We all know we are supposed to have an annual check-up with our doctor to prevent health problems and catch issues early. Of course, whether we do it is another topic. An annual check-up can do the same thing for the financial health of your business and can be simple and straightforward when you know what to do. Evaluate these areas of your business to start your year off right.
A big-picture evaluation can start with a fresh strategic plan for the next several years.
- Be sure to identify benchmarks to track your progress.
- If you already have a strategic plan, reaffirm that you are still on course.
Are your accounting records supplying the data necessary for making sound decisions?
- Clean up your accounts receivable and collect past due balances.
- A change in software or evaluating the accounting procedures in place may be the right medicine for your business.
- Verify that your vendor records are ready for issuing Forms 1099 and that your payroll system is set up for the new earlier reporting deadlines.
Tried and True Tax Tips
- Investigate the possibility of charitable donations of inventory.
- For your personal taxes, consider donations of appreciated stock instead of recognizing the capital gain.
- Add up your payroll withholdings and estimated tax payments and make necessary adjustments to avoid under payment penalties.
- Provide formal or informal check-ins with employees to assess their development and contributions to your company.
- Listen to feedback your employees offer regarding work conditions, benefits and perhaps your own managerial performance.
- Analyze your company’s pay levels in light of industry standards.
- Determine whether your company is in compliance with current health insurance rules.
- Review your business equipment needs. This discussion is typically done in tandem with year-end tax planning (i.e. Section 179 expense).
- Inspect your computer hardware for wear and tear and end-of-life issues as well as IT security issues.
- Run a test of your backup processes to verify reliability.
- Update your general liability, building and contents, and employee dishonesty insurance.
- Research newer coverage available, such as cyber-security and data-breach policies.
When you own a business, your personal finances can be affected by your company’s activities.
- If you hold substantial company stock, make sure your portfolio is properly diversified.
- Confirm that you’ve maximized your annual retirement plan contribution.
- Review your life and disability insurance, estate plan and will.
Conduct an audit of your company website.
- Confirm that links are working properly.
- Take a fresh look at your home page for user-friendliness and marketing impact.
- Update your contact information to remove old data including past employees and non-functioning email addresses.
As you sit down with your New Year’s resolutions and schedule your annual physical with your doctor, remember to conduct an annual check-up for the financial health of your business as well. If you have any questions or would like some help, please contact Cray Kaiser.