Get Organised for 2016
10th January 2016
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Let’s not call it a New Year’s Resolution; these are forgotten or reneged on by the end of January anyway.

Let’s call it your Financial Headline To Do List for 2016 - not quite as catchy but sounds more important. Which it is.

There are only four things on it, so let’s get them done…

1. Submit Your Self-Assessment On Time

Get this out of the way first. The last day you can submit your details and pay tax owed is 31 January 2016 for the tax year 2014-2015, and it has to be done online at the HMRC website, or via many of the most-used accounts packages such as Sage. Either way, if you’ve not submitted your self-assessment online before you’ll need to go through the registration process with HMRC, which is quite involved and can take a few days.

Fines are automatically imposed for not filing returns and paying the tax due by 31 Jan 2016; these start at £100 and can go north of £1000 quite quickly.

[ ] Tick here when done

2. Clamp Down on Bad Debts

Managing cashflow effectively is critical to the survival of any business, especially smaller companies, yet cashflow is often hampered by unpaid invoices. Managing client relationships whilst collecting what you’re owed can be tricky and stressful, so it’s tempting to just “let things slide” and focus on bringing in more new business.

Instead, contact The Financial Management Centre in Farnborough – they offer an efficient credit management service at extremely competitive rates. Their locally-based team have the experience, knowledge, tools and techniques to help you to improve cash flow, reduce bad debts and improve customer retention.

[ ] Tick here when done

3. Raise Money To Grow

In the current economic climate, raising finance can prove a major challenge for your business, especially if you have no existing loans and therefore no contacts or experience in this area. As well as the obvious source of finance – a loan from your bank – there are other ways of raising money which you can consider:

  1. Startup Loans - a government funded scheme to provide advice, loans and mentoring to startup businesses:
  2. Invoice Finance - a flexible form of loan where the lending company advances money based on the value of your outstanding invoices, plus (optionally) a portion of all new invoices raised.
  3. Crowdfunding – websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and UK-based Crowdfunder can be used to raise money from individuals as advances on sales, or in return for rewards from your business.
  4. Selling assets - one simple way to raise money is to sell something you already own and can do without, either a personal asset (car, holiday home, Rolex watch) or a business asset that isn’t being used effectively.
  5. Borrowing against assets - can lend money secured on valuable assets, and have already loaned over £130 million since they launched in 2008. With APRs of around 50% they should only be considered for short-term loans.

There are also many sources of business finance which are not generally known about, and which are only made available through finance professionals. For more information contact Kass Verjee, your local Financial Management Centre specialist.

[ ] Tick here when done

4. Sort Out Your Cashflow

More successful businesses are sunk by cashflow problems than any other reason. An accurate Cashflow Forecast will identify potential shortfalls in cash balances in advance, thus acting as a vital "early warning system" for problems arising up to 12 months ahead. It can also:

  • Help to ensure that capital expenditure is properly controlled
  • Spot problems with customer payments
  • Make sure that your business can always afford to pay suppliers and employees
  • Provide credibility when approaching lenders or investors
  • Help with facing facts and decision making

The Financial Management Centre in Farnborough can help - they will take the time to understand your business, take you through the planning exercise, and help resolve any potential problems which may be uncovered before they present themselves for real.

If you do one big accounting task in 2016, make it this one!

[ ] Tick here when done


About the Author

Carly B

Member since: 8th May 2013

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