LISTS ARE GOOD. They educate and entertain. To-do lists — for personal tasks, for professional tasks, and for everything in between — are even better. Maintained on a smartphone or on a piece of paper, they spur action and promote progress.
For people engaged in small business, either as an owner or operator, the to-do list(s) can be pretty lengthy this time of the year. There are things to wrap up before the close of the calendar year. There are things to set in motion for a good start in the new calendar year.
If not there already, consider these items for your business to-do lists in December and January:
• Review your financial reports. What does your profit-and-loss statement show? If it’s showing a nice profit — Good for you! — would this be a good time to invest in some depreciable business equipment? Consult your accountant.
• Update the 1099 information for each of your vendors.
• Examine your loan accounts and put them in good order.
• Consider the best timing for employee bonuses and/or special gifts for employees and clients.
• Account for all company benefits that have to be reported on W-2 forms.
• Do a final calendar-year inventory by Dec. 31 and make any required accounting adjustments.
• Finalize your operating budget for the new year.
• Finalize your business goals and objectives for 2016 and share them with your team.
• Reconcile all accounts — banks, credit cards, petty cash, etc.
• Get paper copies of all-year end reports (because computers have been known to fail).
• Whether you do the work yourself or use a service, make sure that all payroll, 1099, and other tax forms and payments are sent on time and in good order after Jan. 1.
• Make a new list — one with all the possible locations for your next big family vacation. Six or so months from now, you’ll deserve one!
column by BAXTER TROUTMAN
BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, and Arcadia. A citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.