2019 is here, and it’s time to take stock of your business, and get yourself on the right financial path. Evaluating your financial status as you begin a new calendar year is a smart annual tradition to develop. Here are 5 easy steps to make sure you’re financially sound as 2019 opens for business.

#1: Find the perfect accountant

Business expenses, exemptions, taxes, oh my! As you set out into 2019, it’s important to keep your finances top of mind. Finding the right account who gets your business is important. Look for someone who:

  • Understands your business needs,
  • Specializes in the small business sector,
  • Can provide thorough advice on business growth and profits.

When it comes to the books– cut no corners.  Your accountant should hold all the necessary qualifications and certifications, and above all, be trustworthy. Look for recommendations from your network of colleagues and associates, and find someone who is the total package.

#2: Begin automatic investing

The World Wide Web is full of apps that allow for easy, automatic investing. You simply create an account, connect the app to your bank account, and get the process started. These easy-to-use apps make your money work for you, with just a few touches on your smartphone.

One of the easiest automatic investing platforms is an app called Acorns. Acorns invests “round ups” for you through connected accounts.

Here’s how it works:

As you spend, Acorns will round up your spending to the next dollar. Then, the difference is invested. Say, you spend $5.69 on your morning coffee, Acorns will take 31¢ from your bank account and invest it. That’s a “round up.”

Another popular investing app is Robinhood. Robinhood one gives you the ability to invest in

  • stocks,
  • options,
  • cryptocurrencies, and more without charging commissions.

The app can be customized for traders of all abilities.

#3: Save for retirement

This is something that you should begin doing immediately, if you haven’t already. Your accountant can help you get started or you can meet with a financial advisor through your bank or another organization. Even if you do not think you have enough money to start saving, it is vital to start setting some money aside. Some business owners will make small adjustments to their pricing structure or make changes to their expenses so they can begin to set aside the difference. You have to start somewhere.

When you meet with a financial advisor, you will be asked about your plans for the future. If you can develop a timeline of when you plan to retire, your financial advisor can help you create a reasonable plan. Your job will be to stick to it and put money away so you can live comfortably in the future.

#4: Learn about updated tax laws

Small business owners should be aware of updated tax laws that will affect them. These could be things like new employment taxes or minimum wage laws. No one wants to be smacked with a big tax fee because of a misunderstanding. Meet with your accountant or a tax advisor to see what has changed.

#5: Get a planner

Hiring a financial planner is a wise choice for anyone who owns a small business, no matter how young the business is. Financial planners help people meet their financial goals – even if you do not know what those goals are yet.

There are human advisors and automated advisors. Apps like Acorns and Robinhood are automated advisors, as they ask automated questions and give financial advice based on your answers. Human financial advisors do a more in-depth analysis of your situation and your goals. They can even help you decide on your goals. Most large financial companies offer both types of advisors and have hybrid advisors that will begin with the automated services. Being financially sound isn’t always easy, and an advisor can really push you in the direction you need to go in.