Small business owners everywhere are breathing sighs of relief now that the holiday season -- and all its craziness -- has passed.
If you're among them, you get just a day or two to breathe easy. Then, it's time to get the year-end reports ready and gather everything you need to make sure that you finish the year without a hitch. (This is also the only way to start the new year off right.) Good record-keeping is the heart and soul of avoiding legal conflicts that can drain your energy and your wallet.
Here are some of the things that you need to address at the end of the year:
It's time to reconcile a number of different balance sheets, including:
- Vendor accounts
- Checking and savings accounts
- Cash receipts
- Credit account statements
- Travel records
If you've given any employees a payroll advance, make certain that you tally those up as well.
If you maintain an inventory of any kind, it's time to take stock. You'll need the information to take the appropriate deductions on your taxes and determine where you need to prioritize your purchases in the coming year.
The end of the year is a great time to look at your business structure and evaluate its usefulness. Many small businesses start out as sole proprietorships or partnerships and then outgrow them. Is it time to consider a limited liability or corporate structure in order to insulate yourself and others from tax and legal liability in the event of a lawsuit?
Just like your business structure, it may be time to change a few of your goals. Unexpected developments in technology, changes in the market and other factors can alter the path to success.
If you need help evaluating a few things -- particularly the structure of your business as you head into the new year -- our office is available. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of guidance to help you realize what option is best.