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The end of the year is a busy time for small businesses, and it will only get more stressful if you put off your year-end tasks until the last moment. If you’re a new business owner and don’t know what needs to be done, it can be especially overwhelming. We’ve created a checklist of important tasks to do and documents to gather before 2021 ends.

  • Run financial reports. You should know where your business stands financially in order to plan for the next year. Common reports include an income statement, a cash flow statement, and a balance sheet. Knowing what your yearly profits are will help you know what to change for the new year.
  • Check employee payroll, benefits, and contact information. Are there any corrections or adjustments that need to be made? Is your compensation still competitive? Also check that your employees’ addresses and phone numbers are still accurate.
  • Check vendor contact information. Clean out your system of any vendors that you no longer do business with.
  • Take a look at your staffing situation. Could you use another few employees, and can you afford to? Maybe one department needs some assistance and another has a bit too many people on board. Creating new roles or changing a few job responsibilities may be more beneficial than hiring new employees.
  • Reconcile accounts receivable. It’s not ideal to start the new year with outstanding payments, and if your customers or clients aren’t paying you on time, a new payment procedure should be implemented for the new year.
  • Take care of the technical tasks. Back up all computers and files—download important files so that there’s always a copy on the computer and one in the cloud-based system.
  • Review and update your marketing plans. If you outsource your marketing, schedule a meeting to discuss plans for the new year.
  • Plan or schedule annual employee performance reviews. Whether you do your reviews at the very end of the year or at the start of the next, start preparing now, and be sure your employees know when their reviews will occur.
  • Meet with your accountant to estimate taxes due and schedule tax dates. It’s easy to put off tax preparation until January, but you’ll thank yourself later for getting the prep done now. It’s important to also note that if you give out bonuses to employees, the appropriate taxes need to be withheld.
  • Look at the goals you set at the end of last year—did you achieve them? Learn from what you did in the past year and adjust your goals for the coming year. Maybe your goals changed partway through the year, or maybe you haven’t quite reached that end-of-the-year goal yet. Either way, set financial and management goals and create a plan on how to achieve them.

When you spend too much time in your business, finding time for all this preparation can be difficult. Growth Point Partnership’s fractional executives will help you work on your business and save you from the stress of year-end planning.