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BUSINESS ADVICE •  22 JULY 2022 • 6 MIN READ

8 questions to ask your accountant in the new financial year

a man and a woman saying hi to their online accountant via laptop at home

If you are a business owner in Australia, you’ve just started a new financial year. How did the last one go? Was there anything alarming? Was everything done and dusted before the key deadlines?

The end-of-financial-year is a big deal for business owners and accountants as they want to ensure everything is done correctly and on time. However, planning for the new financial year is equally important because it’s time for business owners to reassess their positions. 

As a business owner, what questions should you ask your accountant? We cover the top questions to ask an accountant in the new financial year. 

1. How can I do better with my cash flow?

Cash flow ensures the business’ sustainability and success in the long term. A profitable business needs enough cash to run its operation and cover its everyday expenses. That’s when a cash flow statement and a cash flow forecast come into place.

A cash flow statement shows all the money entering and leaving your business in a given period of time. In other words, it shows the money spent on paying off debts, paying employees, returns on investments, and other unforeseen movement cash when running your business. A cash flow forecast is an estimate of the incoming and outgoing cash for your business in the next year. 

So ask your accountant if there’s any room for you to improve your cash position in the new financial year. They may have some recommendations based on the key performance indicators.

2. Do I need to change to another business structure?

Business structures impact businesses in many different ways, from tax compliance to asset protection and liabilities. Choosing the right business structure that suits your needs may be one of the first steps you take when starting your business. However, you may benefit from other types of business structures with the expansion of your business.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when choosing a business structure, the right one might change when your needs change. So it’s necessary to talk to your accountant about your current situation and discuss if your business structure still suits you.

3. What business expenses can I deduct?

You could deduct most of the income-generating related expenses to reduce your tax. These business expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Home office expenses (if you run a business from home)
  • Motor vehicle expenses
  • Accounting and legal fees
  • Employees’ wages and salaries 
  • Insurance on business assets
  • Travel (domestic and international travel)

It’s important to know that for business expenses to be deductible, they have to directly relate to your business activity. Assets that are used personally will not be deductible, or the deduction may need to be split between business and private. Check with your accountant to see which business expenses are tax deductible and how much can be claimed. Your professional advisor can help you to understand more complicated circumstances, for example, how much you could claim if you travel for business but decided to stay an extra few days for a holiday.  

It’s much easier for your accountant to work on well-documented expenses, rather than scrambling to find information when the deadlines are approaching. 

4. How should I prepare for tax time?

Dealing with taxes can be time-consuming and daunting for business owners. You may need professional advice from your accountant on how to prepare for tax time, you can ask questions about how much money you need to set aside for taxes, what business expenses qualify for tax deductions, and what documents you need to provide for tax preparation.

Keeping a tax calendar handy can also give you some peace of mind to prepare you for filing taxes on time. Doing this can be as simple as marking those important tax due dates on your calendar and setting notifications. You can get a list of due dates on ATO’s website. 

An alternative way to handle your tax preparation is using Beany accountants. Our dashboard shows what taxes you need to pay and when they are due. Our Beany accountants will take care of your books so you don’t need to chew on the numbers and worry about missing deadlines.

5. How can I increase my profitability?

One of the biggest key performance indicators for business success is profitability. If you plan to grow or expand your business in the new financial year, you can use a number of strategies to improve your profitability. For example, cutting expenses, increasing revenue etc.

Ask your accountant what recommendations they have. They may suggest:

  • Negotiating with suppliers for better prices or to see if you could pay them on a payment plan
  • Switching suppliers if you are unable to get a better deal 
  • Offering complimentary products or services to win new business
  • Tax planning and minimisation 

Based on your business’s past performance and your goals, your accountant will help you to identify and implement the best strategies.

6. Are there any upcoming regulatory changes that can impact my business?

Accounting and tax rules and regulations change from time to time. New regulations can also arise through technological advancement and its by-products (e.g., crypto, NFTs). While you may not keep on top of every upcoming change or understand how they affect your business, your accountant needs to be aware of your activity so that they can provide the best support. Ask them how these changes can impact you and your business. 

7. What advice can you give me on my technology stack?

Technology is ever-growing. By reviewing and optimising your technology stack, you can manage and grow your business more efficiently. The new financial year is often a good time to reconsider the technology and processes you have in place, so you may want to ask your accountant how you can benefit from these latest technologies. At Beany, we always recommend cloud-based accounting software such as Xero, instead of keeping a manual logbook and manually sending invoices.

8. Do you know a good ____?

Do you need insurance? A business loan? Legal services? Real estate? Your accountant can’t provide all these services, but they may know someone who can, and will know advisors who are appropriate for your specific business. Ask them if they could recommend anyone. You may also want to ask if they’ve worked with them and their experience, as referrals that come from personal experience are the most trustworthy ones. 

At Beany, we work with partners to help businesses grow. We’ve listed a few of our partners below:

  • Legal service: Legal Vision (all-in-one legal solution for your business) 
  • Invoice financing: Fundtap (on-demand invoice finance)
  • HR: MyHR (on-demand HR experts and smart people management software)
  • Funding: Swoop (access the money and services you need to grow your business)

Who are Beany?

We’re an online accounting firm that is always right here for you, your accounting pain relief. The most advanced technology lets us work way more closely with you than a normal accountant world. 

We have a dedicated team of remote accountants to take care of your business no matter where you are, so you can focus on growing your business. We take out the ‘fluff’, break down the barriers and get things done. Looking out for you is what we are all about. Get started for free today.

Pete, Problem Solver

Got any questions about Beany?

Chat to one of our friendly problem solvers today to get clarity.

Tori as a dog

Tori Ma

Performance marketer

Performance marketer at Beany, and into true crime documentaries.

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