It’s almost the end of the year. How time flies! Soon, a new year will unfold right before our very eyes.
A new year is a crossover, a transition. We all want the new year to be different, better, and more prosperous than the old one. Winding up the old year peacefully is indispensable for a smooth transition to the new year. It is the prelude to a fresh start.
Every yearend, accountants observe the yearend closing process: an accounting procedure undertaken at the end of the year to close out business from the previous year, carry forward balances from the previous year, and open posting accounts for the upcoming year. Yearend is part of the closing operations of a business and is used to prepare the latter’s financial reports. How well the business performs this process contributes to the quality of financial reports.
As an accountant, I realize that I can apply the principles of the yearend closing process in winding up my year well. Let me, then, share with you some practical tips to wind up yours, too. For ease of remembering them, I use the acrostic WIND UP:
W-rite down all pertinent items to do this year. Make an inventory of everything you need to complete or are required to comply: dues that should be paid, or receivables that need to be collected within the current year, tasks you need to finish, or an issue you need to resolve before the year wraps up. It could also be documents and contracts that you need to review, update, or renew on or before the year ends. Include due dates and persons involved for ease of reference.
In your list, you may also find some items which you think you would need to park for now and carry over to the next year. Mark them. You will need them as you start over the new year. If you are a person who regularly makes a “to-do” list, revisit it and update all the items for accuracy.
I-nform or inquire from people who are involved in your list. If there is a need to talk to a person in your list about a receivable due this year, remind the person or client about it. If it’s a contract about to expire, call or email your contact. If you need to resolve a business issue and the person involved is not cooperating in the resolution of the latter, it’s high time to cascade the matter to your superior. If you need to fix a relationship that has gone sour, it might be good to reach out to the person involved. Do so now while there is time.
N-egotiate for a special arrangement or a deadline extension if you anticipate any unfinished item this year. If you foresee the need for more time for you to comply with a requirement or complete a task, initiate a conversation with the person or organization involved. Express your willingness to comply but say that you would need more time to do so. If you think you are not ready yet to fix a strained relationship, this year might not be God’s perfect time for you. Continue praying about it and seek guidance from reliable people.
D-eclutter for physical, mental, and emotional freedom. Remove mess. Clean up your place. Rid your mind of all negative thoughts. Stop dwelling on past failures. Release forgiveness to yourself and to people who hurt you in the past. Renew your mind and seek to restore broken pieces. As you do this, experience the kind of peace that only God can give (Philippians 4:7).
U-phold work done well and carry it over to the next year. Carry on to next year with what you did well this year. Carry forward potential income opportunities or sales in the pipeline and follow them through next year. Carry over to the next year all unfinished or pending items in your list. Make it your priority to clear them right at the start of the year so you don’t have to add them again in your next yearend to-do list.
P-repare to receive blessings and accept challenges in 2020. Open your heart and mind to more opportunities and ideas. Cultivate them. Reap your harvests and count your blessings at the proper time. Like an empty vessel, be ready to be filled with all the good things which God has prepared for you. Brace yourself for challenges, as well. Difficult times are inevitable; but be strong and brave because if you put your trust in God, He will bless you (Jeremiah 17:7, Psalm 84:12).
Make the peaceful winding up the old year a part of your New Year traditions. Vern McLellan says, “What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” Wind up 2019 on a high note for a meaningful and fruitful 2020!
Romelle Madrono-Manuel is a freelance Certified Public Accountant. She and her husband Edison run their family-owned music business, Manuel Music Project Inc. They have two kids, Ruth Allison and Daniel Harrison, both of whom are homeschooled.