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NZCO Launches New Zealand Business Numbers

On 2 December 2013, all companies listed with the New Zealand Companies Office (NZCO) were assigned a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). As CCH iFirm is cloud based, we have been able to immediately add a field for NZBNs so users can start adding clients' NZBN details into their contact information. 

This means all the information you have on your clients is up to date, in a central location and available to you from anywhere that has an internet connection. 

Read more…
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (GBU) report for 2013 was recently released by CCH Business Fitness New Zealand (BFNZ). As well as providing an analysis of financial performance and management trends across NZ firms and suggesting response strategies, the report also looks ahead to what accounting firms perceive as their biggest challenges.

The 248 accounting firms that contributed towards the GBU ranked the below three points as being their biggest concerns. 
  1. Growing the business
  2. Improving productivity and efficiency
  3. Keeping on top of workload.
Most accountants would like to believe that they fall into the first half of this sentence. The reality is that it's much more likely a combination of the two according to recent research. New Zealanders on average work 15% more hours a year than the OECD average and produce 20% less economic activity per hour (Conway & Meehan, 2013). 

Imagine a 15% reduction in your wages cost or an increase of 20% in billable hours. Even better - imagine both, and you can quickly see how these could be the difference between failure and profitability, or profitability and the good life. Even with these improvements you would still only be at the OECD average and most New Zealanders would take exception to being described as average! 

Taking a closer look at the productivity for the Professional, Scientific and Technical services industries, the ANZSIC group Accounting is classified under, shows that they have been experiencing labour productivity growth less than 1% over the past two decades. It has dropped down into negatives for the 2008-2011 period. Labour productivity is the amount of output produced from each unit of labour employed. For industries that rely heavily on labour input, these are worrying signs. For all our hard work and effort, we don't seem to be working any smarter.

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Google Analytics & CCH Web Manager

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics (GA) is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about your website. This includes traffic and audience statistics such as how many people are visiting, where they are visiting from, how long they are visiting for, what they are looking at and how many are getting in contact. The product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists from which the industry of web analytics originally grew. However, Google Analytics is a very powerful and easy to use tool that everyone can utilise to get great insight into what visitors are doing on your website, and what is and isn't working.

For your convenience, Google Analytics statistics are displayed in your CCH Web Manager dashboard each time you log in. Google has a comprehensive guide for learning the basics of analytics and offers free online training. Read more…

We've moved!

On Monday 1 July 2013, the Christchurch based team at CCH Collaborative Solutions moved into our brand new office. For many, the move erased another prominent reminder of the Christchurch earthquakes as we finally left behind our temporary office space.

Our old central city office stood steadfast through the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes. It wasn't until May 2012 when we were informed that we had to leave immediately as the building had become unstable. After several weeks working from our homes we moved into an old Payless Plastics retail store which we converted into a temporary office.

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Small business has its head in the cloud

Recent research commissioned by CCH has revealed that the majority of SME owners would consider changing their accountant if they failed to keep pace with cloud technology.

The research involved over 1,000 small businesses and 200 accountants from across Australia.

However, according to the study, the perceived barriers to adopting new technology among small business suppliers' such as the time to learn new systems and the fear of changing existing processes are slowing progress and putting businesses at risk.

One of the key industries where this slow uptake of new technology was most prevalent and therefore potentially hazardous, was accounting services. Read more…

Adding a YouTube video to your website

Embedding a video into a website used to be a real challenge in the early days of the web. You had different file formats to choose from, some viewers might not have had the proper software installed to see the video and bandwidth was still limited as many people were still on dialup connections.

Nowadays things are a lot different. Internet connection speeds are a lot faster and just about anyone can watch a video over the internet on their desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones.

There are still plenty of different video file formats to choose from but one of the most popular ways to view video is via YouTube.  YouTube makes it incredibly easy to upload and share videos as you simply upload a video in any recognisable file format and it will automatically produce it in a single format which is compatible with most of today's web capable devices.
YouTube is also an incredibly useful marketing tool. With so many businesses starting to ride the wave of social media marketing, YouTube and other similar video sharing sites can sometimes be forgotten.

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The first roadshow of the year!

The first CCH Roadshow of the year starts next week and we want you to join us as we present CCH iFirm - the most comprehensive software suite your firm needs to ensure sustained, strong and manageable growth.
At the events you will discover how iFirm will

  • Save you time and money.
  • Allow you to offer more services to your clients.
  • Reduce administration requirements and create efficiencies.

We're hitting 14 cities in New Zealand and at the events we are presenting iFirm in detail and the benefits it is delivering to accounting firms across the country. Read more…

How to make Google and your website BFF's

If you are looking for ways to drive more traffic to your website by enhancing your search engine rankings, there are a number of simple methods that can be followed to improve your results.

Globally, Google accounts for 83% of all searches with the rest spread across others such as Bing, Yahoo and a number of other smaller search engines.  So when it comes to looking for ways to improve your site, it is best to ask the king.

There is some fairly detailed information in their guidelines on the best practices for your site.  CCH take care of the technical side of things - the areas you can manage yourself relate to improving the content, titles, descriptions and url names within your site, as well as organising third party sites to link to your own. Read more…

What is Google Places?

'Google Places' is basically Google's localised business directory - Google's own statistics show 97% of consumers search for local businesses online, which makes having your business listed on Google Places an important part of your online strategy. It is also free so there is no good reason not to submit your listing.

How Google Places works 

When a search is made on a phrase that either contains a location name, e.g. 'Accountants Christchurch', Read more…