It's November 1st and you should be thinking about your business year end bookkeeping. Why? Because if you wait until the calendar turns to 2013 you are too late. Here is why:
There is only so much than can be done after January 1st
You should have a conversation with your CPA to see if a tax planning meeting is recommended prior to or after year-end. The answer is pretty obvious; you should be looking at your potential tax liabilities prior to year-end. It is nice to know what tax situation you may be facing come April. If you look at it now and are not happy with what you see there is still time to do something about it.
You may be looking at inaccurate financials
Your tax planning meeting prior to year-end will not benefit you much if you are not looking at accurate financials. You should make sure that you reconcile your QuickBooks accounts on a regular basis. It is important to reconcile all of your bank accounts, credit cards and loans at the very least. Any account that you get a statement for with a beginning and ending balance can and should be reconciled. Merely reconciling your accounts does not guarantee accuracy. You should use the 'Ask My Accountant' QuickBooks account for any questionable transactions. If you are not sure whether to expense or capitalize a particular transaction then you should ask your bookkeeper or CPA about it. Going through the reconciliation process and analyzing your bookkeeping transactions for questionable transactions is the only way to ensure you are looking at accurate financials.
Focus on planning not bookkeeping
Year-end should be a time for planning; both your taxes and next year's financial goals. If you are focused on catching up on your bookkeeping you can't hit the ground running next year with a plan. Get your bookkeeping dialed out now before year-end. Meet with your CPA prior to year end to assess your potential tax liability and make any tax advantageous moves you deem necessary. Finally, meet internally with your key business people to analyze your current financial situation and make a plan for next year.
I hate the term year-end bookkeeping and feel that the term should not exist. I watch too many businesses wait too long to tackle their year-end bookkeeping; and often it is too late. Get on your bookkeeping and hit the ground running in 2013.
61 days, what will you do?