Don’t Wait Until New Year’s Eve for Your Financial Resolutions!

By Maryann Daddow | Automation Alley | 11/29/2017

As the end of the calendar year approaches, many businesses, partnerships as well as individuals, with fiscal years ending on Dec. 31, have an opportunity to plan for their year-end financials and affect their bottom line. A little time spent now can make for a much less stressful and more productive start to the new fiscal year.

Here are a few steps you should consider before the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31. 

Prepare for your year-end audit or tax return.

The first step is to gather documentation. Be sure you have final and complete executed copies of any new agreements or contracts entered into during the year, including leases, sales agreements, professional service agreements and so on.

Next, review those agreements for special provisions that may require special or incentive payments at year’s end, including things like usage charges, milestone accomplishments or performance.

Finally, review and reconcile all accounts to assure all transactions are recorded properly.

Consult with financial advisors and stakeholders.

It’s important to meet with your tax advisor or accountant to see if there are tax planning strategies that can be initiated before the end of the year to optimize your tax position for the current year and next year. This may involve accelerating deductions and credits and/or deferring income. This is especially important this year as Congress continues to discuss the most significant changes to the U. S. tax code in 30 years.  

Also, if you have debt agreements with covenant requirements, prepare initial computations to determine your compliance. If you anticipate issues, meet with your banker sooner rather than later. Nobody likes surprises.

Take action for the future.

Lastly, prepare a comparison of actual results to budget so that you can understand the source of the variances. This will allow you to determine actions that can be taken to correct deficiencies or improve performance in the future. 

Maryann Daddow is Automation Alley’s director of finance. In this role, Maryann is responsible for accounting and financial management for Automation Alley, as well as the lead interface with outside auditors. Daddow has 30 years of experience in finance and accounting, previously working in the automotive industry with Chrysler Group LLC. Her work experience has encompassed technical accounting, financial analysis and controllership responsibilities across a wide range of functions.

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