How can you finish the year strong to set you up for your best New Year yet? Use this Boutique Owner’s End of the Year Checklist, plus these extra tips to make this a new year to get excited about!
- MEET WITH YOUR ACCOUNTANT:
A lot of times Boutique Owners (myself included in the past) wait until after the end of the year to meet with your accountant–I’m telling you now, don’t do it. Make a point to quarterly (at least) if not more, reach out to your accountant and see where you are looking as far as a tax liability. This will save you a lot of stress in the new year and avoid the shock of what you may owe for your taxes.
2. PAY ESTIMATED TAXES:
No one wants to do it, but we recommend it–Why? For a couple of different reasons; 1. This avoids any penalties that you may receive from the federal or state government. If you owe more on your taxes this year than you did last-they can charge you a fee for not paying in. 2. The more you pay now, the less you pay in April and since you are just coming off the dreaded first quarter, that money that’s already paid in will be super helpful to your cash flow.
3. UPDATE YOUR MILEAGE LOG:
Am I the only one that struggles with this? I have the app–but I still don’t do it! Well, girls, today is the day to start. An easy tool for me to use, a calendar. Start back in January and write down every little trip you took. The one to the post office, the one to buy office supplies, that one time you delivered a package to someone’s house for them…write it all down. Girls, I can’t stress it enough, if you aren’t submitting your mileage, you could be leaving a HUGE tax deduction on the table.
4. MAKE BIG PURCHASES:
Do you have the items you need for your office? A new computer, a new printer, how about a steamer? Purchase those items now—get that tax write-off!
5. LAST MINUTE SALES:
Clean out any stale inventory by running a last-minute sale! Remember, at the end of the year you are going to have to give a wholesale cost on hand amount to your accountant and that will show as an asset. So what does that mean? It means that you will be taxed (as income) on that old stale inventory. MOVE IT OUT ASAP.
6. DONATIONS VS. DISCOUNTS:
So what makes the most sense, donating the items and taking the write off? Many would think but I’ll let you in on a little secret—-It’s better to sell an item that costs you $14 wholesale for $1 than it is to donate it. WHY?? Because on your taxes you will get to write off the full $14 + make $1 in income. The tax write off you get for donating an item will not be equal to the full cost of the wholesale item.
7. YEAR-END INVENTORY:
Complete your psychical year-end inventory no later the 12/31 and get the total wholesale cost on hand to your accountant. If you use Delirious Profit, compare the two to make sure there aren’t any major discrepancies.
8. GET YOUR RECEIPTS IN ORDER:
Make sure you have all your receipts organized and accounted for and if you want to save money, total them up by line item so that it saves the accountant the extra work and you the extra expense.
9. FOLLOW UP ON ALL ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLES/PAYABLES
Making sure your books are as clean as possible is key to your business financial health check. If you have multiple vendors who owe you product or credit it is important to have current records for tax purposes. Once updated these will show up on your Aged Creditors or Aged Debtors reports in your accounting programs.
10. RECONCILE ALL ACCOUNTS
Reconciling all your credit card statements and bank accounts will ensure you have taken into account all expenses and purchases to date.
11. REVIEW YOUR CONTRACTS
EOY is a great time to review your current contracts – phone, internet, credit card processors, etc. Note on your upcoming year calendar when these lapsed. This will give you time to research other options if necessary.
12. HAVE A PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR:
Create a plan for what can be done differently in the new year—Better bookkeeping, a strategic buying plan, whatever it is, decide what you want the year to look like, and set those goals in place.
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