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December is here and the silly season is well and truly upon us. As many business owners are looking ahead to the new year, some are just trying to make it through the Christmas rush. We’ve collaborated with Patrice Flynn, owner of Mondays Bookkeeping to give us a glimpse into current priorities, key dates and tips to start the new year with your best foot forward. Over to you, Patrice.
December pulse check with Patrice
There’s a rush to the end of the year in the air. It’s like everyone will be able to breathe again once we get to Christmas. On the other hand, hospitality and event businesses are starting to crank up and this is their high turnover period. So as well as a rush to the finish line for some there’s also long hours to be put in for others!
Depending on the business there are many pain points this time of the year, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
- Product based businesses need to ensure customers are buying their goods over their competitors, now is the time to be making your highest sales for the whole year.
Service based businesses need to ensure all work is completed before Christmas. This can be tricky as there are only so many hours in the day, this is when later nights and early mornings happen, all aiming to have a clean email inbox come January.
Key dates to remember
- 28th January: December Super payments due
- 28th February: December BAS due.
- 25th December: Christmas Day Public Holiday
- 26th December: Boxing Day Public Holiday
- 1st January: New Years Day Public Holiday
- 26th January: Australia Day Public Holiday
Three tips for peak season and the new year
1. Ensure you can pay your staff on a salary if your business shuts down over Christmas
Remember that employees who are on a salary still need to be paid during this time. Generally, this is when employees use their annual leave that has accrued throughout the year, or they can request unpaid leave. It’s so important that employees & employers are on the same page about this. Give your employees early notice of the dates your business shuts down so they can prioritise how best to use their leave. If unsure, check your relevant award.
2. Don’t forget about December BAS
The December quarter BAS is due in Feb 2024. Although businesses are given an extra month don’t forget to set this money aside so when your business opens again you have funds available. Please note – Dec Super payments are still due in January.
3. Employee appreciation & take time off over summer if you can
The end of the year is a time to say thank you to your employees! Employees turn up to work each day for you, because they enjoy their job and assumingly to get paid. How can you celebrate them? Budget in a christmas party or something thoughtful to show your appreciation. Small gestures go a long way. Without employees we wouldn’t be able to grow our businesses.
Advice for the new year
Go in with a plan. There’s only 52 weeks in a year. Plan where your income is coming from, how are you increasing your income from last year? Schedule in days off work, a holiday to look forward to even if it’s booked for the end of next year. How can you decrease your costs next year?
Is there anything you need to think about before the 2024 financial year, such as intentional spending? Ensure to have this conversation with your accountant early.
This year to me felt like it went by in six months. Business is a circle, if you don’t schedule things in, take time off, or plan ahead, time and money will fall through your fingers.