The end of the year can be a hectic time for everyone. For small business owners, the priorities should be organization and planning. This includes assessing your company’s current year performance, compiling financial reports, and creating a budget for the new year. The challenge is to get all that done before the clock runs out in December. Here’s a checklist to help you.
1. Reconcile your books
Begin by making sure your books line up. This includes bank statements, business credit card accounts, and business loans or lines of credit. Use technology to help you with this. Syncing your business bank account to tools like QuickBooks Online can provide transparency and give you the ability to securely share your financial information with your bookkeeper or accountant.
2. Prepare to file taxes
Individuals can wait until April to file their taxes. Business owners have responsibilities that need to be attended to right now. Organize the documents your accountant needs, like receipts for major purchases, 1099 and W9 forms for contractors, and proof of expenses that might be tax deductible. For more information, you can check out our guide to small business taxes.
3. Take care of your employees
Your employees are your company’s greatest resource. Take that into account when you evaluate your year-end financials. It’s a good time to look at staffing needs, employee payroll, and benefit packages. Look for areas where you can improve on each of these. Set some goals, and share them with your team. If you can, reward your people for their accomplishments.
4. Evaluate and set your budget
The budget from this year might not be sufficient to run your company next year. Projections for the first two quarters of 2024 should incorporate potential cost increases for materials and supplies. If you sell products, conduct an inventory to see what you’re working with. You can use sub-accounts in your business bank account to help organize and manage your budgets more effectively.
5. Consider last-minute donations
Charitable donations can be great opportunities for tax deductions, especially at the end of the year. Choose some worthwhile charities that align with your company values and ease your tax burden by donating to them. Everyone is looking for help around the holidays, and your company can make a difference for someone in need. Add that to your financial plans to close out the year—it’s a win-win.
The bottom line
Finding the time to get all your financial ducks in a row might be the biggest challenge you’ll face. The to-do list we’ve compiled above is a guideline that can be expanded on. Grab a cup of coffee, find a quiet place to work, and gather your bank account statements and financial reports. If they’re organized properly, your transition into the new year will go smoothly. If not, you’ll probably have some extra work to do come January.
See how Bluevine Business Checking helps streamline your budgeting and reconciliation with convenient automation and software integrations.