taking stock at the end of a financial year

With 31 March fast approaching, I am sure that there are many business clients (and accountants) hanging on to their sanity by their fingernails at present.

However, as the end of the financial year approaches, it is the natural point at which most business owners stop to benchmark how their financial year has been compared to previous years, and try to identify any variances in both income and expenditure.

It is also a good habit for everyone to get into – to take stock of how your personal financial year has been.    In New Zealand, the end of the financial year is close to Easter.  This signifies a time of new beginnings and most of us have a few days off, so there is no excuse to be too busy to do this!

#1 – Create a statement of financial position for yourself as at 31 March

Make a list of your assets

Include your house, your cars, the insured value of your personal contents, your bank account balances, your KiwiSaver balance and your investment balances.

Make a list of your liabilities –

your mortgage, your credit card balances, your student loan balances and any other debt that you may have.

The assets minus the liabilities is your personal financial wealth.

#2 – Ask yourself “what is the one financial thing that I want to change for the next year?”


Listen to the first thought that pops into your head – and then action it.

Work out a strategy to make it happen.

If you need a hand with that, let us know.

Remember, the easiest way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

#3 – Check that your back-up is working

There is absolutely no point having a computer back up if it doesn’t work when you need to restore your data.

I suspect that a few people who are reading this have learned this lesson the hard way.

It is the same with your personal back-up plan.

Is your will still relevant to your life as it is now?

Do you have Enduring Powers of Attorney in place?

Do you have the right amounts of insurance on your assets, on your life, on your health and on your income?

#4 – Check on your tax rates

Check that you have the correct PIR rate on your KiwiSaver and your investments, and the correct nominal tax rate on your savings account.

The tax rate calculator is available on the IRD website ird.govt.nz

Keep a quick list of what you have done, and then around the end of the 2019 tax year, do it again. You can then track how things are going financially for you.

I hope that you will be encouraged and if you are not, give us a call.

It is the core of our business to help people to develop a practical plan which will get them from here to there with certainty and peace of mind.


Janet Natta is a financial adviser and director of Smart Money Advice, offering investment portfolio construction and management services to clients throughout NZ, as well as comprehensive financial planning advice to assist clients to build and protect wealth to achieve their dreams.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article represents the views of the author. It is based on information believed but not warranted to be correct.   Any views or information, whilst given in good faith, are given with an express disclaimer of responsibility and no right shall rise against any of the authors or Smart Money Advice or their employees either directly or indirectly out of any views, advice or information.