The end of the year is a hectic time for small business owners. Not only are you in the midst of the holiday season, but there’s also a lot to sort out before the start of the new year. Now is the time to get all your accounting, goal-setting and planning finalized, so you start the year off on the right foot.
As you get started on all your final Q4 to-do items, make sure these five things are on your business checklist.
1. Check your goal progress
Setting goals is a huge part of keeping your small business on the right track. Whether you want to increase revenues, branch into a new market or position yourself for growth, you must monitor your progress along the way. The end of the year should be when you determine your final progress on the goals you set around January 1.
If you didn’t meet your goals, reevaluate and set new ones for next year. If you did meet them, examine your growth and set even bigger ones!
2. Find last-minute tax breaks
The end of the calendar year is a great time to squeeze in any last-minute attempts to reduce your tax liability. Prepare for tax season by taking a peek at your estimated taxes. Then, donate to charity or purchase some new business equipment with some leftover cash to add more to your write-offs list.
3. Check outstanding accounts
You don’t want to go into the new year with past-due invoices piled up—either from you or your vendors! Take a look at your accounts receivable and payable and close out any outstanding accounts. Remind clients of outstanding balances (perhaps with a festive holiday card attached!) and pay invoices you owe to suppliers and contractors. This allows you to start completely fresh in the new year and minimizes the risk of these items falling through the cracks.
4. Verify employee information
As you’re checking on back-end information for your business, take the opportunity to make sure your in-house information is accurate, too. Tie a bow on the year by verifying employee information like addresses, availability and payroll information. This can help you get a sense of your staff heading into the new year and whether you need to hire more help.
Also gather data about your employees’ benefits, like whether they participate in your 401(k) plan and how much they contribute. If your business is funded through ROBS, you’ll need this information to complete Form 5500. Doing data collection and updates now will save you time later.
5. Run financial reports
Close out the business year by generating and reviewing financial reports for your business and taking stock of your books. Check over your profit and loss statement, cash flow statements and balance sheet to see how your business fared over the year. It’s a good idea to review these with an accountant or financial planner to inform finance-related goals for the new year. This also helps you determine whether your business will need a cash injection in the new year to get you to where you want to go.
As you wrap up the year, there are a lot of things to remember. Having a financial partner like Tenet Financial Group to assist you with ROBS plan administration or SBA loan applications can take year-end stress off your plate. To learn more about our products for small business owners, contact us today!