Starting the year off on the right foot 

By Brian Ravencraft

We are now well into the first quarter of a new year. My wish for all of you is that 2023 is a healthy, happy and financially sound and successful year. The best way to set the tone for a great year is to start things off on the right foot. I asked some of my colleagues at Holbrook & Manter to share some of their best tips of setting the right tone for a successful year ahead. Enjoy their tips below.

Keep your accounting records up to date throughout 2023. If you don’t have the time as a small business owner, hire a bookkeeper or outsource it, but make sure the accounting records stay up to date at least on a monthly basis. If you wait too long to update your accounting records you won’t have real-time data to make management decisions and you will be scrambling at the end of the year to reconcile a years’ worth of activity to file a tax return. Some suggestions to make the bookkeeping process easier are to use a Cloud-based accounting software, setup automatic bank and credit card feeds to post accounting transactions, and integrate third party applications if needed. By keeping the books up to date, you can review financial reports often to make management decisions and to make accurate quarterly estimated tax payments throughout the year.

– Danielle Cottle

The beginning of a new year is a good time for business owners to lay out their goals and expectations for the year. They should have a budget where they review all expenses and see if there is any room to trim and they should also estimate expected revenues. This is the best time of year to decide if they will implement any changes to their services or products offered.

— Carmen George

If you have not done so already, it would be helpful to wrap up 2022 financial statements as soon as possible. This will provide a good look at past performance to help with projections for 2023. Start the year off with a fresh start by setting up new files (either electronic or physical) right away in order to keep your records organized.

— Linda Lehman

When you are processing your payroll in the new year, be sure to verify current employee addresses. An employee move just a few miles away may have payroll tax implications for a new city tax or a different school district. You can always verify the tax set ups are accurate by using the Ohio finder here at this web address: https://thefinder.tax.ohio.gov/StreamlineSalesTaxWeb/default_taxdistrictsummary.aspx

— Chandra Reau

The same ideas that you applied to year end can also be applied at the beginning of the year to make sure you have a successful year. Did you find yourself making corrections at the end of the year in your bookkeeping? Be sure you have your system set up appropriately, so you won’t have to make those changes again at the end of the year. Review your employees, be sure taxes and deductions are set up appropriately. For example, did the employee fill in a new W4 or IT4, are the new school districts or updated rates to consider? Does an employee’s deduction have a new threshold for this year? Make lists or calendar reminders of things you need to do throughout the year to make sure you stay on track and don’t overlook anything.

 — Julie Roe

As always, I am here to answer any accounting-related questions you may have. Wishing you a prosperous 2023! 

Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.agribusinessaccounting.com or www.HolbrookManter.com

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