Many businesses scramble to get their figures straight at the end of the year. That doesn’t always mean the end of December, however. The IRS defines the calendar year and fiscal year differently. Basically, a fiscal year lasts for any twelve month period; June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, for example. It’s not unusual for a fiscal year to end in November, which seems to be the case for many businesses. Who doesn’t love settling accounts at the last minute?
Unfortunately, financial advisors think this is a bad habit or choice. If the following article from CNBC says it’s better to get a head start in year-end accounting for residents, what more for businesses?
“Getting started in September is perfect,” said Sheryl Garrett, founder of Garrett Planning Network. “Some of the more sophisticated or involved things to do require advanced planning to make sure all the pieces come together.”
“It’s best to start early because one move can affect others,” explained Lewis Altfest, chief investment officer of Altfest Personal Wealth Management.
Those with state-of-the-art accounting software such as Peachtree aren’t an exception to this. The software can certainly help you complete transactions faster than human hands, but it can’t perform its duties without proper input. The complexity of tax laws can make end-of-year accounting a bother. Glitches can also slow the process down, prompting a call for adequate Peachtree support.
Healthcare is among several issues that gain attention during end-of-year accounting. For companies, experts believe it’s better to exhaust flexible spending accounts or health benefit plans before the year ends, fiscal or calendar (whichever the business chooses).
Also topping many advisors’ fourth-quarter “to do” lists is urging clients to exhaust the funds in flexible spending accounts or other tax-advantage workplace health benefit plans.
“You have to use it or lose it by the end of the year,” said Thomas Henske, partner in Lenox Advisors. “If you put in $2,000, you don’t want to have $1,000 sitting there at the end of the year.”
The end of the year can get pretty hectic, especially in accounting matters. Before the end of the fiscal or calendar year rolls in, it’s highly recommended that you start working on your figures right away. Get technical advice from Sage Peachtree support specialists like I.T. Works as necessary, but never miss the deadline.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Financial advisors tips for year-end planning, CNBC.com, September 10, 2013)