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6 Business Planning and Records Resolutions for 2013

Get Your Business Systems Back on Track

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You have been meaning to get your business systems in order, but you've been too busy. Make 2013 the year you get this critically important task done. Why bother?

1. You won't have to worry complying with tax laws or financial regulations or whether your records are safe in case of disaster.

2. You will have the answers to the questions every business needs to know, like how much profit you are making or what your tax bill will be.

3. You will be prepared in case of an audit.  Many federal and state can audit your records, so keeping everything in order can save you time and money.

It's time to get started....

1. Create and Maintain a Business Budget

No time to make a budget? Then how do you know you are operating your business effectively? A budget can show you where you are over-spending and help you determine the best way to maximize earnings.

2. Set up a Financial Record Keeping and Accounting System

The first, and most important part of setting up a record keeping system is to capture the information, but you then must keep it up to date and review it to make improvements. And, of course, you will need all this information to file taxes. You can set up a simple system for keeping records, either by hand, using financial software, online, or with a bookkeeper. It's one of your most biggest responsibilities as a business owner, so start now.

3. Create a Debt Collection System to Maximize Collections

One of the THE MOST IMPORTANT things you can do make sure your business is profitable is to set up a system to collect money from customers. In this article, you'll learn the first two rules of debt collection (Rule #1 - the longer a bill is overdue, the less likely it is to be paid, and Rule #2 - some people won't pay, no matter what you do). Learn how to set up a system to monitor accounts receivable and collect on overdue bills, and also how to stay within the law on debt collection practices.

4. Plan for Business Disasters

Disasters of all kinds can happen to your business.  Set up a plan to prepare for a disaster and recover from that disaster, including:

  • Planning to keep business records safe
  • Planning for employee safety and minimizing damage to property
  • Getting a business valuation now, so you know how much your business was worth before the disaster
  • Learning about U.S. government loans and other disaster relief assistance
  • How to recover business records after a disaster,
  • and more.

5. Get Your Payroll System in Order

Make sure you have your payroll system in order, including employee records, payroll records, and records of payroll taxes. Payroll taxes (all the taxes you must pay because you have employees) are one of the top audit targets for the IRS and states. Whether you do it yourself, use payroll software, an online payroll system, or a bookkeeper, you need to know what to do and when to do it - for withholding, paying, and reporting.

6. Create and Maintain Business Records for Your Corporation, LLC, or Partnership

All business types need to keep legal records of agreements and director actions. Corporations, partnerships, and LLC's need these records to maintain liability protection. Even sole proprietorship owners should keep some legal records. The article discusses the state-required books that need to be kept by your business.

If you have all of these books and records, where are they? Some strategies for keeping and updating business records might give you some ideas to help make business record keeping easier.

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