January is the time of year when we all traditionally take time to reflect on the past and prepare for the new year ahead. Most people share at least one new year’s resolution around a financial goal.
As the end of financial year approaches, we can become disillusioned if in the first half of the new calendar year we are not achieving our new year’s resolutions. The end of the financial year is the perfect opportunity to take stock. As routine demands of life often preclude us from achieving our new year’s resolutions, so too an enemy of fulfilling our EOFY business goals can be the day-to-day running of our business. Good planning, being realistic and obtaining sound advice will help you tick off those resolutions and achieve financial success. Each July brings with it the opportunity to start anew. This should be a time for optimism in planning for the creation of successful financial outcomes.
Financial goals differ depending on age and personal choices. Starting small is a solid rule of thumb for everyone. Your financial adviser will assist in reducing the worry of organising your finances and help to ensure you have sound financial arrangements in place that reflect your personal circumstances and goals. It is better to start the new financial year comfortable and in keeping with your goals.
Small personal financial goals might include:
meeting with your tax accountant earlier and more times throughout the financial year
keeping receipts and invoices in an orderly manner
making lunches at home, cutting down on take-away dinners to save money
setting aside time to chat with your Financial Adviser to review where your finances are at and to adjust them to help meet your future needs
Review your insurance policies
Check your superannuation fund balance and understand what this means for you
Business financial goals might include:
Objectively review your business and identify what is working well and where there is room for improvement
Ensure you always keep your financial records such as your BAS, profit and loss, payroll tax and balance sheets up-to-date and in order
Think about your taxes and how to get the best benefits for your business
Track everything, including mixed-use expenses.
Check your depreciating assets
Plan and manage your spending
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses before making your resolutions will help you to be more realistic about what is achievable. This is more than an exercise designed to assist in business planning. Recognising and addressing your personal weaknesses can assist you to implement more effective plans.
Here are three simple steps for success:
Reduce costs and generate more revenue
Identify costs that can be trimmed back and opportunities for increasing revenue. Stick to a budget..
Keep debt under control
Clearing debt can take time. Consider the options and the possible benefits of debt reduction.
Mobile phone plans, electricity suppliers and loan conditions are all worth reviewing at least once a year to ensure you are not paying too much.
Tax time checklist
If you have not prepared your tax return, here is a quick checklist of what you will need to prepare in advance.
Confirm if you need to lodge a tax return
Check the ATO’s online tool ‘Do I need to lodge a tax return?’
Organise your documents
Gather up all your employer payment summaries, invoices from self-employed work and bank statements to verify your income.
Identify your investment earnings
Collect all records of investment earnings including dividends from shares, rental income from investment properties and assessable capital gains from the sale of investment assets.
Collect receipts for donations or gifts
Find your receipts from charitable donations and other eligible ‘deductible gift recipients’.
Work out your deductions
Review what you have spent on work related travel or car expenses, training expenses, uniforms, tools and home office equipment. Also costs you incurred in earning investment income eg. interest payments and superannuation contributions.
This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a Financial Adviser before making a financial decision. This document has been prepared by Count Financial Limited. ‘Count’ and ‘Count Wealth Accountants’ are trading names of Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, Australian Financial Services Licence No. 227232, Count is 85% owned by CountPlus Limited ACN 126 990 832 (CountPlus) and 15% owned by Count Member Firm Pty Ltd ACN 633 983 490. Information in this document is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, as at 17 January 2018, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.
The sixth Women in Focus webinar explored Goals-Based Investing versus traditional investing approaches, and helped you to consider how well equipped you and your family are with an investment strategy