This article is re-produced courtesy of the Agri Women’s Development Trust
For many farmers, the end of the financial year is fast-approaching. Here are a few tips from Understanding Your Farm Business Facilitator and rural accounting specialist, Lawrence Field. This example is for a 30 June balance date.
- Stock Tallies: what is actually on farm at 30 June 2017? Plan for when you can get an accurate count – during stock movements, yarding, scanning or shearing.
- Stock Rec: using Cashmanager RURAL, another template or a paper stock reconciliation.
Does Open + Birth + Purchase = Sales + Death + Closing for each stock class – e.g. rising one heifers, and for each stock type e.g. all sheep, all cattle, all deer?
- Financial records: Do you have a tidy folder (paper or electronic) of all invoices you have paid and all income you have received – bank statements, GST returns, loan documents, interest and dividend certificate, asset purchases etc.
- Does your accountant schedule when they would like you to bring in your records? If not, give them a call and work out when you want your accounts completed and therefore when you need to drop off your records.
- Have you completed your accountant’s questionnaire, either on paper or online? Make a note of any specific issues you would like to discuss. Specify that you would like a draft set of accounts and tax returns one week before you meet. Note any significant changes, sales, purchases over the last year. Does your accountant have a copy of your business plan or goals?
- If your revised budget for this year indicates a large change either up or down from last year, contact your accountant now about any actions to take and any changes required to P3 (third provisional tax) due 28 July.
- Once you’ve digested your draft accounts, consider emailing your accountant before your meeting with questions you have and topics for discussion. It gives them time to think about the issues.
- Ask your accountant “What can we do better next year with our coding or record keeping? How can we get the most value from you?”