Year-end is a busy time for businesses, and it can be stressful to think about all the things you need to do to prepare for the end of one year and the beginning of the next. We’ll make it easy on you! Year-end preparation can be broken down into 6 Cs. If you follow the 6 Cs, year-end will seem less overwhelming.
Complete a Payroll Checklist
Give yourself peace of mind by getting organized with a year-end checklist. Walk through everything you need to do to close out this year and begin the next. Items on your checklist could include:
- Verify employee information to ensure correct W-2s
- Verify that company information, such as state unemployment rates, is correct
- Request to have your payroll provider hold your books open if necessary
- Reconcile all four quarters of 941s
- Report all independent contractors’ earnings for 1099s
- Anything else that may be unique to your company’s year-end preparations
Conduct surveys to collect metrics on employee engagement and satisfaction
The end-of-the-year is when many people begin to plan for the year ahead, and for some employees that might mean looking for a new job if they aren’t currently engaged or satisfied with their work. With 50% of people quitting their jobs because of a bad manager, it’s crucial to check in with your employees to ensure they are engaged with their teams.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Be sure to communicate with the people who are providing you with the year-end information you need, such as your company’s controller or your CPA. Once you have that information, communicate it to your payroll provider.
The end-of-year is also the perfect time to give employees valuable feedback. While it can be hard to give difficult feedback, it is essential to schedule times to review an employee’s performance, so that they can brainstorm ways to improve and change their behavior in the new year. Be sure you aren’t just singing everyone’s praises during their reviews and prepare goals and objectives for your reviews beforehand.
Coordinate the details
It’s important to coordinate with your team on any details around finalizing the year-end process. Examples include:
- Determining at what point you need all the necessary information to make your payroll processor’s deadlines
- Ensuring you are prepared for compliance in the coming year by updating state unemployment rates
- Deciding on next year’s payroll schedule
- Updating for next year any employee pay rate changes and benefit accruals such as paid time off
Calculate facilities and equipment needs
Whether you saw massive growth or downsizing of your company, the end-of-year is the perfect time to review your facilities and equipment needs. You might see opportunities to save some money or invest in new facilities and equipment that could improve the performance or morale of your team.
Complete Compensation Reviews
For many HR departments, the end-of-year is when salaries get evaluated and bonuses are given out. Be sure to make time to evaluate your payroll and benefits programs as well. Ensure that employees are being compensated fairly and competitively for their responsibilities and are rewarded for their performance.
Following these 6 Cs will help you stay on top of your year-end tasks.