There’s no getting around it – the end of the financial year is a crazy time of year for business owners. From finding receipts and reconciling bank accounts through to preparing financial documentation, just thinking about all there is to do can give you a headache.
While you can’t avoid attending to your end of financial year to-do list, you can get yourself prepared. To help, here’s a checklist of tasks to give you confidence in tackling this essential financial milestone.
Complete a stock take
The details captured in a stocktake are included as part of your gross profit in your profit and loss statement, so it’s important to make sure this information is recorded correctly. Gross profit is a crucial figure in your end of year reporting and is calculated by deducting the cost of goods sold from net sales.
As the cost of goods sold is calculated by subtracting the closing stock from the sum of the opening stock plus purchases, any stock throughout the year that has gone unsold due to damage, theft, obsolescence or error needs to be accounted for.
To get the most accurate information, it pays to carry out a stocktake as close to the end of the financial year as possible and either close, or defer, large orders close to this time. When carrying out your stock take, the Australia Tax Office (ATO) also recommends keeping the following records:
Reconcile bank accounts
It’s important to make sure that the information you have recorded throughout the year is accurate, so check to confirm that the financial data you have collected matches the balance on your physical bank statements and investigate any discrepancies.
Similarly, if you have separate accounts for GST and Superannuation, make sure these accounts are also up-to-date and reconciled.
Update accounts payable and receivable information
Create a summary of all outstanding creditors and debtors and try to reconcile any debts. If it’s possible to pay back any outstanding purchase invoices, do so.
Make sure you have all the receipts for your Profit and Loss Statement
Make life easy for whoever is doing your end-of-year accounts and ensure that you have all the necessary receipts to complete your profit and loss statement. Petty cash receipts, for example, will need to be reconciled with the petty cash balance.
On the loss side, you’ll also need receipts for any business-related expenses, including equipment purchases, utility expenses, rent/lease documents and advertising costs (to name just a few). Ideally, receipts will already be filed away and organised and the process will simply be one of checking to ensure everything is accounted for.
Are there any coding or processing errors in your payroll information? Before you send out any payroll summaries, ensure that your payroll information is up to date and check for any discrepancies between payroll reports and BAS and IAS reports. Confirming you have this information right the first time can save valuable time later, as the ATO will follow up on any errors.
Review asset information
Asset information is important to your balance sheet, so carefully review all documentation. Make sure you have receipts for assets purchased or sold, as this will help to calculate depreciation. The ATO allows you to claim deductions for a decline in the value of your assets and in some circumstances, assets may be eligible for being written off. Any fixed assets that are obsolete or unusable, for example, may be able to be written off by the ATO.
Similarly, to help small business owners, the ATO has also offered to write off eligible assets costing less than $20,000 each for companies with a turnover of less than $10 million. If this applies to you, update your balance sheet by writing off any eligible assets costing less than $20,000 each and pooling depreciating assets that cost $20,000 or more.
Write off old or outstanding debts
Unfortunately, it’s all too common when the end of the financial year rolls around to find you have old or outstanding debts from customers that have failed to pay. When this happens, you can write off the debt. This will mean your expenses and GST liability are correctly updated.
So, what does this mean for your end of year documentation? The ATO will only write off debts that are 12 months overdue and if they were included in your previous year’s tax return. This means that for it to be written off in the next financial year, you need to include it in this year’s tax return and provide updated information on the non-payment the following year.
To ensure any old debts are accounted for in this year’s return, check the dates of your outstanding invoices for those that date back as far as the previous tax year.
Reach out for help if you need it
Completing your end of year bookkeeping can be a stressful and at times complicated task! If you need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help and advice.
I’ve just returned from a one-day intensive course all about Fair Work legislation. What an eye opening experience. Did you know that in Australia we have the most complex employment laws in the world?
Working out what employees are entitled to, which award they are covered under and how much to pay them can be a convoluted process. It is essential to get this right because failure to comply with the law can lead to big fines. Up to $54,000 per breach if you’re caught doing the wrong thing. No wonder payroll and employee management causes so much stress for business owners!
The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to be educated. Let’s start with the National Employment standards. These are the 10 minimum entitlements that apply to all Australian employees. Every employer must comply with these standards and they cover the following areas:
These 10 entitlements cover the basic entitlements for employees. For more information and to download your copy of the Fair Work Information statement visit www.fairwork.gov.au.
The majority of workers are also covered by a Modern Award. See A Beginners Guide: Modern Awards for the next instalment.
A lot of small business owners start out doing their own bookwork. This works just fine when you are starting out but what happens when your business starts to take off? You get busier, sales increase and you starting making money - which is great! But your paperwork starts to build up and can very quickly get out of control.
There are a multitude of benefits of having an expert do your bookkeeping but here are my top five…
• Free you up to focus on your business. I bet you didn’t start your business to do paperwork. However, with all the added perks and benefits of being your own boss, along comes all those accounting and administration tasks that never seem to end. Outsourcing your bookkeeping gives you back hours in your day to do what you do best – run your business!
• Save you money. Yes, you got that right. Think about how much more you could earn for your business if you weren’t spending time keeping your books. An additional bonus is getting your invoices sent out promptly which means you get paid sooner – winner!
• Your records are kept up to date. Keeping on top of your paperwork means you can have access to how your business is tracking with the click of a button. No more wondering how much customers owe you or how much you need to have set aside to pay the BAS. Real time tracking means you can stop looking back and start to look forward and plan for the future.
• We can do it faster and more accurately. Bookkeeping is what we do for a job. We have the experience and know how that makes bookwork a breeze. We correctly code your transactions first time, which means you save money from our efficiencies and expertise.
• You wouldn’t have an amateur fix your car. Errors in your bookkeeping can cost you money! Get it done right the first time. Amanda is a fully qualified accountant and registered BAS agent. With over 10 years’ experience in management accounting and bookkeeping we know the rules and what you need to do to remain compliant.
That’s where we come in. At Your Mini CFO, we are experts at bookwork. In fact, bookkeeping is what we love! We believe small business should have access to the same support available to bigger companies. We offer tailored packages to suit your individual requirements, providing a level of support that fits your unique circumstances.
Call us today for you no obligation 1hr free consultation
Phone 0409 301 087
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