Q2 Planning Checklist: To-dos for tax season and beyond

Q2 Planning Checklist: To-dos for tax season and beyond
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Q2 Planning Checklist: To-dos for tax season and beyond

Author: Caron Beesley | March 27, 2019

Hope you’ve kicked off the year with Q1 Planning Checklist. With Q2 almost here, it’s time to repeat the exercise.

While you may think Q2 planning is just tax season preparation, there are plenty of other activities you can add to your to-do list to help you focus on the right things. and grow your business.

Here are six items to add to your Q2 small business checklist.

1. Make a business plan (one page) for the quarter

Most small business owners have a sense of where they want to do business, but often neglect to put it down on paper. The quarterly plan makes it much easier to get where you want to go.

This document does not need to be encyclopedic now, use a one-page plan instead. Start by identifying 3-5 goals or focus areas for the quarter. Then add the tasks that need to be completed to reach each goal, the milestones, the person responsible for each task, and the deadline. It’s also helpful to have a KPI or two to track success against your goals, such as reducing costs, improving revenue, reducing customer engagement, etc.

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Keeping your Q2 plan short and easy to understand makes it easy for everyone to understand where the business needs to go and their role in getting it done. It also makes it easy to reference and check in on milestones and achievements throughout the quarter.

2. Prepare reports for your tax preparers

We cannot stay on the subject of taxes for long. If you haven’t organized your most important financial documents in preparation for filing your 2018 business tax return, this chore is one to add to your checklist.

Whether you work with a tax preparer or file your own taxes, sum up the following:

  • Profit and loss report
  • Accounting balance sheet
  • Cost of goods sold (including beginning and ending inventories, raw materials, supplies, etc.)
  • Expenses (marketing, utilities, travel, depreciation, business insurance, office supplies, training costs, home office expenses, etc.)
  • Form 1099-MISC

Read more from the IRS on What kind of records should you keep?. You cannot underestimate the value of the right organization. Staying organized can help you a lot if the IRS chooses to check on you.

Here is another one tips to avoid IRS checks.

3. After you submit your application, prepare for next year

When peak tax season is over, meet with your tax planner and/or accountant to assess the lessons learned from filing this year, your financial state for the past year, and make a plan. for any necessary adjustments in the coming year.

Your accountant can help understand all your numbers and figures and recommend strategies to balance your budget, improve cash flow, overcome seasonality, reduce your taxes, and make decisions about major equipment purchases, etc.

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Read more about What accountants can do for your business and what they can’t. And, if you don’t have an accountant yet, check out this helpful article: How to find the right accountant for your business.

4. Plan how you will use your tax refund

If you anticipate getting a tax refund this year and aren’t sure how you’ll spend it, use this time to plan accordingly. Can cash support some of your business goals? What about using money to invest in a marketing campaign or client event? Investing in new equipment or technology can also make a big difference in your productivity. For more ideas, read on 10 smart ways to use your tax return and grow your business.

5. Spring clean your business

With spring in the air, Q2 is a great time to dust off your business and find ways to become more efficient, productive, and streamlined.

Here are a few ideas for Spring clean up your small business courtesy of Fundbox blogger, Justin Reynolds:

  • Cleanup! Go into clean mode and deep clean your office, storefront or workplace. Throw away old files, organize the important things, replace the things that have seen better during the day.
  • Segment your email marketing list. Get better results on your email campaigns by segmenting lists and delivering more personalized content based on customer interests, behaviors, and needs.
  • Work effectively with new technology. Get rid of old systems and outdated processes and seek to upgrade with modern technology. However, be strategic, pick out the main problem and find a solution to it. Also make sure it’s future-proof to grow with your business and integrate with other technology investments.
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Also check: Spring cleaning for a business partnership.

6. Seasonal business, start summer planning now

If you have a seasonal business, you should prepare for summer now. From hiring seasonal workers to planning your summer marketing campaigns, it’s time to plan.

Here are some ideas to keep you energized:

  • How to Hire a Summer Maid for Your Small Business
  • How to attract summer interns
  • Summer event marketing for your small business
  • Heat up your summer marketing strategy

If summer is your downfall, these blogs offer tips to help you get through it:

  • How to adapt to the small business slowdown in the summer
  • 9 ways to use summer downtime to grow your business
  • Is summer your quiet season? 8 tips to overcome cash flow
  • The science of the summer slump: 5 ways to revive your business

Use this checklist to keep you focused in the coming months as you tackle key deadlines, work towards goals, and keep your employees motivated.

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