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  • Writer's pictureCherie Larson

Fall Financial Planning


Ah, fall is in the air—when pumpkin spice lattes make their debut and colorful leaves hint at cooler days ahead—even if the temperature begs to differ. Let's lean into that fall feeling and harvest some financial wisdom for your business. Time to break out your plaid flannels and get down to planning!


Tax Planning

The 15th of September isn't just another day on the calendar; it’s a tax milestone. Time to hit the pause button and assess your potential taxable income. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for April 15th. Got your attention? Great. Set aside the necessary funds now and pencil in a date with your tax CPA for late October or early November. This gives you ample room to navigate any tax twists and turns ahead.


Year-End Bonuses and Owner Compensation

Ever found yourself scrambling the day before a company party or the last day of the year trying to figure out year-end bonuses and owner distributions? Let’s break the cycle. Think of this as your blueprint:


  • Which employees will get bonuses? If all, how will you allocate the money?

  • Consider your cash flow. Don’t plan on huge bonuses (just because you did before) when you already know your cash flow isn’t there.

  • For C-Corp owners, talk with your tax professional to see the tax implications of any distributions.

  • If you have partners, make a plan now for any cash draws. Is it better to wait and pay in April, when the tax burden is known? What impact will taking this cash out have on the business? If you are an S-Corp, have you paid reasonable compensation or do you need to increase that before year-end? (Another issue to discuss with your tax professional.)


Get a plan in place now for year end bonuses, raises and owner distributions or draws. So often owners have to move money around or do expensive wires instead of an ACH to get the payments made in time. You don’t need to have final numbers yet... just work on getting a plan. Figure out some of the basics!


Update Your Books

Any good planning is hard to do when you don’t have good numbers - and we don’t just mean sales numbers. Whether you do your own books or have someone else do them, this is a great time to get caught up and cleaned up. If you owe your bookkeeper information, this is also a great time to supply it!


Analyze

Once your books are in order, this is a great time to stop and analyze where you are at. Ever wonder where your hard-earned profits are disappearing to? Here's your window of opportunity to run a full financial check-up. It's not just about knowing your sales but understanding where the money flows. This is your chance to set up the final quarter of the year for success and lay a foundation for an even more prosperous next year.


Review Benefit Changes for Next Year

Don't let January 1 sneak up on you with auto-renewals on employee benefits that may not serve you well anymore. If you've been considering adding or altering benefits, now’s your time to shine. Your benefit broker will thank you for not being part of the end-of-the-year rush!


Start New Habits or Routines

Who says resolutions are reserved for New Year's? If you start now, you'll be light-years ahead when the ball drops. Allocate time for bookkeeping, team-building, and strategy. The new routine starts now, making you a proactive leader rather than a reactive manager.


Don’t let another season pass by without leveraging it to your business's advantage. Need expert advice? Feel free to reach out to us right here.


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