With the holiday just a few days away, we daydream about our favorite carols, and even a bright and shiny tree adorned with presents. We also think about the true meaning of Christmas. Although focusing on your business may not be top of mind, December is actually a great time to a jump on getting your business in shape for 2018.
With that in mind, here are some bookkeeping tips you can take care of before the holidays – and come back after the new year with less stress and mess.
Record ending mileage. Keeping track of your business mileage helps lower your tax liability, so before January 1 hits, record your ending mileage. Need some help? See how the combination of Sound Business Services and one of our favorite apps, MileIQ, can make your ride smoother – and your bookkeeping stronger – in this blog post.
Inventory, inventory, inventory. As you know, inventory is important in any business, making sure your customers get what they need when they need it. Make sure you do a year-end physical, documenting inventory. Of course, SBS can help you every step of the way.
Invoicing. You may be out of the office over the holidays, but that doesn’t give your clients or customers the leeway to wait to pay you. Send out invoices before Christmas to keep things running smoothly.
Two percent shareholder health insurance. This one is a little more technical, but represents an important area where SBS can help you come tax time. If you hold 2 percent ownership or more in your business, you can include your health insurance premiums. If you pay those personally and reimburse yourself by December 31, you can run that through the payroll of the company and get a tax benefit.
Staff implications. Depending on your business, hiring extra staff for the holidays may be common, but with new hires comes added tax implications. For example, are your new hires employees or contractors? Reach out to us at SBS and we can help you sort through this.
And, of course, make sure you ask all vendors to complete W-9s in preparation for sending 1099s to eligible vendors in January 2018. Also, plan in advance by setting up staff payments before the rush of holiday season, while also taking care of matters such as paying bonuses to employees and making sure you pay your bills.
Taking care of your staff. As you know, I’m a big believer in rewarding staff. Without my dedicated and hard-working staff, SBS would not be where it is today. For that, I am so grateful and humbled.
While it’s important to show them how much you care throughout the year through a congratulatory email or an in-person meeting, the holidays are a great time to reward them. The gift of giving is so powerful and can leave such an impact on your staff. Going the extra mile will truly show them how much you care.
This doesn’t have to be money – that’s what year-end bonuses are for! Get to know your staff to see what they are passionate about and give a gift accordingly. For example, maybe an employee just had a baby and you get them a blanket or a fun piggy bank that instills how important saving money is. It’s these small gestures that can leave a big impression and be something memorable. Think outside the box!
Let Us Know How We Can Help!
We hope these bookkeeping tips help you before you set out on your much-needed holiday break. Of course, contact us any time to make sure your bookkeeping is in tip top shape before the holidays, so that you’re not so overwhelmed when you return and get back to business. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!