End-Of-Year Financial Strategies: Navigating December With Proactive Planning

December is a time for celebration, gift-giving, and indulging in the holiday spirit! But before you wind down for the calendar year, your future self will thank you for getting organised and proactive about your financial planning strategies ahead of 2024 and the financial year-end in April!


Embrace financial planning in December:

By getting proactive early and while all details are still fresh in your mind, you’ll be able to make the most of the year-end meetings with your financial advisor and receive better guidance to set yourself up for a prosperous new year. It’s also natural to reflect on the financial milestones you’ve achieved so far and evaluate the challenges that lie ahead. Whether you’re managing your personal expenses or your business finances, our team are here to help.


Unsure where to begin? Beyond just looking at your balance sheet, consider the following:


1. Embrace a realistic budget for holiday expenses:

We can all get a little carried away with holiday gifting and entertainment, especially if we’ve had a great financial year! However, it’s still important to establish a realistic budget for these expenses to help maintain a level of financial discipline during the holiday season. Consider shopping early to reduce spend on express delivery, make the most of discounts and offers, and consider shopping local to support the community. Expanding on the details of your budget plan is also extremely helpful – carefully allocating funds to specific types of activities such as a staff winter party, gift exchanges, venue hire, and lots more. Lastly – the budget is not a target – if you’ve covered your expenses and have money left over from your budget that’s even more funds for next year!


2. Prioritise tax planning:

With tax season approaching, it’s best practice to start gathering the necessary documentation, including receipts, invoices, and other relevant financial records all readily accessible (see how cloud accounting can help with this). Consult a chartered accountant or tax specialist from your local MMG brand to identify the best tax-saving strategies for your circumstances – whether you’re contacting us as a private individual or a business, we’ll be able to consult you on the tax incentives and relief that is best for you. There are always new schemes available, so asking an expert can go a long way! 

Further reading: The Benefits Of Cloud Accounting Solutions For Businesses (With Examples)


3. Review and adjust financial goals:

As the year begins to draw to a close, take a moment to reflect on the progress you’ve made towards your short-term and long-term goals to ensure they still align with your financial situation and overall aspirations. Circumstances often change, so your goals may also – don’t feel pressured to meet a goal that was set a long time ago if it no longer provides a benefit to your finances. Making adjustments as needed and seeking professional advice to refine your financial strategies will help you towards achieving long-term success.


4. Manage debt effectively:

December can be a challenging month for managing debt, as holiday expenses may put additional strain on finances. Prioritise making your minimum payments on all debts, especially high-interest loans (both personal and business as applicable) and consider consolidating high-interest debts into a lower-interest loan to reduce your overall monthly payments. If this is the first time you’re going through this process or you still feel your payments are too high to manage, speak to our team and wealth management partners at Verus Wealth.


5. Evaluate your investment strategies:

If you’re considering investing, December can be a strategic time to review your investment portfolio and make adjustments based on the market conditions and your goals. Consult a financial adviser to discuss your options in more detail and ensure the strategies are tailored to you weather you’re a first-time investor, looking to expand your portfolio, or changing the types of investments you’d like to pursue. 


Get Expert Guidance


Leverage the expertise of specialised professionals this December:


Financial Advisers:

A financial adviser can provide a comprehensive overview of your financial health and work with you to create a manageable and achievable financial plan, tailored to your circumstances and goals. 


Chartered Accountants:

A chartered accountant offers specialised expertise in tax preparation, accounting, and business advisory services. They can assist with tax optimisation, business compliance, financial reporting, and auditing – overall ensuring your business operates smoothly and efficiently.


Accountancy Services:

Accountancy services, can go beyond the numbers and help streamline your processes to ensure accurate record-keeping, forecasting, payroll, and more! Some examples include:

Bookkeeping Services:

Efficient bookkeeping ensures that every transaction is accurately recorded, providing a solid foundation for year-end assessments and future financial planning.


VAT Accountants:

For businesses dealing with VAT, engaging an experienced VAT accountant in December ensures compliance with all relevant tax regulations ahead of the start of the new financial year.


Payroll Accountants:

As the year concludes, payroll accountants play a crucial role in streamlining salary payments, assessing year-end bonuses, and ensuring compliance with tax regulations related to all employee compensation.


Audit Accountants:

Conducting an accounting audit in December enables businesses and sole traders to identify potential risks and areas for improvement ahead of the new financial year. Getting this process started early leaves plenty of time to resolve any potential issues; or if you’re already aware of risks within your business, an audit accountant (together with other specialists from our team) can help you get things back on track and avoid penalties and fines.


Sage, Xero, QuickBooks Accountants:

If you’re using a cloud accounting package or thinking of switching to a cloud accounting solution, our experts in Sage, Xero, and QuickBooks accounting software can guide you in making the right choice for your business needs and integrate these platforms more efficiently into your operations to help you save time, money, and resources. They can help you set up your accounts, manage transactions, and generate reports, ensuring you gain valuable insights into your financial performance (and as these platforms come with a mobile app, you can also track your finances on the go!).


Contact MMG Chartered Accountants

Make MMG Chartered Accountants your trusted partner for comprehensive financial planning services in Scotland. We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and secure a prosperous future. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at mail@mmgca.co.uk or call your local branch.