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“2017 Will Be The Year I Get on Top of MY Finances....”

Sue Lucas

The start of a new year is a fresh thought. It is exciting to think of the new possibilities you may come across, the new faces that you meet at networking events, may eventually become close business connections and the idea of it being a completely new year sparks the opportunity to set new goals. Most of us have one resolution that we put together on 31st December and it is usually centred on something that we have been putting off for a long period of time: “This year will be the year that I finally get around to....”

January tends to be the time that the phone rings from people who have resolved to finally deal with their backlog of undone bookkeeping and are asking for help. Some business owners may panic over the fact that they are only a few months behind in doing their books. But some may leave it longer than a few months.
If this sounds like you then there is no need to stress, instead, just make this your year to finally catch up, get your taxes filed and fix all those problems that you’ve been avoiding! Here are some tips you may find useful to improve your business finances, catch up on undone bookkeeping or deal with unresolved issues.

Revisit your business plan
You will already have a business plan for your business, but it is always good to revisit this and think of new ideas that could perhaps fix minor problems that you encountered last year. Revisit the summary of the business, reanalyse your market competitors. Even though business plans are good for three to five years, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure that your original plan still fits your current business situation.

Define the problems and prioritise
It is easy to get so good at avoiding an issue to the point that you no longer know what the real problems are. This is why it is important to clarify and define. For example, if you haven’t done any bookkeeping for years, you may encounter multiple problems. You must generate financial data somehow, file tax returns then pay tax liability and obviously these problems can only be resolved in a certain order.

Keep up to date on new tax rules and regulations
There may be no major changes for every year, but it’s important to still keep on top of any changes. It could be anything from filing dates, to increasing or decreasing tax rates, what can or can’t be deducted.

Seek help if you think you may need it
Many owner managed businesses may underestimate the amount of work they may have to do to resolve their particular problems. This often means they may choose to visit something again at a later date, when they have more time to sit down and figure out the ‘problem’. This is why an outside perspective is always helpful.

Meet with an accountant or tax advisor
It may be a good idea for accountants and bookkeepers to assess your books, getting a price quote can make the problem seem more manageable again. Getting help may cost less than you’d have thought and the benefits may be much greater than you imagine.

Professional accountants and tax advisors will be able to assist you in preparing your finances, whether it is taxes, planning or budgeting, the correct and legal way.