Set them up for success and watch your relationship grow
The end of the financial year (EOFY) is hectic for accountants, bookkeepers and clients alike. Still, it rolls around as sure as the sun rises and with a bit of planning, you can use this period to build client relationships as vehicles for growth and to further cement your position as a trusted advisor.
1. Help them get their paperwork in shape
Small businesses can find EOFY overwhelming and look to their accountants and bookkeepers to simplify the process and remove any unnecessary stress – that’s why they’ve hired you. From understanding their financial obligations to having confidence in their record-keeping, there are plenty of headaches that some timely advice can remove. This can be as simple as a generic EOFY checklist to ensure clients have their finances in order, or custom advice unique to their businesses. If you’re not sure what to include, source relevant information from:
- Australia (FY 1 July – 30 June) – Getting prepared for EOFY
- New Zealand (FY 1 April – 31 March) – Income tax for businesses and organisations
- United Kingdom (FY 6 April – 5 April) – Advice for business and self-employed
2. Ensure they’re up with relevant legislation and requirements
Each year, there’s a raft of legislative changes that your clients need to consider when filing their tax returns. They must understand if these will affect their businesses and, if so, to what degree. While you should be keeping them up to date with changes as they happen, it pays to remind them again as EOFY approaches.
- For New Zealand businesses, this includes things like upcoming changes to the minimum wage, any COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme reporting requirement or changes to sick leave entitlements.
- Australian businesses need to be aware of mandatory use of SuperStream, changes to the National Minimum Wage, changes to reporting of closely held payees and COVID-19 support measures.
- Businesses in the UK should be prepared for a whole host of changes off the back of Brexit and reforms to things like the National Minimum Wage, Making Tax Digital for VAT changes and the VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction services.
3. Assist them to plan for the financial year ahead
EOFY is a great time to find out where you can add value when your clients plan for the year ahead. Think about how your firm can:
- Give added value – are there any insights you can draw from reviewing their customer data? Can you spot opportunities for the new financial year that they may not have noticed? Can you help them set financial goals and offer them tools to measure their success?
- Help them streamline internal processes – evaluate the processes your clients are using – are there ways they could improve? Simple automations built into most cloud technology and apps could benefit your clients and make EOFY tasks easier.
4. Communicate with them in the right way
Are you still posting reminder letters to your clients to book in for their tax returns? While any reminder is better than no reminder, scheduling emails is a far more effective and efficient way to connect. On top of that, it’s a great idea to follow up with a good old-fashioned phone call – it adds that personal touch. By planning for EOFY, you’ll be ready with the right advice at the right time, rather than scrambling during an already busy period.
Give your clients a head start and watch your relationships grow
As EOFY approaches, it’s all about making the process easy for your clients. By offering timely advice, you’ll relieve that sinking feeling many clients feel at EOFY and build your position as a trusted advisor (and your firm’s reputation) at the same time.
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