10 activities that should be carried out at the end of the year.
1 Share Christmas Gifts to clients and customers
It is the holiday season and it’s time to show appreciation to clients and customers who have provided you with businesses. Depending on your budgets you can send cards, Christmas hampers or any other item worthy to be given to your client.
Considering how tough the economy currently is, small businesses can device creative ways of sharing gifts to their customers at a cheap rate. It can be cheaper to get your employees together and have them put hampers together themselves, rather than buy already made ones. Don’t also forget the needy and less privileged.
2 Donations can also be made to charities and other non-governmental organizations focused on changing lives. These are even tax deductible.
3 Hold end of year retreats
Retreats are a good way to bring your employees and management together. At retreats employees have the opportunity to discuss strategy with management and share ideas on how to move the organization forward.
It also gives employees a chance to play a role in developing strategies that ultimately affect their performance and deliverables. Employees typically come back pumped up in the New Year following a successful retreat.
4 Hold Budget sessions
Budget sessions are an opportunity to evaluate current year’s performances and decide on the next year’s expenditure and income. During budget sessions, the company gives itself revenue and expenditure targets which it evaluates periodically.
It is much better to get every department or unit in your company involved in the budget making process. Have them come up with their assumptions for expenses and revenue and make sure they defend every single item on the list.
Employees are better informed about the company’s finances when they participate in budget sessions. They also become more accountable as they are already aware that come year end they will have to defend their actuals.
5 Reward performing employees
End of year is also an opportunity to reward loyal staffs who have performed very well in the course of the fiscal year. End of the year appraisals are received and performing staff rewarded with promotions and/or bonuses etc. You should also encourage team bonding activities at year end as a way of promoting interpersonal relationships.
6 Schedule end of the year audits
It is also important that the finance department of your company gets ready for end of year audits. If December falls within your financial year, then you must notify your auditors early enough to perform the yearly audit in January.
Remember that annual audits are relied upon by tax authorities and going by the sound bites of the current government, taxation will be a very critical revenue generation drive for them. Failure to pay taxes or file returns will surely attract penalties.
7 Close out all your receivables
This is also a period to reach out to your debtors. Get a list of your receivables and identify those who can comfortably pay you.
Organizations often see slower business activities in December and may be reluctant to pay. Thus, you should set out early to recover your debts because January is fot any better. It is always better when you enter the New Year with lower or no debts.
8 Pay all outstanding bills
This is also a good time to check all your bills and indebtedness. Some of your bills can attract discounts if you pay them early. It could also result in higher charges when carried over into the New Year.
You can also use this opportunity to review all your reoccurring bills to decide which ones to drop in the New Year. You will be surprised by how much you can save once you have this review done.
9 Renegotiated unfavourable and expired deals
This is also a good time to renegotiate your loans, and other agreements especially if they are expiring at the end of the year. Sit at the table with the other party and make sure the new deal favours you next year.
Some businesses may also see their rents expire in December only for the landlords to increase them. Be prepared for surprises and adopt proactive measures to curtail any decisions by the other party that could cost you severely.
10 Track your inventory
For those in high turnover business, make sure you put all in place to have your end of the month inventory count. Count all your stock of products you sell in your display room, warehouse, with distributors etc. You do not want to go into the New Year without doing this.
11 End of year sales and give ways
For those with unsold inventories and stock why not use this opportunity to sell at a huge discount. There are probably items that had not sold and have been on display all through the year.
Why not give them out at a discount? Discounts can also be given to your loyal customers in the spirit of the season. This point is recommended if the business has already met its profit targets during the year.