The end of the year is always a busy time of year for folks everywhere. This is a time of year that is often marked by holiday festivities, traveling to spend time with family and friends, and more. Mystery shoppers will want to add just one more thing to their plate this busy time of year, and that is to take time to close out your mystery shopping year the right way. So just what does this mean and how can you do it?
What the End of the Year Means
The end of each year of course means that you are closing out the books for one year, so to speak, and getting started transitioning into a new year. This inevitably involves finalizing all of your accounting and bookkeeping tasks for the current year and setting up your system for the next year. This generally does need to be done sometime in the month of December because if it’s not done when January rolls around and you are already working on assignments in the new year, you will not have a system set up to track those income and expense records. The last thing you want to do is co-mingle the years, because that sets yourself up for a nightmare accounting situation in the spring in tax time rolls around!
Closing Out the Year
The first thing you want to do is to close out your current year’s books. This involves inputting all of your expense records into your spreadsheet or whatever other accounting system you are using. If you have been keeping your records up to date, this should only take a few minutes to complete. If you have let it go all year, you may find you have days or even weeks of work ahead of you!
Preparing for the New Year
Often times, mystery shoppers realize in the middle of the year (or sometimes during that end of year crunch when they are closing out the last year’s books) that their current system of bookkeeping just is not working well for them. Now is the time to set up a system to track next year’s income and expenses, and so this fresh start is a great time to revise your system as needed. Consider what has worked for you over the past year and what has not and make changes. Set up your new system at least a few days before the calendar transitions into the new year so that you are ready to the ground running and enjoy an easy transition into the new year.
Some mystery shoppers will find that this entire process just takes a few minutes or perhaps up to an hour of their time, and others will find that it takes weeks to complete. You will want to get started with this process right away so that you don’t find yourself hit with delays and unexpected snags in the new year. This type of stress is no way to get your new year of mystery shopping off to a great start!