In an ideal world, all businesses have to do to as the year winds to a close is to count their profits and start prepping for their Christmas and New Year parties. But it takes a lot more than that to get your business ready for 2019, which is why we’ve built out our Small Business Taxes Preparation Checklist!
Anyone who is at the helm of a business—no matter what size—knows this isn’t the case at all. As the year winds to a close, you have to take a long, insightful look into where the company actually stands–especially when it comes to your team. And that’s what this manager’s guide for small business taxes preparation is all about — this article is focusing on employee data and documents.
The Manager’s Guide: Employee Data And Documents For Small Business Taxes Preparation Checklist
From employee morale to accounting documentation; taxes and compliance to a comprehensive IT audit. There’s no better time than the end of the year to take stock of everything so you can start the year knowing you’re on top of everything.
The volume of things to consider alone can be overwhelming. And to help make it easier for you, we’ve created this small business taxes preparation checklist — this article focusing on having your employees’ files, documents and data in place to come into the new year.
Divided into multiple sections, we’ve identified critical elements of the business that will require your attention so you can neatly wrap up your business for 2018.
So let’s dive in, shall we?
For the first part of this series, let’s dive into one of the most important company resources: your employees.
This goes beyond making sure that your team is raring and motivated to reach their goals for the coming year. While important, there are other administrative and logistical concerns that every company should attend to get the business ready for 2019. It’s your responsibility to make sure that each employee in your organization is primed to meet the demands of the New Year.
Small Business Taxes Preparation Checklist: #1: Update Employee Data And Information
Review your employee data and make sure that all the information in your company records is current. Some key information to consider:
- Social Security numbers
Mistakes, errors, or improper filing could lead to penalties that could cost your business money. Take the time to have each of your team members confirm if the information in their files is correct. Have them verify their social security numbers online if necessary and double check to make sure that the names match the numbers.
Take note; you have to do a comprehensive check. This means you have to do this for both active and terminated employees. Check out our webinar on “Employee Exits: How To Fire As Gracefully As Possible” to learn more around processing terminated employees.
Small Business Taxes Preparation Checklist: #2: Double Check Employee Benefits
End of the year is critical for confirming benefit information and data for your employees.
Be sure to give advanced notice of benefits, including withdrawal provisions for your employees, especially for those who are eligible to avail their retirement plans.
- Health Benefits
Double check employee plans and make sure that they have selected and contributed to the appropriate plans. Confirm which employees have availed of the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and make sure that those who have, actually spent the money in their FSA before the year ends. Inform them that any money left in their FSA will be forfeited after a given grace period if they haven’t availed of the carryover option.
- Fringe Benefits
Does your company offer other fringe benefits? Double check to make sure that you withheld taxes for significant taxable benefits that employees may have received.
- Sick And Vacation Leaves
Confirm that all your employees sick and vacation leaves were actually used. If your company offers rollover options, make sure you check which dates are still available for the following year.
Small Business Taxes Preparation Checklist: #3 Verify Accuracy Of All Contractor Information
Gather and streamline all your contractor information to double-check the following details:
- Contractor’s name
- Identification number (SSS, ITIN, ATIN, EIN)
Small Business Taxes Preparation Checklist: #4 Verify End Of The Year Extras
The end of the year is a very popular time for companies share bonuses with team members, especially if the year proved to be a great one for business.
If you’re planning to hand them out as the year winds to a close, be sure that you withheld taxes for them.
Small Business Taxes Preparation Checklist: #5 Assess Employee Engagement
A testament to how well you managed your employees during the year is their engagement—so be very honest about this. For a full year, it’s likely that you implemented programs designed to bolster the development of your employees. You offered activities and programs that supported their career growth aligned to your overall company vision. To that end, you want to see that they were able to gain something from all your efforts.
You can check this by getting honest feedback from your employees. Determine which programs made an impact on their work. To make sure your business is ready for 2019, make an effort to find out which ones they found value in. Ask them what they want to be added for the following year; what else you can improve, what can you do to address all their needs?
And BONUS: One last thing…
Showing appreciation for your team should always be a year-round thing. But towards the end of the year, make sure that you do something special for them too. You could throw a Christmas and New Year party if you have the resources to dedicate for it. But something as simple as a team lunch or dinner, where everyone can sit down, catch up, and get together and enjoy the upcoming holidays is great too.
In the next part of this series, we’ll be delving more into the financial aspects that you have take care of as you get your business ready for 2019. Be sure to watch out for it!