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5 Tips to Start the Financial New Year Right

It’s the new year! Personally, we’re all making those hardcore resolutions—working out! Eating right! Cutting down on sugar!—that will last on average about three months before we abandon them for binge-watching our favorite show on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Fortunately, it’s easier to set your financial new year up for much longer success. Our experts have a few favorite tips that will put you on the right path, whether your financial new year flipped over with the calendar or rolls across a different 12-month span. 

Preparing for the New Financial Year

There’s something about a fresh start, both personally and professionally, and starting the financial new year off right is a critical step in ensuring success and growth in your organization for the next 365 days. While some find finances a daunting and frankly overwhelming part of business, a little preparation and organization can go a long way toward a smooth transition to the new financial year. 

  • Review Financial Goals
    Look at the goals you set for the 2023 fiscal year. Which ones were met, and which were missed? Why or why not? If you can answer these questions, you can find where the organization fell short and adjust for 2024. It might take some guts to dig into the nitty gritty to really pull out what worked and what didn’t, but using that information to adjust your strategy for the new year will only put you in the faster lane to success.
  • Update Your Budget
    Now that you’ve combed through the fine details of the finances and reviewed financial goals, take that information and transfer it into updating the budget for the new year. Be sure to look at account changes that occurred over the past year, including new expenses or changes in revenue. Allocate resources wisely based on this information, and be sure to leave some room for any unexpected expenses.
  • Assess Pricing Strategy
    As you review your pricing strategy to see how it accounts for internal factors like revenue goals, target audience, brand positioning and product attributes, and unique selling proposition, it’s important to look at external factors as well. Have your competitors recently increased (or decreased!) their prices? What is the rate of consumer demand? Are there economic factors or business trends that may impact you? All of this information combined can help establish the optimal price for your product or service as it exists in 2024.
  • Enhance Cash Flow Management
    Your cash flow is what lets you pay the bills and payroll, so it’s vital to regularly analyze your cash flow and let that guide business planning. Forecasting tools can help you with insights into spending habits, trends, and even year-ahead cash position. (Hello there, 2025!) Not to mention it can streamline planning and budgeting.
  • Check Compliance Obligations
    No matter how big or small your business, every organization has specific obligations to meet to comply with applicable legal frameworks. You may have permits or licenses based on location, industry, and/or type of business that will require annual renewal. Not to mention, your business will also have tax compliance requirements. Be sure you’re aware of all regulator changes so the business can take the right action at the right time to maintain compliance without impacting business as usual.

Why So Data Driven?

At the end of the day—or really, at the end of the year—data is what’s going to give you the clearest picture of where you’ve been so you can plan for where you’re going in the financial new year. A data-driven approach serves well as you dig into what worked, the challenges the business faced, how you dealt with them, and what kind of developments could come down the line, such as new products or service refinement. 

Being data-driven gives a concrete advantage to your business by allowing it to make the best decisions based on accurate information and analysis. After all, business isn’t about luck, it’s about making smart moves. While moves can be made on a gut feeling, data-driven businesses will use their information to make the best decision possible before putting their money where their mouth is. Being data-driven gives you two distinct advantages: 

  • It helps you outperform competition: Many companies react to what their competitors do. Using a data-driven approach to make your plans lets you lead the pack instead.
  • It improves customer retention: Data shows you what’s working and what’s not in everything from sales to marketing to customer service so you can bring better products and services to the table. 

Getting the Right Data Involved the Right Way

In order to review data to make the best plans for your financial new year, you’ve got to start from a position of being able to gather the right data, right when you need it, then be able to clean and organize it effectively to see what it’s telling you. NetSuite users have a leg up on the process already if their ERP is up to date. 

But what about getting that data back out in a way that makes reporting and analysis easy to do? Saved searches are a great way to pull data. Until you have to combine multiple searches every time you need to look at updated data. Or until you want to share data with a non-NetSuite user. You can organize data in Excel or Power BI by hand, but who has that kind of time? Not to mention you have to re-do it every time someone wants to see results with the most updated numbers. 

It’s 2024: There’s a better way using powerful Excel integration that lets you combine and analyze multiple saved searches into one spreadsheet. Not to mention, you’ve got the opportunity to refresh the data on demand or on a schedule so no matter when you’re studying the data, you can make sure everyone is looking at the most recent numbers. And running everything through Excel—the powerhouse program that everyone in your organization has both access to and at least basic knowledge of—lets you easily share data to everyone who needs it, even those who don’t regularly use NetSuite. All it takes is integration with the help of CloudExtend Excel for NetSuite

Whether you’re deep in planning and prep for your financial new year, or looking at the financial new year to come, it’s never the wrong time to give your team all the information and power they need for easy and efficient analysis and reporting. And with all that extra time on your hands, maybe you can keep a few more of your personal New Year’s resolutions, too. 

Give it a try for free right now.