When was the last time you took a good, long look at your financial reports? Do you remember what your income statement looks like? What does a balance sheet have to do with the day to day operations of your business? What types of investing in the company infrastructure do you need to do before the end of the year? These are some of the questions business owners have to ask themselves as they take stock of their current financial situation and plan for the push to the end of the year. Now is the time to take a look at what your support system looks like and what resources you have at your disposal to insure your finances are as strong as possible.
The first order of business is to run the most up to date version of your financial reports and give them a thorough review. Check for inconsistencies and look for opportunities to strengthen your position over the last quarter of the year. Your second order of business is to make the call: The call to your CPA and schedule a time for the two of you to sit down and strategize how to most effectively position your business financially. This is the kind of input you pay an expert for. Take advantage of it. Your CPA should be well versed in any legal changes that have occurred and be able to help navigate the financial mine fields that you may encounter. If he/she is not or they are not interested in your business enough to give you good, sound advice, maybe it’s time to think about finding a CPA who takes a noticeable interest in you and your business’ success.
Once you meet with a financial expert and have their recommendations, it will be up to you to move forward with a plan. It won’t happen on its own. You are the captain of your ship and driving the financial plan is, ultimately, your responsibility. You have identified opportunities to cut costs, strengthen your cash position, and make capital investments. Now, the thing left to do is assign responsibilities to others in the business (if possible) and hold them accountable for making those plans happen.
In the end, this is about understanding what your money is doing or not doing for you in your business. Michael Gerber says, “Money: You can’t live with, and you can’t live without it. But you better understand it because until you do, it will eat your business for lunch!” What are you doing in the 4th quarter of 2012 to better understand your finances and plan for 2013?