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January 31, 2018

Five tips to prepare for your small business’ year end

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us, it’s often easy to get caught up in all the sleigh bells jingle-ing and ring ting tingle-ing, too. As a small-business owner, you’re also likely consumed by pre-holiday promotions and Boxing Day sales galore. But amid the busy holiday season, it’s also important to remember the tasks you need to complete before ringing in the New Year. Take note of the five year-end tips below; then tie up 2017 with a big red bow.

1. Review Your Reports

At year end, you’ll want to know how your business performed financially. Hopefully you haven’t been naughty this year, and your books are up-to-date and accurate. If you’re having some difficulty keeping track, give one of these accounting programs a try. Then, have your bookkeeper or accountant your reports, and set up an appointment to go through them together, especially if you need a walk-through of the numbers and details.

2. Make Purchases

As the New Year approaches, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to purchase items your business needs in order to maximize your deductions. Are you ready for an equipment upgrade? Should you stock up on any supplies? Are there advance vendor payments that you can make? Bring out your holiday wish list and start itemizing what you can purchase now to get the most out of your deductions.

3. Meet with Your Suppliers

Reviewing your small business’ financials is just one step of your year-end task list. To get a complete picture, speak with your suppliers. This will help you understand how their contracts are affecting your small businesses’ margins. Discuss with your suppliers about what they see for the New Year regarding cost and availability. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about any price increases on their end.

4. Bring the Team Together

Bring your employees together before the year slips away. Depending on the particulars of your small business, this meeting could include your consultants, bookkeepers and lawyers, too. The more the merrier! This kind of team discussion is a great way to look at what’s going well, and what’s not. You can also consult your team on suggestions for improvement, or new ideas for the year ahead pertaining to operations, marketing and more.

5. Contribute to Charity

Making charitable contributions from your small business is a noble thing to do year round, but it’s critically important during the holidays. It can also assist with your business’ finances. If monetary contributions don’t interest you, donate gift items such as clothing, toys, food and gift cards, and claim a deduction for the fair market value. Ensure you receive proper documentation and a receipt for your files.

Get a jump on 2018 now by detailing a system you can use to make your processes even smoother in the New Year. Even when the weather outside is frightful, getting organized now will make next so delightful! Since December can be one of the busiest times of the year, it pays to start early. Get ahead of the game when it comes to planning your year-end tasks. That way you can be ready ahead of time, without any last-minute holiday stress.

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