How to Bring Your End of Year Checklist Into the 21st Century


In business (as well as life), the chances are that you’re familiar with hearing the phrase “we’ve always done it that way.” Many people are resistant to change. Whether it’s adapting to new technology, changing hiring practices, or using a new product. But sometimes change is good, and it can revitalize and invigorate a company, and it’s employees. Prepping for the new year is a time that always brings about thoughts of change. People think about what they did this past year. What can they do better next year and how can they make it happen. As you and your business wind down and start looking at your end of year checklist, it’s time to think about how to bring it into the 21st century.

When you think of your end of the year checklist, certain items come to mind – get finances in order, get tax documents prepared, review sales numbers, take a look at the marketing plan. But there are a lot of other items you should be looking at beyond the tried and true tasks that can really impact the way your company operates, the way your employees work and ultimately, the bottom line.

Make Your Human Resources Digital

Given the rapid advancement of technology coupled with the pressure to find and nurture talent, it’s no surprise that human resources (HR) at many organizations is becoming increasingly digitized and automated. If you’re not already using HR software, now is a time to start.

HR digital transformation is the process of changing operational HR processes to become automated and data-driven. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends report: ‘It’s about HR teams taking up the dual challenge of transforming HR operations on the one hand, and transforming the workforce and the way work is done on the other.’

The technological innovations behind digitization automate and scale HR administrative tasks, which frees up resources to deliver specialized HR services. This requires an HR operating model with clear segmentation for roles as well as an innovative HR blueprint to allow simplicity, scalability, and continuous improvement.

It can seem pretty daunting when it comes to making that first step towards an HR digital transformation. So here are a few suggestions for a successful start:

  1. Establish a clear goal
  2. Get everyone on board
  3. Don’t overcomplicate things
  4. Prioritize ideas
  5. Assess performance
  6. Culture is important

Digital technology alone is not enough for an HR transformation. It’s just as much about the mindset of everyone involved. And that has everything to do with your company culture.

Digitize Your Productivity Tracking

There are so many options available via apps for us to be better and more productive. Whether you want to plan a project, work better with others, save interesting stuff you've found online or just make the best possible use of your time, there is something for everyone. Many businesses are trying to operate under the mantra of “work smarter, not harder.” There is no one-size-fits-all solution to being more productive. It depends on many factors such as who you are, how you process information, as well as the details of your work and life.

With the right productivity apps and services at your fingertips, you can increase your efficiency and get more done. There are plenty of productivity apps available that are targeted for business use – project management, calendaring, invoicing/billing, word-processing/spreadsheets, presentations. But at the end of the day, the goal of every great productivity app is to provide a solution to a specific problem.

By evaluating your productivity or that of your employees, you gain a better knowledge of where their time (and potentially your money) is being spent. This can make a big difference in hiring for the next year, purchases for the office and how you track/manage them, and the type of service and commitment you are able to reasonably provide to your clients.

Do Your Taxes Online

Tax time. A phrase that brings a certain sense of dread with it. But what if there was a way to simplify the process that is faster and less prone to error? Well, there is – and that’s doing your taxes online. E-filing is faster, safer, and generally more convenient than paper filing. When you have your finances integrated with tax software, the whole process is much more streamlined.

According to the IRS, here are the advantages of electronic filing:

Tracks & Organizes Your Records

When you file your taxes online, you are creating a permanent electronic record for your use in the future. If a question comes up about your tax return, you don’t have to dig through filing cabinets or giant stacks of paper. Instead, you can pull up your information on your computer and get to work right away.

Bigger Refunds

While you may have to pay a fee to file your taxes electronically, in the end you could very well make this money back. Most people find that filing their taxes online gives them the chance to take advantage of more tax credits and deductions. Many tax preparation programs will help you file your return and inform you about potential tax benefits you’re eligible for.

Greater Accuracy

It should go without saying, but you need to make sure that your tax return is 100% accurate. When you file online this is often much easier to do. Online filing takes much of the guesswork out of the tax return process because the software programs do the math calculations for you. No more worrying about which tax forms you need, or what step to take next because the tax software will show you the way.

Faster to File

When you opt to file your taxes online, it speeds up the whole tax preparation and filing process – plus, the IRS will process your return (and hopefully refund) faster.

Use Asset Tracking Software For Your Inventory

Asset tracking is becoming more common in today’s business environment. Companies invest thousands or even millions of dollars into assets that are used day in and day out, and they need to have an accurate and reliable way to know three things:

  1. Where their assets are
  2. Who has them
  3. What condition they are in

By using asset tracking software over pen and paper or electronic spreadsheets, you can move more quickly and suffer less waste over your business year. Data is correct and current, and employees are more responsible and efficient in how they are using company assets, which in the end saves both time and money.

For companies that carry inventory, asset tracking can help them stand out from the competition. Inventory ties up a significant portion of an organization’s capital, so responsible and accurate management should be the top priority. Inventory tracking has many different applications, from managing inventory levels, orders, sales and deliveries to tracking the cost of materials used to provide service – in other words, the cost of doing business.

Without a good inventory tracking system, companies often have to resort to guesswork. Holding too much inventory ties up capital that could be better used elsewhere, while too little inventory results in unhappy customers and lost revenue. Tracking inventories requires a minute-by-minute approach – a real-time means of data retrieval so that you’re able to maintain the perfect balance.

Get Your Technology to Work Together

Technology has evolved tremendously and it will continue to do so. Every day we are introduced to new ways of doing things to make our jobs faster and easier. While having so many options available is great, it’s also important that you select technology services that can talk to one another and work together in harmony.

Technological proficiency is essential for most business positions in the modern work climate. Integrating technology into the workplace offers productivity enhancements essential to remaining competitive. For small businesses, technology can replace extra employee expenses, minimize geographic differences and help project a professional image.

By integrating the different technology solutions that fit your specific business model and your specific needs, digital business management really shines over more traditional methods of a la carte selection of technology platforms and hoping they work together when it comes to the processes you use.

As you mull over your end of year checklist, consider introducing a tool such as Asset Panda into the mix. Asset Panda is a mobile tracking and management platform that syncs with the cloud, so you have access to your data in real time 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Asset Panda was built for total simplicity. Despite its power, the app couldn’t be simpler to use and requires no extensive training to master – even for the most technologically challenged employee. That ease of use facilitates maximum participation by all of your stakeholders, so you can work together to devise creative solutions to your management needs.

Track valuable assets for their entire lifespan. Compile data that will be needed for tax time or company audits. Integrate complementary programs into Asset Panda such as Google Device Manager, Microsoft Active Directory or Freshservice. There’s no limit on what you can do with Asset Panda – and it’s completely customizable to be exactly what you need it to be.

Find out more with a free 14-day trial by visiting

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Audra London

Audra London, founder of Conceptual Communications, LLC, has over 10 years of writing, public relations and marketing experience and serves as an expert on press releases, media relations, feature writing, web content and marketing copy.

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