Your CFO: Wrapping Up Your Year-End Finances With Ease

Danielle Mourning

Decorating the tree, buying gifts, visiting friends and loved ones and…taking inventory? Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, squeezing in your year-end financial wrap-up can seem daunting.

To simplify the process this holiday season, I’ve compiled a checklist of things you need to do before and after the New Year:

Do these things BEFORE December 31.

Review your income statement
Was this year more profitable than last year? Now is the time to look at deferring income by billing clients in late December and collecting payments in January, making purchases of furniture or equipment, or making a donation to your favorite charity (or charities) to reduce your tax burden.

Decide on employee bonuses and withhold the required taxes
This is another great way to reduce your tax burden while rewarding employees for their hard work.

Update your W-9s
Request updated W9s from all 1099 contractors, vendors, & lenders, and make sure this information is up to date in your accounting system.

Take physical inventory
This isn’t just for retailers! It’s important to not only take a physical inventory of the products you sell, but also of your office, store, or other location. Was any furniture or equipment retired this year that needs to be removed from the balance sheet? Did you make any purchases of furniture or equipment that need to be added?

Update W-2 benefits
Don’t forget to review any company benefits that need to be reported on your W-2s. Changes throughout the year can easily be forgotten and left unreported.

Create goals and a budget for next year!
I can’t stress the importance of making goals and a creating a budget to help you achieve those goals! Maybe your goal is to open a new location next year – Your budget will be your roadmap to making that goal a reality. Now is the time to put it on paper and make it happen!

Do this AFTER January 1.

Consult with an expert
Get help understanding your financial information and turning that knowledge into power in the coming year! Your accountant can analyze your financial statements to help you determine what you did well and what you didn’t, and how best to move forward in the coming year to help you achieve your goals. Let your accountant be your rock star!

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