Xero has recently released research on Australian small-business owners’ attitudes and feelings towards their end of financial year (EOFY) reporting and compliance requirements.

Contrary to popular opinion that it’s a difficult time of year, Xero’s research found small businesses had a mostly positive outlook, with the most prevalent emotions being pride (43 per cent) and joy (21 per cent). Only one in eight small-business owners (12 per cent) cited panic.

The survey revealed that most small businesses (80 per cent) used EOFY to sum up their business’s achievements, with the majority (78 per cent) also using this time to self-reflect on whether business objectives had been achieved in the past financial year.

Matthew Prouse, Head of Industry at Xero, said that while managing EOFY and tax time, could be overwhelming for some business owners, it wasn’t purely a time of stress.

“For most small-business owners, EOFY is a positive time – a time for review, reflection, and refreshing the outlook for the new financial year ahead. But if you’re feeling stressed about all of the paperwork required with tax time – you’re not alone. I’d look at it like a reminder to book an appointment with a registered BAS or tax agent.” Prouse said.

Prouse added that the research also revealed some helpful insights from small-business owners on how they manage to get through tax time with a spring in their step.

“Our research polled many small-business veterans who’ve been doing what they love for more than a decade, and their perspective on tax time could be invaluable for business owners who are just starting out,” he added. These tips include:

  • Consider tax time as an opportunity to truly understand how your business is performing. This was a viewpoint shared by four in five (81 per cent) of small business owners polled. Three in four (77 per cent) also said they enjoyed getting their taxes completed and seeing what they had achieved in the past financial year.
  • Get help from a qualified accountant or bookkeeper. This was the avenue turned to by 89 per cent of business owners as a way to manage EOFY stress, with three in five (70 per cent) saying it enabled them to be more confident that everything was in order, and 69 per cent agreeing that accountants and bookkeepers were more abreast of changes to legislation than they were.
  • Use your accountant as a source of support. The research revealed 78 per cent found their relationship with their accountant was the most valuable source of support in running their business. Further, business owners were more future-driven when seated in front of their accountant, with the majority (69 per cent) feeling they would receive strategic counsel on how to move the business forward.
  • Get organised. Three in five (62 per cent) small-business owners said having systems and processes in place helped them feel in control of the business, while 57 per cent said getting everything they needed to make important decisions helped.
  • Remember why you started your small business in the first place. Of the business owners who said they felt they were losing control of their business, more than half (59 per cent) said getting clarity on the business’ direction helped them get control back. Other helpful practices included: reminding themselves of the reason for starting (56 per cent) and seeking support from their accountants/advisors (37 per cent).

Originally published via Inside Small Business

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