Plan Ahead With Our Year-End Checklist


Group of young people working together in a small startup business.

For businesses, year-end is the perfect time to plan ahead for the following year. Since you’ve already got your books out why not analyze your business position and make some decisions to ensure you’re prosperous next year.

Take some time over the next few weeks to work through this year-end checklist for small businesses. You’ll get your income taxes and financial statements in order and get a head start planning for 2016.


1) Get your financial books in order:  Whether you have a glovebox full of receipts or a bookkeeper on your payroll, this step needs to be done first.


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2) Determine your position: Next, figure out where your business is now by reviewing the following financial statements:

  1. Finances – You need to prepare the standard three business financial documents that serve as the basis of your decisions.
    1. Balance Sheet: A summary of how your business is doing financially that shows all your business’s assets, liabilities and equity.
    2. Income Statement: An overview of your profitability that itemizes your revenue and expenses, resulting in a profit or loss.
    3. Cash Flow Statement: A reconciliation of your opening cash with your closing cash for a particular period, showing you where the money has gone.
  2. Ratios – Once you’ve examined your finances check your ratios, including current ratio, total debt ratio and profit margin.
  3. Goals – Take a look at how it got here. Pull out your business plan and any other planning documents and review your progress toward your goals.
  4. Taxes – Evaluate your current tax strategies. If they’re not working, what can you change? Talk to a professional such as an accountant or tax lawyer to get advice about the best strategies for your personal and business circumstances.


Financial Statement Templates

Understanding Financial Ratios for your Business

Small Business tax Strategies


3) Plan for the coming year: With all the groundwork done you’ll start seeing trends, and can start looking ahead to 2016.  It’s a great opportunities to reach out to a small business advisor, search for a mentor, or join a new group to help get your plans together. All of which you can find at Pathway Women’s Business Center.


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Pathway Women’s Business Center


4) Get your tax documents prepared: You can turn over the required documents to an accountant or prepare your income tax yourself.


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That’s It! We all know how important business planning is, but it’s easy to put off in the press of daily events. Hopefully this year-end checklist will make your business planning a little easier this year!