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Advice for Year End Planning

I woke up this morning with an extra hour (Thank you Daylight Savings Time) and realized we’re in November. Where has 2011 gone? I guess time flies when you are fighting rogue tornadoes, random Northeastern earthquakes, hurricanes, freak snowstorms, and week-long power outages.

Given that it’s an election week, it seems appropriate to look forward to the future instead of dwelling on the past (and I know that’s easier said than done for our friends still surviving without power  from October’s wintery woe). As a QuickBooks Pro Advisor, I advise my clients not to lose sight of how quickly year end is approaching and to start pulling together documentation needed to determine April’s tax liability. Well maintained books help your CPA crunch the numbers to determine your tax bill.

QuickBooks provides an excellent year end checklist  to get your books ready which can be accessed by going to Help Menu > QuickBooks Help > Type “Year End Guide” into the help search box.

QuickBooks Checklist

You can also visit Intuit for an even better checklist (although note that this will download a Word document to your downloaded files folder).

Of course, don’t forget to plan how you can make next year even bigger and better for your business. Developing a sound budget for 2012 that includes anticipating sales as well as with forecasting expenses for the year that typically come along with growth. You can find a great budgeting tool in QuickBooks under the company menu > planning and budgeting tools.

Unless you do the brainstorming necessary to determine exactly how you will grow, the preceding point becomes moot.
Much of business growth comes from increased sales. In order to free up some of your time, think about turning over your payroll functions to Intuit who will pay the taxes and prepare the forms. Call us for quotes (800-216-0763).

In addition, if you are not using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool), it may be time to investigate one that will work for you. We offer a CRM that gives your sales team access online to the QuickBooks transaction history for just their customers.

Key features of a CRM that will lead your team to high productivity are:

1. Tracks sales leads, phone calls, emails and reminders

2. Track effectiveness of marketing campaigns

3. Schedules follow-ups for tasks

4. Eliminates duplicate entry and enforces business processes set up by management

5. Offers management increased awareness of clientele and sales opportunities

6. Offers a customer and vendor portal

Closing out 2011 with proper planning will get you off to a fast (and hopefully weather-free) 2012.

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