Each year in June, as we prepare for the end of the financial year, I’m reminded of the importance of good organisation both in business and personally.
We’re fortunate at Farrar Gesini Dunn to have an extremely competent and organised accounts team who work hard all year through to ensure this time of year is as stress free as possible for the firm. This year their hard work has been even more appreciated than usual, as we’ve not only been preparing for the EOFY this month but also for a big office move.
However, whilst you won’t find any shoeboxes of receipts around the office I wish the same could be said for me at home. I’ll admit I’m always a little sheepish making that dreaded meeting with my accountant each year to talk about my tax return, which usually involves me handing over a disorganised wad of receipts and invoices and smiling my prettiest smile whilst my accountant shoots daggers at me from her eyes.
This year I’ve decided to make a new financial year resolution to be more organised with my personal finances. Here are the changes I’m planning to make come tomorrow:
1. I’m going to look into what technology I can adopt to help with budgeting, track my financials and build a better picture of my financial circumstances. I’m sure there are many clever apps and programs out there which are designed to make our lives easier, and it seems silly not to put this technology to good use.*
2. As well as using technology, I’ll be dropping into my local Officeworks in the morning to pick up a shiny new 2014/2015 diary, which I will resolve to keep on my desk and use each week to organise my tax-deductible expenses no matter how small. After all, 52 weeks of pen purchases, coffees with clients and tram fares to meetings can add up – and I’m sure it will be ever so much easier to reconcile them as they’re incurred rather than trying to do it all at once at the end of the year (or, so my accountant tells me!)
3. I’ll spend some time in the coming weeks setting a budget and some financial goals for myself and thinking about the small changes I can make to help meet those goals – a personal strategic plan if you like. I’ll make a note in my diary to review this each month to ensure I’m keeping on track.
4. After my 2013/2014 return has been lodged, and I’ve sent my accountant a well deserved box of chocolates to say thank you, I’m going to schedule in an appointment to meet with her again in March or April next year to take advice about the clever things I can do before the next financial year ends to help me achieve my financial goals. Like with many things, a little forward planning can often pay dividends later on.
Has anyone else made new financial year resolutions? I’d love to hear them.
*suggestions of great apps for this purpose would be greatly appreciated – feel free to comment!
By Leila Kirsch.