End-of-Year Checklist for Small Businesses


Photo: Jennifer Parr

By Jennifer Parr

November is a hectic time for business owners. Besides preparing for the holiday season sales rush, you’re also scheduling employee vacations, juggling your own social obligations, and trying to ensure your business is compliant with the ever-changing COVID-19 safety rules. It’s no wonder the big picture tasks get put on the back burner!

To help keep your business on track, here are three things you should consider doing before the year is up:

  1. Get your finances in order. If you haven’t been keeping track of your finances, now is the time to get caught up. Investing time now will allow you to fix mistakes or implement strategies to correct shortcomings before the end of the year. Your bank statements should be reconciled, and your balance sheet and profit and loss statements should be reviewed for accuracy. When you clearly understand your financial position, you will feel confident and empowered to make sound financial decisions.
  2. Meet with your accountant. Once your financials are in order, bring them to your accountant for tax planning. Your accountant should be able to advise you on some ways to end the year strong. Depending on your cash flow, you might consider purchasing equipment or supplies, making necessary repairs, installing a photovoltaic system, giving your employees year-end bonuses, or maxing out your retirement plan. These strategies could help reduce your taxable income while at the same time adding tremendous value to your business.
  3. Give thanks. As you wrap up the year, it’s important to set some time aside to reflect on your business accomplishments and think about all the people who helped make them happen. Small gestures to show appreciation to your employees and customers can go a long way. Send a note, offer a discount, or deliver a unique gift. Additionally, monetary cash contributions to qualified charities with causes you support are tax deductible and helps nonprofits further their mission and goals.

No matter how busy you are during the next few weeks, don’t forget to take some time to review this checklist. By focusing on a few big-picture tasks, you should be able to end the year on a positive note.

Jennifer Parr is passionate about helping people achieve their financial goals. As an accountant for Kauaʻi based company, C & J Financial Services, she provides a wide range of tax and bookkeeping services to individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations throughout Hawaiʻi and the mainland. She has a master’s degree in business administration from Willamette University, and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Redlands. She was born and raised on Kauaʻi, and is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools. To learn more about her work, visit: cjfinancialservices.com or follow her on social media at @cjfinancialservices