Finance

Top tips to minimise headaches for your accountant this tax season

- July 10, 2024 3 MIN READ

 

Tax season is upon us. While it may seem daunting, there are innovative ways to make life easier for both you and your accountant – something they’ll love you for! writes Jody Sitters, Community Relations Manager – Accountants, MYOB.

Kyelie Baxter, Managing Director of IQ Accountants, joined me to explore five ways to streamline your EOFY process and make life easier for everyone involved.

1. Be prepared for tax time

The main way you can aid your accountant this tax season is to be as prepared as possible and start working on your documents ASAP.

Kyelie says, “Preparation means finalising your Single Touch Payroll, paying superannuation, and ensuring there are no clearing accounts left on your accounts (e.g., Electronic Clearing Account, Payroll Clearing Account, and Suspense).”


Kyelie also suggests considering assets you’ve purchased.

She says, “If you’ve bought a new car or any other asset, you should include a copy of the tax invoice and finance document with your tax paperwork for your accountant.”

2. Spend time closing off invoices for the tax year

“If you’ve been busily invoicing all year, it’s time to make sure all the payments have come in and invoices have been made and reconciled,” she says.

“You need to review any old invoices that haven’t been paid, because they may need to be written off for this financial year. Remember that all these amounts can make a difference to your bottom line.”


Plus, Kyelie suggests entrepreneurs check they’re correctly allocated all of their payments to cause fewer headaches for their accountants.

“Look through your profit and loss and make sure everything makes sense,” she suggests.

“For example, if you pay for an accounting solution, ensure the fees are coded to subscription fees,” Kyelie adds. “It pays to check where these were coded last year too.”

3. Complete a stocktake

While many people associate stocktakes with retail businesses, many firms actually need to do stock counts at this time of year, such as builders, manufacturers, tradespeople, wholesalers, and more.

Stock counts are crucial in providing info to your accountant. It really helps to have inventory solutions to help you with tracking this, plus it pays to start with a stock count report that you can cross-check as you go.

4. Check your accountant’s checklist 

Entrepreneurs should pay attention to the information accountants ask for if they want to reduce headaches.

Too many times I’ve seen accountants send out their well-oiled checklist to their clients, only to find that the business owners didn’t actually end up ‘checking’ the checklist!

Failing in this task just makes a job for an accountant longer and more arduous than it needs to be. In fact, picking up and putting down jobs due to lack of information is one of the most costly challenges an accountant faces in their practice.

Kyelie agrees. “Read your accountant’s year-end emails carefully and remember that processes change,” she says.

“Check whether the accountant has included a request for you to complete a list of tasks or otherwise given you a guide of what to provide,” she suggests.

“If you follow their requests, this will help keep your fees to a minimum, so it’s a win-win.”

5. Utilise digital tools

You can make life easier for yourself and your accountant if you take advantage of the great tech tools these days that help streamline financial processes.

For example, accounting software, rather than a full box of paper documents, can help you save hours of work and cause far fewer headaches for your accountant. It will enable you to capture all the requirements for your business throughout the financial year and make reviewing your tax easier for your advisors.

To get all the data ship-shape for your accountant, you can also automate your bank information. Your banking details can feed straight into digital platforms so your accountant won’t have to chase up paper bank statements from you.

Plus, some apps will take photos of your receipts and paperwork and upload them straight into your records, linked with the transaction. This means your accountant will be able to easily substantiate your claims and get his or her job done faster.

A good accountant will be happy to help with your business management solutions and also advise you on the best way to provide information to their practice.

Timing is everything

What you do either side of the 30 June deadline can make a huge difference to your tax payable position so it’s crucial you plan around this to control the outcome.

With a proactive approach and innovative tools at your disposal, you’ll navigate EOFY with confidence and make for a less stressful tax time.


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