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Mastering Your Financial Calendar: Navigating Deadlines and Planning to Ensure Financial Confidence and Peace of Mind

Whether you’re a solopreneur or you own a small business that employs a team, managing the tax and financial deadlines for your organization can be overwhelming. 

And at BELAY, we’re here to help. 

If you’re walking into a financial mess this year and don’t want to repeat that next year, we’re going to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.

We’re going to talk through a lot of deadlines and milestones and some practical advice on how to get ahead and be more intentional with your financial planning. And we’ll provide important dates in your business because not only are they the law, but staying on top of them will save you time, money, and stress.

Let’s jump right in.


Collaborate with a Financial Planning Expert for Optimal Results

Your CPA is passionate about tax code, but they're not necessarily equipped to be your financial planner. Juggling both roles can be challenging, and it's more effective to have someone dedicated to navigating the intricacies of your finances. 

Consider bringing in a professional like a Controller or fractional CFO to bridge the gap between your bookkeeper and CPA.

This investment is often affordable and pays for itself in the long run. While monthly discussions may not be necessary for all businesses, we recommend quarterly check-ins, or at least an annual review around September or October. During these sessions, be open and transparent, sharing all your financial details and business aspirations.

This collaboration empowers your financial partner to create a tailored strategy for the upcoming year, ensuring your CPA is well-prepared for tax deadlines and payment obligations. 

Acting sooner — preferably before January — avoids missed opportunities for tax savings. Working with a financial planner not only provides peace of mind but also proves to be a time and money-saving decision in the long term. It's an investment that genuinely pays off. So, consider this a valuable step in optimizing your financial success.


Schedule Quarterly Check-ins with Your CPA

When you file your return this March, your CPA is going to let you know how much you owe. And most of the time, people are going to owe something. And they are going to ask you how you think the next year will go.

If someone expects the upcoming year to unfold just like the previous one, they might find themselves facing penalties and a bit of a financial mess. It's crucial to avoid this scenario. 

The solution? Stay proactive. 

A good CPA will proactively check in with you every quarter to discuss how your business is faring. But, if for some reason, they don't, don't hesitate to reach out. Business is unpredictable; things don't always go as planned. So, during these quarterly check-ins, you can update your CPA on whether business is booming, taking a dip, or if you've made significant moves like acquiring a business or investing in equipment. 

This proactive approach ensures that when it comes time to settle up with Uncle Sam, you're not caught off guard, and your CPA can help you navigate any unexpected twists in your financial journey.

Various factors can influence the amount you owe to the government, making it crucial to strike the right balance — neither paying too much nor too little. While four pre-made coupons are provided for your convenience, having regular conversations with your CPA is key. Even if you can't connect with them every time, it's strongly recommended. 

This practice not only brings peace of mind but also serves as a safety net. Whether you need to adjust your payments up or down, staying in the loop with your CPA ensures that you're well-prepared and can navigate any financial adjustments smoothly. 

It's a small effort that can make a significant difference in managing your tax obligations effectively.


Important Financial Milestones: Quarterly Taxes, Employee Deadlines and Retirement Strategies

As the new year unfolds, business owners are faced with crucial financial considerations to ensure a smooth start to the upcoming months. Here’s a quick glimpse at important dates you need to know.

    • January 31, 2024: Deadline for filing and distributing W-2s and 1099s to employees and contractors.
    • February 28, 2024: Deadline for paper filing of W-2s and 1099s with the IRS.
      • Note: If filing electronically, the deadline is April 1, 2024.
    • March 1, 2024: Beginning of the H-1B visa filing period (if applicable).
    • April 15, 2024: Deadline for first-quarter estimated tax payments.
    • April 15, 2024: Deadline for contributing to Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA for the previous tax year.
    • April 15, 2024: Deadline for contributing to individual 401(k) plans for the previous tax year.
    • June 15, 2024: Deadline for second-quarter estimated tax payments; adjusted to June 17 this year since the 15th falls on the weekend.
    • September 15, 2024: Deadline for the third-quarter estimated tax payments; adjusted to September 16 this year since the 15th falls on the weekend.
    • December 15, 2024: Deadline for first-quarter estimated tax payments


The Right Financial Help. Right Now.

Whether you're dealing with a shoebox of receipts, piles of old bank statements, or a cluttered inbox filled with digital files, know that seasoned professionals are available to guide you. 

Regardless of your starting point, there's support to help you navigate and set your business on a path to success and growth.

If you want to learn more about how BELAY can help, we’ve been helping business leaders with their accounting services needs for 10 years and we’d love to add you to that list.