Small Business End of the Year Checklist
Finish this year on a high note by using our Small Business Year End Checklist to plan ahead.
Between closing that last big deal, trying to meet your year-end goals and planning holiday parties, the last few months of the fiscal year are hectic for small business owners. It feels like 2015 has flown by, and as the New Year approaches, it’s time to tie up loose ends and plan for the future of your business.
There are a few tasks that all business owners should look into so that their business gets started off right in the New Year. By working on these items now, you’ll end saving yourself time and money later – here’s what your small business needs to consider before the end of 2015.
Revisit your goals. Year end is a good time to review your goals and gauge your progress. Most businesses are working overtime to secure every last dollar before the end of the fiscal year, so this would be a good time to see how close you are to meeting your goals, or if you have already exceeded them. Take this time to look at your employee’s goals so that you can begin prepping for annual performance reviews and writing next year’s goals.
Review financials. Before you can begin forecasting for next year, you need to analyze your financials for this year. We recommend that business owners run P&L and balance sheet reports at least 3-4 times per month during the last three months of the year. Keeping a close eye on your numbers will give you a better idea of how 2015 will end for your business – and what 2016 holds.
Take inventory. Reconciling your inventory is a massive undertaking – don’t wait until the last minute. Business owners should complete their annual inventory reconciliation a few months before the end of the year to plan accordingly for losses, write offs and new purchases.
Reconcile AP/AR. Start the New Year off with a clean slate and reconcile your AP/AR. Accounting employees should be focusing on collections to ensure as much debt is collected as possible while all outstanding invoices on your end need to be paid.
Organize all tax documents. Tax seasons is stressful for small business owners. Your future self will thank you for setting aside a couple hours now to get your documents organized. Even if you just create a folder and organize as you go, you’ll already have a major leg up during tax time.
Record mileage, travel, & entertainment expenses. This is part of preparing your tax documents since most business owners can write travel and entertainment off. Don’t miss the chance to recoup some of your money through this juicy tax write off. Set aside some time to review your year’s mileage, travel and entertainment expenses so that you can properly account for everything and ensure a reimbursement.
Back up your files. Cloud storage is becoming an essential tool for small business owners and while it can be pain to back up your data on a regular basis, at least do it before the end of the year. As entrepreneurs, we rely so heavily on our smart phones, tablets and computers and losing our data could be a major setback that we really do not have time for.
Communicate. If your business is ending the year on a high note, tell your employees! It takes a team effort to have a successful business, and this is a good time to let your employees know the business is secure and you appreciate their efforts.
Create next year’s budget, goals & business plan. The final piece to the year-end puzzle – plan for next year. Writing your business plan and budget is time consuming but a good time to get a handle on where you want to take your business and how far you have come. Even if you complete this task in portions, you’ll feel more positive about the New Year knowing you have a set plan in place.
You’ve worked hard this year and it may be tempting to put these things off until December. However, by taking the time to do everything on this year-end checklist, you will ensure your business stays successful year round.