Wrapping up your end-of-year finances: tips for small business owners

It's not too late to get started managing this year's finances. Wrap up the year now and start looking forward to the new year. Here is a check list to get you started.

Review your payroll accounting records.

  • Double checks salary rates for your current and former staff.
  • Make a list of your independent contractors that worked for you during the past year. Make sure you have a completed W-9 for each of them. Send a quick email to all confirming their current address.
  • Confirm the date of the last payroll run in 2014 check with your bookkeeper or payroll company. Plan to call in any bonus payrolls prior to this date.

Expenses and deductions.

  • Review your expenses with your bookkeeper. Make sure all expenses are posted to the correct expense account.
  • Gather all receipts for equipment purchases like computers, iPads, furniture.
  • Review your open payables reports and determine which payables will be paid before the end of the year.
  • Set up auto payments for reoccurring expenses like telephone and internet services.
  • Review vendor contracts to increase terms or take advantage of prepayment discounts.

Receivables

  • Review all open invoices. Reach out to clients with outstanding invoices to collect payments
  • Update your payment and accounting processes. See where you can move off paper and to the web.
  • Research other ways to automate the billing processes like utilizing a reoccurring invoice system or merchant account to accept online payments.

Insurance

  • Review your insurance policy and determine if the coverage is consistent with your business operations. For instance, if you recently moved your business to the cloud, ask if you have the correct data coverage in your policy. If your revenue has changed significantly this will affect the level of coverage you are receiving.
  • Call your insurance broker to review and changes in your business operations and personnel so they can make the appropriate adjustments to all of your policies.

Security

  • Change all passwords related to your financial information.
  • Remind staff to change computer passwords.
  • Review what access each member of your organization has to sensitive data and determine if that is the correct level.
  • Think about what information they should not have access to and set up new security levels.