth knowledge around all areas of taxation in New Zealand.
Here For You
A good accountant will of course help you compile returns and perhaps offer a little advice here and there. A great accountant will keep tabs on your cash-flow, challenge you when it’s required, and offer business tips and money-saving ideas.
Perhaps you have questions around the New Zealand wage subsidy, do you understand the tax implications for your business? Do you want to apply for the small business cash-flow scheme (SCBS)? Maybe you’re considering registering for Goods and Services Tax (GST) but don’t know where to begin?
An appointment with Keitha will answer all your questions. She is skilled at explaining things in clear language, without fancy terms or jargon. Working with you, she will make keeping up to date with tax returns, GST receipts and of course, dealing with dreaded depreciation, a breeze. Working with you to make sure you can get on with running your business, free from the stresses and worries around keeping your legal obligations to IRD.
The Human Touch
Working with respected businesses such as Xero, (naturally, Human Accounting holds a Xero certification) Keitha manages her time and workload effectively. Her office is in Lower Hutt, yet using modern technology to her advantage means that she can deal with customers right across Wellington and New Zealand itself. Collaborating via a range of options, email, phone calls and online video calls, gaining access to your accountant has never been easier. That being said, Keitha is happy to travel to meet her clients when required. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a chat over a great Kiwi coffee.
Keitha McClure has been dealing with figures for over a decade. There’s no better person to choose when looking for a reliable chartered accountant. It’s an important decision and you need someone with a fine eye for detail. Human Accounting prides itself on being meticulous with your accounts. Your figures are our figures, and we only succeed with
your continued advancement in business.
It All Adds Up
Contact Human Accounting today and get your books in order with us.