The fourth quarter can take up a good deal of bookkeeper’s focus and time. It’s a time to tie up loose ends and get everything set for the first quarter of the new year. Although it is understandable to want all your ducks in a row, accountants and bookkeepers tend to lose their focus on their current priorities during this important quarterly transition. In the following blog, I’ve provided some key pointers that will help accountants and bookkeepers start 2017 smoothly.
Clear Your Monthly Calendar
A good rule for the transition between Q4 and Q1 is to take care of your usual monthly responsibilities as soon as possible. Clear the calendar so you can focus on moving forward with any changes your company needs to make. Make sure:
- All customer payments have been recorded
- Payroll files have all been updated
- Vendors have been paid
Have You Evaluated Annual Profit and Loss Estimates?
How is your year starting off? Take a good look at your revenue, cost of sales, gross profit and expenses. How are the actual amounts holding up to your projections? What needs to happen this quarter in order to accomplish your goals? The first quarter is a good time to strategize and get back on course if you have let the end of last year distract you.
Review Your Invoices
It is, of course, a good idea to keep close track of all the invoices you’ve sent out. Some vendors take their time with paying bills, so it is vital that you are aware of whether or not they have paid. Try setting up a tracking system in your accounting software. This will allow you to send reminders and follow up on outstanding bills before too much time passes. Also, while you’re tracking others don’t forget to keep an eye on your own invoices. Don’t be hypocritical and ask others for money if you are behind on your own bills. If your finances are organized you will have more time to focus on your first quarter tasks. You will be setting yourself up for anxiety and chaos if you don’t have your finances in order.
Are You Set Up For Success?
At the end of the year, you should have made all of your necessary purchases. If you haven’t yet, the time is now. You’ll want to maximize your deductions for the end of this year, so get your business purchases out of the way. Buy office supplies like paper, ink, pens etc. Additionally, you need new office equipment it is absolutely best to get it done now. You will have to decide if you want an immediate write off or spread out the depreciation over years. This will help you manage your expenses moving forward.
In conclusion, Margo’s Bookkeeping Service is here to help you maintain your focus in the first quarter. Call us anytime for a consultation to make sure that your 2017 is off to the smoothest start possible.