The end of the year is quite a busy time for any business owner. Not only are the holidays in full swing, but additionally, there are tasks every business owner needs do to set themselves up for a good start in 2019, especially in terms of taxes and bookkeeping. In this article, we’ll highlight what we believe are some of the most important things to do in closing out the year.

  • Make sure your accounts receivable is reconciled.

We begin with a task that is absolutely essential. Take a look at your list of unpaid invoices and try to collect these bills before the end of the year. Not only will this give you a fresh start in the new year, but it will also help with cash flow.  

  • Confirm that your payroll and benefits are accurate.

As expressed by many tax experts, it’s always better (and less expensive) to correct any issues with payroll and benefits in December rather than in the new year. Something that often goes unaccounted for are taxable fringe benefits, such as sick pay or a company car, or other transportation subsidies.  

  • Disburse any bonuses before the end of the year.

Bonuses have a big impact on the profits you report. As a result, it makes a difference whether you disburse these bonuses before the end of the year versus in the new year. If you assign bonuses at the end of the year, you can deduct from the revenue for this year, meaning a reduction in the amount of tax you’ll owe when you file.

  • Meet with your tax professional.

A year-end meeting with your tax preparer is always a good idea. You can use this meeting to evaluate your current tax strategies based on your financial report. Look through your cash flow statement, balance sheet, and profit and loss statement together and identify how taxes will be influenced.

  • Use your financial statements to create goals for the coming year.

Not only is it useful to review your financial statements to evaluate the goals that had been set for this past year, but also to set new goals for the coming year. Besides setting new goals, use this time to begin planning your budget.

These five simple steps we’ve covered above can go a long way in ensuring your business is ready for the new year. It may seem like a lot of work, especially with all of the holiday chaos, but in the long run, it will make your life easier and help your business be successful. In addition to state and IRS audit representation, our team of CPAs also offers additional services such as individual income taxes, business income taxes, and employment taxes. If you have any questions, contact our friendly IRS Audit Group staff today at 1-888-300-6670 for a free consultation.