Ahh...it's so much easier to feel cozy under blankets when you know you've gotten your checklists out of the way. Of course, if you don't know what should be on your checklist, that could keep you up, counting snowflakes. We're making it easy for you by rounding up a few handy lists you should pay attention to:

Read our earlier blog with 15 recommendations to help you tidy your books for the past year.

  • Tip #15 - set your closing date password for 2017 so you don't accidentally change any information for 2017. To do this in QB Desktop: Edit>preferences>accounting>company preferences>set date/password.  To do this in QBO: Gear icon>Account and Settings>Advanced>Accounting >close the books

Review your payroll and contract workers:

  • Make sure employee data is correct and up-to-date for both current and former 2017 employees, including their address, to help avoid identity theft when you're sending out tax documents.
  • Confirm all deductions are correct, such as Soc Sec, Medicare, & any wage garnishments
  • 1099s and W2s must be filed by January 31st - there are penalties if you file late or if you ignore filing altogether
  • Inactivate employees who are no longer working to save on your monthly fees.

For the HR side of your business:

  • Have you conducted an internal audit to keep your company compliant with requirements for filing, confidentiality, and retention?
  • Are state and federal Labor Law posters prominently displayed? Are they up-to-date?
  • Do you need to update your policies and procedures in your company handbook to cover new laws enacted since your last edition?
  • Are you conducting background checks on new-hires instead of going by instinct? It's better to pay a minimal fee now, instead of an expensive "hindsight regret" mistake.
  • Do you need to budget for additional staff next year?

Read Intuit's Accounting Checklist of 21 Things to Do and When to Do Them to help yourself stay up-to-date throughout the year. Do you need to catch up on any of these tasks?

  • Analyzing your inventory status - what's flying out the door? what's gathering dust? which ones are your best movers?
  • Assigning transactions to the correct categories - help out your CPA by doing as much as possible yourself or call your bookkeeper if you need a refresher before you turn everything in to get your taxes filed
  • Following up with clients who have an overdue balance - tell them it would be great to get their bill paid off to start the new year fresh with nothing owed

Remember you can find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ for new postings with timely information to help keep you up-to-date with answers for your small business needs. Get tax season tips, QuickBooks helps, class reminders and more when you sign up for our monthly newsletter. 

We're excited to be half-way through our first decade and we look forward to many more years serving our Chattanooga community and beyond. 

Happy New Year!

Lynn Talbott, MBA, is the Founder and President of HR Business Solutions, LLC. She is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Lynn was a Corporate Trainer and HR Manager for a Fortune 500 Company in Seattle, Washington, before moving to Chattanooga. She received the TSBDC’s 2015 Small Business Person of the Year Award for Chattanooga and was recognized as a 2015 Rising Star. You can read her HR Biz Success Story on the TN SBA website.