There’s a debate about when the silly season begins. Is it one month or five months before December? Generally we tend to think anytime your business picks up each year is the starting point. No matter when that period is for you, it’s a great idea to prepare your books beforehand. Take time at the start of the last and busiest quarter to update your receipts and check on the financial health of your business.

1. Pour Over Your Invoices

If there are stacks of mail or unexamined documents on your desk, recruit a friend or employee to provide support, moral or otherwise, and go through it all to locate missing funds.

Although it can be hard as an entrepreneur to make time for finances, you cannot ignore the CFO hat during the silly season. Otherwise it’s a hard lesson from the ATO.

2. Annotate & Itemise Your Receipts

We keep saying it but the importance of receipts can’t be ignored! Keep all your receipts and annotate them. Was it a company lunch or a stationary run?

Log you business outgoings in an excel spreadsheet or the accounting software you use. Expensify and Hubdoc offer receipt scanning capabilities that you can then tag. Otherwise, see our blog post 4 Free Accounting Tools for Start Ups’ for more complex for expenditure tracking options.

Your books are basically a large pile of crumpled receipts, ordered and itemised. This is where the receipt annotation comes in hand. Log receipts numerically to list what type of expense it is. This helps with last minute scrambling and saves tons of time.

3. Chase Payments

If this is your first year of business, or you’re a solo-prenuer, most likely you won’t have to rely on extensive accounting systems at the outset. Set email reminders or simply have a system in place for tracking invoices, so you’re being paid for your work. You deserve it.

4. Befriend Your Creditors

On the opposite side of the spectrum, don’t be someone who keeps people in the dark with overdue payments. Ensure the holiday season doesn’t get too overwhelming by staying in constant contact with people you owe money too. By doing so, you reassure them, and yourself, that you will come through and the constant communication is a reminder of what you need to prioritise and work on.’
Good luck out there for the Christmas period! When in doubt take a deep breath, recruit help and give yourself healthy treats. You’ve earned it. If you’re really in a Christmas jam, you can always reach out to AFY and we’ll help you sort out what needs to be done.