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The end and beginning of each year can be such a hectic time for any business, but particularly small and locally owned ones. Do yourself, your customers and employees, and whomever is handling your bookkeeping in Austin, a big favor by getting your affairs in order ahead of time and cutting down on the hassle and stress for everyone involved. We’ve put together a list of ways to help you have a happier holiday season by smoothing the transitions of shuttering and reopening of your business all around.

Communicate Your Closures

Give your clients and anyone you contract with for services adequate notice of when your business will be closed for the holidays. Try to notify them at least two weeks before said closure so that there is time to conduct and process any outstanding business you may have with each other. See if you can pause any regularly occurring expenses that fall over the time you are closed in order to save money on those expenditures.

Your clients may need services from you during the break, and so giving them enough time for the two of you to arrange alternate solutions is always a good idea. Finally, leave an emergency contact number or email address in case things go awry in your absence. Make sure that whomever is responsible for checking and answering those messages does so frequently.

Check Your Cash Flow

Compile a list of outstanding debts and attempt to collect them to ensure you have sufficient cash flow to cover any holiday or vacation pay. Invoice for outstanding claims and call or send past due statements for anything overdue. See if anything that needs to be written off or sent to a collections agency.

Create a budget for the often slower months of January and February to ensure the beginning of your year goes smoothly. If a payday falls within your closed period, make sure that someone is in charge of ensuring it goes through without a hitch.

Get Organized

Doing strategic tax planning, including estimates, in December instead of waiting until January, allows a little flexibility for last minute adjusting. Also, doing it earlier allows you to focus January on growing your business. Don’t spend the beginning of the year getting caught up on the old one.

Make a list of deductions you’re claiming and find the associated receipts. Do not underestimate how long this will take. Talk to your Austin area bookkeeper now about the types of deductions you may be eligible for, so that you have enough time to find the supporting paperwork without putting either of you in a rush.

Reconcile your bank accounts, and make any remaining 401k or IRA contributions. Verify your inventory; your tax preparer will need to know your inventory count for the beginning (Jan 1st) and end (Dec 31st) of the tax year, as well as the cost of inventory purchased and the amount sold throughout the year. Make a list of fixed assets: the larger purchases you made throughout the year. Record the sale or disposal of any of them, and verify any depreciation.

December and January can be stressful times for any business, but using this list as a guide can help cut down on that stress and put you in a great position for both the new year and for tax season. Talk to your Austin bookkeeping service soon for more advice on how you can make life easier for the both of you. Haven’t settled on one yet? Contact us today to help ensure that 2017 starts off on the right foot for you and your business.

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