It’s the beginning of February and there are three good reasons for UK small business owners to celebrate: Dry January has come to an end, payday has finally arrived, and the tax deadline has passed.
If you were one of the many self-employed small business owners, freelancers, investors or landlords obliged to file a return this month, you’ll have had to spend time crunching the numbers – unless you were super organised and did it early.
According to our recent research, 8% of UK small businesses waited to compile their self-assessment tax return the day before or on deadline day! Seems stressful.
But as Xero users will no doubt testify, when you’re getting your head down and getting to work on this annual task, having all your figures in one place can go a long way to easing the time burden.
So now that you’ve filed your return, there’s no point getting too bogged down with the finances, is there? Well actually, if you’re a small business owner or trader, the answer is definitely yes. Remember: no matter how well your business is doing, financially and strategically, you can’t afford not to keep one eye on the numbers at all times. In fact, our research also showed tax and accounting inefficiencies are amongst the biggest worries to UK small business in 2015, with 16 per cent saying they would like to make their accountancy and payment systems more efficient.
In the Xero small business guide, we’ve put together some top accounting resolutions for 2015 with the aim of helping you get into good habits. There are also a few suggestions designed to identify areas where working smarter could help improve your bottom line.
Here are a few of tips not to miss:
Reconcile your accounts
The self-assessment deadline has passed, but the financial end of year for your business may still be a few months away. Get ahead now by going through sales receipts and invoices, and check your bank account to make sure the figures add up. Already a Xero user? Even better! Online accounting will make this process much easier – in fact it will do most of the work automatically.
Review your business year
If you haven’t already, take time out to reflect on the past year’s performance. Did your business grow? How did your revenues and profits compare with the previous year? Plot sales graphs in your accounting software. Is the trend going up? Look into expenditure over the past 12 months. Any concerns? Are you where you expected to be when you first launched?
Get expert advice
If your business hasn’t grown or you have some ambitious targets you want to achieve, now might be a good time to hire an accountant or business advisor. Already use one? If you leave it to the end of the financial year to speak with them, you could be missing out on some important financial advice. Keep them up-to-date with your growth plans and ambitions or, if you’re struggling, see if they have any recommendations that could help get you back on the right track.