For some it’s hard to believe that March is already here, for others, January and February have felt long. With economic headwinds, changing consumer spending and the ever-increasing cost of living. As a business owner you may feel like you are wearing all of the hats - trying to solve problems while simultaneously promoting your business, staying on top of your finances and planning for the year ahead. Luckily, we have tapped on the shoulder of fellow Square seller Patrice Flynn from Monday’s Bookkeeping to give you a hand. Read on for Patrice’s top tips for staying on top of your finances in March — so you can feel a little more on top of your business.
March pulse check with Patrice
It almost feels like December, January and February molded into one month — Christmas was a lifetime ago! Many business owners often have a new burst of energy at the start of the year. As a business owner myself, I notice people use January and February to really organise themselves, get on top of things, and plan for the year ahead. This could mean hiring staff, implementing new systems, assessing what area of their business needs attention, and solving these issues. In saying that, some business owners that I work with are exhausted as they are coming down from their busy period over the summer.
The start of any year normally brings change, here’s what business owners are thinking about this month.
Wanting to pivot: Perhaps something isn’t working for them, or they want to try something new.
Scaling up: A new year can bring a renewed drive, many businesses are laying foundations to scale up.
Introducing new offerings: Diversification is very top of mind for Aussie businesses, especially in the current climate. How can they offer more value to their customers.
Key dates to remember
31st March: Financial Quarter concludes
28th April: March BAS Due (PAYG, GST)
28th April: Superannuation for employees due.
30th June: End of the financial year.
Tip: Be sure to pay your ATO payments before the due date so payments are processed and received by the due date.
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3 tips to stay on top of your finances
1. Separate your business and personal finances
My biggest tip is to keep your personal and business money separate and try not to overspend. I find when people start a business, money comes in and they spend a lot of it on materials, overheads, and personal expenses. As soon as you can, pay yourself a wage and keep your business and personal money separate.
Depending on your business entity, a wage can be as simple as a weekly direct debit. That way, you know exactly how much you can spend on your business overheads. I have found that when people are not on top of their business finances, they are constantly spending. They are aware they don’t have control of their finances and instead of dealing with it they simply keep spending.
2. Plan your year out financially
It may be March, but it’s not too late to re-visit your plan. At the start of each year, I ask clients to financially plan their year month by month. This entails setting a realistic goal of exactly how much they would like to make for the year, exploring how to execute these goals, separating their income streams so they know exactly where their money is coming from, and blocking out specific dates in their calendar for product launches, key moments like Chrstmas, and when they want to take holidays. It allows business owners to have direction and feel less stressed as they know where their money is coming from for the entire year, they feel organised and are accountable to themselves.
3. Be sure to have a good accountant
It may sound simple, but a good accountant helps financially organise your business and can give invaluable advice on your business structure. Depending on the size of your business and whether or not you’re time-poor, a bookkeeper can help with the day-to-day financial organisation and an accountant ensures you’re on track with everything else. The only way to be on track financially is to be organised, plan ahead, keep on top of ATO payments, and have your bookkeeper and accountant work together as a team.
This article is only for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advice. Make sure you consult a professional regarding your unique business needs.