As a business owner, you know how important it is to stay on track and be prepared for year-end planning and review. You also know that the holiday season can be hectic, so you want to ensure your business is ready for next year. By starting early and following a checklist, you can be more organized and improve your decision-making processes.
Ready to get started?
Here are some tips to help you with your year-end planning and review.
- Plan ahead – Make sure your business is ready for tax season! If you haven’t already, start gathering and organizing your records to see your annual income and expenses. The earlier you get organized, the easier it will be to get your files to your tax preparer.
Create a year-end file/envelope to hand over to your tax preparer. It should include:
- Year-end bank, credit card, and loan statements
- Receipts and business documents (like contracts and purchase or sale agreements for vehicles, buildings, and other large assets)
- Paperwork from insurance claims
- Documents for grants
- Year-end financial reports.
- Confirm payroll numbers. Look over your payroll reports and any outstanding payroll checks. If anything looks off, contact your payroll provider to make corrections before year-end. Confirm with your employees that you have their correct addresses and social security numbers. (While you’re at it, now is a good time to update the annual forms for your employees’ income tax withholdings and retirement plan deductions for next year.)
- Verify vendor and supplier information. Were all the checks that you sent out cashed? Do any remain outstanding? Now is a good time to connect with your vendors to chat about changes in their services or pricing for next year and receive updated Form W-9s as required for year-end processing.
- Discuss tax savings plans. If your business has made a profit this year, schedule a meeting with your tax advisor to discuss tax savings strategies. Do you need a new vehicle, or to put money away for retirement? Discuss this early enough in the year that you have time to act on any recommendations.
- Check your insurance. Review your policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage to protect your business in an emergency. The past few years have been littered with unexpected natural disasters that some policies did not cover. If you need help determining if what you have is correct, request a meeting with an agent to review your policy and its coverage.
- Plan for next year. Compare your goals for this year to what was accomplished. Did you go off-course? Were you a high flier?
- Decide what your 90-day goals are for next year and document the steps needed to complete them.
- Create a budget with the number and type of sales you’re aiming for, expected expenses, and purchases you wish to make.
- Review your pricing structure. Do you need to increase your prices because of the cost of living or an increase of the cost of your products? Have you expanded your services?
You can stay on top of your game and be prepared to address the end of the financial year! But it’s important to get ahead of the holiday season to ensure your business is ready for next year. Take action early and utilize your year-end checklist. Don’t have one? Check out our Breeze Through Year-End Checklist.
You’ll be able to make more informed decisions and improve your organizational functionality. It will leave you with time during the holidays to rest, relax, and rejuvenate for next year.