A lot of freelancers quiver when EOFY approaches. Not me though, not this year.

This year, it’s akin to freelancer Christmas!

I say this as someone who yes, has a proven track record of not really enjoying the finance side of my business. And as someone who, until recently, saved things up in a heavy cloud of avoidance and let it all get on top of me.

Something has clicked and I’ve realised EOFY is one of our most powerful freelance allies. It’s a great time to tidy up. And it’s a powerful lever to pull with clients to get them on track, too. You can even check what direction the business is headed in.

Here’s my guide to taking full advantage of the magic that is the freelancer’s EOFY

Drawing the line in the project sand

It blows my mind that there are freelancers in the Freelance Jungle that talk about their clients not starting projects for six months after paying deposits. Or that they are still labouring away on the same project three years after starting.

If your client projects are lingering like last night’s garlic, it’s time for a line in the sand! And the best one is EOFY.

For projects close to completion, that means:

  • Advocating for a fresh start next FY for both parties
  • Letting clients know I will invoice everything this side of the financial year
  • Ensuring any out-of-pocket costs are approved by mid-June

For any projects not nearing completion, I still leverage EOFY:

  • Commencement fees and deposits must be paid by June 30
  • Any stalling projects include reminders that a tidy EOFY is best for all concerned
  • Reminding NFP, government, and corporate clients that their grant funding acquittal and annual reports are approaching

If it’s been a dry spell, client-wise, checking my figures and:

  • Using EOFY for limited time promotions via newsletter and social media
  • Contacting old clients to see if they need to spend money on projects to reduce their tax debt

If I am not shepherding clients to completion of their lingering projects and tasks, I am pitching ideas or getting a commitment to them choosing me again. And it’s a lever about maximising budget value and lowering their own business tax debt that only EOFY can bring!

Reducing my tax debt

I am OK with paying tax. What I am not okay with is paying tax unnecessarily. And that’s why I commit to half a day of making sure whatever debt I might have (or return I can receive) is entirely of my choosing.

Making sure I hit the right Income Tax Return note includes:

  • Having a half-day session with Rounded, my inbox, and my business bank account to make sure that absolutely every deduction is present and accounted for. Yes, I know I do this regularly and with BAS, but it can’t hurt to check these things!
  • Reviewing my monthly expenses and switching to cheaper-per-month annual plans for anything I want to continue using if there is a discount
  • Checking my hardware devices to make sure don’t need servicing, repairs, or replacement to take advantages of the write-offs and EOFY sales
  • Pre-paying any business-related trips or expenses as much as I can
  • Contributing voluntarily to my super fund

I’d really rather my money was in my pocket now. But failing that, I will settle for my future pocket. Whether that’s as a return, depreciation, or superannuation, it doesn’t really matter. As long as that money stays close to me.

Before any big swings like write-offs etc, I make sure that I compile all my questions to one email and send them through to my accountant to double check, especially with new claims or big-ticket items. Individual businesses require personalised advice on tax, deductions, BAS, and ITR. By collating everything, I can avoid repeating questions from last year or sending excessive emails to my accountant. When it comes to ITR or BAS, I don’t guess. If in doubt, I always give my accountant a shout.

Dealing with inflation effectively

Increasingly in the Freelance Jungle and other forums I frequent, conversations are centring on inflation.

Clients are paying later. They want more work for the same price. Or they want fun-sized invoices and projects. Budgets have shrunk. And the relief we often see coming through with budget announcements aren’t materialising.

Meanwhile, all the plugins, software and memberships we rely on have put up the prices.

And it’s really tough trying to figure a way through when:

  • The leads are fewer
  • The lead onboarding is protracted
  • The project value has shrunk
  • Getting the projects done seems slower
  • Waiting to get paid is harder and longer than before
  • Buyer’s remorse (and the complications that come with that) is more frequent

I am reducing inflation’s impact on my business by:

  • Leveraging EOFY to raise my prices with existing clients
  • Committing to a longer communication cycle (six weeks’ notice) to help clients adjust

Plus, I am developing experiments with:

  • Lowering my lead cost by adding an FAQ to my website
  • Adding more prices and packages to my website to set client expectations
  • Adding video explainers on key website pages to reduce email back and forth

Using Rounded’s time tracker to track my activities is an essential part of these experiments. I realised leads take a LOT more conversation than they need to.  So, I’m monitoring if I can reduce that time with greater transparency.

I figure taking the bolder swing in the long run will (hopefully) reduce the business development and client management load in the longer term.

Need extra help getting tippy top this financial year? Get yourself a Rounded membership and get prepared along with me!

Please note: This blog post is sponsored by Rounded as part of an ongoing exploration of Rebekah Lambert’s approach to her freelance business. The idea is to open up Rebekah’s finances so she can improve – and help you, too. Any financial information provided serves as a general guide and should not be considered professional advice. For personalised guidance, consult with your accountant or financial advisor.

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