Even though we all know tax time is March 31st every year, most of us still end up in a last-minute panic to be organised. So, how can we plan for a Stress-Free End of Financial Year?

Below are a few tips you might find helpful:

  • Be prepared! As much as we all like to put these things off, don’t. By being proactive you not only ensure you are on track to meet deadlines, but you will be reducing underlying stress and clearing your mind for forward movement in your business.

  • Make an appointment with your accountant early and ask for a list of their requirements so you can collate these for your meeting. Alternatively, asking for a checklist at the beginning of the financial year will help you collate the information during the year.

  • Ask your bookkeeper to check to make sure you have everything required for your accountant to collate the annual financial statements and tax returns. They have a wealth of knowledge of what is required by the accounting team.

  • Have monthly reviews with your bookkeeper. Resolve issues immediately, rather than trying to tackle them later, when you may not remember or have on hand all the required information.

  • Use cloud-based accounting software, you will recoup setup costs quickly as your financial team will be able to remotely log in to work as and when required.

  • Stay up to date. If you are doing your own entering of transactions and/or coding, aim to do this daily, or at least weekly, while it's all still fresh in your mind and only a 5-minute job.

  • Look into cloud-based packages that can assist with scheduling jobs, quotes, reporting etc. Using one such as simPRO that can integrate with your accounting software saves time and headaches.

  • Complete a stock take as at 31 March. If you have a lot of stock, you may want to look at a cloud-based inventory system, again pick one that can integrate with your accounting software.

  • Be organised from day one, have good filing systems and procedures. Make sure all key data, such as loan documents, ACC, receipts, GST and bank statements, is easy to access. Some accounting software programmes let you attach documents directly to transactions as you go.

  • Identify those things that stress you at EOFY and discuss with your bookkeeper how you can eliminate or reduce these things.

Most importantly, plan for success. Outsource that which is outside of your skillset and focus on your core business. It is always cheaper and easier to have a professional, such as a Certified NZ Bookkeeper, set you up correctly right from the start, than it is to call them in later to create order out of chaos.