In Ireland, most people think that Autumn is an accountancy firm’s busiest season. The 23rd of September is when Irish corporate tax returns are due for businesses with a year ended 31 December, the majority of businesses, and personal tax returns must be filed by 31 October. Many firms are “up the walls” in September through mid November, working weekends and late nights to get all the returns done by the deadlines.
We’ve learned that there are many advantages for clients, and ourselves, to stop chasing deadlines and work toward completing corporate annual accounts as early as possible in the fiscal year, regardless of the time of year it falls.
The Advantages of Early Completion of Your Corporate Annual Accounts
- One less big task off your to do list. Clients are often stressed about getting together the records and information required to prepare the annual accounts. If you focus on getting this to your accountant as early as possible after year end, it’s out of the way and leaves you clear to focus on the business for the current year.
- Better strategic planning early in the year. Instead of using estimates for most of the year, you’ll have solid information, in the form of finalised accounts, early on to analyse past results and plan for the current and future years.
- Ability to consult with your accountants and business advisors before your accounts are finalised. If your accounts are being prepared and filed at the last minute, there is very little time to consider options in the way things are accounted for. Also, your accountant/advisor will have more time to consult with you outside of the traditional business period.
- More time to make arrangements to pay any liability. If you have a tax liability, it is due by the filing deadline, not when you file; so there is no downside to filing early. It’s best to know as soon as possible if you are going to have a tax liability. If it’s significant you have months to plan out how you will pay it, rather than days.
- Banks favour clients that present finalised accounts within 3 months of the year end. If you are going for financing, or even have outstanding loans to discuss with your bank manager, the bank will look more favourably on your situation if you have finalised accounts completed within 3 months of your fiscal year end — and if you are prepared to analyse the results of your company based on them, which you will have time for as noted in point #3 above. If you are looking for investment or to sell your business, having finalised accounts to hand will be an advantage.
At O’Mahony Donnelly, we don’t have “a busy season”. We are working with our clients all throughout the year to provide them, not only with services to comply with statutory deadlines, but with strategic planning and advice so they know at all times where their businesses are now — and that their businesses are on track for ongoing success and growth.