The End (of 2016) is Near


The election was last week, and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Also imminent is the end of the business year. Although the next few weeks may tilt toward friends and family, the intelligent business owner should attend to important business tasks as well.

Preparation:

  • To know where you’re going in 2017, you need to know where you’ve been this year. Make sure your bookkeeping, expenses and billing are up to date. Run a cash flow statement and a balance sheet. Personally, I will turn in expense reports for cell phone reimbursement and mileage reimbursement, which I catch up on annually.

  • Talk to your accountant about anything you can do now to lower your tax bill or otherwise save money.

  • Make sure you have filed your annual report with the North Carolina Secretary of State and if required, held your annual meetings.

  • Review your HR/personnel files. Is payroll correct? Have you accounted for fringe benefits?

Strategy:

  • Now that you have a handle on the data, you can look for the story it tells. What worked, what didn’t? What cost more than expected? What led to greater success?

  • Adjust the budget for next year based on the lessons this year taught.

  • Can you outsource routine tasks to a virtual assistant or bookkeeper? What about social media posting? A payroll company?

  • Does your logo or website or printed materials need updating?

  • Do you have surplus funds to reinvest in the business? Where would that best be spent (computer upgrades, hiring additional people)?

Year-end planning is an important part of owning a successful business. You can’t put it off much longer. Here’s to a profitable 2017!

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