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Your essential end-of-year business checklist

From managing annual leave to running payroll reports, purchasing gifts and spring cleaning your office, prepare for the end of the year with this essential business checklist.

Get ready to pop the champagne – it's the end of the year, which means sunshine and relaxation are just around the corner. But before you settle into holiday mode, there are a number of things you, as a small business owner, might need to have covered. Read on for your essential holiday office checklist, with tips for how to make the festive season as smooth as possible.

Office shutdowns

Many small businesses lock up their office over the festive season, which means employees may need to use annual leave to cover time off over this period. Be sure to warn staff in advance if this is the case so they can accumulate leave days throughout the year to ensure their break is paid. On the flipside, many employees prefer to take time off over Christmas, even if your business is remaining open. It's a good idea to take a look at the Fair Work Ombudsman website if you are unsure of the conditions your employees are entitled to and keep track of leave requests to manage workflow and payroll.

Chain of command

If your business is staying open over the holiday period and senior employees will be away on annual leave, it's a good idea to make sure you have a chain of command in place and communicate this to everyone in the office. Have a contingency plan in case of an emergency where you, or a senior staff member, cannot be contacted.

End-of-year cashflow

As many employees take time off at the end of the year, your business needs to be in a financial position to continue paying salaries without having huge amount of incoming cash.

The end of the year is also a time when many staff are awarded performance-based bonuses so make sure your cashflow is sufficient to cover salaries and unexpected outgoings. Your accounting needs to accurately reflects extra costs associated with these weeks.

Run payroll reports

Once you've worked out annual leave and bonus structures for the festive season, you may want to run payroll reports for each employee for 1 January to 31 December, And also run payroll tax filings and export all the data as a backup CSV file.

Christmas gifts

A number of industry experts believe employees actually prefer to receive physical gifts in recognition for hard work, rather than an end-of-year cash bonus. They have a longer-lasting effect on the recipient, resulting in stronger motivation and heightened performance.

The Qantas Shopping Rewards Store is packed with all manner of gift ideas (over 8,000 items to choose from in fact), from vouchers and subscriptions to tech gadgets, food, wine, and fashion. And you don't need to worry about cashflow – you can use the Qantas Points accumulated in your Qantas Business Rewards account to make purchases from the store.

Do your research

If you are closing your business over the festive period, make sure you understand how your closure will impact clients and customers. If you're maintaining a staff presence, find out which other businesses you work with are closing over that period and whether this will affect you.

Backup your files

Don't risk losing valuable data and files with your office shut down. Assemble files into a single folder dated with the year and send a copy to your cloud backup. Keep a copy on an external hard drive separate from your computer. Encourage all employees to do the same, completing a computer clean-up at the same time.

Office clean

Start 2019 on an orderly note by streamlining your office at the end of 2018. Throw away, recycle of donate unused furniture and supplies, consider updating or upgrading technology and ask employees to tidy their workspace.

As a bonus why not get rewarded while you do the above, as a Qantas Business Rewards member, you can earn 3 Qantas Points for every $1 you spend on Dell, Samsung products to make your office tech-ready for the New Year. When it comes to waste removal, recycling and cleaning, Remondis Corporate Cleaning Services offer Qantas Business Rewards members 1 point for every $1 spent.

Take up end-of-year offers and promotions

If you've been holding out or waiting for a good time to sign up, subscribe or apply for a service, there are benefits to doing this now. Many businesses (large and small) offer year-end promotions, often to pump up revenues before the calendar year ends. So if you're looking to save money on services you'll need for 2019 (don't take up offers you won't need just because they're discounted) then this is the time to look around for deals. Why not start by taking a look at the exciting partner offers on the Qantas Business Rewards site.

Festive events

This a great time to thank everyone important to your business for their ongoing support. End of year events are a great way to show your appreciation, while strengthening contacts and highlighting different aspects of your business. Be sure to set a goal for your event, pick a suitable location, and keep formalities to a minimum.

Why not use your business' Qantas Points to help cater the food and wine for the events by redeeming your points with Qantas Wine where you can shop over 2,000 quality wines and gourmet food - all hand-picked from leading wine-growing regions.

Earn Qantas Points on over 50 everyday business expenses

Find out how your business can earn and enjoy rewards as a Business Rewards member.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

^ You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions. Qantas Points and Status Credits (where applicable) are earned on eligible flights with a Qantas or applicable oneworld® Alliance Airline or Airline Partner flight number on your ticket. Qantas Points and Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types and booking classes. See terms and conditions and the Airline Earning Tables for details on the conditions for the applicable airline.

~ A business must be a Qantas Business Rewards Member to earn Qantas Points for the business. A one-off join fee of $89.50 may apply, which is inclusive of any applicable GST and may be varied by Qantas from time to time, without notice, in its absolute discretion. Membership of Qantas Business Rewards and the earning of Qantas Points as a business are subject to Qantas Business Rewards Terms and Conditions.