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End of Year Checklist for Businesses

It’s November. To a small business owner, that means more than turkey, seasonal shopping and festive times with family and friends. Reaching the end of the calendar year awakens one’s need to organize, review goals and performance and tune in to your year-to-date expenses as well as build a budget for 2015.

The Greater Elkhart Chamber reminds its business partners of some items to which one should pay close attention soon.
     
Schedule an appointment with your accountant and have the rest of this list completed before the appointment. This is the most important step to make sure your business ends the year on a fiscally healthy note.
 
Review your statements and reports. Know your financial performance: understand your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.
 
Consider whether you should defer income. Waiting until after January 1 to collect sends that income into 2015, where it may make better tax sense.
 
Go ahead and buy what your business needs. Maximize your deductions by making purchases now. Equipment need upgraded? Can you stock up on office supplies? Are there payments you can make in advance?
 
Check your Inventory. Any drops in the market value of your inventory may allow you to claim additional deductions.
 
Change your tax strategy? Ask your accountant and your lawyer which tax strategies would be best for your personal and business circumstances – and if you should change your business structure to a corporation.
 
Pay your future self. Pay into your retirement plan or set one up before the end of the year. Max out your contributions or immediately find out which plan may be best for you.
 
Contribute to Charity.  It’s a nice thing to help local organizations that do services for our neighbors. It can also be a good idea for your business. You don’t have to donate money, it could be goods or services.
 
Prep for Next Year Now. Prevent panic at the end of 2015 by keeping in mind all these suggestions as the New Year begins.


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