8 Top tips for an informative new year.
With the new accountancy year for many self-employed businesses starting on 6th April, this time of year can come as a relief for many. Tax-returns have been submitted, accounts are likely more organised than ever before, and all information from last year has been collected into one place. This is also the perfect time to take stock of your finances and plan for the coming year, consider implementing a few changes here and there to make the most out of your business. We take a look at how you can capitalise on your information in the year ahead with some useful tips.
Top Tip 1: Finish the old year fully.
It’s so easy to complete the necessary steps for year end and stop there, but if you take the time to wrap up the little tasks, you can be sure that going into the new year, you know where you’re at. These tasks aren’t difficult either: collect and process all old receipts, and ensure the allocation of both income and payments are of the correct amounts.
Top Tip 2: Consider the information you gathered last year.
Ask yourself some questions. Was the information good enough for your business? Is there anything you wish you had tracked before? Do your current processes provide the answers required to help further your business? Acknowledge what these questions indicate, and implement a plan to make any necessary changes.
Top Tip 3: Review your business plan for the new year.
What does your year ahead hold? Perhaps you’ve got a new income stream, or a big project lined up. Think about accommodating these into your chart of accounts so that when they come around you’re already prepared.
Top Tip 4: Set aside time to look over your accounts.
By leaving a gap somewhere in the week to look over and update your accounts, the entire process of doing your accounts starts to become a lot clearer and smoother. Plus, by reviewing your accounts more regularly it’s likely that you’ll see new patterns that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, giving you far more information about your business to work with.
Top Tip 5: Make use of a business bank account.
Put simply, this will make your life easier. If you don’t have one already – get one. A business bank account will allow you to separate your business expenses from your home expenses without all the hassle. Often, you can import all the information easily and quickly into your accounting software.
Top Tip 6: Check and double check your spreadsheets.
If spreadsheets are your database of choice for doing your accounts – check them over, double check them and check them again. Errors can easily crop up unnoticed without vigorous checks, in fact it has been found that over 80% of spreadsheets have them, and these can range from minor errors to major problems.
Top Tip 7: Contemplate switching to a software package.
The new year has started, which also makes it the ideal time to think about using a software accountancy package for your accounts. By allowing you to import information directly from your bank account, software packages will reduce the time you need to spend on your accounts, whilst enabling you to review more information about your business, all at your fingertips.
Top Tip 8: Speak to an accountant.
If you have any questions, worries or merely ponderings stemming from last year’s accounts or moving into the next, speaking to an accountant can help give you the information you need at the least, or work towards implementing the changes which are required going forward. Getting expert advice on anything is always beneficial.