Tax time is upon us once again but for many sole traders and small business owners who manage their own books, June to July are a time of lost opportunities every year as they hustle to get invoices out, accounts reconciled, and accountants’ queries answered instead of focusing on the opportunities that the new financial year can bring.
Get first quarter FY19 off to a fresh start with our top tips for a smooth End of Financial Year next year and every year there-after.
• Know the important dates and diarise them.
Subscribe to updates from the Australian Tax Office to stay abreast of monthly, quarterly and annual due dates, legislation changes, incentives and industry specific information.
• Keep track of the additional hours you are putting into accounts management throughout the year – especially at tax time.
The old adage ‘never pay anyone to do something you can do yourself’ may be a money saver in simple economics, but if the book work is taking you away from making money, maybe it’s time to consider using a professional book keeper. Your accountant will have people they can recommend, and larger practices will have bookkeepers on staff.
• Have a system for paper management. And stick to it.
If you’re a ‘throw it all in a box and deal with it later’ person (I’m talking to you, tradies), that’s fine! You didn’t do a trade to spend all day pushing paper did you? Just make sure it all goes into the same box and that someone is responsible for entering it every week while it is fresh in your mind. Money is lost, and deductions can’t be made if there is no record of the purchase or its’ business use.
• Question time.
Diarise a few hours every month to respond to book keeper’s or accountant’s queries and, likewise, ask your own questions about what they’re doing and why. Not only will it keep you abreast of your business’ position, but it will also stem the stress of tax time next year.