- A holistic year-round approach to year-end can eliminate many common headaches.
- Digital solutions are innovating faster than ever and can help simplify year-end.
- More organizations are turning to outsourcing for improved operations.
Year-end is a busy time of year. Not only are you working to get your financials in order, but you’re also evaluating the numbers, measuring success, and exploring opportunities to grow your business – and it can be overwhelming.
We understand the challenges you face as the year comes to a close. That's why we recommend a holistic approach that starts long before the end of the year and covers much more than just your financial statements. Here are the key areas you should be considering at year-end and all year-long.
1. Tax Planning & Compliance
When it comes to planning and compliance, ask yourself these questions:
- 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 you can answer yes to any of these questions, the next questions to ask yourself are:
- 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?
Technology is innovating faster than ever, but many organizations’ systems are stuck in the past, creating challenges and slowing growth.
- 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?
Dive Deeper: What You Need to Know When Choosing New Technology
Cybersecurity is a critical component to successful year-end planning.
- 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?
Dive Deeper: Free Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
4. Data Analytics
Taking a strategic approach to year-end planning can help you simplify the process. When considering data analytics, ask yourself:
- 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
Take a look at your human resources practices.
- 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
Some questions to ask about 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?
Dive Deeper: Individual Year-End Planning Checklist
7. Retirement Plans
There are many things to consider depending on the size and anticipated growth of your business.
- 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?
8. Outsourcing Needs
Here are some things to consider when it comes to the financial and accounting portion of your business.
- Have you evaluated whether now is the time to outsource your payroll and bookkeeping services?
- Have you considered whether hiring an outsourced CFO consultant could help you grow your business?
Dive Deeper: Behind the Financial Metrics Series
9. Exit Planning
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.
- Have you thought about selling or acquiring a new business?
- Have you considered the tax implications of a sale/purchase?
Dive Deeper: Comprehensive Exit Planning Guide
Ask yourself these questions about 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?
Dive Deeper: How to Reduce Your Fraud Risk
The Importance of a Proactive Approach to Year-End Planning
We understand the amount of time and effort it takes to close out the year. 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. By taking a more proactive and strategic approach to year-end, you can simplify your process and eliminate many year-end headaches.
Eide Bailly’s experienced advisors can help you review common practices and ask the right questions to help you simplify the year-end planning process and make strategic decisions to position your organization for growth in the coming year.