Ask Jade – December 2020
As the year ends, it’s important to take stock of your small business’s finances and get your records in order.
The end of the year is also an ideal opportunity to identify your needs and goals for 2021.
1. Run financial reports. At a minimum, put together a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement. -Look at where your money went last year and determine whether you are on track to meet your profit goals and cash flow needs.
2. Get your vendor lists in shape. Update addresses, phone numbers, and the names of your key contacts.
3. Update employee information and consider bonuses. Make sure you have accurate contact information for your employees
4. Back up computers and mobile devices. If you use cloud-based software, you may think you’re covered. But experts caution against relying on just one backup method—even if it’s a well-known cloud service.-They recommend backing everything up on two digital platforms, in two locations, plus having one copy on a local server or hard drive.
5. Take inventory. If you keep goods in your store or warehouse, an end-of-year inventory lets you reconcile your numbers and identify any discrepancies that could indicate issues.-It also shows what’s selling well and what’s not, helping you decide what to pursue in the year to come.
6. Make a list of your business accomplishments. It’s easy to forget about the milestones you’ve achieved and the obstacles you’ve overcome. -Share it with your employees and recognize them for their contributions.
7. Meet with your accountant. Discuss expense reporting. Go over your financials and get advice on bonuses, distributions, and end-of-year tax strategies. Also talk about tax planning for 2021.
8. Talk to an attorney. Making the time for an annual legal consultation can show you what you need to do to keep up with regulations, contracts, and employment laws that affect your small business.-An attorney also can help you evaluate and minimize the legal risks you or your business may face. -Discuss whether it might be time to incorporate?
9. Identify your needs for staff, hiring, and outsourcing. The end of the year is a great time to think about the tasks you don’t like doing or don’t have the time or expertise to do well.
10. Take a good look at your website. Your website should not be a “create it and forget it” item. Go through your site and click on every link to make sure it works.
As always if you have questions about it as always, feel free to reach out to the Law Office of Jade Carpenter, and I would be happy to help! See you next time.
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The materials available at or within this article and video are for information purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should ask an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue of problem.
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