Every business owner knows the stress tax time brings and how important it is to get your personal and business finances in order quickly. But tax time doesn’t just have to be seen as a stressful process. It’s actually the perfect time to check your business objectives and projections, assess your financial situation, and plan for the future.
An integral part of this process includes reviewing your business structures and assessing how much your accountant is doing for you. Do they made your tax period less or more stressful? Do they work efficiently with all the information you provide them with?
Minimal fuss, maximum returns
We’ve put together a list of ways that you can assist your accountant to process your taxes with minimal fuss, providing maximum returns. Remember that your relationship is a two-way street, and working with your accountant to get all of your business’ paperwork in order is vital to their work. Never underestimate the importance of open communication and promptly replying to phone calls and emails. After all, they’re here to help you help your business!
1. Review your previous financial year with your accountant
We get it. The last thing that you may want to do at the start of a new financial year is reviewing the previous one. But it’s an important step in progressing your business, and you don’t have to do it alone! Always seek advice from your accountant or specialist about your business finances. They will assist you with any financial information which needs to be reviewed and highlight any unusual or large transactions. During the reviewing process, discuss with your accountant whether or not your business has met its budget and hit its targets in the past year. Your accountant is the most informed sounding board to assist you with setting realistic goals and objectives for the new financial year.
2. Prepare all of your paperwork for your accountant to process
Firstly, make sure that all your financial affairs and statements are in check, and that your accounts are in order. Your accountant should be checking that your finances have been reconciled, completing your activity statements and preparing to file your income tax return. In order to do this, they are going to need the following information:
- A summary of income and expenses in a profit and loss statement.
- Debtor and creditor record summaries.
- Bank reconciliation report.
- Balance sheet, trial balance, and general ledger report.
- Business activity statement (BAS).
- Lodging yearly reports or returns for PAYG withholding, Fringe Benefits Tax, Payroll Tax and Goods and Services Tax.
- Collating records of asset purchases or expenditure on improvements.
The process of collecting these records differs from client to client. Depending on the circumstances, you can either gather these records yourself or your accountant at can work with you to prepare the documents.
If you are unsure of how to get your hands on any of these records, simply ask your accountant to walk you through the process. The more open you are about your ability to provide paperwork, the easier and quicker the process will be. Your accountant doesn’t expect you to know everything; this is why they specialise in the field.
3. Review employee wages
When reviewing employee salaries, all business owners should ensure they are paying the correct wage and are following any other statutory requirements.
4. Claim everything you are entitled to
Work with your accountant to claim as much as you can, within reason. Claiming business expenses can be a tricky field to navigate, and will require your accountant’s professional knowledge and opinion. From travel expenses to business meals, staff training days to the coffee machine in the building, you’d be surprised at how much you can claim. And you have a better chance of getting more back with an experienced taxation accountant in your corner.
5. Embrace modern day technology
Storing paper receipts in rusty old cabinets is old news. Take advantage of modern day technology, because now all your receipts can be scanned and stored safely in an online hard drive. There are a range of financial assistance tools on offer from Google Drive, OneDrive, Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB. These apps and programs are made specifically to simplify tax time for both yourself and your accountant. Making claims will be much easier this financial year with everything filed digitally, and readily accessible.
Is your accountant working with you or against you?
Have you followed all of these steps to assist your accountant in processing your business tax quickly and efficiently? But have you found that they are not communicating with you openly, that they are dodging your calls or taking a long time to file your tax return?
It may be time to review how much your accountant is actually helping you. If you aren’t satisfied with their services; their professionalism or level of knowledge when it comes to the needs of your growing business, you may need to move on.
Many accountants specialise in small business taxation, and do this very well, but struggle to keep up when a company grows into a medium to large enterprise. You may find that you require an accountant that is also an experienced financial adviser. Don’t be afraid to embrace change in order to keep the interests of your growing business at the forefront.
Contact Toohey Reid today to experience an accountant focused on thinking outside of the box to deliver financial solutions tailored to your growing business.
General Advice Disclaimer
General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.
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