End of the Year Checklist for Small Businesses
By Leslie Radford
Things you need to do at the end of the year
It’s December and you are in holiday mode, but don’t forget all the important things you need to do at the end of the year for your business. Finish out the year strong and in order with this checklist.
- Run year-end financials: These reports give you the opportunity to look at the big picture. You need to know where your money is being spent and how you can manage it better next year. What are your best income sources? Who still owes you money? Do you owe money to others? Make a list of assets. Know how much cash you have on hand. Have a copy ready for tax time.
- Update employee and payroll information: Make sure phone numbers, addresses, and payroll information are up to date. This will also make preparing W-2s and 1099s easy at tax time.
- Update vendor and client files: Make sure your vendor list is up-to-date and know exactly which vendors you will be using next year. Will you have repeat clients in the future or have some of them moved on?
- Audit inventory: If your business sells a physical product, you need to know how much of what is in stock, what needs to be ordered or manufactured. This information is also needed on this year’s taxes. Get rid of old inventory and make room for the new.
- Review insurance policies, contracts, business plans, and other important documents: Does your current insurance policy still apply? Are your contracts up-to-date and will they apply for the following year? Do you need to update company policies? Do you need to make changes to your business plan due to growth?
- Back up computers and cell phones: This task is time-consuming but necessary. Back up data like employee records, point-of-sale systems, and all of your accounting information. Many small business owners do a ton of work from their cell phones. Don’t get in a bind when your phone crashes and you haven’t backed up your contacts.
- Audit your website: Make sure all links are working correctly, there’s no old information or products still listed, and see if there are ways to make improvements in SEO and sales. Update images, headlines, content, and other relevant information.
- Make a plan of action for the new year: This one is important and probably the most overlooked. Using all the data collected from steps 1-7, how was your year? Did you meet all your goals? What goals will you set for the following year? Break up the next year to set small objectives to help you reach the larger goals. Make a list of accomplishments to see how you’ve grown. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for your personal life; they also make for a successful business as well. Fill out a calendar for next year with known dates for certain activities, deadlines, and bills. Incorporate these ideas into your business plan.
Go forth and conquer 2020!