Prepare better for financial year end AJS

Ensuring the love affair continues….

As February comes to an end with the inevitable fragrance of red roses finally leaving your immediate atmosphere, it also signals the end of the dreaded Financial Year End (FYE). 

While Valentine’s Day and FYE never seemed like the perfect love match to begin with, they have – in a way – come to terms with one another and are kind of working out their differences.  As the most unlikely relationships often do.

In doing so, the inevitable question is this – how do Valentine’s Day and FYE ensure that when February rolls around next year, they will not find themselves at odds with one another. Again. But instead feel more in sync, more in tune and ready to take on their critics with the resolution of a strong, well-prepared duo. 

We have a few tips that we believe may just help them out.

How to ensure the continuing romance of this unlikely duo

We don’t see ourselves as matchmakers galore nor do we fancy ourselves as relationship gurus. But as we said in our article last week, FYE for our AJS clients is a breeze. So, in order to spread the love, we thought – Hey! – why not share some pearls of wisdom and help those that are still struggling to fall in love with FYE…. So, here we go – 

Tip One – Don’t Panic!

Sure, we admit, the connotation of FYE gets everyone a little frazzled. Everyone’s (especially the accounting department and bookkeepers) nerves suffer a fair amount of fraying, and tempers often run rampant. 

Reminding us a little of Anger Management and the Goosfraba phenomenon! Don’t let the anger sharks swim inside your brain, take a very deep breath and repeat after us “Goosfraba”.

This is not a life and death situation. This is not survival of the fittest. It’s just another end of the month. Quite literally. 

Nothing to fear. 

It’s just a FYE and it can be done – quickly and efficiently with the right tools (just ask us about these tools so that you can conquer FYE in the year to come).

Tip Two – Relook at your filing system

In our previous article, we stated the importance of keeping everything in one easy-to-find location. In fact, we advised you to create a year-end reports folder for all the required financial reports, which will inevitably be required by your auditors come audit time.

The reason we advised this is because one of the most overwhelming parts of FYE is collating all your documents, all your invoices and all your reports – especially if you are not using a system like AJS’s legal accounting and practice management software.

If you are not already using a practice and account management system of some kind, then ask yourself this – 

Ø  How easy was it to gather all the info? 

Ø  Could you locate all your invoices easily? 

Ø  Were all your reports easy to find? 

Ø  Did you have one easy-to-find location where you stored all the relevant and requisite documents needed to file your annual return? 

If your answer was a truthful no to the above, then it will be more important than ever to pay attention to how you conducted your FYE process overall. You can start this process by answering these questions – 

Ø  Did it take longer than a few minutes to locate and collate everything? 

Ø  Was there a mix of some invoices loaded onto your current system together with physical invoices yet to be loaded? 

Ø  Were multiple documents strewn across multiple platforms?

If you answered yes to the above and, in fact, found yourself spending more than a couple of minutes on the process, it may be high time to review your current ineffective process as soon as possible. After all, no one wants to keep on repeating the same mistakes hoping for a different outcome. 

We believe it was Albert Einstein who said – “insanity is making the same mistakes and expecting different results.”

So, to avoid insanity, put in the time now to streamline this process making it as efficient as possible. Make everything easy to find – so that your process becomes easy breezy come next FYE. 

If you need help with this, get in touch with us – we would be happy to assist you getting all your documents onto a suitable system – allowing you to fall in love with FYE this time next year. 

Tip Three – We believe in reflection

At AJS we believe that reflecting back on what went well and what can be improved upon is crucial when attempting to replicate the good and do away with the bad. 

After all, how can we truly look forward if we don’t know exactly where we have come from?  

As T.D. Jakes said “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.”

And we are not sure about you – but that doesn’t sound like the road to success, now does it? That sounds very much like being stuck. 

So, reflect back on your financial year and decide how things can be done better, more effectively and more efficiently. We repeat – it may be a good time to look at getting your practice onto a tried and tested (and trusted) legal accounting and practice management software. If it is, you know who to call!  

But and this is a big but, you also need to pause for a moment (as FYE closes) and celebrate your successes, recognise moments where you perhaps fell short and reminisce over the moments where your practice managed to overcome a particularly tough time. Those are the moments that make for even bigger successes in the year to follow. Focus on ways that you can expand your current offerings going forward. Continue to grow. 

Now is not the time to stumble and fall but instead to rise to the challenge and plan properly for the future of your business – both when it comes to FYE but also when it comes to day-to-day business operations.

Tip Four – Plan ahead

As we are all fully aware, the year doesn’t end at February. 

Sure, it may feel like a massive run up to it but there is still a lot of work between the FYE you have just been through and the one you are working towards.

And now that you have done a little reflection back on your year – weighing up all the good and making plans to weed out the bad, you can now properly plan for the future. 

If your reflection resulted in some cons in the FYE prep department, perhaps it’s time you look at purchasing new equipment, or investing in new technology that will better support you.

Ø  Having the right tools is vital for the effective running of any business – legal or otherwise. 

But before jumping in and buying whatever you think may be the right tool, do a proper investigation and ensure you pick the correct solution for you (feel free to read the many articles we have done on this very subject here).  

If you are worried about FYE, AJS has free training that will guide you through the process. Even if it’s way in advance. 

AJS is always here to help you, wherever and whenever possible!

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