Back to the Basics: Preparing for Financial Success

Posted By Mike Meyer, Wednesday, November 18, 2020

using a calculator

By Jessica Nunn, CPA, Skytale Group

If your practice's financial success is on your list of goals this year, there are a few simple measures you can take to help ring in your best decade ever.

Create a Budget

While any time is a good time to create a budget for your practice, the beginning of the year is probably the best time. There's almost a year's worth of data for you to review and assess, and you have the whole new year ahead of you. Go into the year with a financial plan for your business, complete with provider goals, revenue expectations and expense planning. Using your budget in the following year will help you make decisions, predict cash flow, and understand if you're performing how you expect to perform. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.

If you're not sure where to start when preparing a budget for your practice, click here.

Organize Your Financial Records

Managing your financial records is critical throughout the year, but those records need even more attention at year-end. If you haven't been keeping good records during the year, organize what you do have and engage the services of a bookkeeper to begin working on your books. Don't wait until tax time.

Consider using software like QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online to track your income and expenses during the year. If you're using QuickBooks but don't really maintain it during the year, consider hiring a bookkeeper to keep your financials up to date on an ongoing basis. Knowing your financials are current and accurate will allow you to make financial decisions faster and more easily.

Obtain a Tax Projection

If your books and records are up to date, work with your CPA to review your financials and estimate your tax liability. Year-end tax planning provides the perfect opportunity to make sure you'e paid in enough taxes during the year—and, if you haven't, it gives you a little more time to plan before April 15. By reviewing your tax situation before your taxes are being prepared, there's time to make decisions in your practice that could reduce your overall tax liability and the chance of being surprised by a tax bill on April 15.

Staying current with your financials reduces tax surprises. If you're not current, consider getting organized and then staying organized, as we'e already discussed.

Purchase Any Needed Equipment Before Year-end

If you're considering purchasing a laser, a new chair or any other equipment for your office, consider installing and using the equipment prior to year-end. Tax laws, including section 179 and bonus depreciation rules, allow equipment to be fully deducted in most cases. To be clear, you shouldn't buy equipment you can't afford or don't need—you'll know whether you can afford it if you'e worked through your budget—but purchasing substantial equipment before year-end can be an effective way to slash your tax liability.

The beginning of the year is a busy time, and you have a lot on your to-do list. However, carving out some time in the opening weeks of the year to focus on the financial health and goals of your practice will prove to be one of the best ways to set yourself up for another year of financial success.

Jessica Nunn is a partner at Skytale Group who takes pride in her experience helping business owners and their families increase their financial awareness. Over the course of her career, Jessica has built trust with her clients by making the complex simple; she delivers financial solutions that are meaningful and relevant to her clients' lives and businesses. Jessica provides small businesses, their owners, and their families a holistic financial perspective. Her clients sleep well at night because they can rely on Jessica to guide them through the complicated aspects of their lives and businesses. Her commitment to the Skytale core value of fun is the reason she is able to make complex financial planning an enjoyable process for her clients.

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