How to prepare your business for the end of the year.

It’s December, and that means that it’s time to begin thinking about tax time. April 15th may seem far away now, but every year it seems to sneak up on us too quickly. We want to help you get a jump start on tax time now by following our checklist for a few must-do tasks.

Review your key reports. Three reports that every photographer should have—and review often—are the Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow. Your Balance Sheet will show you a summary of your business’ financial status at a particular point in time. Your Income Statement will show you your income versus expenses; and indicate if you are profitable or not. And lastly, your Cash Flow report will reconcile your opening cash with your closing cash for a period of time. This allows you to see how much cash on hand you have. The end of the year shouldn’t be the first time that you’ve look at these reports, but it’s definitely necessary to review them now so that you will be ready to hand-off to your accountant.

Schedule an appointment with your accountant. Which brings us right to our next must-do task: scheduling a meeting with your accountant. After you’ve reviewed your reports, schedule a meeting with your accountant to get any last minute questions answered, determine if there are any additional items you can deduct and begin paperwork for tax time.

Maximize your deductions. Do you need anything for your business? Perhaps you need a new Speedlight or software for your business (like Iris Works). Now is the time to makes those investments. Make a list of purchases you need, want and would be nice to have. Remember, you can deduct business expense, so if there’s something you’ve been contemplating—now is the time.

Set some goals. It is time to set some goals for the coming year. Looking back at the past 12 months: What goals did you accomplish? What goals did you miss? And what do you want to accomplish for the next 12 months? Ask yourself these questions, and put the answers down on paper. It’s important to celebrate your successes, and write goals to work towards for the future.

What do you do to prepare for the end of the year?