New Year is often about making changes, starting something new, or tackling old habits. It’s become something of a cliché, but nevertheless, the start of a new year does represent a prime opportunity to make a fresh start.
Regardless of whether you’re ditching alcohol, animal products or excessive screen time, there’s one resolution to seriously consider: getting a grip on your finances.
Granted, it’s not going to be the most exciting of challenges, but making a pledge to keep your books up to date could be one of the healthiest decisions you make for your business.
It sounds blunt, but something we like to remind clients is that you should never assume HMRC is working for you. The only people that really care about your business are yourselves, and those people working on your behalf (like Hive). However, to help you plan for success, we really do need to have this year’s numbers. Without them, there’s no way of knowing what your tax bill will be, and how much money you’re likely to have left.
As an example, we worked with a client who knew that he had cash and wanted to invest. Unfortunately, because he hadn’t kept up with his records, and hadn’t sorted his tax bill, he didn’t know how much cash he had to spare for an investment. Essentially, despite feeling ready to invest, he was trapped until he was able to get those all-important numbers, with the risk of over-investing if he went ahead regardless. Needless to say, it’s not an optimal position to be in.
We know that often, after a long and busy day of working with patients, the last thing any dentist wants to do is sit down and face the books. But don’t let the thought of it put you off: it may not be as painful as you think. In fact, for the average practice, bookkeeping might take as little as an hour a week.
Alongside this, there are things that can help to make the process easier. Software tools are evolving all the time, and these make accounting more efficient and straightforward than ever. We recommend Xero for bookkeeping, as it’s a simple way to stay on track and avoid last-minute panics. Because it’s so helpful, we also offer free training in how to use it, as well as including guides on our website.
If, after all of this, accounts really aren’t your bag, it needn’t be a deal-breaker: why not nominate or hire someone to take care of it for you? This might be Hive (after all, we’re experienced accountants), or it could be a local bookkeeper. We can even train a member of your team to do it for you. The main thing is that you do it, especially now that Making Tax Digital is coming.
So, as we enter 2022, think of us as your resolution coaches: here to help, guide and motivate you to make this year the healthiest yet. As always, if you need help, do get in touch.