The ‘Odd Jobs’ List
Take a sigh of relief – the end of the year is here.
For many organisations, especially those with a June year-end, now is a quiet time, it’s also a great time for getting organised, and planning ahead for 2019.
So, with that in mind, here are a few suggestions of things you can do to make sure that the New Year gets off to a good start.
Prepare for the end-of-year audit.
While it might seem like months away, there are a number of things you can do now to prepare and to make the audit process run more smoothly when the time comes.
Specifically, address the Auditor’s Management Letter. Sitting down with this gives you a great opportunity to think about the processes and procedures you have in place. Have you addressed all the auditor’s points and recommendations? There’s no better time than the present.
After all, the auditor’s recommendations are all about helping you to strengthen internal controls and address deficiencies. It is a tool for continuous improvement and robust fiscal management, and it’s designed to ensure that you’re meeting not only your organisation’s needs as you grow, but the regulators’ requirements too.
Cast an eye over credit cards
More and more organisations are using credit cards – because they’re convenient, and in some cases necessary. Do you have the right controls in place to manage spending? Every organisation needs a policy and adequate processes in place to protect itself from theft or fraud.
This is also something that should come under regular review as new people join the organisation, are re-positioned internally, or leave and take jobs elsewhere. Your workforce is continually evolving, make sure your financial controls are too, otherwise you’re exposed to risk.
Get contracts in order
Now is a good time to make sure that all employee contracts are up to date and in order, and that supplier contracts / leases / rental agreements are too.
During the year, when things are busy, paperwork can be rushed, and mis-filed. Now is a great time to ‘round everything up’ so you know it is accurate, and where to find it when you need to.
It can also be advantageous to highlight your calendar the dates when contracts are coming up for renewal. And this ‘quiet time’ can be an opportune moment to conduct some market research on things like internet, telecommunications and utilities pricing to see if there’s potentially a better deal.
Invariably, if you let renewals sneak up on you, you run out of time to renegotiate your current provider’s offering and just let things ‘roll over’.
If you have a June Financial Year End, then December / January is the perfect time to do a deep-dive on your budget. While budgets are set with the best possible accuracy and forecasting, as you know, many (sometimes unforeseeable) things can affect your spending, and your income. If you take time to review now, you can assess variances and re-set the goal-posts if you need to. This will ensure you operate within your means with predictable cash-flow through until the end of the year, and – more importantly – that there are no surprises at year-end.
While it might sound strange doing ‘spring cleaning’ in summer, this should be on your list.
And what I mean is, tidy up paperwork, get the filing in order, and, if you haven’t been uploading documents to the accounting system, perhaps now is the time.
‘Fresh year, fresh start’ tends to be the psychological thinking for most of us. And nothing says ‘fresh’ better than a good declutter. So… clean out, and clean up.
Set aside some time for the team to get together. The Christmas Party was done and dusted in December, but January is a great time for a planning session: Are there better ways of doing things? What does the team need? What’s working and what’s not? Aside from the practical outcomes of a good brainstorming session, any good leader knows that a happy team also means a productive team.
So, perhaps consider investing in some training / professional development. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be invaluable for team building and this sets a nice tone for progressing into the New Year, which, as you know, ramps up pretty quickly.
Our team is here to support you every step of the way. Whatever you need – whether its budget revision advice, a review of finance processes, Xero implementation or optimisation, contact us.