Getting Ready for Year End Accounting.
Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year 2016 to all our Current and Prospective Clients. We want our Clients and Fans to know that we appreciate them and continually look forward to a great working relationship. The Year is almost coming to an end and It's a Busy Season for everyone. As you make your Holiday Plans, Remember to close your Books and Accounting Records for the Year 2015. We have listed some Tips to help you close the year properly, so that you can make great plans for the upcoming year:
Evaluate Your Accounting System: This is the time to start searching for a good Accounting System for the Year 2016. If you are the technology savvy person, who prefers High-tech financial management tools like Digital Vaults, Smartphone Apps, QuickBooks or Peach Tree, you will need to evaluate your system to confirm if it has worked for you. If you are the Old School of thought that prefers the Shoe Box, Envelopes and Spreadsheet System, you also need to evaluate this to see how it has improved your Accounting System. If you cannot truly attest to the effectiveness of the Accounting System that you are using presently, This is the best time to consider switching to a more effective Accounting System.
Review Your Sub Contractor Data: Every Organization needs to confirm if they have paid anyone for services more than $600 during any given year; If you have, You are required to send a Form 1099 to the recipient by January 31st of every year. You have to ensure that the Subcontractor completed the information on the Form W-9 issued, at the inception of the Contract. Your Bookkeeper needs to update the 1099 Detail Reports and reconcile the amount paid during the year with the amount in the Books.
Reconcile your Expense Account Data: This is the best time to ensure that you look at your expense data and accept all reimbursement checks prior to December 31st. This will ensure that your Company will receive Tax Deductions for all the Business Expenses being claimed. You also need to ensure that you have all your Receipts Handy and properly filed.
Evaluate your Financial Standing: This is the best time to review your Profit & Loss Statements, Balance Sheets and general Ledger to ensure Accuracy and to make sure that all transactions have been recorded, so that you can get your Tax Deductions. Examples of Transactions to watch out for are as follows:
1) Ensure that the Bank and Credit Card Accounts have been reconciled. 2) Ensure that the Loan Interest has been separated from the Principal Amount and is accurately entered into your Books. 3) Check for the Accuracy of Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable. 4) Write Off Bad Debts for Customers who are Noncollectable.
Make a Charitable Giving Budget Calendar: Charitable Gifts are some of the easiest Expenses to overlook, when it comes to itemizing Deductions. During the Year End, Gifts and Donations to Thrift Stores are easily forgotten. You can use this Holiday Season to make your Donations to your Chosen Organizations, so that you are sure of claiming them for the Upcoming Tax Season.
Review Your Personal Expenses: If your Business entity is a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, then it's time to ensure that your Personal Expense is not co-mingled with your Business Expenses. You will have to get your Receipts and Cancelled Checks and record these expenses to your Company's Books. Many Tax Payers have ended up paying extra taxes needlessly because they overlooked Business Expenses paid from Personal Funds.
Re-evaluate your Retirement Plan: This is the time to find out if you are putting away enough money for your Retirement. Maxing out a SEP Plan or taking advantage of an Employer match can be your best option. The IRS limits on Tax deductible IRA Contributions can change just as the benefits an Employer provides changes. You have to find out if you are putting away enough to offset your Tax Burden.
Prepare an Income Projection: Most Organizations prepare income projections to gauge their income and expenses during the mid-year and year end; It's actually advisable to take stock every Quarter, Half Year and Year End. The Projection looks at your Cash Flow, Estimated Taxes for the Self - Employed, Stock Options, Bonuses and other things impacting your Income. This is necessary especially if your Profit increased substantially during the year, your Bookkeeper/Accountant will help you prepare and analyze your Books to see where you need to reduce your taxable income by implementing some last minute strategies.
Take your Bookkeeper to Lunch: Everyone knows that all Bookkeepers and Accountants are always busy starting from the Month of January through April of every year; We all have these Last - minute Questions, which we all need answers to at the last minute. Now is the Time to get them answered. Try to set up an appointment with your Bookkeeper/ Accountant, to find out what you can do better next year to help reduce your Tax Burdens. If putting together your information was challenging for your Bookkeeper/Accountant, Try to make the meeting over a meal or another token of appreciation. Otherwise if you have a less- than - ideal experience with your current Bookkeeper/Accountant, This is an ideal time to shop around for one that is a better fit.
Another Tax Season is about to start; Filing your Taxes will probably never be fun, but being proactive when you are not under a Deadline can help ease some of the burden and save you time and frustration when April Comes around. If you need help with getting your Books ready for Taxes, We are available to help you. Please Free to give us a Call on 202.422.4586. You will be glad you did.