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If you are interested in seeing what the Payroll Software developers use to keep their products up to date in respect to Legislative changes then follow the link below.



Its is quite amazing how many people and institutions the IRD owes money to and unless it is claimed by the rightful owner I guess the IRD get to keep it and use it for their Christmas Party.

Check and see if your name, or anyone you might know, is on the Unclaimed Money Register.

The figures on the register are not Tax Refunds but money left untouched for six or more years in companies such as financial institutions or insurance companies.

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There is a lot of publicity in the media from companies setup to secure Tax Refunds for employees.

Now I have no idea what these companies charge but the reality is any individual can work it out themselves, for FREE.

All you need to know is your Total Gross Income for the year and Total Tax Paid and then all you do is use the Tax Calculator from the IRD.

The process is totally anonymous (you don’t have to enter your name or IRD number) and the results will show if you are entitled to a tax refund or owe the IRD money.  I don’t understand why the IRD can’t just send you any refund automatically and not require you to claim for it.

If you do request a Personal Tax Summary from the IRD then you are obliged to pay them any shortfall in tax.

Their calculator can be found HERE!

Also see if your name is on the Unclaimed Money register as you may be entitled to a refund from previous years.

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Early next month we will be relaunching and re-branding NZ Payrollers.

The new name will be called NZ Paymasters (no connection to The Paymasters) to reflect the fact it is mainly payroll professionals who are accessing the site.

The site will get re skinned (no more green) and have greater capabilities to be part of it, for example, the ability to subscribe to the blog so you get e-mailed whenever there is a new post.

The process will allow us to import all Post and Comments so nothing to date will be lost.  In order to record all Posts against their Authors we will have to setup you up again.  This will mean you will get an automated e-mails saying you have been attached to the the new blog site.  All you will need to do is reset your password.

Watch this space for further updates.


Not known to many employers but ACC have a couple of options available to employers whereby they can reduce their ACC costs.


The first is called the Workplace Safety Discount and is available for small employers (less than 10 staff) and involved in either: agriculture, construction, fishing, forestry, motor trades, road transport or waste management.

You may be eligible for a discount of 10% on your costs.  See the ACC website at www.acc.co.nz/wsd for more information.  The programme is about demonstrating good health and safety management practices.

There is talk that this plan will be opened up to other industries.


Large employers may be eligible for discounts of between 10% – 20% under the ACC Workplace Safety Management Programme.  This involves having a robust Health & Safety plan in place and  independently audited.

See www.acc.co.nz/wsmp for more details.

Other things in the pipeline is the possible return of No Claim Discounts which rewards employers with good accident histories.

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A common question and according to the Department of Labour the simple answer is No.

However, an employer must keep a record for seven years, of:

  • The kind of work the employee does
  • the number of hours/days that the employee works
  • The wages paid to the employee each pay and the method of calculating those wages
  • The nature of the employment agreement

Such information was historically contained within the old Wages Book but now Payroll Software will keep these records.

I guess the reason why most employers provide payslips to their staff is to comply with some of the items above and to reduce the number of queries from staff when they check their bank and find they have received less than what was expected, which is always the case.

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Every Payroll Software provider charges some form of Annual Maintenance fee each year with most (except MYOB) including support in this fee.

The Annual Maintenance fee is charged to cover:

  • Legislative Changes (a must for payroll software)
  • Bug Fixes (which should be the developers cost)
  • Support (except for MYOB)
  • Development (adding new features and enhancements)

MYOB has commented that their fees are so high to cover the ‘continuous development’ they carry out with their EXO product range.

So, I thought it would be interesting to see how much ‘continuous development’ is happening with MYOB and the IMS Payroll Partner product.

Now for me, development, does not include ‘legislative changes’ as this is a must if the payroll developers wants to sell their product in New Zealand.

In addition, I did ask the question, ‘If a product has been in the market for a long time then there must come a point when everything has been developed, and the only changes will be legislative ones’.  If this is true then you would expect that the IMS product would have minimal development when compared to MYOB as it has been in the market considerably longer.

However, the March 2010 results prove differently.

Both products covered the release of Payroll Giving (legislative) which came into force in January 2010 and apart from other legislative changes, the only ‘development’ I can see from MYOB was the addition of a ‘Contact E-mail field‘.

IMS on the other hand (and this is the more mature product) had 11 (non legislative) changes to their product.

You can view the release notes for March 2010 below.



As a comparison we have also included a copy of Smoothpay’s Release Notes.  Smoothpay provides regular, automated, updates to their software throughout the year.


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Making Tax Easier

As you may be aware the Government is consulting on a range of proposals for improving the way Inland Revenue interacts with tax payers in the future. You can find out more about these proposals and tell IRD what you think at http://ird.govt.nz/makingtaxeasier.

Among the key proposals for employers and businesses are –

  • Software that takes care of routine processes. For example, PAYE compliance tasks such as the need to separately file an employer monthly schedule could be managed by software that automatically communicates with Inland Revenue. The software would have an option of providing information to Inland Revenue every pay-day.

The current situation for employers is that they can file the EMS on-line using the Inland Revenue’s ir-File service. This facility is a great improvement on the paper-based filing method but can still be a barrier to small business owners using payroll software systems. Our on-line payroll application FlexiTime provides a simple file download that creates a file on the users computer which can then be uploaded to ir-File.

In contrast FlexiTime also uploads accounts payable invoices to on-line accounting app Xero automatically. The user doesn’t need to have any understanding of downloading and uploading files and they don’t need to log into different systems to achieve this. The magic in the middle is called an Application Programming Interface (API). FlexiTime communicates with Xero in a completely secure manner.

Inland Revenue’s proposal to develop an API for filing payroll related tax information is strongly supported by FlexiTime. We think, in fact, that it’s long overdue.

The Government’s current approach to making life easier for small business is to provide a subsidy of $2 per employee per pay for up to 5 employees. The subsidy is paid to Payroll Intermediaries,  payroll companies that handle the uploading of the EMS file on your behalf.

It doesn’t make sense to have a subsidy paid by tax payers to large companies for basically doing highly manual task that could be done automatically using an Application Programming Interface.  FlexiTime thinks that this subsidy should be abolished and the savings invested into the development of modern interfaces with taxation systems.

Robert Owen
FlexiTime CEO.

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MYOB EXO (Milking You’s Our Business) today announced details of their Employer Services Support Plans.

Essentially, Pay Per Call support will no longer be available so if you want support you HAVE to join their Support Plan otherwise your only recourse for support is their Knowledge Base (I wonder where they are going to get the Knowledge to fill this!).

The cost of the Support Plan is 15% of the current retail software cost so if you add this to their Annual Maintenance cost you will be paying on average 75% of the software cost every year to get the SAME LEVEL OF SERVICE that their competition provide as part of their standard Annual Maintenance fee (which vary from 20% to 36%).

The only conclusions one can take from this is:

  • MYOB EXO do not want to sell anymore of their products
  • MYOB EXO are not that interested in providing support
  • MYOB EXO have totally lost touch with their customers
  • MYOB EXO will be losing a large number of clients very soon

You can see their announcement HERE!

Interestingly one of MYOB’s Accounting competitors, Moneyworks, have shown that MYOB also charge Accounting clients a 70% cost of ownership, see here.  But their comments regarding Support should be heeded by MYOB.


MoneyWorks has been designed to require as little external support as possible. For this reason we do not have an annual support fee, so you don’t pay for support that you do not need. Instead we offer a variety of support options from which you can choose a package that best suits your needs.

Telephone Support

For telephone support in New Zealand, call 0900-55-444. Calls cost $1.99 + GST per minute.

On-site Support

For on-site support click on the People link.

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Just go an e-mail this morning from MYOB outlining a survey they are conducting to see how ‘satisfied’ their customers are.  Could it be they are wanting to  listen to their customers, if they do it will be a first.  It’s only one question so they aren’t after much.

Survey information below:

MYOB is committed to innovation and improvement across all of our product and service offerings.

As an important part of this ongoing process, we place great value on the feedback we receive from our existing clients – the information you provide us about how satisfied you are with our mid sized business products and services helps enable us to provide the best possible solutions for you in the future.

We would greatly appreciate your time in completing our short online survey, which can be completed in just a few minutes.

Please go to the following web address to respond to the survey:

Warm regards,

Andrew Birch
General Manager – Enterprise Division
MYOB Australia

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