small business checklist

Wrap up the Year

Take a pause from the chaos of the holiday season to finish your business year well. A firm foundation of records and reports will help make the transition to the new fiscal year easy. It will also take the burden off when tax information is due to your accountant. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.  Ending this year well can make a huge impact on the upcoming year. Take some time to make sure that your accounts are correct and in good standing with this simple checklist. 

Know The State of Your Business

Run some basic reports. Balance Sheet. Income Statement. Profit and Loss Statement. Before you determine other steps to take, you need to know if your business had a great year or a lean one. This will help you take advantage of some tax benefits, or help you set realistic goals for next year. If you had significant profits, consider investing in some new equipment to take advantage of the 50% deduction this year.

Clean Up Your Data

Ensure that you have proper contact info for current vendors. Double check that all the 1099 forms are filled out correctly. Check paper forms and information against your accounting system. Keeping your records up to date is essential for tax filing. Keeping your records up to date is essential, and having a yearly checkpoint where you examine your records can help.

Check Payroll and Benefits

Go through your payroll records and ensure that payments are up-to-date and any corrections are made. It is always better to correct things in the same fiscal year. Make sure that fringe benefits such as health and life insurance, transportation subsidies, or education reimbursement are recorded. All benefits need to be reported on the employee W-2s.

Inventory Your Stock

Compare actual inventory with your accounting software. Make any adjustments as necessary so you have an accurate snapshot of capital assets. If needed, take some time to organize your stock in a better way to maximize efficiency. Do your systems work well? Are inflows, outflows, and losses recorded in a timely manner?

Budget for the Upcoming Year

Make plans, Dream big. Compare previous years’ budgets to actuals and notice trends. Set out your trajectory. Having a budget helps guide your business strategy. It can also help define the bounds of what your business will accomplish.

Having a clear plan can remove the confusion of end-of-year tasks. Take just a little time before the end of the fiscal year to save a lot of paperwork next year. If you leave this year with your finances in order, it is a fresh slate to build upon next year.