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It might feel like Christmas just passed, but the year is flying by for small business owners in Edmonton. A lot of the clients of Schwan & Associates CPA came into the year with big dreams and have made great progress so far. But, as the glamour of the new year wears off, it becomes even more important to stick to your plan and adjust your goals to reflect your actions.

As we approach the end of Q1, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate the past few months and look forward to the next three. What are you going to do to move your business forward starting in April of 2020?

Looking Back at Q1

Look at Your Financial Reports

Before you charge forward, it’s always best to have an idea of what has and hasn’t been working. If you made changes in your business in the new year, looking back at the results from the first quarter can tell you if you’re on the right track.

A few of the financial reports that might help you measure your efforts include profit and loss reports, cash flow reports, and balance sheets. These reports can help you understand how different factors impact your business so you can make a directed effort toward change (for example, finding ways to lower mounting expenses).

You can also compare these reports to Q1 of 2019 to get a long-term perspective and look for any patterns (i.e. some industries slow down after Christmas).

Not sure where or how to access these reports? Your accounting firm can help you set up and maintain records that you can easily pull reports from. We recommend QuickBooks Online for this type of record-keeping because there’s a great deal of customization. Those customizable features allow you to organize your data in a practical way that actually helps you track your progress and plan ahead.

Already a QBO user? Check out our 17-point checklist for optimizing your QuickBooks online account.

Get Caught Up on Your Bookkeeping

In order to use your financial data to help you with up to date decision-making and planning each quarter, you have to have a complete set of data. Accounting and bookkeeping tasks aren’t always first on the list for business owners, which is why it’s important to find an accountant in Edmonton that offers different options for accurate monthly record-keeping.

Looking Forward to Q2 (and Beyond)

Setting Financial Goals

If you laid out big financial goals at the beginning of the year (such as a certain level of revenue or number of new clients), but you didn’t break that goal down into quarters, now is the perfect time to do that. Just divide by four, and you’ll be able to see whether you met your targets or not in Q1, giving you room to adjust your goals or strategies if necessary.

If you haven’t laid out any financial goals yet, now is definitely the time. Try to set out a goal that’s measurable so you can track your progress.

Start Thinking About Next Year’s Taxes Now

The tax season for the 2019 year might still be in full swing, but companies that are already thinking ahead to 2020 taxes will have the upper hand. As your accountant discusses your business tax preparation with you this year, be sure to ask questions about next year. There may be deductions that can help out with specific expenses or other ways to save on your corporate taxes and personal taxes in 2020.

Get Your Cash Flow Under Control

If cash flow is an issue in 2020 and you’re struggling to get it under control, make this your first priority. Take our free cash flow assessment to get an analysis and figure out your first steps.

Work with a Chartered Professional Accountant in Edmonton, AB

If your business is looking toward the future and needs help with more accurate, up-to-date, and practical accounting services, let’s talk about your goals. We offer services and packages that range from bookkeeping and accounting to tax planning and cash flow services.

Jeff Schwan

Jeff established Schwan & Associates CPA to bring unique “cloud-based” accounting services to small and medium-sized Edmonton businesses. Inspired by the quality time spent with his family, Jeff’s goal is to put more time back in the hands of the busy entrepreneurs who strengthen Edmonton’s business community. With 10+ years of experience in diverse management roles, Jeff has acquired a strong set of leadership and mentoring skills. He is, and always has been, an educator at heart. He knows the value of spreading knowledge, investing in people, and continually learning.

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