While business is busier than usual, there’s staff and client parties and gifts, organising of holidays and Christmas shopping that needs to be factored in, making it challenging to keep tabs on your incomings and outgoings.

So we’ve put together a few tips and reminders to help you get your priorities in order, and prevent a nasty post-holiday headache when you return to work in 2015.

According to Xero, analysis of small business customers in New Zealand from 2011 to 2014 has shown accounts receivable is on average more than 30 per cent lower in January than the 12 month average.

Couple this with meeting the provisional tax deadline on January 15, and it can be a bit of a stressful start to the year for some.

Reconcile daily – the better you get to know your books, the clearer idea you’ll have of where you’re at, and what’s outstanding.  Xero’s daily reconciliation is easy to use and immediately delivers an accurate picture of your books.

Write detailed descriptions in your invoices – no one enjoys getting a bill where the costings, time and materials are not clearly stated.  Save yourself a frustrated phone call or email from a customer by breaking down the payment and make it easy for them to digest.

Set your terms – it sounds so simple, but be sure to let your clients know when the invoice is due.

Become a pro at invoicing and collections – late paying clients are a real problem for businesses.  

Did you know only 50% of businesses pay on time? Look for ways to overcome this hurdle by invoicing promptly and setting up invoice reminders.  Collect and chase payments as soon as it looks like payment may be forthcoming.

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