January 2009  

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“We listened to what our customers wanted and acted on what they said. Good things happen when you pay attention.”

-John F. Smith

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
-Edith Lovejoy   Pierce

"We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over."
-Aneurin Bevan

Year-End Checklist


This year's economic challenges make timely and accurate financial data all the more critical to help you make sound decisions for your company. 

By setting a schedule in place to finalize your statements for the year, you can get a head start on tax planning so you can take pro-active steps before the end of this month and avoid the tax season rush.

Here's a checklist:

1. Call your bookkeeper, accountant, and/or CPA today and schedule a meeting by January 31. 
2. Set a date that you expect your year-end numbers to be finalized. Communicate this date with them and get their commitment to achieve it. Suggestion? Valentine's Day is February 14. What better gift to give yourself?
3. Review with your investment advisor and/or retirement plan administrator plan funding for the current year retirement contribution.
4. Ask your CPA what issues need to be resolved to make this deadline. Most likely they will include:
  • Depreciation schedules (start getting capital purchases and sales to your CPA now so s/he can start updating your depreciation schedule)
  • Payroll Reconciliation
  • Compare current year-to-date expenses to prior year for any unusual/unexpected variations and investigate 
  • Have your CPA come up with an initial tax liability estimate for the year by forecasting remaining revenues and profits
  • Work with your CPA to come up with a strategy to minimize your tax liability for the coming year
  • Review needs for working capital for the coming year, including anticipated capital expenditures
  • Review current financing and bank relationships, including line of credit and term loan balances and potential financing needs.
  • Is the existing accounting system adequate to meet management's information needs? If not, what's the plan to upgrade?

Assign a date and a person(s) responsible for resolving each of these issues. Put these dates into your scheduler and have weekly progress meetings. Establishing a written year-end closing procedures checklist for accounting staff and management personnel will help you to achieve your goals of a timely, accurate and cost efficient financial close for 2008 and all future years.

Complimentary QuickBooks

"How to Measure the Impact of 
Changing Prices"

Wed, Jan 28, 1pm PST


"How to Measure the Impact of 
Cutting Costs"
Wed, Feb 4, 1pm PST

Hosted by 
Steve LeFever



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