The beginning of the year is a good time to reflect on the past 12 months and prepare for the next. Here are some useful accounting tips to help get your business finances up to date and ready for the new financial year.

Keep your business in shape
Most people make New Year resolutions to have a better life- they want to exercise more, eat healthier or stop smoking or cut down on alcohol.

You can make the same type of resolutions for your business as well- to help keep it in top shape for the next financial year. Because your business thrives on the use of money, it makes good sense to look  after its financial health and to to check on where improvements can be made.

Here are 10 tips to help you understand what you have achieved in the past year and what you might want to achieve in the next financial year. Some of these tips can be put into action right now. The others couple of hints can become resolutions to help your business grow in the new year.

1. Reconcile your accounts 
The tax year doesn’t end in December, of course, and the new business financial year has just started.

It doesn’t hurt to go through the sale receipts and invoice and check the bank account to make sure the figures add up.

The use of a quality accounting software should make it easier for you and in fact should do most of the work automatically for you. If you don’t have an accounting software package, now might be the time to start that new year resolution.

2. Talk to your accountant
One good reason to reconcile your accounts is so you can pass them over to your accountant for checking.

Some accountants might not want to look at the detail figures until nearer to completing your tax obligation for the financial year, but if you can persuade them to have a look they might be able to give you a rough idea of your tax bill.

If you can see your accountant before the end of the financial year, they might also be able to give advice as to how to help minimise your tax obligation for the ending financial year.

3. Review your business year 
Take some time to reflect on the past year and ask yourself these questions

  • Did my business grow?
  • How did my revenues and profits compare with year before?
  • If using an accounting software package, plot the sales into graphs and see if the trend is going up.
  • Look into the expenditures for the past 12 months- are there any concerns with these?
  • If you made a list of goals for last year, did you achieve them?
In short, try to understand how your business has changed since the end of the last financial year. If your business has grown, give yourself a pat on the back and keep going.

If your business hasn’t grown in the past financial year, ask yourself why and dig into the figures a little more to find out why. Now might be a good time to get professional advice from an accountant or business advisor. This will help you get back on track for the coming year.

4. Stay up to date with the tax law 
Tax laws and codes change on a regular base. Talk to your accountant to insure that you are up to date and understand how any of the new tax changes might effect your business.

Be sure to update your internal systems such as payroll with the new tax rate. With the right information and software , this should be an easy task.

5. Confirm important filing deadlines 
Talk to your accountant and make sure you know when to file and pay your obligations for tax, super, Goods and services tax, For example, if you pay quarterly, set up your calendar with reminders  and appropriate alerts for these obligations for the new financial year