• 6 Ways to Get The Jump on 2015
  • April 6, 2015
  • Law Firm: Nicola Gudbranson Cooper LLC - Cleveland Office
  • What you do now can help establish solid footing, financial and otherwise, in 2015 for you and/or your company. Here are six recommendations from lawyers at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper that could cut the tax bills, help increase revenues, respond to the markets and limit employment liability.
    • REIMBURSE YOURSELF FOR EXPENSES THAT ARE DEDUCTIBLE.
    Many business owners pay expenses from their own pockets but sometimes neglect to reimburse themselves. Travel, entertaining clients and many incidentals are legitimate business expenses that can slip away as easily as they add up. Gather receipts and collect on them before the end of the year.
    • PAY OUT DEDUCTIBLE EXPENSES.
    Make sure vendors are paid quickly this time of year, and that employees submit their expense accounts on schedule.
    • SET THE 2015 BUDGET.
    While the last-minute actions we take to help ease 2014's tax burden are important, don't overlook the value of planning next year's activities. You might not be able to predict a complete picture of 2015's finances, but putting together expected numbers will help. Especially look for areas where changes could affect costs. You might want to be conservative in anticipating revenues.
    • MAKE A TO-DO LIST FOR INCREASING REVENUES.
    Bringing in more business doesn't depend solely on market conditions. Of the many factors that relate to success or failure in growing the top line, one of the most important is, quite frankly, taking care of business. For instance, what industry segments have been ignored? What products or service lines need to be added or improved? Make a list and work on it.
    • IMPROVE THE PORTFOLIO.
    If your financial advisor hasn't already called with suggestions, contact him or her to discuss ways that your portfolio can be more responsive (in a positive way, of course) to market trends. For instance, your advisor might know how to avoid a possible loss or capitalize upon a tax advantage.
    • COMPLETE EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS.
    This one was included in last year's tips but bears repeating. It's a good idea to do employee evaluations once a year, so be sure to complete them if you haven't done so already. The evaluations should be realistic about employees' strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement. Realistic, thoughtful performance evaluations can be important in deciding promotions and pay raises. If an employee or an ex-employee sues you, his or her evaluation can provide a valuable defense.