One of the most important times of the year for any self-employed person or company director is January - tax month! It can be super stressful if you don't get your accounts sorted in time for the new year - it really is a case of ' the sooner you start thinking about sorting out your accounts, the better'. 
 
With that said, here are our top nine reasons why you should get your accounts completed as soon as possible... 

1. Get clarity on your tax bill... 

You don’t want to be caught with a surprising tax bill. That’s why you want to get clarity on your bill as soon as possible, so you know exactly how much you owe and by when. It also gives you time to dispute the figure, should that be necessary, and to budget so that you definitely have the money when it comes time to pay. 

2. ...in case it's lower than expected! 

Sometimes, the tax bill might be distinctly lower than you had assumed it would be. This is a rare treat, and when it happens it is cause for celebration. If you get your tax return and accounts in early, you can find out about this spare cash much sooner, and so make plans to make good use of that extra money. 

3. It's good general practice 

There are many reasons why you want to try and keep your accounts up to date as often as possible anyway, and which this is going to help you with greatly. If you get your accounts done early, you will find that you are going to then be able to show to your customers, clients and suppliers whatever they need to know, whenever they need to know it. This can help improve your relations with them in the long run, and show your professionalism. 

4. Keep your financial affairs fresh in your mind 

Because your accounts will always include and involve the transactions that have carried through your business and other recent financial information, it means that this data is going to be fresh in your mind. That enables you to look more knowledgeable in those meetings where that matters, and to keep you alive to what changes you need to look out for in business. 

5. Utilise tech 

These days, there is little excuse not to get your accounts completed early and certainly before the deadline, as there is so much tech out there that makes it so easy to keep accounts in order. You should be keeping records in real-time, and that should be making the whole process of getting your accounts sorted much easier. 

6. It might help you with getting credit, or a mortgage 

If you are hoping to get hold of a mortgage or any other kind of credit, the lender is going to want your most recent info. It will really help speed things up if you are able to provide it for them immediately, without first having to rush around and get it all sorted. That could speed things up profoundly, which might well help you along in getting that mortgage or credit. 

7. Get complete clarity on your spending 

Having done your accounts for the year, you can see in no uncertain terms exactly where you are spending your cash. That will give you an insight into where you should be saving cash, which you can start doing straight away - and so set yourself up for a better financial year! Keeping track of your spending is always a good idea. 

8. Help budget for 2021 

Going on from that, once you have your accounts done, it means that you can then start to budget for the next year, and that you will be able to do that so much more effectively now that you know what position you are really in. It is basically just useful information for yourself that you could be giving yourself right now, rather than waiting until later in the year when you're likely to be stressed (and potentially make errors!). 

9. You’ll be able to relax over Christmas and New Year! 

How many Christmases and New Years have you spent with that niggling reminder to get your tax return sorted at the back of your mind? It’s the one time of year you’re supposed to be able to let loose, relax and do nothing other than have family time and spoil yourself with all that amazing festive food and drink. Do you really want to be worrying about finding the time in January to get your self-assessment in? January is always such a hectic month for business owners as it is, and it will do you the world of good to have that week or so of pure relaxation – and indulgence! – before the new year kicks in. 

Need help with your tax return? 

As you can see, there are many great reasons why you should try to do your accounts as soon as possible. The earlier you get it done and dusted, the more likely it is that you are going to have a stronger financial year coming up, and the more confident you will feel that you are in a good position on the whole. It is a good practice to keep on top of it, so make sure to do so as soon as you can. 
 
If you really can't bear to start sifting through your books, we would be happy to help. Simply send us an email or book a call, and ask about our self-assessment services. 
 
 
 
 
Written by: 
 
Nicola J Sorrell - 
Effective Accounting 
 
Founder | Xero Champion | IR35 Expert 
Tagged as: Personal Tax
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