End of Financial Year: These four little words can be enough to make even the most seasoned property manager break out in a cold sweat. But with some prior preparation, the process can be completely smooth and stress-free.
Here are five things you can do to ease the EOFY burden.
1 PAY OUTSTANDING INVOICES
The EOFY tends to see phones running hot and inboxes overflowing. Owners want the peace of mind of knowing that any outstanding invoices relating to their property are paid before the clock ticks over to a new financial year.
When you receive a request from an owner to ensure their invoices are paid before 30 June, take a moment to check that there are sufficient funds available. If there are insufficient funds in the trust account, ask the owner to transfer the relevant amount so you can pay the invoice. Alternatively, offer them the option to pay the invoice themselves.
From time to time, you’ll receive a request from an owner to delay payment of some invoices until the new financial year. If this is the case, be sure to separate these out to be processed after the EOFY. Don’t leave them floating around on your desk. You don’t want to accidentally process an invoice in a mad rush of activity in the lead-up to 30 June.
2 GIVE CREDITORS A DEADLINE
Ask creditors to submit their invoices by a certain date. The last thing you want is to have them handing you a pile of invoices on the day you’re due to run your EOFY process.
And don’t leave entering the invoices until the day of running your EOFY process. Avoid rushing things. If you do, mistakes will inevitably occur which will lead to the owner receiving an incorrect EOFY statement.
3 PREVIEW EOFY STATEMENTS
Take the time to doublecheck that all EOFY statements are correct before you send them to your owners. Errors are not only unprofessional but can cause headaches when owners calculate their tax obligations.
Preview the statements and amend any errors or inconsistencies in expenses and income prior to sending them out. The last thing you want is the grief caused by incorrect EOFY statements.
The time you need to set aside for checking all statements will depend on the size of your rent roll. No matter how long it may take, you should always take the time to check. It will save you time in the long run.
4 CHARGE AN EOFY STATEMENT FEE
If your management agency agreements state that you charge a fee to produce the EOFY statement, don’t forget to charge it. Check that you’ve charged the fee correctly and haven’t overcharged or undercharged your owner.
5 RUN YOUR NORMAL CHECKS
Don’t forget to complete your normal endof-month checks too. Make sure you: • Check you have enough stationery, including cheques and printer toner • Check the letting fees, advertising fees and other fees charged to ensure they’re correct and you’ve not missed any • Check overpaid tenant rent and hold these funds back from the owner or refund the overpaid amount to the tenant • Ensure your bank reconciliation balances and never leave it to the last minute. Reconciling your accounts is critical to a smooth process.
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
It’s best practice to carry out each of the above tasks before you run your EOFY process, so block out the necessary time to complete these checks and be sure to keep distractions to an absolute minimum. Don’t pick up those phone calls or answer emails until they are complete.
With the right preparation, your EOFY process can be smooth, efficient and stressfree! ■