Happy New Financial Year!
I know, I know, what's happy about tax time?! But if you're dreading getting ready for your accountant, then it's extra reason to check out the tips I have for you today.
The new financial year is a great chance to review your P&L for the year gone and plan how you'll get a jump on the new one. But I also want to remind you to make a fresh start of your filing. So you can cruise through the next 12 months knowing exactly where to put anything tax related. AND you can feel super clever and calm when it comes to tax time next year.
Your Filing Checklist
- Create a new file or folder for "Tax" for the new financial year. You might already be saving your receipts into Xero or similar. But there's a good chance you'll still have other documents, that will relate to your tax. So having one place to put these things is my preferred way to manage this. That way when it comes to tax time next year you just have to pull one file to take to your accountant. It also helps throughout the year to have one easy place you know to put things that might affect your tax.
- If you're filing paper copies you might separate them by month as well. I recommend having a Manila folder in arms reach throughout the month. And then at the end of the month I would transfer these into a plastic sleeve to go in the FY file.
- For digital filing, I use one simple folder and it's super easy to sort files within by date. Note that with digital it's also important to use a naming convention that makes it easy to sort by name.
- If you have properties or a few separate business entities, I have a separate folder for each of these too.
An example of digital files for the financial year
- Pull out any older years tax files to archive, and you can even check your archives for past years to shred. (Check with your accountant before shredding)
- Have a quick review of your whole filing system. Are there any files that you can archive or toss out? Are there any other new files needed?
Other new year checks and tidies to do:
Review your goals and projects. You might be setting new goals for the financial year or working towards calendar year goals. This is the time to be reviewing where you're up to and planning your next steps.
Declutter your desk. Take a step back and decide if there are any things in your office gathering dust, that you're not using any more. Having a periodic clean out can give you a fresh new feeling and help you focus better.
Check your file backups. Are they working? Do you even have a backup plan? What would happen if your computer died tonight? It could be as simple as syncing your files with Google Drive or Dropbox. Or do you need to talk to your IT guy about something more secure or for lots of bulky files?
If this is a busy time of year for you, try to check one item off each day.
Do you have other routine checks and reviews that you do at this time of year?
Share them in the comments below!