Every month we sit down with a member of the Johnson Financial Group Inc. team to discuss small business investing, wealth management and cash flow, which can lead to, improved business strategies and experiences.

We recently sat down with Ian Johnson, President of JFG Inc., to discuss financial planning tips for the small business owner.

Q1. What are some year-end strategies that small business owners can implement or consider in order to prepare for 2016?

A1. To whatever extent possible, you may wish to determine the overall impact from your accountant as to the advantages of shifting income and/or expenses between either 2015 or 2016. You may want to review the purchase of business equipment to determine if depreciation expense could be beneficial on a late-year purchase. If employee bonuses are being considered, should they be accrued or not? Those are few common considerations.


Q2. What are some key dates for 2016 that Small Business owners should note?

A2. Know the RRSP deadline for making contributions towards the previous year’s taxes. In 2016, the deadline is February 29, 2016. Be aware of your tax installment dates and remember that corporate taxes should be filed within 6 months of year-end; however, taxes owing must be paid within 3 months of your year end. Make sure you and your accountant are working in a timely fashion to avoid tax penalties.

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Q3. What insurance coverage should most Small Business owners consider when setting up their business for continued success?

A3. Our expertise is in the Life and Health insurance part of the insurance business, so I’ll comment with regards to this area of coverage. Make sure you have some form of disability coverage to protect your income in the event of an accident or sickness. The chances of an accident or sickness at some point in your career are high. Protect your income also in the event of your premature death with a review of your life insurance needs. If you have partners, you should have a buy/sell agreement and insurance should be considered to affect a buyout in the event a partner passed away or became disabled. Many new firms will also want to look at exploring lost group insurance from previous employment. Programs like the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan offer a range of options for businesses as small as a one-person firm.


Q4. When it comes to long-term financial planning for small business, can you recommend any growth strategies or systems to put in place for the future?

A4. That’s a big question with a lot of possibilities! In general, I’d say know your business, industry and marketing strategy in detail and leverage your growth by involving others who can mentor you. If you’re good, one day you’ll be a mentor for someone else. Invest in yourself along the way by finding out from others what has helped them the most along their way.