7 Tips to Survive Your Business Year-End
‘Tis the season when retailers rejoice- holiday shopping can be big business for all types of organizations. Is your small business prepared for the year ahead? Let The Corporate Canuck help start you on a path to success with this tried-and-true list of year end tasks to make 2016 your best year yet!
- Sort Your Shoebox. Most entrepreneurs I know (myself included) have what I call a “Shoebox of Shame” where receipts, government notices, and general paperwork hibernate until the day before your tax return is due. The downtime in January is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on sorting and filing your paperwork, and setting up your new paperwork system for the next year. Not sure where to start? Here’s a checklist to help you get organized.
- Go Digital. Within the era of smart phones, it is easier than ever to track your business expenses. One of my favourite apps I recommend to my small business clients is OneReceipt. This tool (available online and as an iPhone app) will let you snap photos of receipts, add notes, email a copy to your accountant, etc. One of the reasons I love it for my year-end wrap-up is OneReceipt’s integrated function that will scan your email for digital receipts and post it in an easily accessible master file online- ideal for those online purchases from E-Bay and Amazon!
- Download Bank Statements. Some banks limit your online history to 6 months (or less) so year-end is an important time to download and/or print your bank statements for your records.
- Download E-Bills. With many businesses “going green” and opting for e-bills over mailed statements, more small business owners than ever are choosing to access their bills 100% online. As with your bank statements, some companies (phone, electric, internet) may only store digital statements for a limited amount of time. Consider downloading copies now for your tax records.
- Update Business License. For many cities, Business Licenses are issued for a calendar year, meaning a new license is required for January 1, 2016. Contact your city hall for information on how to renew; most major cities have an online renewal option, which can be a huge time-saver!
- Revise Payroll Forms. In Canada, all employees should be filling out TD1 forms at the start of each year. These forms (provincial and federal versions) determine how much tax is withheld from each employee paycheque, and is especially important if you employ part-time workers (as their tax situation may be affected by multiple jobs and/or school.) Note: you should issue and collect new TD1s BEFORE running your first payroll of the year.
- Plan Your Budget. Yes, the B-word. Even if you’re not a spreadsheet or accounting master, it’s important to know when the big influxes of cash and expenditures happen throughout your business year. Do you have an annual insurance payment? Equipment purchase? Seasonal Sales Promotion? At The Corporate Canuck, we use a one-page sheet to create a “Year at a Glance Cashflow”; your free copy is available by clicking here.
By investing a bit of time in your planning and organization strategies, you’ll feel ready to leap into 2016 and give your business the love and attention it needs to grow into a sustainable enterprise. Caught the New Year’s resolution bug? Check out our “New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Success” post for more tips and tricks to jumpstart your 2016 year!