How to get the best from a pre year end meeting with your accountant

16 January 2023

How to get the best from a pre year end meeting with your accountant


Tax Reliefs including R&D,

Wealth planning & Private client,

Funding and Asset Finance,

Expansion & Improvement

For many business owners, year-end is normally the time of the year that they want to meet with their accountant, review the business profits and receive their tax bill. However, there is huge value in seeing your advisors prior to your year-end.

Preparing for a pre-year-end meeting with your advisors will ensure you get the most from the meeting and will enable your accountant to offer you timely advice around your personal and business goals, your individual and corporate tax position, efficiencies and your future financial strategy.

In this blog, I'll talk about the value of having a pre-year-end meeting with your advisor and how you can prepare for the meeting to get the best advice.


Why is a pre year end meeting with your accountant important?

A pre year end meeting is important as it allows an advisor to better understand the current year, next year and your long term plans. At this point your advisor can see if you are paying too much tax and work with you to implement any changes that could be necessary or tax efficient before the year end.

These types of meetings before your year-end have become increasingly popular, but not every accountant will undertake this type of meeting. However, we would highly recommend that you do have a meeting before the end of your financial year to ensure that you are as tax efficient as possible.


What are the benefits of pre year end meetings?

Before the end of your financial year, we are in a better position to look at interim figures and more accurately predict likely profits, consider your pre-year-end tax position and have time to discuss and implement any additional tax planning opportunities.

It is an opportunity to make potential tax savings both for the company and the individuals. For example, we would look at your likely corporation tax for the year and consider whether you want to make any additional investments or further pension contributions to lower your corporation tax bill.

National insurance and tax on dividends can change from one tax year to the next, so it is often worthwhile to consider how to best extract wealth from the business in the most tax efficient way. This may be by taking dividends during this tax year, employing a family member or making additional pension contributions. Personal and family wealth planning should also be discussed with specialist advisors.

When we meet clients, we will not only look at the current year figures and performance, but we will also discuss the coming year, as well as longer term planning and forecasting. We will work with business owners to create a roadmap for the company and for the business owner and directors.

Forward planning in this way also allows us to better understand your thinking, your business and personal goals and the timeframe that you are working to achieve those goals. We can then make sure that we develop a tax strategy for the year ahead and longer term that supports those goals.


What questions should ask your accountant?

Here's just a few of the questions you should ask at the pre year end tax meeting:

  • What is the forecasted tax position of the business?

  • What are my potential tax liabilities?

  • Are there any new tax liabilities my business will face?

  • Is the business in a good position prior to the end of our financial year?

  • Are there any tax reliefs available that we are not taking advantage of?

  • Are my business processes and procedures efficient and compliant?

  • Is my cash flow healthy?

  • Are our accounts and results typical of other businesses?

  • Is my business structure the most tax efficient it can be?

  • Are my plans achievable?

  • How can I increase the value of my business?

  • Do you need any further information from me?


When is the best time to have a pre year end meeting?

We would recommend around two months ahead of your financial year-end, but up to 3 months before is possible.

This allows advisors to understand your current year to date, better forecast your end of year figures and allows time to implement any changes needed.


The future of your business

Many client’s priorities change as they go through their business and personal life cycle and therefore your financial strategy, corporate tax planning, personal tax planning and strategy need to be reviewed and potentially changed as well.

Discussions around business exit and lifestyle should be part of your planning. Often changes in timing of retirement or exit can mean we have to speed up plans and begin to look at a low-risk tax strategy that is effective to attract potential future buyers. This type of tax advisory work is critical to ensure we can structure the business tax efficiently for your long term plans.

Succession planning and passing down wealth has become a bigger priority for many owners. This is where we can help with getting everything in order in terms of succession planning, tax planning, wills, inheritance tax and life insurance.

If, however, you want to continue to run the business for longer but want more flexibility then we often advise on working abroad or reducing hours and dependency on you as the owner of the business to allow the business to run more effectively without you.

Wealth Planning and tax efficient investing are also a critical area to look at and discuss with your advisor.

Some owners begin to plan for growth and long-term investment, whether it's growing organically by adding new premises, capital equipment or staff or growing by acquisition, we can discuss and advise on all these types of options and plans.



A review of your tax position before your year-end is an ideal time to look at ways to reduce both your corporate and personal tax bills. Speaking to your advisors regularly allows them to better understand you and your business, your goals, and introduce efficiencies.

Having these types of discussion can help you retain more of your hard-earned cash, save money, achieve your goals and run your business more effectively.

Here at Haines Watts, we will meet with any of our clients prior to their end of year to run through all these things and more. We are here as advisors to do more than our clients’ accounts and tax returns. We want to understand our clients personal and business goals and that makes us better placed to offer the best advice and help them be tax efficient, well structured and well planned.

For more help and advice, contact our accountants in Wirral, Chester or Liverpool.