Financial tasks to complete at the start of a new year

Make sure you've handled all of your most important tasks before the calendar changes over.

A new year brings with it the hope of new opportunity. Changing the calendar isn't just an opportunity to take stock of your personal life, but also your business. With 2021 now underway, it's time to get a firm understanding of your businesses' most important financials, and use them to begin strategising for future growth.

Doing so won't just make essential actions like paying taxes and your employees entitlements easier, it'll also help you set clear priorities. In addition, a business task checklist helps your company get more efficient. These tasks can help your workers be more productive and focus on their most important tasks. A reliable accounting partner can help you tick important boxes and make a vital difference in your overall financial health.

Some of the most important items for your year-end checklist should include:

Making sure your tax records are organised

The beginning of the year is a perfect opportunity to perform an overview of your expenses. This should include a profit and loss statement, which documents your company's income and expenses. As part of your efforts, talk to your accounting partner about any changes in tax law that have occurred in the past year that effect you. 2020 was an especially ripe year for changes, with the Australian Tax Office offering Australian businesses multiple cuts and relaxed regulations as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Conduct a stocktake

A stocktake is a record of all of your stock-related transactions from the previous year. This should include any buying, selling or maintaining of business assets, as these will all factor into your tax return. The form should list each article stock and its value, the employee who took the action, as well as the person who valued the stock. While stocktakes should be performed as a part of your regular record keeping, whether that be daily, weekly or monthly, it's important to ensure that you have all of your records on hand. Stocktakes should be kept around for a five year period, according to the ATO.

Update your software

In today's digital world, more and more business transactions and data storage takes place on internet-connected devices and is managed through software. This may be especially important at the end of 2020, in light of this year's COVID-19 pandemic. With many businesses forced to unexpectedly move to remote work this past spring, updating software may have fallen to the wayside. Coordinating with your software provider to perform updates can not only improve productivity, but also keep your data secure. A part of these efforts might involve training your team on the features available in your software and how to utilise them for maximum efficiency.

In addition to updating and training, the end of the year may present an opportunity to implement brand-new programming. Some of the steps involved with this include consulting vendors for the best options, starting the implementation process and then entering all relevant data into the new system. Accounting software can be a great way to keep your records all in one place, and updating and implementing it can help make many of the others tasks on this list significantly easier. While implementation can be expensive, the Australian Government does offer a grant program to incentivise businesses looking to go digital

Review entitlements

Ensure that you are in a position to pay all of your employees entitlements packages, including superannuation and make sure to remind your employees to use their annual leave entitlements throughout the year.

Need help managing your assets to keep your business running? The team at WMC Accounting is there for you. Contact us today and together we'll make it through this pandemic.

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