I am really looking forward to this year. 2015 will be a year of amazing opportunities as well as a year of hurdles to be met. I will be turning 50 and I’m not sure how I feel about that. My business will be 18, a legal adult and my granddaughter will start kindergarten this year. Knowing all of that is coming plus tons of things I can’t foresee it is time for taxes. That means planning and preparing. Planning for the New Year, setting goals, getting the books ready and getting all that paper out of our offices we no longer need.
This is to help you make sure you are ready to hand me your tax information as well as be ready for the best year ever in your business. As a side note be watching our website for an upcoming event we are having to get all the paper out of your office. You will be receiving a tax organizer and an engagement letter which I need signed. We will also be sending you our new prices along with options to make your life easier.
OK first things first lets finish off last year and get the taxes done.
- Do you know what your net profit for the year is? If not this is the first step. Get your books caught up, all receipts entered, checkbooks and credit cards reconciled and cash payment entered. Don’t forget those items you paid with your personal account for the business. Get those written down preferably in an excel spreadsheet. If you need help give us a call, I can either get you caught up so you can take over again or we can help you find a really good bookkeeper to work with you through the year, meaning you never have to get caught up again.
- Compare your income statement to the budget you set for yourself. How did you do, was there anything on your budget or goals that were not realistic and why (good or bad). Anything you could have done differently to achieve those goals and are they still appropriate goals for the coming year.
- Set up your projections, goals, forecasts and budgets for this year. Don’t forget to enroll the help of a coach, business partners, spouse or an accountability partner to help you keep focused and achieve those goals. We know several business coaches and we have a new accountability program we are working on. If you would like on the ground floor of the accountability program before we open it to the public call and let us know.
- If you have inventory don’t forget to do an inventory count and record any personal use, out of date items or missing items.
- Make sure you have all of the current names, addresses and other information for your employees and independent contractors. Check your payroll numbers and make sure you didn’t miss anything. This is especially important if you are a 2% or more shareholders in an S-corp.
- Make sure health insurance is added to the income for the W-2’s for all 2% or more shareholders
- Do you need to record any retirement plan payments for the prior year that will not be paid until the taxes are done?
- Issue 1099’s and W-2’s – these are due on the last day of January however your employees will think you really are on the ball and care about them the earlier these can be issued.
- 1099’s are required for all contractors who are not on your payroll whom you pay $600.00 or more for the year. If you need help getting these ready let me know and I can prepare them for you. I will need the name, federal ID number, address and amount you paid them before the 15th to ensure they are mailed out on time.
- W-2’s are part of your payroll reports. If we already do these for you please make sure we have the correct address – remember people tend to move around a lot so don’t assume you have the correct address. If we don’t prepare your payroll reports please give us a call and we can get you set up right away.
- Change your State unemployment percentages – these normally change every year and you should have received a letter with the new rate around the end November.
- Don’t forget to write down your end of the year mileage (this is also the beginning mileage for next year and is very important)
- Enter any depreciation for last year and check to make sure all prepaid expenses or income have been accurately accounted for.
- Check your Accounts receivable and accounts payable. Do you need to write anything off?
- Run your reports and check them for accuracy.
Get everything to your CPA or tax preparer as soon as possible. As your information comes in put it all in one envelope. Extensions should only be used as a tax planning method not because you can’t find the mileage logs.
Spend time with your family and friends. We often get so wrapped up in our business that we forget the people around us that make it possible. Mark your calendar now for time you will be out of the office. Just as a note I will be out of the office the last week of March.
You are now ready to concentrate just on this year. This will free up your creativity knowing last year is really done.
Cynthia Finkenbinder, CPA
Skype ID alphaomegaacct