Your focus leading up to the end of financial year shouldn’t just be about the activities you can do to minimise your tax. Whilst this is important and you shouldn’t avoid them, I like to use the 30 June timeline to focus on all the other activities we do to ensure we start the next financial year in the best position we can thereby setting ourselves up for success.
It’s also important to remember that you can’t expect a different outcome if you don’t change the way you do things; and you shouldn’t continue to do things just because that is the way they have always been done. There needs to be a focus on being proactive, forward thinking and laying great foundations for the results you want to follow.
I’ve compiled a list of all the activities and tasks our team do in the lead up to year end.
1. Take the time to reflect on the past 12 months and acknowledge everything you have achieved and how far you have come. Look not only at the positives, but also some of the decisions you have made that haven’t turned out as planned. What road blocks are you facing and what other decisions need to be made? Apply those lessons learnt back in to your business in the new financial year.
2. Analyse your business.
a) Breakdown your revenue, who are your key clients, key industries and markets, where are they located, what is their average spend?
b) Look at your projects, analyse your margins, were there any write downs, why did this happen?
c) Review your client feedback, have actions been put in place? Have they been followed up
d) Review your training costs, did you invest appropriately in your people?
e) Critique your BD activities. What has been good and not so good business development activity? Are you spending time with opportunities that are converting to clients?
f) Measure the success of your marketing activities and expenditure. What worked and what didn’t? Are you investing in areas that are attracting the right clients?
g) Review your expenditure. Budget vs actual and key trends. Are they on par, or are there significant differences?
h) Review your suppliers and contractors. Are you receiving good value for money, do they deliver quality results and adhere to timelines and service expectations? Where necessary revise your contractual agreements.
3. Review your strategic and business plans, including your 90 day plans. As Harvey Mackay once said, ‘If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail…’ It still amazes me just how many organisations still do not have these vital documents created, let alone on the walk for all their employees to see. If you want your employees to join you on your journey, communicate and share it with them.
4. Review your assets. What inventory, hardware, furniture, office space and equipment do you have that is no longer required? If you don’t use it, sell it.
5. Ensure everyone in your team has finalised their individual learning plan for the past financial year and prepared their new one for the year to come.
6. Review your employee’s performance, prepare for their salary increases and bonuses (where applicable).
7. Send out letters to your clients where increases to charge out rates on your projects will commence.
8. Clean out and tidy up your inbox, your calendar, your desk and your office. Ensure your focus and time is spent on the tasks and people that add the most value. Remember less is more.
9. Follow up with all your outstanding leads and opportunities. Many of your clients will have budgets they want to utilise before year end. Let them know you are thinking of them, put yourself fore front in their mind and look for opportunities to create additional value.
10. Take your team out for lunch and enjoy yourself for a few hours, your business has survived another year! Whether you’ve had a fabulous year or not, it is a great opportunity to start the next financial year fresh and enthusiastic!
Meeting with your accountant and getting your organisations financial affairs in order prior to the financial year end is important. But if you take the time to go through my checklist, I have no doubt you will start the next financial year on a great platform, built for success. You will also ensure that you and your team will be motivated and on board for the road ahead for the next 12 months!