With 2016 just around the corner, and the holidays looming, you should be planning for year-end. Don’t you just love that phrase…”plan for year-end”. You hear it all over the place at this time of the year, on the news, from your accountant, on social media, but what does it really mean? What should you be doing to “plan for year-end”? Personally, I hate hearing a phrase like that, and having no clear steps or tasks to point me in the right direction. So, here are four to dos that I recommend to my clients to help them “plan for year-end”.
- Confirm you have a current W-9s on file for all your contractors and non-employees. You are required to send a 1099-MISC form to any person you have paid $600 or more to for rents, services, prizes or other income payments. You don’t want to be scrambling for tax id numbers and addresses in January from that consultant you used back in May. Getting this information now, will make the 1099 process smooth and effortless.
- Ask your employees to confirm their personal information on their next paycheck. Employees move and forget to inform their employers of the change of address, or there could be a typo in their social security number. A quick note in each paycheck asking your employee to review the information and inform you of any changes can save a bunch of headaches in February, not to mention the cost of revising and sending a W-2.
- Get caught up on your bookkeeping. If you are behind, schedule time to get caught up NOW, or hire a bookkeeper or bookkeeping firm to get you caught up. Either way, knowing where your business stands before the end of the year will help you make decisions about bonuses, potential equipment purchases, and lets you make better plans and goals for the upcoming year. It also helps you avoid putting yourself and your business in a cash crunch to start the year.
- Set up a meeting that includes both your CPA and your bookkeeper. Talk about plans for the last 6 weeks of the year, should you upgrade the equipment, give out bonuses, pay off a debt, increase inventory; or are you better off waiting. Set goals for next year, discuss changes you see happening in your business, and talk about the nagging fears as to how you’re actually doing. Get everyone on the same page, and working towards the vision, so you can start 2016 confident in your plan and your path.
We are happy to assist you with any or all of the above items so you can end 2015 with confidence.