Your accounting checklist

The steps below can help you to keep your business’ accounting on track.

1. Improving your financial position

Review your business finances with your financial advisor or accountant. Look at whether you met your targets last financial year and what you can do differently this year to help your business grow.

Find out how to improve your financial position.

2. Checking your registrations and licences

Your business operations may have changed during the year. Review the current licences, permits and registrations your business holds.

Check what registrations and licences you need.

3. Reviewing your bookkeeping system

Keeping good records:

  • makes running your business much easier
  • may be needed to comply, depending on your industry
  • helps you to keep track of how your business is going financially

Learn more about record keeping.

4. Updating your business and marketing plans

Take time to set yourself up for the year ahead. Updating your business and marketing plan can:

  • help you review your goals and priorities
  • assess whether your business strategies are working

Learn more about business plans.

5. Getting support and advice

Running a small business can be overwhelming and requires a variety of skills. Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it.

Check our guidance on choosing a professional to do your accounts.

6. Reviewing your insurances

Check that you have the right insurance policies in place for your business, particularly if your circumstances change. You may need to update your level of cover if you’ve:

  • moved location
  • started employing people
  • changed your business structure

Find out what insurance your business needs.

7. Backing up and securing your files

Don’t leave it until it’s too late. Backup and store your important business information in a secure off-site location. Include things like:

  • business registrations
  • financial information
  • customer data

Consider cloud accounting, bookkeeping or payroll software to process certain government tax forms.

Find out more about the cloud computing software service on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Check out our tips to protect your business from cyber threats.

Choosing a professional to do your accounts

The right accountant or bookkeeper can help you maximise your business income. They can also help with your books and the financial health of your business.

The financial professionals to consider using include:

  • Accountant – can help with your business’ financial needs including preparing financial statements, managing your tax and providing financial and business advice.
  • Bookkeeper – can keep track of your day-to-day financial transactions, look after your banking, chase overdue payments, pay wages and prepare some financial statements.
  • Business activity statement (BAS) agent – can help you prepare and lodge your BAS to make sure you get it right. They're registered professionals who are specialists in their field.

Even if you have a professional to look after your books or accounts, you’re still responsible for any financial decisions. Read more about where to find financial help for your business.

Check their registrations

Whoever you choose to help with your accounts needs to have the right qualifications for the job. They should also be a member of an accounting or bookkeeping professional body.

The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) website can check if your tax agents, BAS agents or tax (financial) advisers is registered.

There are two ways you can check:

  1. Search the TPB register.
  2. Look for the registered tax practitioner symbol on their website, stationery, brochures or business cards. The registered tax practitioner symbol includes the type of registration and their individual registration number.

Questions to help you decide

Deciding on the right person to do you accounts or give you financial advice really depends on what your business needs. To help you decide, shop around and ask yourself:

  • Which one can do the job?
  • Do they have similar business clients to your business?
  • Do others recommend them?
  • Do they charge fees within your budget?
  • Do you feel comfortable working with them long-term?

Read next

Check our list of essential tasks to do at the end of the financial year.

Find out how to organise your finances.