For many small businesses, the end of the year is more of a time of stress than a time of celebration. Why? In short, taxes.
Preparing for end of the year taxes is no small feat, whether you are a veteran small business owner or a start-up. There is so much to account for and seemingly so little time that it can be a recipe for personal and business disaster without a little careful planning and organization.
Of course, planning and organization work best when they begin early, but it is never too late to start. Even if you find yourself ready to take all of the information to the accountant and have not done the first bit of organization for the entire year, begin now preparing for next year, and organize this year as you go.
First, ask your tax preparer for their checklist. Depending on the preparer, this may be a single sheet of paper, or it may be a three ring binder. Once you have that, you can begin to gather the information needed to mark items off the list and fill the binder if applicable.
There is a lot of software available, much of it free, to help you keep things organized throughout the year with very little extra effort required by you or your bookkeeper, once it is implemented. Do not let the implementation phase scare you, it is worth it.
If you already have software, be certain you understand everything it can do for you when it comes to tax preparation. If there is a support hotline, utilize it if necessary to take full advantage of all it has to offer. If you are finding it too difficult to utilize the tax benefits of your current software, meet with a CPA, whose job is to keep current on ever changing tax codes.
Biz2Credit (www.biz2credit.com) and Small Business Trends (http://smallbiztrends.com) are hosting a free webinar, Year-End Small Business Accounting Tips, featuring money-saving tax advice from experts in accounting, finance, and business incorporation on Tues, Dec. 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM (EST). The webinar will also cover best sources of capital in 2014, and growth strategies for CPAs and their clients. Register here: https://www.biz2credit.com/webinars/year-end-small-business-accounting-tips.