The 2023 fiscal year draws ever nearer to its close. For business owners and professionals, ensuring you’re well prepared for the 2024 fiscal year is timely, especially given market conditions remain very interesting.
For retail, construction and professional services industries, the beginning of the calendar year can be slow as customers and suppliers return to work gradually. This makes this final quarter of the fiscal year the ideal time to assess the current year's end and to look ahead by setting targets and goals for 2024.
Be prepared for changes
Preparing for changes in the economy means taking time to assess how your business could perform better in minimising the effects of a downturn or perhaps even considering how you could benefit. Phrases such as “recession looming”, “economic downturn”, and “OCR spikes” don't have to be daunting if you are prepared. Here are some thought starters to help you ride out the wave of uncertainty as you finalise your budgets and forecasts for FY24.
- Interest rates have increased dramatically over the past 12 months, and industries which rely heavily on lending, such as construction and large-scale development, will feel the increased cost of borrowing. Although the Official Cash Rate (OCR) had not risen as much as initially thought, the increased interest costs are still being felt. This will need careful planning and consideration of how other expenses could be reduced in mitigation.
- Retail businesses can expect lower top-line revenue due to an anticipated decrease in consumer spending. This can be addressed by reducing direct costs proportionally and tightening administrative and operating expenses.
- Professional services can expect similar effects in relation to decreased revenue. Consideration could be given to staff costs by delaying or ceasing hiring additional staff until there is a clearer picture of where the business stands.
There's no better time than now
- With the increased cost of living, have you considered how this impacts the demand for your goods and services?
- With the anticipation of further increases to the OCR, have you considered the impact of increased costs to borrowing?
- With the tightening conditions banks require for loan approvals, do you have a robust plan to secure the funding needed for your aspirations for 2024 and beyond?
- For many, the IRD's interest-free period of 2 years for cashflow loans will end within the next 12 months. If this applies to you – have you budgeted for the increased repayments and the impact on your cashflow?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions or are uncertain, there is no better time to ensure you are prepared. Our Budgeting and Forecasting team is ready to assist.
The similarity between Q4 2020 and Q4 2023 is the uncertainty in the business atmosphere, and our results show that businesses that go into these periods with full planning around their cash flow and forecasts of expected activity have generally been able to ride out the wave and able to capitalise on opportunities that arose from this uncertainty.
If you’d like to learn more about our budgeting and forecasting services or feel you could use a hand to plan for the next 12 months, please get in touch with your usual KPMG contact.
The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG, a New Zealand partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee.