Are you already thinking about buying presents for the holiday season? If so, you should probably be thinking about your books too!
When you’re a small business owner, a year can pass in what seems like the blink of an eye. One moment, you’ve just finished cleaning up your books at the end of the year, the next moment… hey, it’s December! Time to do it all over again!
If you’ve only just realized how far behind you are at preparing your books for the end of the year, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to get everything in order!
Keep Your Accountant in the Loop
If you work with a professional to maintain your books, then it’s vital they have every important financial document in their possession by the end of the year.
Here at The Number Works, we work very hard to ensure that our clients’ books are in top shape year-round, but that’s only possible if we are in constant communication.
If you only speak to your accountant once a year, they might be missing vital documents they need to do their job. A professional accountant or bookkeeper should always keep you in the loop about your business’ financial health, but it’s up to you to supply the documents they need to determine it!
The upside of keeping in close communication with your accountant is that if there are any problems with your finances, they’ll know immediately and can handle the situation quickly and professionally.
Generally, your accountant should have:
- Your financial statements for the year.
- A full copy of your bookkeeping records.
- Payroll records.
- All office expenses (including home office).
- Vehicle information.
- Income tax assessments.
If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership—or your accountant also handles your personal taxes—you should also include your T4, T4A, T3, and T5 slips.
Hire Someone to Help
Of course, if you don’t already have an accountant working for you, finding one this late in the year could seem like a stressful task. Not so! In fact, it could be a perfect time.
Most people start to panic and look for an accountant or tax professional in the first quarter of every year. That tends to be a busy period for accountants. Everyone is looking for help with their income taxes, so we field many calls around that time. By contacting The Number Works in the fourth quarter of the year, you could also ensure that you’ll be set up for the tax season in a few months!
Set Up Quickbooks Online
The best way to make sure that your books are entirely in order by the end of the year is to maintain them as you go. And the easiest way to do that is to use an online accounting program.
We find Quickbooks Online offers small businesses an excellent level of flexibility matched with ease of use. Basic accounting features, like invoice and bill tracking, can keep all of your financial documents in one place, streamlining the organizational process at the end of the year.
While we’re big fans of many of QBO’s more advanced features, they aren’t usually necessary for many small businesses. With that in mind, you can often pick a less expensive subscription that will supply your company with everything you need to keep track of your finances at an affordable price. And if you do want to get into the more complicated QBO features, we’d be more than happy to teach you everything you need to know!
Another plus of QBO is all of the financial information contained within is easily shareable with your bookkeeper or accountant. If they already have access, you may not even need to lift a finger to get them what they need.
With gift-giving, big to-do lists, and general holiday stress, the end of the year tends to be one of the busiest possible times. For small business owners, that’s compounded by the panic of needing to get their books in order. So hiring a professional accountant or learning QuickBooks for yourself is the holiday gift that just keeps on giving! Getting that problem off your plate will instantly relieve much of the holiday stress and help you get your small business’ finances into great shape for next year.
Feel free to contact The Number Works today, and we can help you finish off your 2021 finances and set your small business up for future success!