Top 10 Considerations for Successful Year-End Planning


Year-end is often a busy time of year for many business owners. Not only are you working to get your financials in order, you’re also evaluating the numbers, measuring success and exploring opportunities to grow your business. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. And, on top of your regular year-end responsibilities, you continue to have the added complexities of the ever-changing COVID-19 situation.

Year-end is about so much more than just your financial statements. Here are a few key considerations (and helpful resources) to simplify your year-end planning process.

Ten Considerations to Make When It Comes to Year-End Planning

1. Tax Planning & Compliance: Are you prepared to file your individual and business tax return on time? Have you considered how proposed tax legislation could impact your situation? Do you have over 50 full-time equivalent employees? If yes, have you filed the appropriate 1094 and 1095-C forms? Have you had a conversation with your tax advisor to ensure you are benefiting from all available tax credits and deductions?

2. Technology: Have you recently reviewed your technology needs and whether your current software systems are up to date and giving you the information you need? Do you need to explore additional options? Does your technology allow you to operate in a remote or hybrid work environment? Technology is innovating faster than ever, but many organizations’ systems are stuck in the past, creating challenges and slowing growth.

3. Cybersecurity: Have you adequately protected your systems, data and business reputation? Have you adequately identified the cyber threats your business may face? Have you prepared proper training for your staff to prevent a cybersecurity threat?

4. Data Analytics: Are you able to use your data to make informed decisions? Can your company make sense of its data chaos? Do you have the proper access to your data? Do you know the source of your current data and the health of that information? Have you mastered the art and science of data visualization?

5. Human Resources: Are you doing a comprehensive review of your employee handbook to make sure you are in compliance with federal and state employment laws? Are you keeping your personnel files in order? Do you follow best recruitment and retention practices? Are you utilizing HR to prevent fraud in your organization?

6. Wealth Planning: How will proposed tax legislation affect your wealth plan? Are your tax and investment decisions working together? Do you know the tax impact of liquidating one asset versus another? Are you consistently reviewing your financial plan? Do you have an investment strategy? Do you have the right insurance coverage in place? Have you thought about the type of legacy you would like to leave?

7. Retirement Plans: Have you reviewed your company’s retirement plan? Have you reviewed the proper reporting requirements based on the size of your plan and its participant numbers? There are many things to consider depending on the size and anticipated growth of your business

8. Outsourcing Needs: Have you evaluated whether now is the time to outsource your payroll and bookkeeping services? Have you considered whether hiring an outsourced CFO partner could help you grow your business? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the financial and accounting portion of your business.

9. Exit Planning: Have you thought about selling or acquiring a new business? Have you considered the tax implications of a sale/purchase? We encourage business owners to consider options at least five years before they intend to sell, if not 10. The more time you have to adequately plan for a sale, the better price you likely will get.

10. Fraud: Do you have suspicions about potential fraud in your organization? Do you have the appropriate checks and balances in place? Have you done a review of your internal controls to ensure you’re keeping your business protected?

The Importance of a Broad Approach to Year-End Planning

As you can see, there are many things to consider at year-end. Not only do you have a massive amount of paperwork in your 1099s and W-2s, you must consider tax planning and compliance and the overall health of your business. Stepping back to review common practices and asking the right questions can help you simplify the year-end planning process and make strategic decisions to position your organization for growth in the coming year.

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