Year-End Audit

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.


A business owner from Illinois called me the other day to discuss his company’s upcoming strategic planning meeting for 2023.  Before our discussion became too detailed, I suggested that he conduct a rigorous year-end audit to highlight any key issues, noticeable successes or failures, and points of reflection that may shape his mindset for the upcoming fiscal year.  Listed below are some of the integral areas that I recommended he and his management team evaluate before December lapses.  

    1. Review Last Year’s Strategic Plan:  Evaluate projections vs results, themes of success and failure, best practices, and shortcomings related to accountability.
    2. Meet with Accountant:  Determine current tax liability, capital expenditures, depreciation schedules, chart of accounts, and debt/equity ratio.
    3. Anticipate Changing Legislation for New Year:  New taxation, employment law, environmental restrictions, local ordinances, or safety guidelines?
    4. Budget Forecast for New Year:  Review current results, develop a new year strategic plan, specify goals, KPIs, and key initiatives.
    5. OSHA Record Keeping: OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 Forms for the current year and previous four years; congruence with Detailed Loss Reports from workers’ compensation vendor; tailgate training programs.
    6. I-9 Forms: Ensure compliance with all record keeping guidelines for active and inactive employee I-9 Forms.
    7. Technology: Computer system and/or software upgrades, web page, GPS, cell phone value, estimating programs, CRM, etc.
    8. Operations: Revise production rates, rotation maps, routing circles, and job sequencing for gross margin goals across all revenue streams.
    9. Safety Data Sheets:  Verify all current SDSs are properly documented and maintained.
    10. Marketing Plan and Materials: Review for effectiveness, refresh materials, social media, clarify goals and targets, and sales matrix.
    11. Asset Inventory: Assess quantity and quality of vehicles, equipment, tools, and preventive maintenance schedules.
    12. Facilities: Review office, yard, and shop for safety hazards, necessary upgrades, improvements; security systems.
    13. Insurance Program: Assess coverage value of general liability, vehicle, workers’ compensation, EPLI, inland marine, cyber, personal umbrella, etc.
    14. Human Resources: Employee Handbook, job descriptions, salary scales, new employment posters, documentation, completed performance evaluations, legal issues, investigations, and required training.
    15. Client Review: Evaluate client relations management program, client list, touchpoints, year-end gifts, idealized client profiles, jobs in jeopardy, lost job autopsy themes.
    16. Records Management: All files, archives, destruction dates, retention, scanning, Cloud accounts, off-site storage, legal requirements.
    17. Water Management: Irrigation, valves, controllers, heads, remote access, proposed enhancements budgets for clients, PMI.
    18. ObamaCare: Employer mandate compliance, employee participation, and denials, anticipate Form 1095-C.
    19. Vendor Evaluation: Usage effectiveness, quality, timeliness, discounts, agreements, flexibility, and cost.
    20. Payroll Audit: Correct wages, overtime, benefits payments, 401(k), vacation rates, sick leave compliance, and independent contractors.

Identify a point of contact for each area to ensure complete accountability before the current year ends.

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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.