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2010-11 is almost here!

Do you think it is time to prepare for a new financial year – or are you going to wait until July to work on your tax and accounting obligations?

I always plan to be organised so I can submit a tax return in early July, but it is never quite that smooth in reality. My bookkeeper needs time to enter all the data from June, I need my super fund to send me a deduction letter  and so on.

However, I really do look at my accounts now so I can maximise this financial year – thinking of deductions in July won’t help much!

Here are some of my tips on keeping accounting issues under control in June/July:

  • have regular data entry for expenses throughout the year- or get a bookkeeper!
  • keep a document going all year to note down anything that may go into your annual report (i.e. note down any significant changes or events so you don’t have to remember them when you starting writing the report) This will also help a lot if you outsource the report writing
  • if website pages/attachments need to be updated for 1 July (e.g. for legislation or price changes), prepare them in advance – even if data is unavailable until late June, you can have everything else ready to go
  • book your accountant/tax agent early so you can choose a date that suits you
  • get someone to help you if you are stuck entering a lot of data (e.g. for new depreciable items or household accounts if you are home-based) – it’s much quicker if one person reads out the data while the other types it
  • check your online bank access – many will show the year’s interest instead of adding up each month’s or waiting for a printed statement
  • review your payroll records now so you have all the information when sending out PAYG statements
  • automate any regular payments – this can be useful all year, but taking the time in April/May to schedule payment of memberships and subscriptions due in June can save time and the stress of forgetting
  • prepare communications in advance (blog posts, newsletter information) so those tasks are out of the way for a month or so
  • have a good account filing system as well as your actual accounts – I use a display folder with a plastic envelope per month plus some extras (‘to be entered’, ‘pending’, etc) – and avoid changing it at this time of year

How else do you make your accounting and tax tasks quicker or easier?

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