Pre-election honeymoon period for businesses?

With an election looming it is unlikely that there will be any controversial legislation between now and May that will upset SME voters.

There may, on the other hand, be promises made in party manifestos, though we’re not commenting on whether they will be kept!

The pre-election honeymoon period is, however, a good time for businesses to get their finances and their operations in order.

Personal tax returns should have already been submitted (by 31 January) and firms ought to be ahead of the curve with their RTI (Real Time Information) systems in place (the deadline for SMEs is 6 March). It is also time for SMEs to make sure they have a planning time frame for pensions auto-enrolment as the various deadlines are looming (depending on the number of employees and whether an application for deferral has been agreed).

So this period provides a small breathing space for businesses to do some housekeeping and make sure their affairs are in order before the next onslaught of initiatives from a new government, which may be one that philosophically doesn’t like businesses.

A close look at the monthly management accounts may identify adjustments that can be made to operations that improve efficiency, cut costs or reduce risk. It may also identify scope for reducing debt or building up a war chest for investment. It may identify finance facilities that are due for renewal in the near future that might better be renewed early.

It could also be a good time to assess how well the marketing has been performing and tweak it if necessary.

How will you use this time to create a sharper, more efficient and more competitive business for the next financial year and be ready for whatever the election brings?

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