Year-end is a confusing and complex time for businesses and individuals alike.
There’s a lot to consider, forms to be filed and meetings to be scheduled. Plus, with the continuing impact of tax reform and various other regulations, there’s even more to think about as 2019 closes and 2020 opens.
As you begin to plan for year-end, here are a few tips to help you prepare for the year ahead.
Balance Sheet Checklist
To successfully get ready for year-end, it is important to make sure your accounting records are up to date and accurate.
• Make sure assets match your liability and equity on your balance sheet.
• Perform bank reconciliations for all cash and credit card accounts and determine if there are any checks or deposits that haven’t cleared.
• Make sure all invoices and accounts payable are entered if you are on an accrual basis.
• Adjust inventory, prepaids, etc. as needed.
• Provide your accountants with W-2s, W-3s, and 1099s, if applicable.
Tax Reform Considerations
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continues to impact the ag industry. The resources you put into planning now could save you time and money in the future. Scenarios impacted by tax reform include tax rates and brackets for trusts and estates, state and local tax, accounting methods, depreciation and more. To ensure you are up to date on all the changes, plan to meet with your accountant sooner rather than later. This will ensure you have enough time to discuss the impacts tax reform will have on your operation as you close out 2019.
If you have people working for you, you’ll need to determine if they are employees or independent contractors. The business relationship between your organization and the person performing your services is an incredibly important one to define, so you can make sure you’re filling out the correct forms. When it comes to year-end planning, employees receive Form W-2, while independent contractors receive Form 1099-MISC. Our W-2 and 1099 eBooks make it easy to determine which forms you may need to remain in compliance.
Look Beyond Finances
When you are preparing for year-end, it’s common to focus on your finances. After all, your finances determine if your business is profitable or if changes need to be made to increase revenue or control expenses. While finances are important, don’t forget about other crucial areas of your operation that could use some attention at year-end.
Common items to check up on are your technology solutions and cybersecurity strategy. Some questions to ask yourself include:
• Are my systems up to date and backed up?
• Has there been any suspicious activity in emails or other electronic communication?
• When was the last time passwords were changed?
• Is my software still meeting the needs of the operation?
Answering these questions will help you obtain a clearer picture of your operation’s technology infrastructure and help you identify any threats that may be lurking.
Get Organized for Year-End
Year-end can be a busy, stressful time, but it isn’t something you need to do alone. At Eide Bailly, we care about your success and want to ensure you are prepared for an amazing 2020. To learn more about successful year-end planning, visit www.eidebailly.com or contact Janel Keenan at 406-896-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org .