Business Column

anguillian
By anguillian December 11, 2017 10:44 Updated

 

 

 
End of Year Checklist for Small Businesses

At this time of year, many large businesses and government entities have a concrete checklist of things to do before the end of the year. Small businesses should also ensure they have ended the year correctly and smartly. This will help the businesses to get off to a great start in January.

Below are a checklist which includes accounting, IT and End of Year Administrative task to help businesses end the year on a high note.

Accounting

Many businesses but especially small businesses don’t want to think about accounting. However record keeping is one of the most important things you can do for your business. This is important all year but in December make a bigger effort to get your records in order. It may well be worth it to pay someone to assist you. According to the Quick Books Resource Centre (quickbook.intuit.com), below are some key things you should be looking at.

1) Assess where you stand financially by running a few reports. How does it compare to previous years? Take into account all internal and external factors such as Hurricane Irma. If you have the capability to do so using software generate a complete financial report which typically consists of a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet and a cash flow statement. These are all important for a number of reasons. Your Profit and Loss statement will show you where your business stands financially and your outlook for the next year.

2) Take a good look at your cash flow. How did you spend your money during the year? Was cash primarily generated and spent through operating activities that is revenue and expenses, or was a lot of cash flow tied up in loans or repayments. Analyse your cash flow.

3) Verify your vendor information. Correct Vendor information is an asset to your business. Update all information to help you save time and money in the New Year. Delete vendors which are no longer applicable to your business.

4) Pay Bills and chase outstanding payments. You should have a clear list of whom you owe and who still owes you. Try to collect money from outstanding bills before end of year.

5) Double check your payroll and benefits. Ensure that all information was correctly documented and accounted for during the year.

Information Technology

1) Back up your data. This includes client files, emails and contact information. Reinforce to employees that important data should be backed up on a cloud based system or external hard drive which you should provide. The golden rule for data backup is 2:1. That is, create two digital copies, stored in two separate locations, plus one offline copy (preferably stored somewhere else).

2) Evaluate your file naming procedures and security checks for files – As your business grows ensure that you are creating systems which will facilitate the easy retrieval of data.

Human Resources

1) Examine your staffing needs for the coming year. Do you need more staff or less staff? Can current staff be retrained o repositioned to meet new needs?

General Business

1) Conduct inventory – It is important to know what exactly is on hand before the start of the New Year. If there are significant discrepancies launch an investigation.

2) Based on learning from the current year, use it to set goals for the New Year.

3) Check your website and social media channels meticulously to ensure all information is updated. Make sure all links on your website are functional. Delete information which is no longer relevant.

As we end the year, it is important that we engage in activities that will help to ensure success for the New Year. Cheers to a great 2018.

Written by Shellecia Brooks-Johnson

anguillian
By anguillian December 11, 2017 10:44 Updated

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