The end of the year is fast approaching. Between planning and preparing for the holidays, finding time for family, and managing the day-to-day of your small business, it’s undoubtedly an abnormally busy time in your life. However, it’s important to step back and consider the big picture for your small business going forward. What’s your financial situation looking like? How secure is your digital infrastructure? What are your staffing needs going forward? All of these will be important to understand as you transition into the next year.
You should start your end-of-year financial assessment by understanding the types of tax forms you will have to fill out and by when they are due so that you can start filing them on a preferable schedule. Once you have your tax plans laid out, you can conduct a thorough review of your financial situation so that you can more broadly assess your position and build and outlook for the next year and beyond. There’s no better time than the end of the year to determine your cash flows, reconciling accounts receivable, and running basic financial reports like income statements. Make sure that your payroll is in order and that your employees are receiving all of the correct compensation and benefits they are entitled to.
- Cybersecurity and IT
The end of the year is a great time for small businesses to ensure that all of their digital infrastructure is safe and secure. If you haven’t already, make sure that you back up as much of your data as possible, especially crucial data such as client information, accounting documents, and valuable documents. Re-evaluate your subscriptions for cloud-based data hosting and data security. If your current hosting and security services are working as intended, stick with what you’ve got. If you’re not satisfied or are seeking an upgrade, now is a good time to start considering those purchases. Lastly, make sure you are doing your due diligence by conducting research into the looming digital threats to businesses going into the near future so that you can lead your organization into agile and adaptable solutions to these looming threats.
Embrace the festivities and celebrate everything your business accomplished this year! Ending the year on a high note will leave your employees motivated and confident returning to work after the holidays. Better yet, think about rewarding your employees with year-end incentives, like increasing pay, PTO, or scheduling flexibility. After your celebrations, take time to consider updating your business objectives and overall structure – this will help you determine whether you need to hire on new staff or if you’re overstaffed and want to consider re-allocating your talent. Finally, evaluate the compensation and benefit packages you offer to ensure that they are still competitive with other local and regional companies in your industry. You’ll want to enter the next year confident in your ability to retain your talent!
“U.S. Small Business Year-End Checklist” [Blog]. FreshBooks Blog. Available at: https://www.freshbooks.com/blog/accounting-checklist-new-years [Accessed Sep 26, 2022]
Sullivan, Megan (2020). “End-of-year checklist for small businesses” [Article]. Fortune. Available at: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/business-planning/end-of-the-year-checklist-for-small-businesses/ [Accessed Aug 1, 2022]