The Christmas period can be a busy time for service and maintenance businesses. On top of continuing operations and juggling family holidays, you also need to prepare for the new year.

There is a range of things you can review, reconsider and adjust in December to prepare your organisation for the next 12 months. A great way to start this process is to examine how your business has performed financially and strategically over the past year.

Insights from such a review will enable you to create more aligned goals and plans which, in turn, will help you and your team hit the ground running come January 1st.

To help you analyse your financial and strategic performance, and prepare for 2020, we've put together the ultimate year-end checklist, broken down into five categories. Check them out below.

Finances

Cartoon male and female accountants reviewing finances for the end of the year

Good cash flow and profit can enable you to grow to new heights, so making sure you're in the clear for the new year is a must. Here are some annual tasks you should aim to complete by the year's end.

ticked checkbox Review your balance sheet and Profit & Loss report to compare what you did well and what needs improvement

ticked checkbox Review your Income Statement to measure your profitability for the year

ticked checkbox Ensure vendor and contract payments are up to date

ticked checkbox Chase up any payments owing, work in progress or stock orders

ticked checkbox Review the conditions and interest rates on your loans - are they the best value?

ticked checkbox Review insurance policies - are you getting the best cover for the rates you're paying?

ticked checkbox Verify that your payroll reflects the most current lawful rates

ticked checkbox Schedule a meeting with your bookkeeper, accountant or financial advisor for the new year

Business

Corporate male officer reviewing the performance of his organisation for the previous year

In addition to finances, there are some general business tasks that you should complete as the year draws to a close. These are important because they will contribute to your overall strategy and performance, helping you to keep operations running efficiently.

ticked checkbox Evaluate supplier contracts and terms of trade - are you satisfied with the service?

ticked checkbox Review and update your business' disaster recovery plan

ticked checkbox Ensure your documented policies and processes are up to date

ticked checkbox Consider whether you may need more licenses for the software you are using

ticked checkbox Evaluate your cybersecurity measures - are they strong enough?

ticked checkbox Organise your files and email inbox

ticked checkbox Update your business calendar for the new year

ticked checkbox Evaluate your staffing needs for the year ahead - were you understaffed this year?

ticked checkbox Review your business website - is the information up to date?

ticked checkbox Consider whether your current technology is meeting your needs

ticked checkbox Don’t forget to celebrate your business accomplishments for the year with your team!

Employees and Customers

Technician and happy customer shaking hands

These people are the foundation of your business. Without them, you're neither operating or making any money. At the end of the year, it's important to check in with your employees and your customers, update records and take on any feedback.

ticked checkbox Update current and past employee information - if someone has left but was a point of contact for your software provider, who is your new rep?

ticked checkbox Conduct performance reviews with your team

ticked checkbox Review your customer list and make sure all contact information is up to date

ticked checkbox Email out a customer feedback form to evaluate your performance this year

Assets (Customer and Business)

End-of-year business checklist with completed items and a pen and stamp next to it

The end of the year is a great time to update customer asset records and ensure your team will be operating with the most recent information in the new year. It's also valuable for evaluating your own business assets to ensure they are meeting your organisation's needs.

ticked checkbox Update customer asset records with the latest information

ticked checkbox Evaluate your work vehicles - could servicing now prevent issues in the new year?

ticked checkbox Review your business' equipment leases

ticked checkbox Take stock of your inventory and update records

ticked checkbox Review your business' real estate leases

These tasks are a great way to get started on preparing your business for 2020.

Completing them enables you to wrap up any outstanding issues and also touch base with your team and customers before the new year.

simPRO has a range of tools available for end-of-year business reviewing and reporting. To learn more, click here.