We are just a few days away from concluding 2022. Whenever I say something along those lines every year, it conjures up memories. I get overwhelmed by how yet another year will be coming to an end. I get to relive the memorable and not-so-memorable moments of the year. I also appreciate the privilege of sharing business and finance knowledge with you every year. It is all exceptionally sentimental, and concluding every year often is for me. Anyways, as a business, there is a structured way you should conclude the year. There is an essential checklist you must tick off, and that is our discussion in this article.

Checking Your Accounts Receivables

Accounts receivables are sales made but not yet paid for by the customers. They are, of course, denoted as current assets on your Balance Sheet. However, you need to follow up on them. This is money that customers owe you. It is not necessarily bad for this to happen to a business. In fact, it is a commonplace, but you have to ensure the money is paid. Before the year ends, you need to follow up on these monies. Do not let them spill over unpaid into next year.

Compiling And Analysing Financial Reports

This is a perfect time to do some financial analyses. When you started out in January 2022, I am sure you set some financial goals. Now is the time to do some analyses to see how your business performed. Some key financial reports to compile here are Income Statements and Cash Flow Statements. Balance Sheets also come in handy here. This shows you how important it is to run a business that keeps up-to-date records. If you are not, you will find it difficult to compile such reports. The aim is to analyse and make sense of whatever those financial statements will show.

Conduct Or Facilitate Audits

Audits apply to many things in business. It is basically about systematic examinations and verifications. You can do audits for accounting purposes. For the financial reports, we highlighted the need to be cemented by audits. You can also do audits for quality control purposes. Any business department, business process or activity can and must be audited. This is one of the things to do in these final days of 2022. The best approach would be to have audits done by an internal auditor and an external one. It might seem unnecessary for most people in business, but you would be amazed at what audits can unearth.

Optimize Your Vendor Database And Relationships

For most businesses, vendors are an integral part of business operations. ‘Vendors’ is an umbrella term for many individuals or entities. It can be suppliers, service providers, contractors, and the like. This time of the year is opportune to do some cleaning. ‘Cleaning’ as in you will check to see if their contact details are still valid, updating where necessary. You also have to eliminate vendors that might no longer be relevant.

You can take time to take note of areas that might need new or more vendors. Consider negotiating with some of the vendors for more flexible working arrangements. Overall, you can assess your vendors’ performance throughout the year. It would be wise to start the New Year having streamlined your vendor database.

Backing Up Important Data For Your Business

We often get so busy in business that we forget to do certain fundamental things. One such thing is regularly backing up important data. In March 2020, my laptop was stolen whilst travelling from Masvingo to Harare. After that incident, it dawned on me that I had not backed up most of my data. Not backing up data in Zimbabwe can happen so quickly. We often operate using erratic internet connections, or at times there are power cuts.

This is why it can become a norm for businesses to normalize not regularly backing up data. Ironically, internet data sometimes is too expensive, so several factors promote a culture of not backing up data. That is why it is vital that you take time to back up business data as the year draws to an end. Take advantage of cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox, among others.

Acknowledge And Reward Business Success Or Performance

This, of course, includes you; you must take time to savour your wins. More importantly, you must acknowledge and reward others who contributed to your business wins. These can be people like your staff, customers, and other relevant stakeholders. Find ways to appreciate their notable contributions throughout the year cost-effectively. You do not even have to bleed your pocket to do these things. Bonuses, gifts, end-of-year parties or dinners, time off, or shopping vouchers; the list is endless. Offering festive specials or promotions can even be a way of appreciating your customers. Acknowledging and rewarding high-performing staff primes others to aspire to do more next year. Countless upsides come with acknowledging and rewarding business success or performance. Now is the perfect time to do so.

These are some of the things your year-end checklist must have. Aim to tick them off before we conclude 2022. Wrap it all up by projecting into 2023. Start planning how you will propel your business forward. It is prudent not to start planning that once in 2023. You must do that now so that when 2023 comes, you hit the ground running. Many people in business get carried by the festive fever of this period. Around the time January ends, that is when they remember to be serious. You can edge past all of them by planning early and starting early. It all starts now by going through this year-end checklist.