For some individuals, December is a month centered around holidays, family, friends, and merriments. That isn’t really valid for the bookkeeper, accountant or CPA, notwithstanding.
The year-end close of the books is fast drawing nearer, and our time, as accounting experts, is becoming progressively rare. Possibly, there are things we need to review again in our customers’ books or a few things that still need consideration. What’s more, in case you’re involved with getting ready taxes over different obligations, your schedule is just going to get increasingly pressed as tax season settles in and deadlines overwhelm your life.
Entrepreneurs and business owners trust us to guarantee their financials are precise, finished and timely, so they can set out to appropriately achieve their objectives. As we all know, a great, dependable arrangement of books doesn’t show up naturally. Rather, creating it takes ability and care as the year progresses.
Warren Buffet stated, “Somebody’s sitting in the shade today because somebody planted a tree quite a while ago.” If we ever need to “sit in the shade,” we will need to begin planting trees. To put it plainly, bookkeepers need to have a plan.
Here are three practical tips that will enable you to get ready for a smooth December, negligible stress in January and, most importantly, cheerful customers.
When I started building up an outsourced bookkeeping arm at our firm, I gave a lot of thoughts about how we could reliably convey an item to our clients that had worth and was reliable. It was overpowering from the outset since there were such a significant number of subtleties that could without much of a stretch get ignored. Besides, I needed to keep our entire team in agreement and moving in the direction of a similar objective.
To achieve all this, I began by making a checklist. Atul Gawande, a surgeon, composed an incredible book called The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. In it, he says, “Great checklists …. are exact. They are effective, to the point, and simple to utilize even in the most difficult circumstances. They don’t attempt to spell out everything–a checklist can’t fly a plane. Rather, they give reminders of just the most crucial and significant steps– the ones that even the profoundly skilled professional utilizing them could miss. Great checklists are, most importantly, pragmatic.”
Creating a checklist monthly and at the end of the year will enable you to ensure every one of your customers is getting the attention they merit. It will likewise enable your team to have a reasonable comprehension of what should be achieved so everybody can rest somewhat better during the night.
In the event that you truly take as much time as necessary and reconcile November well, you will invest far less time in December’s reconciliation. Ensure you review, in detail, the reconciliation report and resolve any unknown or outstanding transactions. Check properly the accuracy of all bank and loan balances against their statements, and make any important journal entries or changes.
Another valuable move to make in November is to review profit and loss statements and balance sheets. This is the point at which we need to discover transactions that have been sorted erroneously or balances that don’t appear to be correct and could utilize some adjustments. Settling these issues in December will enable you to more readily plan with your customer and lead to a less distressing January.
Customers, for the most part, don’t care for surprises, particularly with regards to their finances or taxes. What’s more, regardless of whether you offer tax services or not, they need the right set of books, since every one of them will, in the long run, need tax returns prepared.
In the wake of completing reconciliations for November, it’s imperative to meet with every customer for an end-of-the-year strategy session. This is the point at which you ought to discuss tax projections and business patterns and whether any decision should be made before the end of December. It is always astounding to me how much we learn from customers in this meeting and how much value we can include. This is the sort of meeting that says, “We care about you. We care about your business. We are here to enable you to settle on significant decisions, and we need to reduce your struggles.”
In the event that you want to create an enduring relationship with your customers, put your time in helping them plan for the end of the year before it occurs. This is the sort of investment that will consistently pay enormous profits.
As Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Don’t postpone until tomorrow what you can do today.” Putting in some effort now, before the year-end comes, will make you and your customers increasingly effective and that, for me, is the reason I do what I do.