The End-of-Year Financial Checklist You Can Use for Your Business

It’s time to start making a year-end financial checklist. Doing so will help you create an informed plan, producing a clearer picture of your business now and a blueprint for the upcoming year.

If you’ve been running your business for a while, you’re already familiar with the routine of wrapping up year-end matters. Financial experts and entrepreneurs say the checklist and year-end analysis are crucial to improve and grow your business.

Update Vendor Files

Now is an excellent time to update your vendor and supplier files. See what’s changed for them and what you might want to change.

Check contact information, including phone number, email address, and contact name, are still correct for each of your vendors.

“Purge the system of any inactive vendors or inaccurate information. If time permits, evaluate your vendor relationships and look for opportunities to negotiate better deals in the new year,” advises Megan Sullivan in an Intuit QuickBooks blog.

Review 2021 Revenue Goals

If you review your revenue goals every quarter, then you probably have a good idea at this point if you’re tracking toward them into this last quarter.

All small businesses should take an end-of-year look at where they are in terms of the revenue goals they set for 2021, says Ty Kiisel in a blog for Ondeck, a financial services platform for small businesses.

“It’s a good time to take one last look to determine if you’re on track, need to adjust, or are within sight of your goals with a little push,” he writes.

Analyze Cash Flow Statements

Tracking cash flow is likely something you’re keeping a close eye on throughout the year. However, experts suggest an end-of-year analysis of your cash flow statements, which record your expenses.

“Cash inflows equate to income. Cash outflows are business expenses,” notes Sullivan in the QuickBooks blog. “Your goal of course is to generate more money than you’re spending.”

A year-end analysis of your cash flow statements will help you identify any cash flow trends and provide insight into the year ahead.

Evaluate Your Business Structure

Tax attorney and financial planner Brian Thompson says the end of the year is a great time to evaluate your current business structure, specifically your QBI deduction.

The IRS defines QBI as the net amount of qualified items of income, gain, deduction, and loss from any qualified trade or business, including income from partnerships, S corporations, sole proprietorships, and certain trusts. Items that are not correctly includable in taxable income.

Evaluating your QBI will help you identify any changes you need to make to your business, says Thompson.

“You might want to set up a solo 401k, for instance, and if so, you’ll have to act before December 31st (although you can make employer/profit sharing contributions up to the business tax filing deadline),” he writes in a Forbes blog.

Review Your Net Worth

Thompson says that the end of the year could be the right time to evaluate your net worth.

“That’s one way to gauge the progress you’ve made in your financial health this year,” he writes in the Forbes blog.

Generally speaking, he says, use your end-of-year review to evaluate your current goals - see what you’ve done right and where you could improve.

What accomplishment are you most proud of? What do you wish you could have done better?

“You can also learn from any potential stumbling blocks and figure out how to use them as stepping-stones next year,” Thompson writes.

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