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How to Do a Year-End Financial Review

With the new year quickly approaching, it can be tempting to start planning for your future goals and projects. However, it’s important to do a thorough year-end financial review before shifting your focus to the new year. This not only helps you understand the growth you’ve made and areas of learning that you can improve on, but it allows you to celebrate your accomplishments from the past year. In this blog post, we’re breaking down how to do a year-end financial review so you can plan strategically, identify opportunities for growth, and improve your financial management and health moving forward.

How to Do a Year-End Financial Review 

Follow these simple steps and answer these guiding questions to conduct a thorough year in review for your business finances.

SET THE STAGE: WHAT WERE THE FINANCIAL GOALS?

To begin this process, revisit the financial goals of the business that were set at the beginning of the year. It’s important to look at factors such as revenue targets, profit margins, and expense management. These goals serve as the benchmarks that you measure your financial performance against, so reflect on how specific, measurable, and attainable these goals were.

EVALUATE GOAL ACHIEVEMENT: DID WE MEET THOSE GOALS?

After reflecting on the financial goals from the past year, analyze how well you performed financially against those goals. Did your business and team meet or exceed the revenue targets? Were expense controls put in place and made effective? Were there any shortfalls? If so, what reasons can you identify for those shortfalls? Celebrate the successes and growth that contributed to meeting or exceeding any financial goals.

CELEBRATE SUCCESS: WHAT WENT WELL?

It’s important to celebrate the financial successes and wins of the year with your entire company. Point out successful product launches, increased sales, or cost-cutting measures that proved effective for your company. Recognize the key players that made these goals a reality and provide insights into the strengths of your team’s financial strategies and operations.

LEARN FROM CHALLENGES: WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN IMPROVED?

Just as it’s important to celebrate your successes, it’s also important to acknowledge the challenges and areas that could have been improved. This may be budget oversights, unexpected expenses, or inefficient financial processes. By accepting and evaluating these challenges, you can make sound decisions for the future based on experience and use this as information to eliminate potential issues in the future.

REFLECT ON YOUR HONEST FEELINGS

Finally, put the numbers aside and reflect on your honest feelings about the past year. 

  • Where did you feel like you made the most growth? 
  • What challenged you to grow in positive ways? 
  • What caused you stress or overwhelm? 
  • What brought you the most joy and pride? 
  • How do you feel about your business currently and what are you excited for in the future? 
  • What do you want to continue in the new year and what do you need to let go to allow for other focuses?

Answer these questions honestly as you wrap up your year-end financial review. It may also be beneficial to have each team member do this to learn how everyone is feeling in terms of the company and financial goals as a whole.

Overall, conducting a comprehensive year-end financial review is a powerful tool for reflecting on the past, celebrating successes, learning from challenges, and making sound financial decisions for the future based on experience and data. This is about both the numbers and the feelings of you and your team. With this year in review complete, you’ll feel more confident moving into the new year with clarity!

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