The countdown is on — the calendar is now officially flipped to December, meaning a new year is just in sight. While the holidays are a fun time to unwind and celebrate with your employees and co-workers, it’s also an important time to think about year-end business strategies.
Below are a list of suggestions to position your business for success in 2020 before the clock strikes the final bells of 2019:
Review Your Past Calendar:
Take a look at your events of the past year — flip back through calendar pages, review meeting requests and important events. Were there events or occurrences likely to return for the new year? Use down time now to map out important dates for the new year such as anniversaries, contract renewals, lease updates, etc.
Fill Any Missing Holes:
Have you been meaning to update files with current copies of insurance papers, bank statements or other important papers? In order to make your 2020 finances run smoothly, make sure you have necessary copies of all statements and bills so you are not scrambling later come tax time.
Protect Your Data:
Ensure that all your good work from 2019 is searchable in 2020 and beyond — Review all your current data backup systems and make sure everything is as backed up as you think it is. For example, if your company uses Dropbox or Google Drive for backup storage, spend some time going through all your files online to make sure current files are actually there. End of year is also a good time to invest in an additional redundancy system for your data, such as backup hard drives or a secondary offsite storage location.
Make Tax-Advantageous Purchases NOW:
Especially if this year has been more profitable than the year before, end-of-year is a great time to load up on deducible expenses. Examine if you can renew an annual membership fee early or look at pre-purchasing necessary supplies before December 31 to help lower your 2019 taxable income.
Evaluate Expense Projections for 2020:
Use your 2019 purchases as a guide for potential expenses in the new year. If possible, find out if any of your suppliers or vendors have released updated pricing guides or plan on increasing costs next year; determining when expense increases might hit can help you plan inventory ordering to minimize impacts.
Clean Out Waste and Clutter:
Trash, old papers and expired inventory not only can be a fire hazard in your business, they also block you from making the most of your space and operating efficiently. Boxes and containers filled with items you no longer need to use take space from valuable, organized materials that you use on a day to day basis. Spend time clearing out things you don’t need and also evaluate which files you no longer need to keep for legal reasons (have you hit a milestone for retaining records for tax purposes?) and schedule a shredding truck.
Verify all Your Contact Lists:
Spending time chasing down correct phone numbers, addresses, account or Tax ID numbers during tax time is a hassle, so streamline that process for your tax preparers by spending some time making sure all your employee and vendor files are current with accurate mailing addresses, up to date phone numbers and tax ID and social security numbers.
Examine Additional Opportunities for Bonuses:
You may already have awarded end-of-year bonuses to employees, but if you are looking for additional ways to reduce income and position you for an overall lower tax basis, contemplate offering additional end of year bonus items such as grocery or gasoline gift cards to all employees to further boost your expenses while enhancing overall morale as well!