The Ultimate 2024 Trade Business End Of Financial Year Checklist

May 22, 2024 - James Burgess

The Nitty Gritty

  • Condense your tax time down to 10 easy steps with our checklist
  • Specialised information for Australian trade businesses
  • Discover additional things you can do to grow your business during EOFY
  • Find out how trade business software can help make tax time easy

The end of the financial year (EOFY) is a busy time for all business owners, so here’s everything you need to know in one neat and tidy article.

In the run-up to June 30th, there are certain things you must do to meet your tax obligations. There are also a couple of things you should do around EOFY because it makes sense to do them while you’ve got your whole business laid out in front of you.

So let’s not waste time. We’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist for the busy trade business professional to help make this end-of-financial year a little bit easier. Here’s everything you need to do this EOFY in one checklist:

Your EOFY Checklist In 10 Steps

Step 1: Check for changes to tax this year

The best advice a tax accountant has ever given is to make sure you’ve read up on any tax changes this year before you start digging out invoices and doing your stocktake. Laws change, and constant legislative shifts can mean more or less obligations each tax year, so make sure you’ve done a bit of reading.

Don’t forget about your business circumstances, either! If you’re growing, downsizing, selling the business, or building a new office, head to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website to see if you’re required to do things differently in 2024.

There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a lengthy tax form only to find out that the filing method has changed this year; it’s agonising.

Step 2: Organise your records

Yep, get the worst part of the process out of the way early. If you’re fully digital, your software can likely help you get access to everything you need to lodge your tax this year.

Gather profit and loss statements, income tax and GST details, expense reports, reconciliations, banking records, contractor and employee payments, and you’re pretty much there.

Make sure to chase down any unpaid invoices that may have slipped through the cracks during the year and follow up on any overdue accounts on your end, too.

It really is the worst part of the process, so just plough through it and get everything sorted so you can put it behind you and finish off tax time with some much easier tasks.

Step 3: Make time to see an accountant

It’s time to bring up the age-old divide of whether getting an accountant to do some or all of your taxes is a smart move or a cop-out that means you don’t know your business numbers well enough.

Rather than tell you which side of the argument is right, it’s a better use of time to list why trade business owners choose to see an accountant for their taxes.

Firstly, accountants specialise in keeping your taxes legal. Now, that’s not too difficult for your average office worker who is paid a salary by a separate entity. The difference for you is that you might own and operate the business you work for, so your personal and professional finances are deeply intertwined. Accountants work with these kinds of complexities for a living, so unless you’re deeply sure that you know how to keep the taxman happy in this regard, it might be worth giving one a call.

Secondly, accountants know deductions and deductions are incredibly important for any trade business. Instant asset write-offs and other tax-related deductions are big money, and a good accountant can help you hunt down every last one of those juicy deductions you’re entitled to.

Lastly, accountants’ work is 100% tax-deductible as well. That’s right; getting an accountant to do your tax won’t actually cost you anything in the long run. Definitely a consideration if you’re too busy running your business to worry about lodging your tax.

Step 4: Review your finances and reflect

Most EOFY guides you’ll read online will stick to only what you need to do to lodge your tax successfully, but the end of the financial year is so much more than that for most businesses.

It’s rare that you’ll have all your financial data in one place outside of tax time, so take the opportunity to look through it all and think about the year just passed. In the hustle of modern business ownership, it can be all too easy to push forward and leave reflection for retirement. But regardless of success or failure, we can always learn something from what we’ve put behind us. So, take the time to think about where you are now and where you want to be by the next EOFY.

Step 5: Review your business plan and strategise

After some quiet thought and reflection, it’s time to put pen to page and map out what the 2025 financial year looks like for your business. Review your existing business plan and make any necessary adjustments to account for new or emerging changes to your business in the coming year.

It can be a drag to spend extra time working on your business while also doing your taxes, but once again, it’s best to do these types of tasks while your entire business is laid out in front of you.

Step 6: Check your insurance

Since you’re already dragging yourself across the bed of nails, which is tax, finances, and business building, why not chuck insurance in there, too?

Checking on your insurance needs every year is a good habit, especially as your business operations expand and you need additional insurance types and more coverage. Bundling insurance into tax time also gives you the benefit of planning out insurance with your exact business finances on hand. It’s less of a concern for liability insurance and the like, but it can make a big difference in your asset and equipment premiums if you know your exact capital!

Step 7: Perform a stocktake

It’s probably unnecessary to remind you of your EOFY stocktake, given you’ve likely been planning it for a while if you hold substantial inventory. You know the drill: adjust stock quantities where needed, generate an up-to-date inventory list, and you’re pretty much done.

But not quite; you must also make a list of asset purchases and sales. Sales documents are easy to gather, and the same is true for collecting documents for all asset purchases to a certain extent. But remember that you must also add any expenditures on improvements made or upkeep performed on those assets you purchased. It’s little extras like this that make tax time so daunting to many trade business owners, and another reason why business software reporting tools and an expert accountant can really help.

Step 8: Finalise payroll

The next step is determining your superannuation requirements and providing your employees with their payment summary or income statement.

You’ll need to provide payment summaries if you don’t use Single Touch Payroll (STP). If you missed the memo, you can use STP to report employees’ payroll information each time you pay them. All you need is STP-enabled software, so definitely get onto it if you aren’t using Single Touch Payroll already.

Trade businesses using STP only need to provide employees with an income statement. The rest is up to them as you’ve provided all the information they need to complete their tax as the year progresses, so it’s up to them to access myGov and grab it.

Step 9: Get it all lodged

Surprise, we’re at the second last step; in truth, it’s the end of your tax journey for the year. Whether it’s through an accountant or by your own hand, gather all the tax time materials you’ve worked so hard on and get it lodged with the ATO.

That’s it, you’re done. You’ve made it through the end of the financial year, and the only thing left to do is make a resolution for the new financial year.

Step 10: Your EOFY Resolution - Work Smarter With Software

Tax time sucks, there’s no doubt about that. But you can make the next end of financial year substantially easier on yourself by making the commitment to match your tax time needs next year with a software system that’s up to the task.

Take Simpro, for example. It’s a shameless plug, but we’re pretty proud that our software can digitise many of the documents that can help simplify EOFY.

But we do a lot more for trade businesses than just help with records at tax time, so here are three main features any tax-friendly job management software should have:

Accounting Integrations

Your job management software should integrate 100% with your accounting software. This not only helps your operations, office team, and overall cash flow, but obviously, it’s super handy to have your two main softwares talking to each other during tax time.

Invoicing, quotes and payments

This is another obvious one, but realistically, if you come across a job management software that can’t handle the entire job process from initial quote to final invoice, it’s not fit for a trade business.

Digital quoting and invoicing tools were some of the first developed for Simpro, so even the most basic software should cover this entirely. Once again, it’s a huge timesaver to have all your job documents already digitised for tax time, and it benefits your business year-round, too!

Data processing and reporting

Raw data isn’t of any use during tax time. It needs to be cleaned and neatly compiled for the tax office. An accountant can do this for you, but many business management software packages (including Simpro) have robust reporting tools that can do the hard work for you.

If you’re searching for new software, remember that data storage is great. But, without processing and reporting tools, it will be hard to turn that business data into anything useful, especially for the strict rules of tax reporting.

Now get out there and crush your EOFY tax reporting

Don’t delay in getting your documents compiled. The sooner you lodge your tax, the sooner you can get back to running your trade business instead of running around for the benefit of the ATO.

Good luck with your reporting this year!

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Author - James Burgess

James, Simpro Group's content production lead. Having started as a website content writer for trade businesses, he now manages content production for all three of Simpro Group's brands.