The Small Business Year-End Checklist
Just like spring cleaning your house, your business needs a good tidying and updating once a year. Make December the month you get organized, focused, ready, and able to create more success than ever in 2019.
Catch up on your bookkeeping.
Until you have a clear picture of your annual profits and losses, you won’t be able to make decisions for the future. Ideally, you have tracking software that’s been keeping you up to date on expenses and income. Now it’s time to analyze the numbers and see where there’s room for improvement.
Plan for taxes.
If you pay quarterly estimated income tax, double-check that all payments have been made, to avoid incurring penalties. Make tax-reducing moves such as capital expenditures and donations. Your accountant can give you other tax-saving ideas and help you decide on the best ones for you based on your business profits or losses, projected tax rates, and other factors.
Prevent a big headache at tax time and get that pile of paper receipts digitized. Scan them and group them in folders according to vendor and tax year. If the payments aren’t already in your bookkeeping system, enter them now.
Archive old files.
Clutter is one of the biggest hindrances to productivity. Move anything that’s not current from your computer, desk and filing cabinet, into separate long-term storage. For digital files, it’s easy to put them on their own hard drive.
Back up all digital data.
You don’t want one server crash or natural disaster to wipe out all your records. Back up your files in at least 2 places, including external hard drives and cloud-based services.
Analyze your suppliers.
What products and services worked well for you this past year? You’ll want to keep on doing business with them in 2019. What isn’t giving you a good return on your investment? If advertising flyers cost more to print and mail than they’re bringing in new business, consider a better use for your marketing dollar.
Analyze your productivity.
Make a list of your work-related activities, and how much time you spend on each of them. Now decide which ones are helping you meet your goals, and which are distracting you or no longer relevant. Would be better to delegate.