The end of the financial year is fast approaching, but who says it needs to be a stress-inducing experience?
As a world, we have a very strange, often challenging relationship with all things money-related.
Just hearing the word “finances” or “accountant,” is enough to send shivers down a business owner’s spine.
But money is great, isn’t it? It allowed you to start this amazing business you’re now running, and continues to keep that business going. And, you’re able to re-circulate the money your business generates, back out into the world in so many positive ways.
So let’s stop fretting about the end of the financial year, okay?
You’re going to be fine. Everything is going to be great, trust us.
Here are some handy tips to get you prepared, which are sure to make this financial year end a raving success for your business.
What does “year end” mean?
Before we get started, let’s clarify what we mean by “year end.” This is a report that shows how well your business has performed over the past 12 months, including a record of all money coming in and going out.
This is the perfect time to review the progress and performance of your business, compared to what was forecast, and plan for the future years to come.
Let’s dive in.
- Be prepared
Sounds trivial, but as they say, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.
Some people can’t help but bury their head in the sand, thinking that if they pretend it’s not happening, then they won’t have to deal with it. But this always comes back around to bite them.
If you know you have a tendency to do this, or you lack organisation, maybe you could delegate the bulk of the task to someone you trust to do a thorough job. If you don’t have any employees, then finding a self-employed accountant might be your best bet.
No matter what you do, make sure everyone in your business knows that the year-end is approaching, and encourage them to collect all invoices and purchase orders they can, file away expenses, and tighten up on expenses where possible.
- Make sure everything is up to date
You don’t want to be running around at the last minute, and causing yourself and everyone around you unnecessary stress and anxiety.
So make sure all your accounts are up to date. If you have an accountant, make sure they have all the information they need to do their job effectively and efficiently as possible.
Sometimes, certain things will remain incomplete, and that will be out of your control. That’s okay — just make sure the relevant person is aware of anything outstanding.
Along with your business accounts, you’ll also need to ensure all your payroll data is up to date, and expense calculations are correct.
- Analyse your balance sheet
What did you do well this year? What didn’t go quite as well as you’d hoped?
When you take some time to analyse your assets, liabilities, and equities, you’ll have a clear picture of how well you performed as a business over this financial year.
There are some great online accounting programs which you can use to generate a balance sheet and Profit & Loss reports. This will help you to see where you excelled, and where you can improve come next year.
Even if you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, that’s okay. Think of this as a great way to get ahead for next year. You can’t fix anything if you don’t know it’s broken.
- Add up your estimated tax payments
Accounting software is your friend again here. Many programs allow you to snap expense receipts, upload invoice amounts, and calculate an accurate figure of the tax you’ll be expected to pay at the end of the year.
If you’ve been doing this along the way, and keeping your tax money aside — great! If you haven’t, don’t panic. Take some time to go through this as soon as possible so you know how much you’ll be expected to pay.
And make sure you’re more organised going forwards so that this time next year goes much smoother.
- Review your client list
Along with your employee contact information, it’s also important to make sure your client database is up to date, and everyone’s details are correct.
It can also be a nice gesture to send each one a personal email thanking them for their business this year, and keep those relationships going strong.
- Plan for the next year
Once you’ve taken a look at your monthly, quarterly, and year sales and profit sheets, you can then begin to plan for next year.
Did you reach your goals from last year? Did you set any goals at all?
And if you didn’t quite reach your targets, explore why not, and how you can prevent this from repeating in the coming year.
Making goals regularly — both short term and long term ones — helps keep you and your employees motivated, which will continue to drive your business forward.
Take the time to review these often, and see if you’re on track, or if you need to make any changes.
- Don’t struggle on your own
If numbers really aren’t your forte, don’t sweat it. We can’t all be great at everything, and luckily for you, there are so many people who ARE great at all the things you struggle with.
If the end of the financial year is causing you a lot of anxiety, or you know from previous years that it has been a struggle; now is the time to enlist the help of a professional and experienced accountant.
Let them take this weight off your shoulders. They’ll be worth their weight in gold. Let them know what you need them to do, and then they can keep your accounts in order all year round, so that by the end of the financial year there’s no panic.
Sounds like a fantasy, right?
Nope. You have the power to make this a reality today.
That’s It — You’re Done!
Hopefully, these tips will make your financial year end a whopping success.
Remember to remain calm and focused, delegate what you can’t or don’t want to do, and keep smiling
And that, ladies & gents, is how you win the financial year-end.