Keep Your Business Healthy With A Comprehensive Annual Checkup

Monitoring your business activities is a good “preventive care” approach to maintaining financial health. Here’s what to review.

Accounting Records

Are your accounting records supplying the data necessary for making sound decisions? A change in software might be the right medicine for your business. Clean up your accounts receivable and collect past due balances. 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.

Employees

Assess your employees through formal performance reviews. At the same time, 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.

Equipment

Review your business equipment needs. A purchase by December 31 might provide a substantial tax deduction through bonus depreciation or Section 179 expensing. Inspect your computer hardware for wear and tear and end-of-life issues. Run a test of your backup processes to verify reliability.

Insurance

Update your general liability, building and contents, and employee dishonesty insurance. Research newer coverages, such as cybersecurity or data breach policies.

Online Presence

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 “about us” page contact information to remove old data and non-functioning email addresses.

Personal Finances

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 life and disability insurance, your estate plan, and your will.

Strategic Plans

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.

Tried And True Tax Tips

For your business, seek ways to defer income into next year and accelerate expenses into this year. 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 underpayment penalties.

 

A business checkup need not be painful to produce good results. Contact us for help and suggestions.

 

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