There’s nothing better than realising it’s July 1, so you’d better dig all those receipts out of your overly stuffed wallet, photograph them and upload them to Xero so your accountant doesn’t go crook at you.
Not only because you can count those expenses racking up against your income – the only time I’m ever even mildly grateful that software like Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign switched to an annual subscription model – but because you can see where you’ve been, corporately speaking.
Especially if you’re pretty slack about this stuff, as I am, so all those brunch meetings where you paid the bill because you had a good feeling about ventures that never went anywhere – well, they’re all here in black and white (and I should never have trusted the woman who ordered a normal coffee followed by a soy one).
All those roads not taken, nascent ideas strangled in the crib, other cliched and/or violent imagery. In one stack of deductions.
It’s also a nice time to use all those fancy reports in your online-subscription-model accounting software, especially the ones where they tell you the different sources of income and you realise you should probably vary up your client base a bit more in case things go bung.
Which, I can tell you from experience, is a vicious circle that will lead to more of those coffee-switcher brunches and a personal notebook filled with scrawled hieroglyphs that will mean nothing when it comes time to write your business memoir. (Don’t panic – ghostwriters can translate that stuff, and our rates are very reasonable.)
(Seriously though, if I had a time machine I’d like to ask circa-2016 Shane what he meant by “ORPHIC OPHIDIAN” or even “TV like a fireplace! Very loyal”.)
Cut-up poetry of the past aside, a new financial year is also a great opportunity to lay out a roadmap for yourself over the coming set of 12.
One way to do that is to beat yourself up about all the things you didn’t do during 2018-19, and recalibrate those goals to torture yourself in four BASes’ time.
Another way is to sweep the desk clear, chuck everything out and start fresh. Forget about what the old you was kidding themselves about what they were going to achieve. Forget about the things you did achieve.
Take stock of where you are, who’s putting money in your pocket and what might change between now and next time a financial year ends. What does the immediate future look like, and what goals are going to fit well with the most likely situation? Or, if you’re of a more pessimistic bent, what goals are going to fit well with not really getting much done because things trundle along and that’s cool like why are we all so obsessed with endless growth anyway?