As the end of the financial year (EOFY) draws to a close it presents the dual challenge of maintaining business as usual while conducting a full audit of, and reporting on, the year’s activities.
Filing tax returns, consolidating credit card and travel expenses, and producing a comprehensive view of relevant business data are complicated tasks, especially given the higher scrutiny on Australian businesses this year by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). However, automation can potentially solve these issues, according to SAP Concur.
Businesses can offload much of the EOFY overhead by implementing systems that automate most data gathering and reporting throughout the year. Using a modern toolset to streamline expense and invoicing management, companies can integrate many touchpoints and data streams, extracting up-to-date snapshots of key business metrics at any time.
This contributes to ongoing processing accuracy and timeliness, and better financial planning, while also eliminating much of the back-office busy work that EOFY generates in manual processes.
Fabian Calle, managing director of small and medium business, SAP Concur Australia and New Zealand, said, “From an operational standpoint, EOFY should be no harder for a business than any other kind of reporting.
“By automating the process of collating business data and making it accessible throughout the entire year, organisations simplify on-demand access to key information.
“Putting all business data in one place empowers companies to do more with it, feeding back into the improvement of processes, and providing better visibility of activity, which contributes to success.
A key reporting times like EOFY, processes are automated with a structured output available in multiple views and formats depending on what the business needs.
”This high-level awareness, paired with proactive planning, can pay off in more ways than just process optimisation. Better tracking of incoming and outgoing financial data lets a business more readily track losses and plan for tax-loss selling. It can also help identify where the business may qualify for other tax or industry offsets based on their financial activity throughout the year.
Fabian Calle said, “There is a range of grants, rebates, offsets, discounts and benefits that businesses may be entitled to and not even realise it. For lack of visibility, they miss out year after year. In the example of tax-loss selling, being across exact losses and when to sell is an important factor in calculating tax liability come to the end of the financial year.”
Automating invoicing and expenses, and then integrating that data with common reporting formats helps relieve the administrative burden that many companies face as EOFY approaches. With the right tools already in place, this time can be better spent analysing how a business is tracking, identifying what works, and shedding what doesn’t.
EOFY can be the best time for companies to implement new processes and systems designed to reduce overheads and integrate efficiencies across the business. By leveraging finance automation tools as standard, the sudden crunch that’s often felt in the lead-up to EOFY can be avoided, freeing up time and cost that goes back to ensuring business stability and resilience.
Fabian Calle said, “Reframing EOFY from high-intensity triage to a more focused, proactive road-mapping process is good for team morale and creates positive momentum toward a culture of success.“
As companies eliminate needless, repetitive, and time-consuming manual tasks, while having better visibility of how the business is tracking, EOFY becomes more about planning and evaluating how to achieve goals in the year to come.
This lets the business undertake a more nuanced discovery process, exploring cost reductions, offsets, and benefits that go back into driving better operational efficiencies.
”SAP Concur has released a new 2022 EOFY checklist for Australian businesses to help companies navigate the 2021-22 EOFY process.
The free checklist is available at https://www.concur.com.au/resource-centre/ebooks/end-financial-year-checklist-australian-businesses