Preparing for Year End
Tasks to Check Off
As it always seems to do as the holidays approach, the calendar has picked up speed. All of a sudden, you’re looking the end of the year square in the eye.
It’s almost time to close up your laptop and put your out-of-office on, but before you do, make sure that you’ve tied off any admin and accounting loose ends.
Once you’ve got these “must do” tasks finished and signed off on, you can put your feet up for the holidays – without a twinge of guilt.
Give and take! Determine bonuses and taxes
If you’re planning to give bonuses, don’t forget to withhold the applicable taxes. Then start preparing local, state and federal payroll records as appropriate. Add up your quarterly estimated tax payments and take note of your tax deadlines and whether you’ll need an extension. Your bookkeeper or accountant can help out with any questions you have, so block out some time for a meeting.
It’s time to pay up! Get those accounts squared up
Are you sitting on any outstanding payments? Now’s the time to settle your accounts with your vendors and contractors. They’ll appreciate being able to square off their own accounts, and you’ll be able to start reconciling your books. Check your accounts, send out any money owed, and start preparing 1099 forms for your contractors. Now is also a great time to check in with your suppliers to negotiate costs and availability for the coming year.
Cha-ching! Review your cash, P&Ls and income statements
Take a look your assets, liabilities and equities. You’ll be able to see which areas of your business are strongest, and where you can trim the fat. If there are areas where your margins aren’t great, identify why and put a plan into play to resolve this. Review your income statements for an overview of your revenue – and your cash reports to check that you have enough cash flow to keep you flush next year. If you sell products, set aside some time to conduct an inventory assessment.
Take cover! Update your insurance policies
As a business owner you probably hold a slew of insurance policies. These likely include business, business interruption, property, professional liability, worker’s compensation and vehicle insurance. As your business grows, so do these policies and what they need to cover. Review your policies to ensure that they’re comprehensive – and see if you can get a better deal.
Save your pennies. Get yourself a CPA
Great CPAs are worth their weight in gold (and deductions). If you don’t have anyone retained, now’s the time to find someone. Make sure that they have the bandwidth to manage your business accounts, and better yet, help with financial planning for next year. It’s never too early to start thinking about budgets! As a small business owner, you’ll probably also want to consider estate planning actions. These can take a few years to get up and running, so starting early never hurts.
Share the love! Thank your clients and vendors
The end of the year is a great time to send out thank you cards, gifts or emails to your clients and vendors. Doing so can also double as an opportunity to check contact details, reaffirm any working relationships – and to check that your efforts aren’t too highly concentrated on one client. Make note of any projects you may need help with in the New Year, and let the relevant people know you’ll be following up. They’ll appreciate the heads up and the commitment to a continuing relationship.
Goal! Start planning for next year.
Now comes the fun part: thinking big for 2018. Take some time to consider your core goals for next year. What do you want to achieve? How will you achieve it? What will success look like? You can start setting these plans in motion now, or you can take some time to think on them over your well-earned break.
If you’ve worked through this list, then well done! You’re in a great place to be able to enjoy yourself over the holidays – and to usher in the new year with the excitement it deserves.
Let our team handle all the back office details while you work on the front end of your business.
Send us an email or come and visit our beautiful offices, your future office.
735 Plaza Blvd., Suite 210
Coppell, TX 75019