What are your top financial planning tips for 2022?
John J. Zollinger IV
Director of Commercial Banking
Remain financially flexible. The best way you can do this is to build and maintain a cash reserve. The prospect of inflation and rising interest rates seems more likely than not. Concentrate on lowering your business’s operating leverage, which includes moving as many costs to the variable category as possible so that they rise when sales rise and fall when sales fall. If you have an opportunity to trade rent for a mortgage on your business, now might be the time to consider it. Rates are at their lowest in decades and building equity in your business location is always a good idea.
Robert Beau Town, CVA
Postlethwaite & Netterville (P&N)
Before any forecast can be made, it’s important to first understand past performance, trends, and their drivers through a detailed analysis. Once a historical analysis is complete, assumptions can be used to model a base forecast. [We partner] with clients to build dynamic, input-based models that calculate results for a wide range of scenarios and sensitivities… A comprehensive understanding of your business through a robust financial model is critical to financial planning for 2022 and beyond.
Partner and Portfolio Manager
Villere & Co.
Many taxpayers don’t take full advantage of the benefits of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Common misconceptions and mistakes include: Not contributing. For many, the contribution limit of $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re age 50 or older) may not seem like much, but over a period of years this can be substantial…Funding a Traditional vs. a Roth IRA. Contribute to your Traditional IRA and then move those funds to a Roth IRA immediately. Not contributing on the first of the year. The deadline is generally April 15 of the following year.
New Orleans Market President
Position for new factors: inflation, higher interest rates and higher taxes. [Make sure your emergency fund covers] three to six months of living expenses. Maximize 401(k) contributions to reduce taxable income and capture all available company match benefits. Review current investment allocations to ensure positions will perform considering new risk factors and refinance any high interest rate debt to lock in rates.
Founder and Senior Accountant
J. Beck Accounting & Consulting
For new businesses or existing companies, regardless of size, get an accountant or be very intentional about tracking your income and expenses, especially if your business is heavily cash-based, such as barbershops, home-based businesses, hair salons, retail boutiques, tattoo parlors and musicians. The IRS has increased focus on businesses that aren’t claiming all of their earnings, specifically those that use merchant services or credit card processors like Square, Venmo, CashApp or Zelle. Ideally, even if you do not receive an income reporting document, like a 1099-K or similar, it is the business’s responsibility to report ALL of its income, even the value of bartered services. Tracking income and expenses is a very important part of that. I always encourage new businesses to at least schedule a consultation with an accountant to ensure that their business’s financial infrastructure is best for their industry. On our website, we offer a free income and expense tracker — it’s a great guideline for understanding how to properly track a business’s income and expenses.