A new year: How does this affect your administration?

When you think of the New Year, you most likely think of lavish food, fireworks, New Year’s resolutions, and kisses at midnight. However, for businesses, a new year also involves (some) additional administration. This blog post lists all the things you need to be aware of.

202312 Nieuwjaar 2024

When does your financial year begin?

Firstly, you should ask yourself whether a new year also means the start of a new financial year for you. The term financial year, or tax year, refers to the unit period for your accounts. As the word suggests, a financial year typically lasts one year (12 months), although it may be shorter or longer for legal entities.

In the case of natural persons (self-employed in principal and secondary occupations), the new financial year always starts on 1 January. In the case of legal entities (companies, not-for-profit associations, etc.), although it is customary to start the financial year on 1 January, it is not obligatory. So you could start your financial year at a different time of the year.

If your financial year does start on 1 January, you should go through the checklist below at the end of the previous year or the start of the new one. If your fiscal year has a different start date, this list will still be helpful; the only difference is that you will have to go over it at a different time.

1.     Check whether you still need to prepare and send invoices for 2023

You must send invoices for all your products and services within 15 days. While it is not a problem to prepare invoices in December, for example, for products or services you provided in November, keeping all records from the same year together is advisable. That way, the profit calculation for your financial year will be correct.

Also read: Generating and sending invoices with Billit

2.     Update the numbering of your invoices

The following rules apply to invoice numbers:

  • Invoice numbers must consist of a number sequence or a combination of numbers and letters.
  • Spaces are not allowed (dashes are).
  • Each invoice number mustbe unique .
  • The invoice numbers should be consecutive and sequential chronologically.

It is, therefore, perfectly acceptable for the numbering of your invoices to start with 1 and increase throughout the different years of operation. (Restarting is not allowed.) Nevertheless, many businesses find it easier to have their invoice numbers start with the year the invoices are sent.

For example:

  • 20240001
  • 20240002
  • 20240003

If you choose that form, you will have to adapt the numbering in Billit’s settings at the start of the new year. Billit will then automatically generate consecutive invoice numbers for that year.

Also read: Adjusting invoice numbering in Billit

3.     Process all purchase invoices dated 2023

Do not wait too long to process and pay invoices for goods and services ordered by your company in 2023.

Also read: Process purchase invoices in Billit

4.     Cash up

Your cash book is a financial diary that should be kept meticulously. It is where all incoming and outgoing cash movements are recorded. This should, in principle, always be correct, but especially at the end of the financial year, you would do well to (manually) count the money you have in cash and check whether it matches your cash book.

Also read: Extend Billit with a digital cash book

Onderneemster Plantenwinkel

5.     Carry out a stock-taking exercise

Traditionally, many businesses are closed for a day at the start of a new year for stock-taking. Stock-taking involves checking how many products you still have in stock so that your accountant can take those unsold goods into account.

Tip: Upload the document with the overview of your stock in Billit for easy sharing with your accountant.

Also ready: Import Word or Excel documents in Billit

6.     Check whether your terms and conditions are still current

The new year is the perfect opportunity to consider whether you need to make changes to the general ‘standard contract’ between your company and your clients.

7.     If necessary, adjust your periodic invoices

If you automatically send periodic invoices via Billit, adjust the amount or period for the new year if necessary. You may also need to adjust the standard text (such as the year) on these invoices. You can also adjust the period if necessary.

Tip: You can use dynamic parameters to automatically enter the correct date or period on your periodic invoices in Billit.

Also ready: Periodic invoices in Billit

8.     If necessary, adjust the prices of your products

You may start charging higher prices for certain products from 1 January (e.g. because of indexation). If so, be sure to update these prices in Billit as well.

Also read: Add products in Billit

9.     Start electronic invoicing via Peppol

From 2026, electronic invoicing will become mandatory in Belgium, but of course, you can start e-invoicing via Peppol before then. It’s easy with Billit. If you are not yet using Peppol to send your invoices, why not make a resolution to start doing so in your new financial year? You will see that it's straightforward.

Tip: When you switch over, ask your suppliers to deliver your invoices digitally via Peppol as well. By the way, in Billit, under “Suppliers” you can see which of your suppliers are using Peppol and which are not (yet).

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