Even though the end of the financial year is always at the same time, it often catches people by surprise. Fortunately, as 31 March 2021 approaches, there's still time to help your small business start the new financial year on the right foot. We've gathered together a checklist of five essential tasks to minimise stress and keep your focus on what counts.
1. Review the list of people who owe you money
As the balance date approaches, take time to review the list of people or organisations that owe you money. Take note of those who you feel are unlikely to pay so your accountant can record these as bad debts. You can then turn your attention to the rest of the list and prompt them to settle their bills before the end of March.
2. Take stock
Before 31 March, check any physical assets and the stock you have on hand so you can record their value accurately. For some businesses, a stocktake may be a reasonably simple job, but most will need to carefully plan their time, processes and people to accomplish this. If you'd like some guidance or ideas on how to manage this, then check in with your Business Mentor. Their experience means they’re likely to have found practical ways to manage things like this which they’ll be happy to share.
3. Ensure your financial records are up-to-date for your accountant
You'll want to ensure everything is ready for your accountant. They're busy at this time of year and will appreciate your efforts.
Your accountant will need a screenshot or statement that shows closing bank balances at the balance date. Reconcile everything and make a list of any transactions you’re unsure about.
Give your payroll reports a final once-over too. Although you don't need to give a summary to your employees, they may find these useful in checking their own taxes.
4. Get ready to pay your tax on time
Paying tax on time avoids penalties which may be more than what you actually need to pay. Paying with online banking is the quickest and easiest way. Inland Revenue shows key dates on its website, and if you have any particular questions or concerns you can call 0800 377 772.
5. Look ahead
The transition to a new year is an ideal time to look ahead and update your plans. You'll have up-to-date data from one financial year to help you set budgets and cashflow forecasts for the next one. With your business financials front of mind, get clear on your goals so you can plan, prioritise or even pivot. You'll find ideas for setting goals in our blog on planning for success. A Business Mentor will also work with you to create an action plan tailored to your own situation.
Support is close at hand
If you're feeling overwhelmed about the end of the financial year, then make the most of free support for small businesses. You might wish to bookmark our list of resources and references.
Surrounding yourself with experts who are ready to help can be lifechanging. It's one of the reasons why business owners continue to work with a Mentor year after year. Business Mentors bring rich experience that they're ready to share. They can offer an objective perspective because they're not in your business, and their only interest is in your success.
A Business Mentor is a great asset to take into the new financial year! Contact us to register now.