One of the many mistakes that I see in my profession is waiting too long to get help in accounting and tax preparation. We think we know when we are going to go to that next step but wait faithfully for the day to come to “need” someone. We think in 2 months we can get my books in order so that we can _____ (fill in the blank). Lots of times its I just need to make a little more money to take that next step and all too quickly you gain that account and 10 more have walked through your door and now your behind.
Accounting and Taxes
Accounting and taxes are not something that should be a surprise to anyone. We all know what check book is, that money goes in and out, and that somehow there should be a way to account for it. The dreaded tax deadline is always April 15th and yet we still seem surprised when it becomes due. This is not just you, or some people, I personally know that I generally wait too long to make a decision on many things.
So how do we avoid waiting, procrastinating or just in general waiting for the next ship to come in? We plan! It’s really that simple and I am so happy when I take that time to actually sit down and plan what’s next in my life and my business.
Planning looks different to everyone and it is okay if you don’t have mountains of spreadsheets, budgets and forecasts. I think the best plans actually require you to have some ability to anticipate needs in the future and determining what that future is can be a little intimidating.
When you’re planning the accounting and tax needs of your business here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you anticipate the need and never be put into a “too late” situation.
- Do I know who will handle my accounting?
- Do I know what qualifications are needed to handle my industry accounting?
- What software is available and do I have enough knowledge of what is out there to pick?
- What tax deadlines must I abide by?
- Will I have employees and when do I anticipate hiring?
- Do I have to collect and report sales taxes and to whom?
Three Months Prior
Each of the questions above should be answered 3 months prior to pulling the trigger. It seems like a long time line BUT many of the questions will help prepare you for the next step. If you have three months of anticipated needs you can plan out your schedule and always make sure you are investing in your business in plenty of time for the situation to happen.
It’s very common that when you plan for something to happen it actually does. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy in some circles so I would anticipate and plan for the relationships you will need to take your business to the next level.
With planning ahead you will never be in the category of being caught off guard, too late or behind again. Taxes and accounting are all things that happen so planning ahead instead of waiting for the need will help you be the success I know you can be!