People often make New Year’s resolutions to live a healthier life. For example, they might resolve to change their diet, exercise more often, or cut down on alcohol.
You can make the same sort of resolutions for your business, to help it stay in top shape for the coming year. Since money matters to your business, it makes good sense to look at its overall financial health and see where you can make improvements.
Here are 10 tips that will help you understand what you’ve achieved in the past year – and what you might be able to achieve in the next. Some you can put into action right now. Others can become resolutions to help your business grow in the new year.
It may not be the financial year end for your business yet. But it doesn’t hurt to go through all those sales receipts and invoices now, and check your bank account to make sure the figures add up.
Quality accounting software makes this easy for you – and does most of the work automatically.
One good reason for getting your accounts in order now is so you can share them with your accountant for checking.
Some accountants might not want to look at the detailed figures until nearer the end of the financial year. But if you can persuade them to take a quick look now, they may be able to give you a rough idea of what your tax bill will be.
It’s good to have that knowledge sooner rather than later. That way you can ensure you save the right amount of money and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Take some time to reflect on the past year and ask yourself some important questions:
In short, try to understand how your business has changed since the end of the previous year. If it’s grown, give yourself a pat on the back – and keep going.
If business hasn’t improved, ask yourself why, and dig into the figures to find out more. Now might be a good time to get professional advice from an accountant. They can help with the coming years financial planning. This will help you get on the right track.
Tax laws and regulations change on a regular basis. Talk to your accountant to make sure you’re up-to-date, and understand how any changes affect your business.
Ask them when you’ll need to file and pay taxes. Set up your calendar with the appropriate alerts and reminders for the coming year.
Be sure to update your internal systems, such as online payroll. With the right software this will be easy to do. Items to consider include:
It’s hard to take a step back and evaluate your accounting software when you’re busy using it on a daily basis. So a quieter period of the year is a good time to consider whether it’s working for you.
If you’re using traditional desktop accounting software or Excel spreadsheets, think about the benefits of moving to online accounting. Online accounting makes it easy to access your business accounts from anywhere, at any time, using a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
You’ll also reduce your IT costs, because software maintenance and upgrades are handled for you. And online or cloud accounting is secure, with powerful encryption and remote backups. So there’s less chance of your vital business information being lost or stolen.
Do your research, find out which accounting software might be suitable, then try it out. Most software packages have free trials so you can see whether the product is right for you and your business.