Top 8 Things CFOs Should Ask Before Year-End

It’s year-end. You’ve likely been focused on critical Q4 initiatives, such as completing financial projects, providing restructuring solutions or developing budgets. For many CFOs, you’ve likely spent the past few months working on the 2016 budget, so it’s time to get back to business. While you were focused on budgets, reviews and projections, your employees were likely tasked to make some important business decisions for you. Even though you’ve put in the time to ensure your quality team is well-trained, your bandwidth constraints may have forced you to overlook many of the areas you’re typically invested in.

With 2016 right around the corner, here are 8 questions you should ask before year-end.

  1. Does your business have a top-heavy problem? With the funding of pensions, you want to ensure your company can take the hit with payouts.
  2. Did you see a significant reduction in force this year? If so, that RIF could affect your unemployment rate for next year. Did you include that in your budget for 2016?
  3. Speaking of budget, how many man hours will it take to reconcile what was entered into the financial system versus what you showed the Board? Did anyone keep track of those “tweaks”? (Side note: I strongly encourage you to read, “Millions of Dollars,” if you haven’t done so already.)
  4. Why does payroll funding come early and the deposits to cover payroll come late? Regardless, it’s your responsibility to make sure the business is prepared to cover the gap.
  5. Did you remember to do your tax planning? I hope you’re response isn’t, “Oops.”
  6. It doesn’t matter if you like it – life insurance and other add-backs are going to happen on the final payroll. Don’t question it – just know it will happen and make sure to account for it!
  7. Did you prepare for audit season? You may be saying, “I really better look at that August balance sheet again!”
  8. What are my employees doing to celebrate the holiday season? Those empty desks belong to the people you depend on every single day. And because you are the best boss in the world, they are home with their families and friends. Don’t forget to remember the reason for the season!

Have a great year-end and start to 2016!