Many business owners are coming up on what may be an especially hectic time: year-end. So, we polled our staff and came up with this checklist to consider as you approach this busy time of year:
- “Check with your tax advisor to see if there is anything to be done to minimize the tax burden.” — Chris DeMaio, Manager
- Donate money; it provides tax savings plus it will leave you feeling great.
- “Tie up any expense reimbursement loose ends.” — Annie Gant, COO
- Prep any audit forms required and/or annual reports for the City of Chicago.
- Decide if, and how much employees will receive for year-end bonuses.
- Start planning next year’s budget if you haven’t already.
- “Decide if the current year should be locked in your accounting system after December-close to prevent any prior year changes.” — Kevin Gubish, Associate
- “Look for, and be aware of, expenses/invoices that you may only receive in January, but should be booked to the previous year.” — Aline Starck, Manager
And a few more keepers to consider:
- Ensure you have all the W-9 and contractor information you need so you’re ready for processing 1099s.
- Learn which tax law changes might affect you.
- Review your expenses and ensure everything is appropriately allocated.
- Be sure all your reconciliations are up to date before the holiday crunch time.
- Run a profit and loss (P&L) report to know exactly where you stand before the holiday season/year-end.
- Ensure your inventory is up to date—this helps to know if you are sold out of any products or if you should offer a sale in order to clear out an overstock of inventory.
- Use up your end-of-the-year budgets—this can help maximize your deductions for the current tax year.
- Assess the goals you set in January in order to prep for setting next year’s goals.
- Last but not least, if you haven’t already, start a “Questions/Year-End List” that you can refer back to at this time of year every year.
Now that you’ve ticked off everything on this list, it’s time to pop the bottles and celebrate.