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New (Tax) Year Resolutions: 3 in 5 Smb Owners Use the New Tax Year to Set Goals and Plan for Success

Despite the fact that 3 in 10 small business owners find this period the most stressful in the running and maintaining of their business, second only to Christmas

  • 1 in 6 losing sleep over end of tax year process, but businesses that seek support from an accountant report feeling more confident that their taxes are filed correctly (33%) and less stressed (24%)
  • Just over 6 in 10 (62%1) see New Tax Year as opportunity to set new goals and turn year-end insights into business success
  • New Tax Year Guide authored by wellbeing expert Adrienne Herbert (@AdrienneLDN) explores goal-setting, powerful habits, and overcoming challenges

London, 30 March 2023 – New research from Intuit QuickBooks reveals that 30% of small business (SMB) owners surveyed find preparing for the start of the New Tax Year the most stressful and high pressure time of year in running and maintaining their business, second only to the busy Christmas period (51%). 

Completing tax year end protocols is a necessary step for SMB owners, but for 33%, managing this period is their least favourite part of running a business. Yet despite the challenges, 62%1 of SMB owners see the new tax year as an opportunity to set new goals, to better themselves and their business.

That’s why Intuit QuickBooks is launching The Guide to Successfully Setting New Tax Year Resolutions, authored by wellbeing expert Adrienne Herbert (@AdrienneLDN) and professional accountant Rachel Harris (@Accountant_She). The Guide will help SMB owners support their business success and their own wellbeing, helping them set effective goals and implement ‘powerful habits’ to drive successful outcomes for their business.

Work/life challenges

With so many financial admin and reporting tasks to be completed, on top of the usual day-to-day running of the business, the end of the tax year poses significant challenges for SMBs. For many, this financial reporting is a source of stress, with the most challenging jobs proving to be running tax year end reports (44%) and meeting HMRC payroll deadlines (28%). 

The increased pressures at this time cause a range of impact on small business owners, not just professionally but personally too. Many report feeling more isolated due to the increased stress at this time (21%), falling behind on the day to day running of the business due to increased admin (20%), and even losing sleep due to concerns over potential errors in accounts (16%).

However, learning to rely on others is a key step to successfully managing this pressure, both for your business and for your wellbeing. Those who seek professional financial support via an accountant are less likely to experience these struggles, with benefits including being more confident taxes are filed correctly (33%), and feeling less stressed (24%).

New (Tax) Year Resolutions

While the calendar new year is famed as a time for people to set personal goals for the year, often motivated by self-improvement or professional growth, the New Tax Year is an even better time to set business goals – due to the financial insights gained from closing the tax year. 

Despite the increased admin at this time of year, almost half (45%) of SMB owners surveyed are already using the New Tax Year as a chance to review and make changes to the business based on these learnings. The most beneficial changes were new or updated business plans (31%) and setting new or updated financial goals (30%) – made possible through the detailed insights extracted from the New Tax Year review process.

Creating new business plans each year with updated resolutions and goals helps to make small business owners feel more structured (30%), organised (33%), and confident in how their business will succeed (23%).

In the Guide, wellbeing expert Adrienne Herbert explains that setting clear business goals is critical to not only the success of the business but also business owners’ wellbeing. Once clear goals are set, SMB owners can develop what she calls ‘powerful habits’, and seek expert advice to bring these goals to fruition.

Jolawn Victor, VP Country Manager at QuickBooks says: “The new tax year is a defining moment in the calendar and often a source of stress for small business owners. That said, this new research sheds light on the fact accountancy support alleviates some of that stress.  Armed with rich financial insights from the previous tax year, accountants are offering strategic advice to help small businesses better navigate the challenges ahead.

Our Guide provides support at a time when overwhelming workload can obscure the opportunities at hand. Understanding how to successfully navigate the financial reporting period is so much more than just ensuring compliance – it is a chance to celebrate wins, learn from the losses, and pave a path to success.”

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