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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I recently posted a blog article surrounding Piercing the Corporate Veil, a topic that I reference frequently and definitely want to dig deeper into in the near future. However, today is April 1st and while we have been enjoying beautiful Spring-like weather for weeks, the calendar verifies that Spring is now officially here. With that in mind, it seems appropriate to address the topic of Spring Cleaning within your business!

If you are a typical business owner, time is in short supply and the finer details are often over-looked as you scramble to keep up with all of the other important responsibilities that are on your plate. While this is a common predicament, it can also set you up for extreme disaster. Let me encourage you to set aside some time to address the following key areas:

  • Review financial statements to verify that you have been operating within your budget for the 1st quarter of 2012, and expenses are trailing income (versus the other way around). If you find that you have been living outside of your budget, analyze the trends to determine why and devise a plan to turn it around in the 2nd quarter.
  • I will assume that you have taken care of all tax matters and that your returns have been filed on time, but don't forget about other necessary filings that need to be handled. These might include Secretary of State filings for annual renewals or assumed names, filings with the Attorney General's office, or filings for licenses or certifications that you may be required to carry within your designated industry.
  • Conduct a review of your business and make sure that you document the review in great detail and that the review documents are recorded and added to your Corporate/LLC Record Book. It is a common mistake to ignore these Corporate or LLC Formalities and yet it can create big problems for you, and your business, over the course of time.
  • Assess your HR situation and take a hard look at shoring up your HR practices so that you meet the growing HR Compliance requirements. Have your employees been reviewed in a timely manner? Do you have completed employment applications and I9 forms on file for all employees? Has your Employee Handbook been reviewed, updated, and posted? These are all very important questions that should be addressed.

I realize that Spring Cleaning isn't the most exciting task on your priority list, but it is paramount in order to preserve the long-term health and viability of your business. While this may not be an exhaustive list, it is an excellent place to start and I would encourage you to take action quickly...