Too many small business owners tend to kick back and relax as the year ‘wraps up’. For many business owners, Thanksgiving through Christmas is a time to take a laid-back approach to their business. Taking that approach is wasting all your efforts you put forth this year, to the success and growth of your business. You will find yourself unorganized, a feel of complete disarray, like the pile of used gift wrap strewed about the house. That is no way to end a business year, and certainly not a good start to a new business year. Here is a year-end checklist for the small business owner.
It is really important that you review your bookkeeping prior to year-end and clear up any outstanding Make sure that your QuickBooks file is completely up to date and reconciled. You also need to ensure that you follow rules for subcontractors and 1099’s, ensure that you have all the proper documentation. You may want to review your asset accounts to ensure nothing is booked to an asset account incorrectly.
CPA Tax Consult
I advise that every client have a tax planning meeting with their CPA prior to December 1. Determine if there are any tax advantageous moves that you can make you will have time to do so. Additionally, if you owe taxes you will have enough notice to develop a plan to pay that balance. Nothing is worse than finding out you owe a lot of money in taxes with just a few weeks’ notice. They should have access to your QuickBooks or bookkeeping software. Be sure your bookkeeper has your details updated through November so you can resolve any questions you have and get a handle on your taxes.
Develop a Budget & Forecast
It is incredibly important to develop a budget for your small business each year. I recommend building your budget towards the end of Q4 each year but before the year closes out and enter that budget into QuickBooks and use it to guide your business. This is also a good time to review your long-term budget goals and adjust accordingly to stay on target.
Review Your Company
After you manage your financial year-end tasks you should take a good look at your organization. Take a step back from the details and look at your organizational chart from a far. Taking a step back and looking at your organizational chart is a great way to define needs, as well as refine your long-term vision. Hire a consultant to work through any areas that need clarity, revision or direction.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What will be your needs in the coming year from an organizational perspective?
What gaps or opportunities do you see in your organization chart?
While we always get anxious to see how the year finishes. Maybe it was a good one for you and you are excited to see what next year brings. Or maybe you need to hit Control, ALT, Delete, and reset to a new year, year-end process is necessary. You need to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Remember, inevitably, December 31 will arrive, whether you are ready or not. Start the year off organized and with the enthusiasm you have when you shake a gift, anticipating it is the present you always dreamed of.