Post written by Angie Geer, Bean Counter | Proud Mama | Doting Wife | Cooking Enthusiast | PTA Volunteer (Sucker)

Holy moly…this year is flying by, isn’t it?

With that in mind, what are some things you should be doing before you dig into 2018? Let’s focus on a few housekeeping items to do over the next three months to ensure our year-end processes run as smoothly as possible.

1. W-2’s

Verify all current addresses for your employees. We know employees our anxious to receive their W-2’s, so let’s be proactive in avoiding any delays.

If the W2 goes to an old address, it could be a month until we’re alerted, and then it takes even more time to re-send it. Not to mention a document is floating around with their sensitive information on it. Yikes! If you decide to email W2’s, remember to password-protect it!

2. 1099’s

These poor little guys are extremely susceptible to falling through the cracks. There is a tendency for your AP person to start firing away checks at people without realizing they could be eligible 1099 vendors.

Review your vendor transactions and identify those who are eligible. You’ll need to review the rules, but a starting point is to tag any entities you make payments to that aren’t incorporated (such as an individual or LLC) or are legal firms.

You need to be sure to have a W-9 on file that shows their legal tax name, address, SSN or EIN, and tax classification (individual, partnership, LLC-filing as…, etc.). It’s best to obtain this information when you’re first introduced to a potential entity as it saves a lot of work down the road.

3. Loan Balances

Be sure you’re receiving your loan statements and entering principal (balance sheet account) and interest (P&L expense account) breakouts. It’s important to have a correct principal balance as of 12/31/16.

4. Fixed Assets

You may be a little cloudy on what to actually call a fixed asset (usually >$400-500) versus an expense. You and your accountant should define what threshold works best for you.

Review any transactions that are fixed assets and be sure they’re pointing to the fixed asset balance sheet account. You also need to make sure you have a solid description of the item so your CPA knows how to classify it properly on your depreciation schedule.

5. Planning

Well, you have nine months under your belt now. How’s it going? Have you reviewed your financials year-to-date as well as doing prior-year comparisons? Are you crying or smiling right now?

Whether you have areas that need improvement or you’re completely content with your results, it’s time to focus. You need to analyze your books, build that 2018 budget, and put a successful plan in place. Sure, your golden plans don’t always work out, but the first step is being aware of what’s going on in your business. Kudos to you for making it that far!

Let’s celebrate 2017 by preparing for a bigger and better 2018. Remember that keeping organized books is what keeps a small business owner “in the know”.

If you’re struggling with your bookkeeping, consider outsourcing it to professionals who can keep them accurately and in real-time so they are always up-to-date. We’re happy to help!