It is that time of the year again where small to medium businesses get to spend extra precious hours making sure their end of financial year accounts are organized.
In most cases your core accounting software will be a key part of your preparations, and you should definitely seek advice from the appropriate parties regarding that software, but we have prepared some tips that relate to I.T. to help you get through this stressful period.
Check your versions
Not all software applications require you to update versions yourself, but for those that do it’s often the case that a newer version is released in the period leading up to EOFY.
If you have not upgraded to the new version yet then you may find that you need to deal with an upgrade process at the same time as closing off your end of year accounts. This sometimes happens simply because there is a change to payroll or taxation rules and the updates need to be applied before 1st July.
If that is the case for you, don’t panic, because there are many ways to manage or even defer a version upgrade so that your EOFY processes can be completed without complication.
Perhaps the best option is to outsource the upgrade so that it can be done at a suitable time without impact on your operations. Your technology advisors should be able to arrange this for you, and they will be in a position to work around your schedule.
Another option is to schedule the upgrade immediately after EOFY, and again if you are busy you can outsource this task easily.
At the close of the financial year it is common to seek detailed financial or operational reporting from your systems. For some, this requirement may highlight the fact that the reporting available from their systems is not great.
In a previous article we have discussed the concept of creating a business dashboard, and that is definitely something to consider if you wish to tie in information from multiple systems into a single, slick, view that presents key business metrics in an easy to understand form.
But what about the more detailed reports, typically of a financial nature, that you may be seeking at EOFY. Users of desktop and cloud accounting software often find the reporting options available to be limiting, and the cost and complexity of developing their own reporting systems daunting.
There is an easier option which may deliver the reports you are seeking, potentially tailored to your specific industry, in the form of a third-party ‘add-on’.
Desktop and cloud software each provide interfaces for developers to create software that can connect to your software and deliver additional features or functions, and in the area of reporting there is significant demand for more detailed and tailored reports that go beyond the normal financial reports included with accounting software.
To see what is available simply ask your advisor, or visit the website of your software vendor and browse through the add-on options they list. The popular software options, including MYOB, Reckon, Xero and Saasu all offer a community of add-on products in a number of categories, including free and paid options.
As a prudent business person you already have a backup and disaster recovery process that is tested on a regular basis to confirm your ability to recover from an issue at all times.
Hopefully the above statement is true for you – it certainly should be, and if it’s not you may want to consider contacting us today!
At EOFY it’s a good idea to take extra precautions, and in particular to ensure that you are able to initiate manual backups of your key systems at any time. This ability is very useful for when you need to perform last minute changes or upgrades to your software as part of the end of year processes.
Most accounting software allows you to initiate backups manually of just your accounting information, but a backup of the system as a whole is a good idea, such as an ‘image’ or ‘snapshot’ backup system will create. By taking extra precautions you will avoid the situation where your core software changes or upgrades need to be reversed manually, with no backup of the system just prior to the changes.
The end of financial year is a difficult and stressful time for many business owners and staff, but with preparation and planning your I.T. systems can make things easier for you in ways that you may not expect.
* Note, we are in no way qualified to provide taxation or financial advice, and so you should definitely seek professional advice in the relevant areas before you take any actions that may be inspired by our article.