With the holidays coming up soon, it is high time to think about your year-end work if you haven’t already. With year-end work I refer to tasks and checks that need to be done in preparation of the closing of the year. The aim of year-end tasks and checks is to make sure that you are ready to start the new year in the best possible way.

What areas?

Three key areas for year-end tasks and checks are: data & statistics, administration and finance.

Data and statistics

In regard of data and statistics, now is the time to make sure you have it all. That is, that you have all the website and social media statistics that are relevant to you, with a relevant cut-off date and comparison period. But also, that you have all data about events and activities that you organized. How many people took part? Who were they? Do you have all the presentations that were done? Are the signed participants lists complete? Etc. And, of course, also data about the events you participated in. Where was your organization represented? How?


In terms of administration, you will want to check that all your contracts are up to date. Both those with your service providers and with your staff, volunteers and interns. Check if you need to pay out year-end bonuses, etc. Check if changes in the law will require adjustments in your contracting, filing or policy. Make sure you have your folders ready for the next year.


When it comes to finance, there is a whole array of specific year-end motions to go through inside your administration. Check your balance ledger positions for open items and make sure these indeed are and must remain open – or sort them out. Make sure you have all finance data and documents for the whole year complete and entered into your accounting system latest in early January. Go through your project portfolio to check the year-end expenditure positions. Do your final cash count. And prepare your folders and files for the next year. Including sending out communication to the team and external service providers about your year-end procedures, due dates & deadlines and requirements.


My key tip for you is to make sure that you learn from this year’s process so that next year’s can be smoother!

  • Make sure you make a process plan and reflect on how that goes, so that you can adjust the start date of certain actions for year-end 2021.
  • Keep all the communications you send out now so you can copy – paste and adjust for year-end 2021.
  • Once you have finalized all year-end work, make a checklist for yourself and see how you might adjust routines during 2021 to make the year-end close easier and smoother. For instance, you might develop a better filing system, do monthly checks or quarterly closes. Possibilities are endless.

Now what?

Brainstorm your year-end work. Prioritize items that are time-sensitive with a deadline before 1 January. Plan accordingly. Build a routine to spend some time every day on the list of items. Ask someone in your team to help you with the tasks or to act as accountability partner. Plan a moment every week to reflect and draw out lessons learned and tips for yourself next year.

Make sure you include audit preparations, if applicable to you, as well. Read my post on that here.

Want to know more and ask questions?

If you want to discuss this more – jump into the Facebook group and get input from a wide range of peers and from myself!

Here is how you can join my free Facebook group

You can join my free Facebook group how to become a professional and resilient nonprofit with Suzanne Bakker here. In this group we will create a safe space for open exchange and discussion on potentially sensitive topics like boards, nonprofit management, fundraising, etc.