As you head into the New Year, it is worthwhile to evaluate what worked and what didn’t in 2011. Only on reflection can you decide what course of action or changes need to be made. If you resolve any nagging issues you’re more likely to achieve your goals in 2012.
And, don’t be afraid to remove objectives altogether. Changes in your industry or the economy may have played a major factor if targets weren’t met. So, it may not be strategic to continue to include those goals in your 2012 plan.
Start the New Year off with a clean slate. Clean off your desk and start with only the information you absolutely need. Purge old data and run relevant diagnostics to ensure data is in good working order.
Do computers or software have outstanding upgrades? After you have finalized all your transactions and processes take some time to perform any needed upgrades.
Evaluate, renew or cancel
Did you get a good return on your investments in 2011? Now is a good time to consider if suppliers were good value. Do you need all your subscriptions? Highlight areas you’d like to review in 2012 for improved effectiveness.
Prep for tax season
Spend some time getting your financial documents ready for tax season in January.
Find out whether there are any changes to tax regulations that you need to take into account so you remain compliant when you file in 2012.
If you have employees, review files to ensure you have all the information required to generate T4s and RL-1s. Review source deductions for employees and employer portions to ensure the correct amounts have been withheld.
On a personal note, be sure you’ve taken advantage of tax-sheltered growth. Decide if you need to top up your RRSP contributions by 29 Feb 2012. Check that you have maximized your TFSA contributions. 1 Jan 2012 means you can add another $5,000 to your TFSA.
Lynn is the owner of the LifeStyle Protector. She’s an inspired financial planner who focuses on wealth, tax and lifestyle planning with her business owner and professional clients.