Ah, December . . . It’s chock full of holiday parties, events, out-of-town visitors, and shopping.
It’s also when small business owners must get things in order for tax season.
It’s also a great time to take stock of the year that is ending and plan ahead for a successful new year.
Here’s a handy checklist to help you perform a year-end business tune up. No list is exhaustive, yet this list is still pretty long. Adjust it to fit your business needs.
Complete performance reviews for all employees and independent contractors.
Review your staffing needs and plan to add, subtract, or reorganize accordingly.
Review job descriptions for independent contractors to ensure they are truly contractors and not mischaracterized employees.
Review personnel files and update I-9s and W-4s as necessary.
Review employee benefits.
Policies & Procedures:
Review your employment policies and procedures to ensure they are up to date and comply with recent changes in the law.
Review your administrative and business policies and procedures to see whether they accurately reflect your current practices.
Sales & Marketing:
Compare your actual sales to your yearly goal.
Identify successes and areas for improvement in the areas of lead generation and conversion of leads to customers.
Adjust marketing plan to match your goals.
Check customer satisfaction.
Review customer service policies and procedures.
Identify ways to improve the customer experience.
Collect W-9s from contractors and vendors that need 1099s.
Review yearly journal or transaction entries for accuracy. Especially make sure that income and expenses are properly categorized.
Verify year-end accounts payable and accounts receivable.
Reconcile payroll including comparing taxes paid to payroll returns.
Prepare documents and files for your CPA or tax professional.
Run year-end reports such as a profit and loss statement, budget report, and balance sheet. Compare to last year’s reports.
Prepare next year’s budget.
Review IT policies and procedures.
If you collect personal information from customers, review your PCI compliance.
Train employees as necessary.
Install security patches, software, and operating system updates.
Consider getting a cybersecurity audit.
Review last year’s goals.
Review your long-term goals.
Set next year’s goals.
Adjust your business plan accordingly.
Finally, have a successful new year!