For calendar year companies, November starts the “End of Year” accounting process. Here are some practical guidelines to get out in front of the End of Year and be ready and more prepared to succeed next year.
- Get your internal and external team on board – the Entrepreneurs, the Controller, the Bookkeeper, the business CPA, the Tax Preparer, the Payroll Service, the Attorney, the K-1 recipients, and the Personal Financial Planner.
- Plan for your next year Budget – review for next year revenue planning and cost control, including tax incentives for fixed asset additions – including equipment and software. Review – is the basic financial model still sound? Should we expand into a new line of business?
- Defer your income / let your receivables payments slide into January. Payments your company can receive during January, as opposed to December, may cut your tax bill. Any deferral strategy will depend on your profit and loss for the year and your business legal structure, so check with your accountant first. Make sure your cash flow can handle the deferred receipt.
- Increase expenses. If you have been thinking about upgrading equipment, software or other business items you require in the immediate future, purchase those items this year to maximize your deductions. If you can see a need for goods and services in the first quarter of the New Year, buy them now if cash flow permits. Remember that pre-paying the expenses for the next year will have impact on the tax position of the next year.
- Ensure that your planned Capital acquisitions have been completed. Take the benefit of the section 179 deduction – if you have purchased any equipment up to the current dollar limit, you may be able to claim a deduction for the entire amount for the current year. There is no need to keep on depreciating it over a number of years. The only condition for such a deduction is – the equipment must be installed and it must be running before the close of the year. So you can make purchases of necessary equipment and software for your business at the end of the year and claim the entire amount as a deduction. Remember, this deduction cannot exceed your taxable income.
- Decide about year end bonuses now. If you won’t be able to give a bonus to employees who have received them in the past, tell them now, so that they can plan accordingly. You don’t want to have that kind of negative surprise later this year.
- Consider raising prices now. While you may not be able to do so, don’t overlook this possibility if you haven’t adjusted your pricing recently, and, in particular, if your costs have increased. Also, consider resourcing many of your purchased raw material and inventory items – if you believe that they can be sourced better.
- Update your website – that’s an entry point for many purchasers. Use your website to provide information that will enhance your business position as an expert company in the field. Offer some promotional incentive to move inventory.
- Review your obsolete, unneeded, and slow moving inventory items. Depending on your accounting process, you may wish to check your inventory for goods that have been damaged or have become obsolete. Also, the end of the year may be the ideal time for a physical inventory count.
- Reconcile all balance sheet accounts, including Cash, Receivables, Payables, Prepaids, Accruals, Undeposited Funds, Notes and Loans, Credit Card Accounts, Payroll Liabilities, and Equity Accounts.
- Consider outsourcing domestically, additional areas and tasks for the New Year – CFO and Controller services, Payroll and Human Resources services, and Information Technology services.
We are headquartered in the Tampa Bay area; a portion of our work is handled remotely, yet, we are able to talk, meet, and work with you on a regular periodic basis.
PETER DESMIDT has more than 48 years of Accounting, Cost Accounting, and systems implementation (including QuickBooks, Intuit, Enterprise, Passport, RealWorld, Peachtree, Great Plains, Dynamics, Sage, Direct Systems, SouthWare, ACCPAC, and Computer Associates software) experience, as well as management positions with companies like Atlantic Richfield, Signode, Norlin Industries and R.R. Donnelley and Sons.
Peter DeSmidt’s specific experience is as a CFO, Controller, Accounting Manager and Advisory Consultant. He holds a BA Degree majoring in Accounting and an MBA Degree majoring in Accounting and Computer Science. As we are a small business ourselves, we understand what it takes to get a small company off the ground and on the right track.
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