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It is that time of year to make your list and check it twice. For entrepreneurs, this means an end-of-year checklist where you tidy up your business financials so that you can start off 2023 organized, prepared, and with fresh goals in your sights.

Everyone loves a checklist because crossing To Do’s off a list gives a tremendous sense of accomplishment. If you haven’t already started, give yourself the gift of projection and follow the suggestions listed below. Watching your checklist shrink daily will bring you much-deserved joy!

Here are end-of-year checklist items I recommend businesses take in December:

(1) Be a Better Bookkeeper

If your books aren’t up to date, get them up to date. It is important to know what your bottom line looks like in December, while there is still time to strategize for taxes.

  • Have you fallen behind on task one? If your bookkeeping took a chaotic turn during busy times, you’ll need to become a quick study. There are steps to guide you in your quest to become a better bookkeeper.
  • Recognize the value in and carve out time for good bookkeeping. In its 2022 Bookkeeping Guide, Forbes Advisor reminds us that “bookkeeping is about recording financial data, while accounting is about interpreting financial data. Accounting can’t happen without good bookkeeping. Without bookkeeping, there would be no data to analyze.” It’s important. Learn to do it meticulously.

(2) Goal Setting for Success

Set Goals for 2023. Here are a few to nail down in your plan for the upcoming new year.

  • Revenue Goals – Has your business generated enough revenue to cover the costs of running the business? When setting revenue goals, first find your baseline, which can be determined by the data you’ve accumulated over the year. Factor in all operational expenses and employee salaries. Then compare it with your annual revenue from sales.

  • Profit Goals – Profit is what is left after expenditures to run the business. Work in reverse to set your Profit Goal. Determine what you believe is a challenging yet achievable end goal for 2023. From that end goal, work backwards and devise mini-milestones to get you to your coveted outcome.

  • Increase Cash Flow – Research ways to increase cash flow coming in and lessen the cash flow going out. Investopedia offers up some great suggestions, including offering up discounts to customers who pay early.

  • Decrease Rework – Redundancy is a beast we would all like to slay. Getting the job done the first go around is the goal. Examine and rework your processes to cut down on rework. Get feedback from your employees to get a better handle on what is and isn’t working.

  • Decrease Employee Turnover – It is painful to lose a good employee and your business takes a hit while you search for a replacement. There is also a period of adjustment with new hires as they undergo the training process. It’s best to keep good employees on board. Don’t assume all is well. Offer up a questionnaire to your staff. Learn what keeps them smiling. Include initiatives that support their happiness and success in your outline for 2023.

(3) Schedule a CPA One-on-One

Set an appointment with your CPA to discuss year-end opportunities, planning for 2023, and budgeting.

  • Additional topics to discuss could include – taxes, organization, cash flow, and compliance with federal, state, and local laws.

(4) Time-Out

Take Time Off – Business owners, please, take time for yourself and your family. It’s always a busy time of the year for small business owners. Make sure you enjoy the holiday season with those around you. This is essential for your health and well-being and, ultimately, for that of your business.

If you follow these steps for wrapping up the year, when you finally have the chance to put your feet up you will do so without any lingering worries. No matter the holiday you recognize, celebrate in the same way you run your business… with heart and enthusiasm.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!