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Finance Top Tips for 2020

For those wanting to make 2020 bigger and better than 2019 the time to take action is now.

From reviewing your business plan, current practices and finances to planning future opportunities, a new-year review is an advantageous step for all businesses to take.

Making your business more successful is a goal of every business owner. And the key to a more successful business is understanding your numbers and having a business plan and financial forecast. While it may seem daunting to have a proper analysis of your financial position and business operation, it’s highly valuable. The new year is the perfect time to review your business to help guide it to more prosperity in 2020.

So, where should business owners start? We talk to Shaun Donaldson, Director of Halpin Partners accountants, for advice on how to kick start 2020 to put you on the road to better business outcomes.

“If you do the same things in 2020 that you did in 2019 you will get the same results,” he says. “If you don’t change, 2020 will turn out a lot like 2019. This doesn’t mean you need to change everything; however, you need to do things differently in areas where you want to improve and get better results.

“My number one tip is, even if you think you have all the answers, consult with someone about your business. This could be your current accountant, a different accountant or a business coach. It is amazing the insight you can gain from someone with a fresh set of eyes who offers different approaches and has different experiences.”

Accountants can provide valuable insight into your financials, while business coaches help develop long-term and short-term strategies and goals. They are both also skilled at looking at areas in your business that could be improved upon that you might have overlooked.

Having a qualified and experienced accountant gives you an in-depth analysis of your business’ performance, much like a trusted business advisor. They also assist you in determining the best areas for growth in your business and create financial forecasts to help you make better business decisions.

Shaun says that for those who want to improve their businesses financial performance it is important to follow three steps. The first step is to have a clear understanding of your businesses financial position, KPI’s and your key expense areas.

The second step is to benchmark your business to others to see if there are areas you can improve performance. The third part is to use these benchmarks to prepare a meaningful budget and track your actual performance against this each month. This process will highlight areas that need attention.

For those looking at cost savings two areas usually offer the biggest savings.

“Insurance and finance are two of the biggest expenses for Far North Queensland businesses,” Shaun says. “If you haven’t done so in the past 12 months, I recommend reviewing your insurance and finance requirements to make sure you are getting the best deal.”

He also recommends reviewing your credit card use.

“Credit cards are easy-to-access funds, but they are one of the most expensive forms of finance. Any old credit card debt that cannot be quickly repaid should be refinanced into a new card with interest free-periods or refinanced with a lower rate loan.”

2020 is already starting to bring its challenges to Cairns. The devastating forest fires and the coronavirus are having a major effect on tourism across the country, which is impacting a large number of local businesses. As well as planning for the future, getting expert advice to help navigate through the tough times will only benefit your business.

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