Five New Year’s business resolutions for 2017

Practical suggestions for a fantastic year

This month, millions of us made New Year’s resolutions for a happier and healthier 2017. With your personal resolutions underway, why not make a positive change to the way you manage your business finances – our suggestions aim to make 2017 easier, create more time and save you money.

January is an ideal time to make changes and improve the way you manage your finances. To help make 2017 your best year yet, we’ve outlined five business and accounting resolutions, with practical suggestions to help you achieve your goals.

Resolution 1: Meet your deadlines and stop paying penalties

There’s nothing more frustrating than paying a penalty charge because you’ve accidently missed a tax deadline. HMRC issue automatic charges for late filings and submissions, so it’s crucial to prepare for deadlines well in advance. To help with this, we recommend putting alerts in your diary before each deadline.

Here are ten key deadlines to include:

  1. Personal tax returns & self-assessment tax (1st instalment) – file and pay by 31 Jan
  2. Self assessment tax (2nd instalment) – pay by 31 July
  3. Form CT600 – file 12 months after your year end
  4. Corporation tax – pay nine months after your year end
  5. VAT returns – file one month after the quarter end
  6. Quarterly VAT – pay seven days after VAT return filing date
  7. RTI submissions – due on or before each payday
  8. PAYE & NIC – pay monthly by the 19th of the following month
  9. Financial statements – file within nine months of your year end
  10. Auto enrolment obligations – dependent on your Staging Date

Resolution 2: Get started with cloud accounting

Cloud accounting software gives you greater financial control, updates your accounts in real-time and frees up more of your time. Automated functions take care of laborious tasks like chasing invoices and, with everything stored in one place, there’s no frantic piecing together of information at the year end.

We can show you how easy it is to set up and use ClearBooks, Xero or FreeAgent software, and you’ll have instant access to a personalised dashboard which features all your key financial information.

Timesaving cloud accounting features:

  • Sales invoices can be produced and emailed directly to your customers
  • Credit control can be automated to remind customers that owe money
  • Bank transactions can be set to automatically upload overnight
  • Expense claims are quickly recorded, and receipts can be uploaded

Resolution 3: Budget for tax bills by completing your returns early

The earlier you find out how much tax you owe, the easier it is to budget for payments. To receive the maximum warning time, complete your tax returns as early as possible by sharing your tax return details with us as soon as you can after 5 April 2017.

For 2017, it’s more important than ever to complete your tax returns early, particularly if you take a significant portion of your income from dividends – taxation of dividends has changed for 2017 and, with additional liabilities likely to arise, planning ahead is crucial.

Resolution 4: Make more of our expertise and resources

Here at Maitland, we aim to keep you informed throughout the year with accounting news and advice that directly affects your business. To do this, we make our full range of resources available to you.

Our resources include:

  • Up-to-date resources and guides available via our website
  • Regular blogs with the latest tax and accounting news and info
  • Factsheets providing business, tax and financial information
  • One-on-one contact via Skype, email, phone-calls and meet-ups

To help us do even more for you, it’s a good idea to keep us updated with your business developments, and we encourage you to contact us with any queries, no matter how large or small.

For example, we can help with:

Cloud accounting: Ask for help at our office, on Skype or over the phone.

IR35 advice: We can introduce you to our IR35 specialists, Qdos Contractor.

Business expenses: We’ll guide your through what’s allowable and how to claim. For quick referencing, we even have an expenses A-Z guide.

Mortgage applications: If you need your accounts or tax return early to support an application, tell us as soon as possible so we can help you.

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Resolution 5: Achieve your financial goals with better planning

Make 2017 the year that you achieve or make real progress towards meeting your financial objectives. Start by taking stock of your current position and making a clear plan for the year.

Use our financial expertise to help you plan the year effectively and set realistic targets. We give friendly and professional advice based on your individual circumstances, and can suggest practical steps to get you where you want to be.

To keep your investments, pensions and insurance cover on track, you may also want to run a financial health check with your financial adviser, who we are more than happy to work with.

Make a fantastic start to 2017 with help from our friendly team. For help on planning the year ahead, or for more advice on any of the above, call us on 01825 748308.