Getting ready for vacation is exciting! You are focused on packing your suitcase, looking forward to a change of scenery and memories to be made. I know that sometimes it can be stressful in anticipation of keeping everyone healthy, avoiding travel delays and wanting accommodations to meet your expectations. But overall, the excitement should outweigh the anxiety. Here is a simple process to make sure you don’t pack the concerns, and you don’t return to unnecessary clean-up from failed procedures.
Your suitcase is all the items you are personally responsible for and required to pack. Your briefcase contents are the work you manage and what you are responsible for.
Here is your Briefcase Checklist:
Call your Bookkeeper and Accountant—Notify them of the dates you will be unavailable, particularly if you will be out of cell or email range. Confirm they have what might be needed during your absence.
Deadlines—What deadlines are going to occur before you return? Knowing when your tax return needs to be signed, should be at the top of your list.
Authorize Individuals to Manage Important Details—What payments or reports need to be completed during your absence? Assign and authorize an individual to manage the details and deadlines. Review the details with him/her, don’t assume they know.
Bookkeeping Tasks—Do you manage payables, receivables, payroll? The tasks need to continue during your absence. Even if there are not specific due dates or deadlines that occur, there should be a back-up contact for those tasks in the event a question or situation arises.
Backup—Are you going to being logging in to work while you are gone? Make sure that your data is backed up prior to leaving. Most of you know that I push/promote cloud storage. If you aren’t using cloud storage, create a backup on a drive. Don’t take the backup with you, unless you have a second copy that will stay onsite.
Secure Internet—What are you going to use for your internet connection? Please don’t say the free wi-fi at your resort or hotel. We all know how often identity theft and computer hacking occur. Don’t allow the wrong-doer’s an open door to your information. Use a secure hotspot on your phone or designated purchased hot spot device, and don’t share with strangers. Better safe than sorry.
Developing and implementing procedures, make sure that they are tried and tested, quarterly or at minimum semi-annually, will make packing your briefcase easier. You will know what to anticipate and take care of prior to buckling your seat belt to take off. Take a few minutes to stop packing your suitcase, and start packing your briefcase, to ensure you don’t return to miss deadlines or mishandled important tasks. Make it part of your packing check list.