YEAR-END BUSINESS - PART 1
Wind Up & Back Up: Get Income
& Corporate Records In Order
December 26, 2011
Note: On January 9, 2012, the author and trainer Bettye Zoller present the webinar, 2012 Voice Over Stategies, an idea-filled session from VoiceOverXtra - live for Q&A, and everyone gets a full and complete set of the slides. Details here.
By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor & TV News Anchor
2011. Was it ...
My short-list of end-of-year reminders:
1. Are You A Sub-S Corp?
If so, you need to pay your shareholder (usually you) at least once a year to meet your legal commitment. It can be a dollar or $1,000, but if you overlook this…then the IRS will start looking at you.
Call your accountant to report an estimated profit/loss comparison. You write yourself a check, and they will file this report for you electronically. Done!
This may vary according to the state you’re in, but call and ask either the IRS or your accountant for the details.
Not a Sub-S? Maybe you’re a Sole Proprietor? Incorporated? An LLC? There may be a similar consideration you've overlooked. It won’t hurt to check.
2. Download Bank & Credit Records
Before Dec 31st
Some financial institutions may cut off the easy download of data after that. My bank cuts off access every three months.
Most credit card companies will let you download your month-by-month transactions into a QuickBooks, Microsoft Money, or Quicken format right from your accounting software up until the end of the year. Failure to do so could result in you having to manually enter each individual transaction for your tax return.
I haven’t…uh…had to uh…do that…but I’ve er, ah…heard it’s time-consuming.
3. Back Up Your Files
Back up any and every file on your computer that constitutes personal data, creative effort, or irreplaceable information.
Programs can be re-installed, but not that demo file you worked so hard on.
All those recordings your clients are expecting you to keep archived, and invoices, documents, and personal letters or emails may be part of your business record you’ll need to prove binding agreements and a trail of decisions.
I recommend Carbonite for a seamless, painless, inexpensive, behind-the-scenes back-up of important files all year round.
Now might also be a good time to defragment and do some file housekeeping to optimize your hard drives.
4. Get Paid For 2011′s Work In 2011
Send out those invoices, follow-up reminders and maybe not-so-gentle notices to clients who still have not coughed up the compensation for the hard work you did in…August?…September?
This is YOUR business, of course, but don’t let someone take advantage of you with hair-brain excuses.
5. Holiday Sales For Studio
Did Santa bring your home studio everything - or anything - it needs for the new year? If not, search for the holiday sales continuing this week.
Online sales in particular are going through the roof - with many offering free shipping and unbelievable deals.
eBay sales also increase this time of year, as people dump stuff they don’t need to get cash for buying gifts. Search for and bid on that TLM-103 you wanted.
Some vendors plan new products for 2012 and are dumping 2011′s inventory. I’m just sayin’.
6. Think About 2012
In the back of your head, what did you do right, where did you fail, and what do you want to put on your VO New Year’s resolution for 2012?
These things need to percolate.
Get the creative and analytical juices flowing so you can come up with a realistic list of goals for the new year.
Now, what did I miss?
See Part 2: Setting Goals & Action Plans, with Tom Dheere
ABOUT DAVE ...
Dave Courvoisier ("pronounced just like the fine cognac, only no relation”) is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He's become the voice over industry's social media and tech guru, and writes Voice Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of adventures and observations in a style that’s true to his friendly Midwestern farm roots.
TV bio: KLAS-TV bio link
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Fabulous article! You read my mind:). Today is the start of my 2011 end of year housekeeping, and this article will be very helpful as a checklist.
I hope this year has been a very prosperous one, and that 2012 will be even better!