While the end of a financial year is generally when a business will assess its financial position and related matters, the end of the calendar year may present a time when business owners can manage other equally important matters.
Here are 4 tips for ensuring your business is ready for 2018:
- Chase up existing debts
While it is ideal to start 2018 with a clean slate in relation to trade debtors and creditors, it is inevitable that invoices will be missed or purposely postponed leading up to the holiday period.
This can cause a rather significant drag on cash flow in the early months of the year. Therefore, it is important to be proactive about outstanding accounts. Here is a link to an article that provides some useful tips on having your invoices paid promptly.
- Ensure your business’s details are up to date
It might not only be your accounts that remain unpaid early in 2018, you may be guilty of putting some bills on the backburner too. Again, the key to sorting out this issue is to be proactive and let your creditors know when they can accept payment.
Having said that, it is not uncommon to see people and companies instituting legal proceedings leading up to and immediately following the holiday break.
If your business is run by a company, failing to update your registered office details with ASIC is not only illegal, but it may also cause you significant heartbreak.
Your company’s registered office is the address where anyone may serve legal documents and those documents are deemed validly served even if you personally have not been provided with them.
A common example is where a statutory demand is served on a company’s registered office and the 21 day time limit to respond is missed because the registered office is an outdated address.
Similarly, it is worth ensuring that your ABN is registered to the correct owner.
If you have set up the business to be run through a trust, make sure the holder of that ABN is the trustee and not you personally.
- Review your marketing strategy and systems
You will likely be too busy in June and July to think about your marketing strategies and ways of improving your systems and administration. The end of the calendar year is a great time to assess how your marketing strategies are tracking for the first half of the financial year and to see where you can boost efficiency in your business.
The most ideal way of undertaking these assessments is through engaging independent experts such as a digital broker.
- Reviewing employment contracts and terms of trade
Matters that are all too often overlooked by businesses are the contracts or terms of trade that they may have been using for years.
Laws are constantly being changed and updated and a wise business owner will recognise that the agreements they have in place may need to be reviewed to ensure they comply with those changes.
One ever-changing subject is modern awards. A modern award governs employee/employer relations for certain industries.
It is not possible to contract out of the minimum standards required by these awards. Given that these awards are regularly updated, it may be worth looking at your long running employment contracts and ensuring they are up to date with the corresponding award (if one exists).
Last year, the federal parliament passed new laws that extend part of the Australian Consumer Law (usually reserved for individuals) to small businesses.
This effectively means that small businesses now enjoy greater protection against unfair contract terms.
If your business deals with small businesses regularly, it may be worth having your terms of trade (or similar documents) reviewed by a legal professional to ensure they are compliant.
These are just a few of the things you may want to turn your mind to for the upcoming 2018. The most important thing to do? Enjoy your holiday break!
Should you need any assistance in ensuring your documents and details are up to date, Lynn & Brown Lawyers would be happy to help.
About the authors:
Evan is a Perth lawyer at Lynn and Brown Lawyers, specialising in Litigation and general Commercial Law. Steven is a Perth lawyer and director, and has over 20 years’ experience in legal practice and practices in commercial law, dispute resolution and estate planning.