The 2019-20 financial year took an unexpected turn in early March, meaning that for most businesses around the country, the financial year did not end as planned. As a business owner, you may take little comfort in the idea that it’s essentially the same situation for businesses everywhere; ‘We’re all in this together’ won’t provide you with much relief if ‘this’ is record losses, layoffs, or financial hardship.
Now, though, as companies start to take stock of the fall-out from COVID-19 and the new financial year ticks over, is an excellent time for you to plan ahead, to make up for the ground you may have lost, get a head start on the new year, and start re-securing your business’ financial wellbeing.
Here are five tips for business owners to help you kick off the new financial year with confidence.
Keep on top of expenses and receipts
By gathering all the information you will need, you’ll make preparing your tax return easier. This includes invoices and receipts for business-related expenses, as well as any bank/credit card statements that contain expenses for which you no longer have receipts or invoices.
Knowing what is and isn’t claimable can be tricky, so at least simply collect together the receipts and/or invoices and discuss them with or hand over to your tax agent. It makes sense to set aside this time in advance of the end of the financial year to spare yourself a stressful document hunt while you’re amid getting your return prepared!
In addition, if you’re claiming any expenses that have a work-related element and a private element (such as for the use of a personal mobile phone) keep a log for an average month to work out what a reasonable percentage is for work related usage.
Get the right help
You’ve got enough to do without worrying about the various ins and outs of EOFY. An accountant or bookkeeper can help review your business’ finances, get all your accounts in order and prepare your company tax return. With a load off your plate, you can concentrate on the more pressing matters of your day-to-day business life.
A missed digit or improperly input line item here and there, otherwise known as human error, is a significant problem found in effective account management. An automated solution can reduce mistakes by a significant margin, while providing businesses with accurate financial reports.
The result will be more accurate, more rapidly generated reporting, which, in turn, lets businesses respond to issues in less time with greater accuracy.
Put customers first
You need to put your customers first because without them, there is no business. Knowing that is key, so when it comes to making plans for the new financial year, incorporating your sales and customer focus should be top of your list.
You’ve doubtlessly had a rough second half to the financial year, so placing your emphasis on better servicing the needs of your customer or client-base should be a priority if you want to rebound as quickly as possible.
Get your deductions right (and know what they are)
Millions of Australians have been working from home in 2020 due to the widespread requirement to self-isolate. A change is likely for these same millions of people making tax deductions this year.
The changes in work practices mean that there will be fewer deductions for work-related travel, accommodation and clothing, alongside professional development, and self-education. But for many, working from home for the first time will bring about many opportunities to make claims for the first time in areas they’d not explored before. The ATO has devoted part of their website to information about what is and isn’t claimable.
With there being light at the end of the tunnel, keeping on task, focused on the future and primed for more, better and continued sales is a big step for all small and medium-sized businesses to kick off the 2020-21 financial year with a bang.