Have you made business plans for the new financial year?

If you’re a business owner in New Zealand, then you’ve just started a new financial year. But what about the old one? Did it pass by almost unnoticed? Or was there a lot of last-minute work involved before you crossed the finish line?

Business owners and their accountants put a lot of emphasis on having an end-of-financial-year checklist to make sure everything gets done on time. But I think a start-of-financial-year checklist is just as valuable. It’s a great way of planning for the new financial year, and making sure you’re prepared for all the changes being introduced.

Here are ten items you should have on that checklist.

1. Have there been any legislative changes that could affect you or your employees? You need to know so can make sure you remain compliant. For example, from April 1, 2017:

  • the minimum wage in NZ increased by 0.50c to $15.75 per hour
  • the way some contractors are taxed has changed.
  • the calculation options have changed for motor vehicles, FBT and home office costs.

2. Do you have specific goals for the new financial year? Are they S.M.A.R.T (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, timely)? And do you have a plan for achieving them?

3. What’s your budget for the coming year? Where does it sit on the spectrum between consolidation and growth? And how does this relate to your goals?

4. Have you completed and budgeted your marketing plan?

5. Taking into account your business’ performance in the previous financial year, do you need to revisit your three-year plan? Are there things you need to start working on that weren’t in your original plan?

6. Do you have access to all the skills you need? This includes not only the skills your staff have, but also the expertise you need at specific times throughout the year. Make sure you have the best people in all business roles, whether it’s by hiring the right staff or paying for a service.

7. When was the last time you reviewed your business systems and processes? Are you making the most of today’s technology? Don’t forget to look at your system and data security and your backups.

8. Do your terms of trade still reflect how you carry out your business? Is it time to review them as well?

9. Does your insurance still meet your current needs? This is just as important for your business as it is for your family.

10. Are you recording your financials as efficiently as possible? An expert may be able to identify simple changes that could have you spending less time in your books and more time on your business.

As a business owner, your aim should be to spend less time working in your business, and more time working on your business. Planning and awareness goes a long way towards making that not just a priority but a reality.

Having clear and obvious goals means you’ll know when they’ve been achieved (and when you can start celebrating). This is important, because those wins will keep you and your staff happy, motivated, and ready to tackle the next challenge.

If you’d like help coming up with a start-of-financial-year checklist for your business, get in touch with us today. And let us help you make this year your best yet.