It’s February and the South African tax year-end is fast approaching. For most finance and admin staff, this time of year is very stressful. I have worked in environments that have a large emphasis on the year change over and in environments that have none.

Each industry has it’s own quirks and needs, just like each business is unique because of the people who are working there. We are of course excluding large corporations. These have their own image that each employee must support and present on its behalf.

Many years ago, I was told that my personality did not suite the corporate environment. Quite frankly, I am sure that the employment agency was right. With a tendency to say things before I have had the chance to think it through. My lack of tack has improved over the years – it takes daily practice.

The point – I actually have no idea what a corporate Financial year-end looks like. I do know that a corporate year-end is very stressful, my husband and sister-in-law both work in corporate. With my sister-in-law on the finance side of things, so I see what that stress looks like.

In small businesses, your year-end can run as smooth or as chaotic as you prepare it to be. We are in control of our own admin processes and workflows.

My top tips:
  • Send out year-end notices to suppliers and customers, asking them all to send you your account status statements – you need one if you are audited even if it’s a zero
  • If their system can’t print you a zero, then print that email from them and keep it in that file as proof of zero
  • Should you need some downtime for stock take, send that notice now, with another reminder the week of your stock take and a final follow up the morning of the day that you close orders
  • Are you are BEEE registered? Then you need to start collecting certificates from your suppliers and customers, you can include that in your year-end notice or on a separate email
  • Donation certificates, have you been keeping track of those? No, then you will need to request them from those registered organizations (you will need this to claim back your % income tax as well as when you reapply for BEEE status – so keep copies)
  • Depending on your turnover and how you are registered for tax, you may need individual months proof of tax contributions (e-filing) along with proof of payment

Finally, the biggest preparation you need is to get the support of your employees and your family in this potentially difficult time.

If you would like my templates for year-end notices with the above – sign up for my newsletter, they will be hitting inboxes in the next week or so.

I have a passion for making order out of chaotic numbers and papers. With 20 years experience, I have mastered getting those admin ducks to obey and stay in their rows.