Tea with the Queen

Ten Questions to ask yourself before EOFY



As we approach EOFY, it’s crucial for small business owners to reflect on their financial position and make strategic decisions for the year ahead. That’s why today I’m sharing 10 key questions you can ask yourself to ensure financial preparedness.

 1.      Have I maximised all my tax deductions?
Before end of the financial year, it’s important to review your expenses and talk to your bookkeeper or accountant. They’ll make sure you’re claiming everything allowable under your business structure and nothing gets left on the table.

 2.      Are my financial records up to date?
Transactions, receipts, equipment, supplies: you never know what could give you a tax advantage this year. Ensuring everything is up to date ensures the best outcome for you!

 3.      Do I need to make any last-minute purchases?
Consider whether there are any supplies or equipment you need that you want to have as part of the current financial year. Don’t leave it too late.

 4.      Is there any income I should defer?
Most people won’t need to defer income but, in some situations, deferring or bringing forward revenue can impact tax obligations positively.

 5.      Have I reviewed my business plan and budget?
Having a clear business plan aligned with your budget is crucial for financial success. A business plan is incredibly useful for clarifying your vision, values, and goals so they can work within your budget. If you don’t have one, this is your sign to get one before the end of the financial year. 

 6.      Am I on track with my retirement contributions?
Retirement might seem far off in the future but it’s not something we can afford to ignore. We need to be making consistent contributions to take full advantage of compounding interest. The end of the financial year is a great time to reassess or get back on track! 

7.      Should I adjust payroll withholdings?
If you have a payroll tax time comes with many extra things to consider.  You don’t want to get caught out here so make sure you have enough money to handle these obligations.

 8.      Do I have any outstanding invoices?
The number of people who don’t pay their bills on time, especially to small businesses, is outrageous. Follow up on outstanding invoices to get them paid before the end of the financial year. This will improve your end-of-year cash position which is our overall goal!

 9.      How is my cash flow management going?
Maintaining a healthy cash flow is vital for business sustainability. The end of the financial year is a great time to evaluate your cash flow and plan for upcoming seasonal fluctuations.

 10.  What are my financial goals for the next year?
Take the time to set clear and measurable goals for the next year. Ask yourself what is working, what isn’t working, and what is commercially smart to keep running with.  It’s not always about return on investment from a dollar perspective. Sometimes it’s just about positioning or visibility, so you can make those trade-offs.

Preparing for EOFY involves more than just crunching numbers—it requires strategic foresight, meticulous planning, and a proactive approach to financial management. By asking yourself these 10 crucial financial questions and taking action based on the insights gained, you can set your business up for success in the upcoming financial year.


For a copy of Emma’s book, ‘Go-getter: Raise your mojo, shift your mindset and thrive’ – https://www.emmamcqueen.com.au/book/

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Read The Full Transcript

Emma: [00:00:00] We are not at the end of the financial year yet, but we're close. We have about a month, I reckon, until the end of the financial year. And I just wanted to talk to you about 10 questions you might want to ask yourself as a small business owner, preparing yourself for the end of the financial year.
Before I do that, what I do want to say is the end of the financial year is when people have spare cash sitting in their line items in a corporate environment. People are willing to spend some money because it's tax expense and they can get their money back. And so if you have any offers that you can start putting out there, circulating, telling people about now is the time to do it.
Last ditch effort, last little hustle to get those dollars in before the end of the financial year. What I would also say is if you've been in business a couple of years and you're using a software accounting like a Xero or a Myob, there is normally a little function called the budget variance. And about this time of year, I fill out my budget variance.
It helps me work out What my goals are going to be from a financial perspective from total revenue, what my expenses are going to be, and then I can forecast backwards. It's an excellent tool when you need to compare your profit and loss, which you should be doing fairly regularly, and also your budget and your sales and your expenses.
So they're my tips. Get your budget variance going. If you don't know how to do that, don't Talk to your friendly bookkeeper or your accountant, and they will show you how to do that. So let's dive in. What are the 10 questions I think business owners should be asking? Question number one, Have I maximised all my tax deductions?
You know, you need to review your expenses. I review my expenses weekly just to make sure you're claiming everything allowable under your business structure. Make sure you talk to your bookkeeper or your accountant and find out what it is. You might be leaving money on the table. Number two. Are my financial records up to date?
You've got to make sure that your transactions, your receipts, your equipment, your supplies, that all [00:02:00] might offer tax advantages for the current year. You need to make sure that everything is up to date. Yeah, everything is up to date. There's nothing worse than messy books. Number three, Do I need to make any last minute purchases?
Oh, that's the fun bit. Head down to Officeworks. Not really, maybe. Anyway, purchasing necessary equipment or supplies now might make it easier for getting back on your tax. Number four, Is there any income I should defer? Most people wouldn't defer income, but if you're expecting a higher income next year, you might push that out or you might bring it forward.
For me, I work with corporates. And so when I, , message them about now to say, Hey, end of the year is coming up. There's always money left in the training and development budget. Would you like to spend that? They either say yes or no. And if they say yes, sometimes they say, send an invoice through now and we'll start the work in three weeks or whatever it is.
, and that is useful. Sometimes they might say, yes, I do, but I don't want to start it till next quarter. So having those conversations is always handy as well. Number five, Have you reviewed your business plan and budget? One, let me go back. Have you got a business plan? There are many people that I speak to who don't have a business plan.
I normally send them to Julie Doyle and she owns a company called It's Not a Hobby. And she helps people put business plans together, which helps them clarify what they're in business for, what their vision, their mission, their values are. And also what their goals are. What kind of expenses, what kind of revenue they need, what expenses they have.
So you can't really review that unless you've got it. So if you don't have a business plan, get one and align it to your budget, the budget variance that I just spoke about. You know, having a look at how well you, adhere to your budget this year and making adjustments for next year, based on some data, Oh my goodness.
Music to my ears. Number six. Music Am I on track with my [00:04:00] retirement contributions? Now, I know you're saying, Emma, that's so far off. I know I hear you, but actually it's compounded interest. So if you have been paying yourself, which you should be paying yourself, and you've been paying yourself superannuation, which you should have been doing, how do you make sure that you are maximizing those contributions?
Uh, Number seven, this is if you have payroll, Should I adjust payroll withholdings? So if you anticipate a tax liability or adjusting the withholdings can, prevent owing a large sum of money, uh, , et cetera, et cetera, you've got to have enough money in your kitty. You've got to make sure that you've got enough money so that you can pay your bills when they're a lot of people get.
stuck with BAS or payroll or superannuation, you got to keep those aside. As an aside on that, I have three bank accounts operating. My first bank account is a daily operating bank account. all our revenue goes into that. Our second one is profit. Each week I look at our bank account and take a percentage and put it into our profit account and the third bank account is for GST and tax and so making sure that you've got a number of accounts so you can separate them out is often really, really useful as well.
That's just what I do. Other people use profit first and they say to use seven bank accounts. That will do my tiny mind in. But, , having some separate bank accounts are really helpful. And if you're not putting any money into a profit account, please start doing that. Even if it's 1 percent a week or 2 percent a week and watch that compound profit grow.
Amazing. Do I have any outstanding invoices? The amount of people who don't pay their bills on time, especially the small businesses is outrageous. If you work in corporate, their terms are normally 30. Sometimes 90 days. I have some corporates I work with and their terms are 90 days. That's a long time in small business land.
So I know that going in. It's very clear. We're up [00:06:00] front about it. And so I. plan for that. I plan for not getting paid for a little bit of time, but there are some outstanding invoices where you're like, I just need to follow up. You need to follow up those outstanding invoices and get them in this side of the financial year.
Making sure that you're collecting on outstanding invoices can, of course, improve your year end cash position. And that's what we want, but it'd have cash in your bank account that someone else's, right? Number nine. How is my cashflow management going? Oh my goodness. Assessing, whether you need to make adjustments to cashflow to smooth it out.
, considering any seasonal cycles in your business, there might be some times for us, December and January are pretty quiet, and that's great from a delivery perspective because it helps us take a breath and have a break. But it does mean that there's less money in the bank accounts in those months.
And that's okay. can I make that cash up? What else can I do with that revenue? If for instance, you have a business and in July and August, it's very quiet. What else can you do in the other months to buffer that to make sure that you've got enough money in the bank account on that? A lot of people talk about, , monthly recurring revenue, which is awesome.
If you've got a program that serves that well. So monthly recurring revenue is so revenue raiser, which is my group coaching program. People pay certain amount of money a month and that goes across six months. So that smooths out my cashflow for six months. That's a really great way of making sure that you have some buffer in your bank account.
I'll talk about buffer in a minute though. And then finally, What are my financial goals for the next year? This is my favorite bit. It's about setting your new goals. clear goals, measurable goals, , that can help you guide your business through the coming year. So I sit down and I go, okay, what is working?
What programs are working? What programs do I need to kill? What programs are bringing me joy and [00:08:00] how do I keep them? And what programs are, uh, commercially smart to keep running with? Sometimes it's not always about return on investment from a dollar perspective. Sometimes it's just about positioning or visibility.
And so you can make those trade offs. What I do want to talk about though is a buffer. I have a lot of conversations with a lot of women. And what we know is that 92 percent of women in Australia earn less than $100,000 a year. 92%! Wowzers, it blows my mind. But then if I am talking to people, some of these women don't know how much money they need to make, so they're not clear on how much money they need to make, and they don't have a buffer, to help them when things are a bit quieter and they talk about what they need as a family.
What I would like women to get to is go have a conversation with your partner and say, how much money do I need to put into the family coffers or the family bucket? Great. Then you've got that. Then you can work back to how much money you need to bring into the whole business, which helps you go, money is taken care of from a family perspective and my business can grow this way.
And then we put that one or two percent profit in to keep as a buffer. When you have a buffer, oh my goodness, so many things happen. So you need to decide what your buffer is for us at Emma McQueen. It's six months worth of expenses in a bucket to make sure that if something happens to me or something happens to Serena or our suppliers that we're taking care of.
So six months. So I worked really hard to get that six months buffer up and I don't go below that. But what that has done for me is help me not have sleepless nights. It's helped me go on holidays. It's helped me be creative in my business. It's helped me not sit there and go, I have to do this because it's going to bring in this much money.
I don't have to do that anymore. And the buffer is absolutely game changing. So if you don't have a buffer of money, please figure out how you might do that. And [00:10:00] maybe, maybe that's the way you start with your budgeting for 2025. There are my 10 questions to yourself at the end of the financial year.
I hope those 10 questions have helped. I know we don't love talking about money, but let's get a little bit commercially smart, yeah? So that we can actually talk about money. Money is not a dirty word. Money gives us choice, freedom, flexibility. It gives us all the things that we are all craving.
And we just have to get better at looking at it. Digesting the data, if you, , if you get stuck asking someone to help you understand your numbers. So you're a better businesswoman because that's what this is all about. So what do you need to do? Do you need to go back, put me on pause and answer each question specifically?
Oh my goodness. You would get a gold star if you did that. And I want to hear about it. I want to hear if you go through all 10 questions, what you come up with, uh, you don't have to share the answers with me. Just let me know that you've done them. Thank you so much. Good luck for the next financial year.