Want to Make Next Year Your Best One Yet? Then Get Started on These Bookkeeping Tasks Early.
With just over six weeks until 2018, it is time to start making plans to accomplish critical bookkeeping tasks. For a small business, this can be a great deal of work. Get a head start by tackling these tasks in the final months of 2017!
Review Your 2017 Books
Of course, the first thing on this list is to comb over your bookkeeping records and make sure everything is in order. A great place to start is by reviewing your “Ask My Accountant” account. This is typically where all unknown transactions go, and reviewing it with your bookkeeper is often more cost effective than giving it to a CPA unorganized. Record as many details as you have about each transaction in the memo and absolutely provide receipts when possible.
Reviewing your assets and liabilities is another area that tends to be overlooked. Computer equipment and simple office supplies have very different tax obligations, therefore they must be in separate accounts, but are the most common transactions grouped together. This is why the proper receipts and descriptions are so important when it comes to correctly preparing your taxes.
If you have not collected W-9’s from all of your vendors or contractors who earned more than $600 from your company during 2017, now’s a good time to do so. A W-9 is needed to prepare the 1099-MISC Form that your company is required to use to report these payments to the IRS. Next year, get into the habit of asking vendors/contractors to complete one for your company as soon as you begin work with them should you expect the amount will exceed $600. If your bookkeeping is routinely updated, you will have the option to generate vendor statements and determine the total you have paid to a specific vendor throughout the year.
Create Budgets and Forecasts
Current bookkeeping does not only provide you with real-time vendor statements but will also generate accurate financial reports. If you haven’t been following your accounts all year, you can still analyze important information once your books are prepared. By using these you can draw up a reasonable financial forecast and budget. This should be based on your past financial activity, and include what you want to happen in the future. Your budget should be reasonable, but don’t be apprehensive about setting aggressive goals and deliberate cutting certain expenses. With the correct bookkeeping procedures, you should have no problem being able to pull reports and compare your budget and your actual spending at any time throughout the year.
Contact a Tax Professional
Many business owners may be fearful of their tax responsibilities, but facing it head on is the best thing to do. If you will owe taxes, wouldn’t you rather have an estimate a month or more prior than weeks (or days…) before it is due? Before you meet with your CPA, enrolled agent, or tax preparer, make sure you have updated records and reconciled books to review with them. This is where having a bookkeeper will really come in handy, as they should have your files mostly organized and prepared already, leaving less work for tax time.
Review Your Bookkeeping Procedures
The last task to consider is an assessment of your bookkeeping needs overall. Are you generating valuable reports? What bookkeeping procedures benefited your company this year? Which ones did not? Use these and related questions to make any necessary adjustments to better suit your needs. If you are wavering between outsourcing or not, find time to look into different firms and schedule consultations. While new bookkeeping procedures are able to be implemented at any time of the year, it is ideal to get the ball rolling earlier rather than later.
Before the calendar turns, there are numerous business tasks and goals to complete. A solid bookkeeping system is the foundation for planning and accomplishing those goals.
Want to Make Next Year Your Best One Yet? Then It’s Time to Start With the BOSS!
The BOSS team provides professional, responsive support for startups and small to medium businesses that need to outsource services including tax preparation, bookkeeping, sales tax processing, and payroll processing.
For more information, or to schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us (Monday – Friday) at (910) 338-1198.
We look forward to hearing from you!