Artificial Intelligence - the Benefits and Challenges of Using It by Juliet Young and Paula Kruger

Meeting Topic


We all know we need to set business strategy for each new year, but how many of us set a fresh financial strategy?  And what kinds of questions can we ask ourselves that will guide us to create a robust one?  In the article below, Chartered Accountant Raelene Rees offers up her take on the questions we must ask ourselves as we lead our businesses into a new financial year.

Financial Strategy for Your Business 2024 By Raelene Rees

As 31 March rolls around yet again, it’s a good time to review financially what went well last year in your business and where there may be room for improvement.

Below you’ll find a ‘checklist’ of sorts that you can go through as you reflect on your financial situation:

  • What are the key performance indicators (KPI’s) in your business?
  • How much cash do you have on hand?
  • How much money is owed to you?
  • How much money do you owe your suppliers?
  • Can you pay your bills on time?
  • Are there any costs that you’re incurring that aren’t providing adequate benefit?
  • Can you streamline your business to generate more on the bottom line / profit?
  • How did you measure up to your budget? (Did you even make a budget?!)
  • Looking at your year-to-date financials, are they ‘fair to middling’, satisfactory or OMG! – how much tax will I have to pay (meaning you made a heap of money)?

To have a successful business you need to be monitoring your financial picture on a regular basis.  Costs change, your customers’ circumstances change, markets change, and we all know interest rates change. Each of those things can have a big impact on your bottom line.

And of course, stepping away from the detail and looking at your overall business, here are a few things to consider:

  • determine what you want your business to look like in 12 months’ time so that it can direct your planning
  • identify your biggest challenge and potential ways you can solve it in the coming year
  • brainstorm ways to increase your client base (and profit) to increase the value of your business
  • think outside the square. Just recently, I met another self-employed accountant – similar age, similar staff numbers – who had a completely different business model to my own, but was achieving similar results
  • think about where you are in your business life cycle, as your needs will be different and you should be approaching your business and financial strategy accordingly:
    • Start-up phase
    • Middle age
    • Approaching retirement

Here are a couple of final thoughts. ‘Debt’ is not necessarily a bad word: a loan can start a business, rescue a business, or get a business to the next level. Theres a reason why banks need to see your budget before they lend to you, so be sure you know your numbers!

Your business relies on you, so invest in yourself as the most valuable asset in your business. What better investment is there than YOU, who you can trust and control.

I hope this has given you some food for thought as we start another financial year. And remember, for professional guidance, do speak to your accountant or financial advisor.

To find out more about how Raelene takes care of her clients, you can visit her website:

Next Meeting Topic

Artificial Intelligence – the Benefits and Challenges of Using It  by Juliet Young and Paula Kruger


You can’t open the news or your social feeds without seeing something about the use (or misuse) of A.I. (artificial intelligence). In this article, two of our members explore what it is and how we can use it effectively and responsibly to support our business’ communication and marketing strategy.

Artificial Intelligence – the Benefits and Challenges of Using It  by Juliet Young and Paula Kruger

What is AI?

AI has been designed to process enormous amounts of data, recognize patterns, and make decisions and judgements like humans. Siri and Alexa are examples of AI.

The most common AI programme relevant to small to medium businesses is ChatGPT (Generative Pre-Training Transformer), the free and first version of AI in common use. The ChatGPT App can write, well, almost anything you ask it.

First things first – where do ChatGPT or other AI platforms get their information?

It seems like magic. You’re a real estate agent and you ask ChatGPT to write a blog on top tips for selling a home. Within seconds it delivers a short essay covering several topics. So where did that come from? AI gathers all its information from its users. But let’s look closely at the copy – there are terms we don’t use in New Zealand and even some processes or regulations that aren’t relevant here.

With most users being based in the United States, the terminology, regulations, and laws for any industry are commonly based on US documentation. This means the information generated by AI is often incorrect or not relevant for your Kiwi audience.

To counter this, be specific when asking an AI platform to write you something. For example, state you are a Wellington, New Zealand real estate agent, and be prepared to set aside time for editing the copy to connect with your intended audience.

How to use AI

When you are struggling to put the words together AI can help. It is definitely good for tackling ‘writer’s block’! AI can generate blog ideas or write communications that require some thought. It is best used as a support to your own research rather than as verbatim copy. Here are a couple of quick examples of how to instruct AI:

  • I am a mortgage advisor based in Auckland in New Zealand.  Write me a blog for potential new clients that gives the top tips for getting mortgage approval in New Zealand.
  • I am a builder/plumber/electrician in Wellington, New Zealand. Write me a 5-minute talk about how to plan a home renovation.

From the copy it provides, you can give more detailed instructions to refine what you need or edit the copy yourself using your own expertise and research. For example, with the trade copy you are likely to have better knowledge or find better sources to discuss a topic like the building consent process and add YOUR expertise to the 5-minute talk AI provided.

The pitfalls

Don’t use AI platforms to generate legal documentation such as terms and conditions or employment agreements. For reliable information based on New Zealand laws and regulations use government websites and take professional advice.

Google seeks to publish authentic information and can detect AI in websites. It will rank copy it suspects is AI poorly. Note also that if you use AI platforms to write website pages it will be duplicating copy from other similar businesses to yours, which also confuses Google and results in poor ranking.

The future and AI

There are now several large AI developers providing subscription platforms with sophisticated technologies to support big business to reach their audiences. Industry commentators expect further leaps in AI capabilities and more boundaries to be challenged in 2024, including integrative technologies in interactions with digital assistants.

For more information about how Juliet supports her copywriting clients, email her at , and for information about Paula’s website design expertise, get in touch at  Juliet and Paula regularly collaborate and have produced over 35 websites together.

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