Year end for your business can feel overwhelming. You have had a profitable year and are planning ahead for another successful one. Setting goals, projecting budgets, reconciling your books, performing employee reviews are just some of the tasks taking up your time. This is also the time as a business owner when you need to finish up the current year before moving on to another year. The list of things to do at year end maybe long, but below are five easy tips to make your business year end stress free!
1. Start Early
This is the single most important tip for year-end processing. While your year-end list maybe a long one, starting early will ensure you finish year-end processing on time. Since it is such a busy time of year for personal and work reasons, it is common to miss deadlines around year end when waiting until the last minute. Putting off tasks at year end can result in penalties and fines for your business.
2. Get Organized
Getting organized and collecting the necessary paperwork and information you need for year end is critical. Take the time (it only takes a few moments) to research what you need to collect. Examples of information you will need to gather include:
- Shareholder’s insurance
- Mileage reimbursement
Check with your accountant to verify all other year-end adjustments as well. Thinking ahead to next year, keep all this necessary paperwork and information stored neatly in a place with quick and easy access.
3. Make a Plan
Once you have gathered your information, come up with a detailed plan. Planning on items or tasks you are going to do and when you are going to do them will add efficiency to year end. For example:
- What is your plan if you are going to provided bonuses? How do you want them taxed? When do you want to give them out? Will you give out live checks or pay the bonuses through direct deposit?
- When do you want to take care of any payroll adjustments?
- When are you going to review employee data? Incorrect employee information can lead to fines of up to $550 per error!
Detailing a plan of topics such as the above and answering those questions early in the process is key to a smooth year end.
4. Review, Review, Review
Review all information, paperwork, and deadlines to ensure compliance and accuracy. Submitting incorrect information can result in penalties and fines for your business. Some items to review for accuracy can include but are not limited to:
- Employee data such as names, addresses, social security numbers. Remember, incorrect employee information can lead to fines of up to $550 per error!
- Bonuses and year-end adjustments
- Paid time off balances and rules before year end
- Last payroll of the year BEFORE it is processed to make sure everything looks in good order
Again, submitting incorrect information or dollar amounts can result in penalties or fees to your business that can be easily avoided by conducting an audit before submitting.
5. Start Thinking About January Changes
There are typically many changes that happen at the beginning of the year. Planning for the changes ahead of time provides your business with a successful start to the new year. Items to be aware of at the beginning of the year will include:
- New insurance deductions
- New retirement contributions
- Pay raises for your employees
- Minimum wage adjustments
Following these tips and our year-end checklist will ensure a smooth and stress free transition into the new year! Please reach out to our team if you need assistance with your business’ year end planning.