Bringing Overdue Books Up To Date
Look after future you by looking after now.
It’s quite common for our bookkeepers to see clients experiencing feelings of anxiety and embarrassment when we begin to discuss bookwork, end of quarter deadlines and taxes owed.
This situation occurred when a young tradesman contacted Nifty Bookkeeping and told us he was newly married, and they’d just moved into a new house and were excited about starting a family. He also informed us that he hadn’t done any tax returns or book work since he began his business; that all the correspondence from the ATO, he had either put into the bottom drawer under something else or he had thrown it away.
He hadn’t mentioned this to his new wife as he was embarrassed and just felt sick about it. He put his head in his hands and asked was he going to jail?
This tradesman believed his life was about to be over, when it had really just begun.
After we discussed the options of catching up the bookwork and explained that his new wife could be his greatest ally, we put together a strategy of engaging with a local accountant and began the process of entering the data.
He handed over all of the paperwork which revealed that all of his accounts with suppliers were up-to-date, but he hadn’t completed any of the cheque stubs as he paid them.
So, his wife and I went to the creditors’ statements and retrieved the cheque number, then on the statement, we found the amount and the date the cheque cleared. Fortunately, he wasn’t as busy as he eventually became, so for each year there were only about 200 cheques to wade through, but it was for 5 years’ worth of books. Eventually, we found about 98% of the details, I set up a data file and we commenced entering of the data.
With a full 5 years’ worth of completed books, we took it to his accountant, and they were able to lodge the returns and the client was able to engage with the ATO in a payment plan which we continued to maintain the current financial year.
At this point he no longer felt anxiety and embarrassment about his paperwork.
He went from strength to strength, growing his business to a very successful size, with employees and a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.