If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to make an end-of-year checklist for your business. Especially if you are thinking about retiring or selling your business in the next year or two, a thorough checklist will help get all your financials in order. That will make the process of selling your business, or passing it on to another family member (see article on business succession), go more smoothly. Here are a few suggestions for small business owners from the experts.

  1. Accounting Reports: Quickbooks, the accounting software company, recommends running standard accounting reports, like Profit and Loss, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet.
  2. Payroll Review: Quickbooks also suggests that you reconcile your accounts receivable and review payroll and benefits in case you need to make any corrections so you’ll be ready to send out 1099s on time (before January 31). Also, pay your vendors and contractors.
  3. Tax Planning: Entreprenuer.com says, “Not having up-to-date books or a plan to file taxes — correctly and on time — may hinder growth.” The above exercises will help you with tax planning for the next year. (8 Accounting To-Dos for Your End-of-the-Year Checklist)
  4. Goals: Once you have a good picture of your finances, it’s time to look at your business goals for this past year, and start planning for next year. What did you do well this year? What would you do differently? What targets did you hit and why? Which targets did you miss and why?  A good business coach or business mentor can help you analyze your progress and make a plan to be better in 2018.

Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!