This might be a good time for you to think ahead and get your small business ready for 2014. Here are some of the ways I help my clients get ready for the New Year:
RECONCILIATE YOUR ACCOUNTS – If you don’t do it yourself and have an accountant or bookkeeper, make sure he or she has reconciled your bank accounts and credit cards for 2013. Review your books to make sure the information has posted correctly. Don’t let your accountant or bookkeeper tell you he or she plans to reconcile your books when they return from the holidays.
CLOSE OUT YOUR 2013 FILES – Make sure you separate your 2013 paperwork and files. The paperwork should include all of your 2013 credit card statements, expense receipts, invoices, vehicle mileage, sales reports, and even a calendar of your appointments to help you sort out questionable expenses such as meals, travel or entertainment expenses related to your business. You will need to keep these files for at least four years.
CREATE NEW FILES FOR 2014 - To stay organized, you should keep your bills, client invoices, and vendor receipts in separate folders. If you’re finding yourself sitting around the office with not much to do this week, now’s a good time to pull out the label maker and create new files for 2014.
FILE YOUR 4th QUARTER PAYROLL TAXES – Payroll tax returns for the annual Form 940 and your 4th quarter payroll taxes are due by January 31, 2014. This is the same day W2′s and Form 1099′s must be mailed by. Now is the time to check if you have up to date addresses for your employees or independent contractors. If you paid someone more than $600 for services and the person is unincorporated, you will need to file a Form 1099 for them for 2013.
4TH QUARTER ESTIMATED TAX PAYMENT – Q4 estimated tax payments and returns are due January 15th. Get ahead by making that payment now.
REVIEW AND PLAN WITH YOUR ACCOUNTANT – Corporate income tax returns are due March 15th. Now’s a good time to work with your accountant so he or she can calculate your estimated tax return. At DM Accounting, we like to work with our clients not only on finding out if they will owe or get money back, but also on how to help increase sales and project future earnings for the upcoming year.
Hopefully you will use your downtime to prepare for 2014 and learn from the mistakes or triumphs you made in 2013.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!