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5 Year-End Financial Tips for Small Businesses

The last three weeks of the calendar year can be among the most hectic for small businesses. However, with the help of a few financial tips, you can make more of it than just a frenzied rush to the finish line.

Three weeks might not sound like a lot of time to make decisions and implement strategies that will materially benefit your business, but it is. At the very least, it’s enough time to improve your 2017 tax situation, as well as set your small business up for success in the new year – no small accomplishments.

Here are five things you can do for your small business between now and New Year’s that will ensure you start 2018 on the right foot.

5 Year-End Financial Tips to Finish 2017 Right

1. Do a Year-End Financial Review: This is a particularly important (and even necessary) step for companies whose fiscal years run parallel to the calendar year. But either way, it’s an important practice for getting an accurate picture of your financial situation. If you don’t run the numbers yourself, have your bookkeeper run the numbers, then set aside time to review them. Evaluate your pro forma goals – have you hit the bar you set for yourself in the financial metrics you deem most important? If not, the answer as to “why” may dictate one of your business goals for the new year.

2. Spend: Small business’ expenses typically are tight to begin with, so it might be counterintuitive to suggest going on a holiday shopping spree. However, certain purchases – such as new equipment or property – are actually tax-deductible. So, if you have the extra cash and need to purchase a work-specific vehicle or a computer system anyway, see if you can tuck the purchases in before 2017 comes to a close. Consult with a tax expert to see what types of tax breaks might be available to you.

3. Donate: If your mailbox is fuller than usual, chances are part of that stuffing is coming from charities that ramp up solicitations during the holiday season. While most people are aware that charitable giving can be used for personal deductions, small businesses also get a break for helping those in need. Better still, you can give more than cash – inventory donations also are deductible. Again, check with a tax professional to find out what’s deductible and what paperwork you’ll need to stay on the IRS’ good side.

4. Budget: Don’t wing it going into the new year. Once you check the year’s financials, and made any last-minute moves, put together a financial plan for next year that incorporates everything you’ve learned – including tax breaks that you can now plan for across the whole of 2018. Knowing that you can gain certain breaks a year in advance, and being able to assign a dollar amount to those exemptions and deductions, may help you plan for and afford a business-building expense, such as hiring new employees or upping your marketing spend.

5. Check All Forms: This step is a yawner, but it’s vital nonetheless: Make sure that all vendors, contractors, lenders, etc., have all necessary paperwork and have properly filled out any forms you need – think 1099s and W-9s. This is important to ensure not only your small business toes the line with the IRS, but also that anyone you do business with isn’t scrambling for answers when they’re getting their tax house in order next year.

Last-minute financial planning can be a delicate dance – you don’t want to miss year-end deadlines, but you also don’t want to rush your way into an audit. That’s why it pays to discuss your situation with professionals, like the tax experts at McManamon & Co., who can help you make speedy but accurate pivots before the calendar flips to 2018.

Want to know more about what tax breaks you’re eligible for? Call us at 440.892.9088 or contact us online today.


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