With only a few months left until the end of the financial year, it’s a good time to start thinking about your Year End (if this aligns with the financial year) and ensuring you have everything in order in good time to avoid complications or penalties. It can be a daunting task for both first-time accountants and those with plenty of experience, and certainly not something you want to leave until the last minute. With that in mind, here are five tips for ensuring you’re ahead of the game when it comes to preparing for your Year End:
- Ensure your expenses are in order – Making sure you claim every legitimate business expense will ensure your company won’t pay more Corporation Tax than necessary. According to HMRC, anything that has been purchased “wholly and exclusively” for business use can be claimed as a business expense, so anything purchased for your business can almost certainly be used to reduce your company’s tax bill.
- Chase up any unpaid invoices – You want your Year End to be accurate, so any outstanding debts need to be chased up and paid. This will ensure you can correctly document the money in your company’s bank account and allow you to update the records in your accounting software with total accuracy.
- Don’t forget your VAT Returns – Whilst they’re not usually considered part of your Year End, VAT Returns usually happen at the same time. If your company is VAT Registered, make sure you file your VAT at the same time as your Year End to avoid any issues.
- Start thinking about your Annual Return – As your Annual Return is due 28 days after the start of your new company year, it’s a good idea to make a start on it as you work on your Year End. Your Annual Return summarises your company’s details, including the details of any directors and shareholders, as well as the trading activity and registered address.
- Have a look at your suppliers – An annual review of your service providers will ensure you’re not spending too much or paying for services you no longer need. Doing it at the same time as your Year End keeps things neat and tidy too, allowing you to start afresh with any new suppliers at the beginning of a new financial year.