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100 years in the making..






















This year CooperAitken has achieved 100 years. Throughout this year we plan to celebrate this milestone with our clients, our team and the local communities we serve.

We are very proud to have provided a quality and professional service to our clients for this length of time. In many instances we are working with third generation clients - a true privilege.

CooperAitken, as it is today, is the result of growth and amalgamation over the years.

The Aitken business can be traced back to TJ Ryan when in 1914 they were auditors for Tatua dairy company. Bob Aitken joined the firm in 1949, with Rodney Aitken coming on board in 1979.

The Cooper business commenced with Stuart Shepherd, known as ‘Tui’, when he returned to Morrinsville in 1943. Tui was reported to be quite a character and was deputy mayor of Morrinsville. The practice grew and partners came and went. Trevor Cooper joined the firm in 1987 and it became known as Cave, Bannin, Sexton & Cooper.

In 2000 the two firms merged and became known as Cooper Aitken & Partners Ltd, later to be joined by Churton Fraser Ltd and Cameron Accounting Ltd. As many of you will know we rebranded in 2010 to become CooperAitken Ltd.

To celebrate our centenary we will be making a gift to the community, and hosting parties for our staff, clients and local businesses. It will definitely be an exciting year. We hope you will join us as we honour our beginnings and celebrate our on-going commitment to excellence



50 years and still turning up for work!!

Janet Pitkethley is our longest serving staff member, starting work in January 1964 – a remarkable 50 years ago.

In 50 years Janet has seen almost every change imaginable in the workplace, particularly the introduction of technology and the change from imperial to decimal currency. When asked what has made it all worthwhile to stay, she simply says ‘the people’.

Janet’s story with CooperAitken will be featured later in the year as part of our centenary celebrations.




Our first 2014 baby

Congratulations to Kuljeet Singh-Nagra and partner Maia Kawana who welcomed baby Carlos into the world on 8 February 2014





Gavin Haddon's story

On 9 September last year CooperAitken director, Gavin Haddon, had open heart surgery and we are happy to report that the operation was a success.  Gavin is back on deck full-time with a new lease of life..... read more






Our clever girls..

Huge congratulations to Chloe Hunter and Sharon Crocombe-Woodward on passing their PCE2 exams. The next step is for them to apply to the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants for final acceptance to becoming a Chartered Accountant.

Chloe started at CooperAitken in April 2008 and had already started her degree. Prior to this, teachers at school had encouraged Chloe to pursue a career in accounting as she had shown abilities in working with numbers and problem solving. Chloe now has a broad range of accounting skills, and is also a valuable member of the tax team. In addition she is enjoying training some of our junior accountants. With study over she is looking forward to holidays on the Gold Coast and in Europe, and her graduation ceremony.

Sharon joined CooperAitken last July. She had always wanted to be an accountant and started her career at Fonterra dairy company. In 2004 Sharon started her degree and did this full-time for four years. After finishing her degree she worked for several small public practices, and enjoyed dealing with clients and helping them better understand the financial aspects of their business. This is where she completed her work experience years and Foundations paper. She sat her six hour case study exam in October and will attend her graduation this coming May. Sharon says that she is really enjoying helping our clients and being part of a bigger team, and that she finds the directors friendly and very approachable.

The commitment to excellence – not for the faint hearted

Although the process to become a Chartered Accountant has now changed the journey for our 21 Chartered Accountants often took around seven years. It was a big commitment in terms of both time and money starting with a four year, full-time degree which included subjects like tax, financial accounting and auditing. On passing your degree you then worked one year in a chartered accountants office. The first exam was called the Foundations - an ethics paper covering the rules, i.e. when you should speak up about something, what options you have, etc. On passing this paper a further year is worked under the guidance of a mentor, during which time you demonstrate capability in specific areas, logging learnings as you go. 

At this point you were then eligible to commence the Chartered Accountancy programme, committing to 20 hours of study a week. There were six workshops to attend over weekends, numerous assessments that you had to pass and a six hour case study exam to sit.

The journey to become a Chartered Accountant is still no easy one. These days it is more internet based with a three year degree required.


New team members

Claudine Stoner is working with the team at Matamata and Amy Coombes (nee Watson), who worked for us previously, is lending a hand doing some accounting work for us in Morrinsville.

Leif Wauters (photo right) started in late January as our new workflow co-ordinator. Leif has been working alongside Louise Cullen who left us at the end of February to start a new venture in goat farming. We wish Louise and her family every success.

Also Marina Wolter, CA (photo right) started in late January, after seven years working in Gisborne for a firm of Chartered Accountants. Marina qualified as a Chartered Accountant in her homeland, Russia, and has re-done the whole qualification again in New Zealand.

Christine Vooght started in February joining our wages team, to help prepare the payrolls for some of our clients.









Cashmanager RURAL - Accounting Software Presentation

We held a Cashmanager RURAL presentation in February. This is accounting software specifically developed for the agricultural sector. Many of our farmers attended and learned the advantages it offers. This software is sophisticated, and the forecasting and budgeting functions are brilliant. Cashmanager RURAL really can help with making those important business decisions.











Paying your taxes via the internet

You can pay the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) via the internet and most banks have this facility on their websites. You may need to be registered with your bank to access this option. 

Once you are registered with your bank there are a couple of things to be aware of when making tax payments to the IRD in this way:

1.    You can only make a payment for one IRD number at a time (unlike paying by cheque where you can add up all tax due for all your IRD numbers and write one cheque out. Unfortunately this is not the case when paying online).
2.    The correct tax year or tax period must be used.  Please look at the tax slip or tax letter we send you and take note of the year.
3.    Use the correct tax type.
4.    Use the correct IRD number.
5.    To avoid your payment going to the wrong place please make sure you use the correct codes. The main codes are detailed below:

For provisional tax payments use the code INC and the year the provisional tax is for.

For income tax payments due for payment on 7 April 2014 use the code INC and 2013 as the year.

Many clients are using the code GAP for paying provisional tax. This is incorrect as the GAP code is only used if you are a GST103 filer, i.e. you make both GST and provisional tax payments together. Do not use the GAP code if you make payments of GST alone.

For GST payments made online use the tax code GST.

An advantage of using online banking is that you can set up the bill payment in advance to go to the IRD on the day it is due, so there is no chance of late payment penalties being charged or extra interest charge due to being received late, as can occur with post.

If you are still uncertain please don’t hesitate to contact one of our tax team to help you.

Child Support changes

Changes were planned for 1 April 2014 but the IRD advises that these have now been delayed. In March 2014 the IRD will contact you detailing how much you will pay or receive for the year commencing 1 April 2014. This will be calculated in the same way as it is currently.

Email and phone scams

The prevalence of email and phone scams is increasing, and IRD advises care in opening and replying to emails which have supposedly been sent from them.

A new service being piloted

Many accountants offer their clients a business coaching/consultancy service. We have teamed up with Craig Purcell (Photo right) to ascertain whether this is a service our clients would find valuable. Craig can help with a range of business issues, from motivating your team and sales training, to making processes more effective, ultimately looking to improve long term sustainable profit.

Case study demonstrating how Craig helped Seating To Go Ltd (photo below)  turn growth into profit…













Don’t be a bunny employer this Easter....

This year Easter is late April and is almost immediately followed by Anzac Day.
With three statutory days in fairly quick succession, as well as being school holidays, many employers will face requests for time off over this period as a reasonable break can be had with only a few annual leave days used up. Which is great – if it suits all parties.

The employers first consideration is too determine what staffing requirements are necessary to keep the business functioning as normal. Therefore employers need to take into account the number of staff actually needed, the skills required, numbers of senior staff necessary, etc and also fairness in allocating leave.

While leave approval is the employers ultimate decision, they should try to accommodate requests where possible, and maybe even consider employing temporary staff or casual relief staff if this can work for their business

Over Easter the statutory holidays are Good Friday and Easter Monday. Sunday is not a statutory day.  Anzac day is always April 25th no matter what day that falls on and is a statutory day (Friday).

The usual rules apply in working out pay and leave for those working on the statutory days. For those employees that would normally work on the statutory days (in this instance Monday’s and Friday) and do not take leave they are entitled to be paid at time and a half plus receive a day in lieu at another date.

If you hire someone to work on these days and they are NOT their normal working days for you, they still need to be paid time and a half for the hours worked but you do not need to give them any days in lieu.

Good record keeping, clear and fair policies and consistent communication will help build and keep strong employment relationships.

If you would like any help around these or other issues, then please contact John Brosnan on  07 9022 838.

Bank Guarantees

Often we are asked to guarantee the loans of
•    Our children
•    Our Trusts and/or
•    Companies

Our advice would be to avoid giving any guarantees, however, sometimes this cannot be avoided, but  before you agree to provide a guarantee you should consider the following aspects... read more

Marketing Plan…. Why bother?? 

Often a marketing plan is overlooked despite being one of the most important tools for business owners. Having a marketing plan focuses your attention and helps ensure you focus on the right things. It’s all too easy to work hard and still get it wrong without a plan. A great advert that you have spent days on will still fail if you put it in the wrong publication because you weren’t really sure of your target market.

So commit to a plan and find one that works for you. A simple, traditional marketing plan is all you need and from this you will start to get a better idea on:
•    Your objectives and market position
•    Activities that drive towards these objectives
•    Areas that are blocking progress towards these objectives
•    Issues in your business that need addressing
•    Who your target market is

So don’t rush in with adverts and brochures. Spend a month or so asking questions and learning about your business. Learn from your past, as this is a great way to drive the future.

Read 10 general marketing principles....



Release of the National Standard cost Values 2014, read more

Article - Tax implications for farm sales and purchasers, read more

Article - Fringe benefit tax on farm vehicles, read more


Why is it Time for TimeSmart?

If you are in the business of charging, either just your time or both time and materials, then you should look at how TimeSmart can make your business more profitable.... read more

for more information on TimeSmart go to their website.

World Record breaking..

Our client Aaron Ellis teamed up recently with his friend Falstaff  Dowling-Mitchell  to achieve an indoor world rowing record, rowing for a total of five days and nights non-stop as a tag team. They achieved a total distance of more than one million metres. Well done guys




















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