People dread Year End for different reasons and even the most experienced clerk can find it overwhelming. It could be the extra hours spent preparing for it, the ever-changing guidance and formats or simply not knowing what goes in each box!
Year End can be a source of anxiety and stress for many, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In the final part of our ScribeFest series, the team covers ways in which you can take the pressure off Year End.
Grab a cuppa and let go of those Year End stresses...
Promise: effectively manage Year End
- Keeping your data up-to-date & accurate
- Familiarising yourself with instructions from the auditor
- Being mindful of any changes
- Saving time with Scribe
Here at Scribe our busiest time of year is April - the dreaded year end and this tends to cause a headache as it is only completed once a year and it is easy to forget what to do, we spend a lot of time at Scribe preparing for year end and providing training material and discussing how we can help our customers, Hannah what are your thoughts on year end and how to manage it?
I know a lot of our users find the year end stressful and some of that is also down to time, or lack of it. I think there has to be an expectation of an increased time factor to complete the AGAR, simply because there is additional work involved in comparison to a normal month so this will need to be factored into the workload/schedule of the clerk.
Once again, I am going to stress how important it is that your data is up to date and accurate. As soon as possible after the 31st March ensure all your data is recorded in the cashbook, the bank reconciliation is completed to the 31st March and I would recommend, if possible, that also complete a VAT return or claim
It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the instructions from the auditor - there will be lots of information on their website and they will send you details nearer the time. Understand what level of audit you need to complete and therefore what supporting information is required.
Also take a look at the Practitioners Guide as this clearly sets out how to complete the accounting statements - there is guidance on how to complete the figures for each box.
Be mindful of any changes, whether expected or not. For the year ending 2021 what can be reported as Staff Costs in Box 5 is changing so make sure you understand the implications - it may require a restatement of the prior year. Clearly this year Covid has had an impact of the deadline and processes involved in Year End so again as much as possible be mindful of this and identify ways in which the impact of instances such as this can be lessened.
Obviously we’ve talked through and highlighted a few key issues today and talked about what the problem is and the key things you can do to overcome them but all of it, everything you do throughout the year leads to the dreaded AGAR. People dread year end for all kinds of reasons whether it be that they don’t get paid for all the extra time they spend preparing for it, or they’re unsure exactly what they should be putting in which box or they just feel overwhelmed by the ever changing guidance and formats. Year end for us as a business is probably 10x over more busy than any other part of the year- even for the most experienced clerk out there this can be a tough time. But the thing is, if you are keying data on regularly and you’re keeping it up to date….and if you are reconciling monthly and are confident before you neven get to March that you’re numbers balance then year end really doesn’t have to be stressful. Especially when using Scribe as it will produce your section 2 statement of accounts for you- by clicking one button. The boxes will be numbered and the report will be in exactly the same format as your AGAR forms so you can use it as a direct template to populate your boxes. I sometimes speak to people who pay an accountant more to do this at year on their behalf than Scribe would cost them to run for an entire year. Something that may have previously taken hours if not days should be instant. And again it’s not just about the fact Scribe can do this for you- it’s all about support. Hannah and Jane start running year end training sessions from January/ Feb usually and these can range from group webinars to focus on either receipts and payments or income and expenditure year end through to customers booking in with Hannah for a one to one session to make sure they’re fully ready to complete the appropriate paperwork for the auditor. Our full bank rec report in Scribe can even be run for the entire year come March and has the added lines for signature and sign off from the auditor so you can just print this off when you need to. If nothing else- if you’re an accounts whizz and you breeze through every other month of the year there is no doubt that Scribe will save time with year end. The software is kept up to date with the latest legislation so the councillors can always be confident that their Annual Return will be accurate and upto date.
So we have talked about lots of ways this morning on how to overcome your accounting problems and would be more than happy to discuss any of the topics raised in more detail should you wish to contact us.
Right now we are happy to answer any questions you may have and you can do this by using the live chat box on the right hand side of the screen now.I have also popped the details on screen of how to contact us and also a Facebook group that we set up specifically for Clerks which is a great source of advice and support and has over 700 members. Recent topics have included Virtual Meetings, Risk Assessments, Defibrillators and Mapping Systems so please feel free to join the group and chat. Don’t forget if you would like to see Scribe in action we have a special offer of a £10 Amazon voucher for anyone that requests a free demo today, just comment yes in the chat box to take up the offer. So let’s see what questions we have received.