As the new financial year approaches, brokers play an essential role in guiding their clients through key financial decisions and strategies.

The beginning of FY25 represents an excellent opportunity to help clients hit the ‘refresh’ button and set the stage for a prosperous year by reviewing their financial health, exploring government grants and incentives, staying compliant with new regulations, and investing in workforce development and technology advancements.
Small businesses face a host of challenges, from elevated inflation through to household cost of living pressures, rising insolvencies, an ATO tax crackdown and an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

Banjo Loans Chief Risk Officer Andrew Ward has provided his top tips for BOFY (Beginning of Financial Year) to assist you in helping your SME clients get into financial ship shape for FY25.
  • Financial health: Use the start of the financial year as an opportunity to encourage your clients to review their financial statements with their lender and accountant. There may be valuable insights that can be extracted from their data regarding their financial health and accordingly, opportunities for improvement. This is important because, by being proactive, you can ensure your clients have time to plan appropriate taxation strategies, rather than leaving it to the end of FY25. In addition, if they have any growth plans for the year, it’s a smart idea to guide them in thinking through their business strategy and documenting the details so it can be submitted for consideration by lenders and investors.
  • Government grants and incentives: It’s worth considering what Federal and/or State Government grants or incentives are available that could provide a boost to your clients' businesses. These opportunities can provide much-needed support to enable business growth and innovation. For example, new funding has been announced to provide SMEs with mental health support under the New Access for Small Business Owners Program, while the National Tax Clinic Program provides tax advice and assistance to eligible SMEs.
  • New policies, rules and regulations: Ensure that your clients are aware of any new government or regulatory obligations for FY25 in respect to their business. There are a number of tax-related changes, import tariff amendments, energy bill refunds, and numerous initiatives related to ‘green energy’ which they may need to consider as part of their operational planning for FY25, depending on the nature of their business.
  • Workforce development: It is commonly accepted that the success of many businesses lies within their workforce. That’s why it is so important for your clients to invest in employee training and development to improve both productivity and job satisfaction. Moreover, fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment can drive innovation.
  • Digital investments and leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI): The ‘digital revolution’ has well and truly arrived, which is affecting the business landscape. It is crucial you inform your clients how they can leverage e-commerce and digital marketing, as well as ensuring that their business operations incorporate cybersecurity risk management steps. Public access AI, which is rapidly evolving, can provide opportunities to increase efficiencies in their business.
With your support and detailed analysis of these areas, your SME clients will have a greater chance of success in FY25. By guiding them through these steps, you can help them navigate the complexities of the new financial year and seize opportunities for growth and innovation.

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