By Kim Gillan
As we get set to farewell another fiscal year, now is the time to streamline your end-of-financial year preparations and maximise returns.
We asked CPA Clare Wood, money mentor and author of Intentional Profit: Master Your Mindset & Money for a Wildly Wealthy Business, to help you prep for your annual catch-up with your accountant to set yourself up for a seamless start to the new financial year.
How can I structure my business most effectively?
You’ve no doubt got big plans for the year ahead, and if profits go up, is your business structured in the best way possible?
“I really recommend sitting down with your accountant before the end of the financial year to make sure that you’re planning for the coming financial year,” Wood says.
“Doing so at the start of the year is so much more proactive and effective than attempting to do it retrospectively towards the end of the year.”
How much tax should I be prepared to pay?
By sitting down with your accountant early, you’ll be able to forecast potential tax bills and prepare for them well in advance, saving you a lot of stress.
“If you haven’t been contributing to tax throughout the year or you haven’t been strategic in the way that you’ve structured things, it can be a little too late to be doing anything [at the end of next financial year],” Wood says.
“Rather than waiting until the end of the year and being like, ‘Whoa, I had a whopping year!’ [you can] ensure you’re putting the tax aside at the right time and that you have adequately provided for your superannuation and taxation throughout the year so that there is no ‘tax surprise’.”
Can you review my budget?
It’s a good idea to prepare a thorough budget for the coming year and ask your accountant to give it a thorough once-over.
“They might say, ‘We need to make some tweaks around how we are doing things for the year to come’,” Wood says.
Can you catch up regularly?
Many of us only see our accountant once a year, but Wood finds that a monthly catch-up ensures not only that tax is on track, but that she’s accountable to her business goals.
“At the end of every month, you should review your financials in-depth – I do that at my meeting with my accountant because sometimes you miss things,” Wood says.
“They have a different lens on things, and might say, ‘Do you need to spend that much on something?’”
Wood says her accountant will help her identify over-spending and areas that could be trimmed.
“We have a look through the expenses and ask, ‘Are there any tweaks that can be made so that we don’t get to the end of the year and [realise] we spent so much money’,” she says.
Are we aligned?
A solid relationship with a trustworthy accountant is a must for any successful small business.
Forget “accountant shopping” for a cheap price each year – working with an accountant who you know and trust in business advice can be a better “long game”.
“I asked my accountant, ‘Do all of your clients meet with you every month?’ and he laughed and said, ‘Only the successful ones’,” Wood says.
If you need any funding solutions to help grow your business or improve cash flow, get in touch today.
ScotPac is Australia and New Zealand’s largest non-bank SME business lender, providing funding to small, medium and large businesses from start-ups to enterprises exceeding $1 billion revenues. For more than 30 years ScotPac has helped thousands of business owners succeed, offering fast and flexible funding. From simple to complex, small to large, start up, growth or turnaround – ScotPac can help with a range of funding from Invoice, Trade or Asset Finance to Home Loans and Business Loans.