Year-end Small Business Checklist

The end of the year can get a little crazy. People are planning for holiday travel, scrambling to meet deadlines, and trying to get ahead for the upcoming year. 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, but 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 months and prepare for success.

Review this end-of-the-year checklist with your bookkeeper to get your business set up for a prosperous new year:

  1. Analyze key reports
    As the end of the year approaches, it’s essential to have a clear idea of where you stand financially. Ask your bookkeeper to 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 with your bookkeeper 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.

  2. Dive deep into cash flow
    This one deserves its own highlight. Thoroughly assess your cash flow statements with your bookkeeper 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? What did your investing activities look like? 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.

  3. 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 Take this time to clear out any old or outdated vendor and employee information.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.

  4. 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!

  5. Confirm tax deadlines
    Here’s another place where your bookkeeper becomes your best friend. 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. Finding the right bookkeeper can help solve tax headaches and keep your business compliant.

  6. Celebrate!
    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 work with your bookkeeper to execute.