Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

The end of financial year (EOFY) is just around the corner and Australia’s EOFY experts have revealed the most common slip-ups small businesses make.

In an Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) member survey conducted in partnership with tax and accounting service provider, MYOB, it was revealed that 56 per cent of respondents said their clients were almost prepared with submitting their EOFY statements, but just needed to finalise a few things.

40 per cent said their clients try to be ready, but need much more preparation, while four per cent said their clients weren’t prepared at all. No respondents said their clients were completely prepared.

IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway said, “We encourage small businesses to draw on the expertise of their public accountant beyond compliance reporting and income tax returns. Engagement with their accountant during the course of the year can be very beneficial, as they can access strategic business and planning advice to help them become more profitable. They can also be provided with a more holistic service including assistance with sales and growth forecasts, cash flow management, accessing funds and succession planning.”

piggy bank near block letters
Engagement with their accountant during the course of the year can be very beneficial, as they can access strategic business and planning advice to help them become more profitable.

- ANDREW CONWAY, IPA

When asked about the most important steps business operators could take to prepare for EOFY, accountants ranked first “advise on any major transactions throughout the year as they happen (sale of land, shares etc.)” at 91 per cent. Second equal was “responding to requests for additional information in a timely manner” at 84 per cent and “clarity and consistency of information provided in support of their financial statement” at 84 per cent. Third was “ensure all documents sent through are labelled/organised”.

Top 5 mistakes made with EOFY statements

  1. Miscoding bank transactions 65 per cent, on par with last year's survey
  2. Not keeping accounts and records up-to-date throughout the year 58 per cent, slightly down from 62 per cent
  3. No contact with their accountant over the financial year 58 per cent, up from 42 per cent
  4. Does not provide enough detailed or supporting information 49 per cent, down from 64 per cent
  5. Not fully trained up on accounting software functionality 46 per cent, up from 39 per cent
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