The end of the year can get a little crazy. People are planning for holiday travel and scrambling to meet deadlines. As a small business owner, there are likely even more items to cross off on your to-do list before ringing in the New Year. It’s easy to get flustered just thinking about year-end tasks. The last thing you want to do is put off important business responsibilities and play catch-up for the rest of the following year. Take advantage of these last couple of weeks and prepare for success.
Review this end-of-the-year checklist to get your business set up for a prosperous new year:
Analyze key reports
As the end of the year approaches, it’s essential to have a clear idea of where you stand financially. Pull key reports including a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. How did you perform compared to previous years? How can you reallocate resources for the upcoming year? Going over these numbers can shed a ton of light on how you can improve your business operationally. That way, you know what changes and improvements to make to drive more revenue for your business.
Dive deep into cash flow
This one deserves its own highlight. Thoroughly assess your cash flow statements to see exactly how money was coming in and going out this past year. What were your total operating costs in terms of revenue and overall expenses? Were you able to reconcile loans and repayments? Look into these specific costs and see where you can start tightening up budgets. This will allow you to more accurately forecast earnings and any losses for next year.
Double-check vendor and employee information
Make sure all of the vendor and employee information you have on file is up to date. Take this time to clear out any old or outdated vendor and employee information. While you’re at it, protect your data and contacts by backing up all your client files, employee information, and any other information or documents you need to safeguard.
Clean-up outstanding accounts receivable and payable
It’s such a good feeling when you have a clean slate to start the New Year. Do you still have any unpaid invoices? Or, do you still owe money to any vendors or contract employees? Be sure to chase these payments and pay any outstanding bills so you can start fresh in the New Year. Keeping A/R and A/P up to date and reconciled (or hiring a bookkeeper to do so) throughout the year can help make this process less painful!
Confirm tax deadlines
Tax deadlines vary depending on how your small business is structured, so be well-informed about key dates and deadlines as you wrap up the year and prepare for the next.
Evaluate overall performance of this past year and celebrate your business accomplishments. You deserve it! But, be sure to set new goals. Whether it be to hit new numbers, get more organized, focus on certain areas of your business, or to ask for help when you need it, reflect on what you can do better and most importantly execute your plan.