Seasons of life.
I was up very early on Wednesday morning this week so that I could walk the dog before going off to my BNI breakfast in Bath. During the walk we came across a small herd of cows which had appeared in the field overnight. The local farmer uses this particular field every year to “rest” some of his milking herd that are probably between lactations. This, with the trees in their new foliage and the blossom in the hedgerows, got me thinking about the seasonality of life and while reflecting on this I got to thinking about the seasonality of the business year.
Seasons of a business year.
In January many businesses were panicking to get their accounting records up to date so that they or their accountant could complete their self assessments. In the UK we have just completed the tax year. Businesses employing people have just completed the end of year PAYE routines. March is a common year end for many businesses and so the more organised businesses have probably already completed their business plans and budgets for the coming year and are thinking about getting their final accounts prepared. Those businesses that are not organised will probably not prepare a business plan and will, of course, wait until the deadlines are close before they even think about their accounts.
Bookkeeping as you go.
For those businesses that are not well organised now is a good time to take stock and change the way that you go about keeping your accounting records. In a previous article “Will your financial records cut the biscuit?” I discussed the importance of keeping proper accounting records. By doing your bookkeeping at the last minute or getting the business’s accountant to prepare the accounts near to the deadline, you are merely complying with legal requirements and your effort gains you very little and any cost incurred in preparing the accounts is just that, a cost. The accounts you produce are of very little value to the business as they are produced too late to take effective action. On the other hand, if you do your bookkeeping weekly or monthly, you have a valuable asset. You can monitor the business in real time and take corrective action if necessary. If, as a business owner, you are not qualified to do your own bookkeeping, don’t like it or don’t have the time, then using a reputable bookkeeper to keep the records is a good alternative. This will cost you less than getting the business’s accountant to complete the accounts and the cost will not be a cost, but an investment.
It’s not too late to plan.
And, for thiose businesses that have not prepared a business plan, it is not too late. Prepare one now.
We are here to help with your bookkeeping.
If you need any assistance in bookkeeping, producing management accounts or preparing a business plan, then don’t hesstate to call. We are there to help.