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The end of the fiscal year is not only a time for closing books and financial reporting; it’s also an excellent opportunity for bookkeepers to engage with their clients through a comprehensive year-end review. This process is crucial for evaluating the past year's financial performance, discussing achievements and challenges, and planning strategically for the upcoming year. A well-conducted year-end review can strengthen client relationships and ensure continuous engagement. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to conduct these reviews effectively.

  1. Prepare Comprehensive Financial Reports
    Before meeting with your client, prepare detailed reports that cover all aspects of their finances. This should include profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and a year-over-year comparison to highlight growth or contraction. Ensure that these reports are clear and digestible, using visual aids like charts and graphs where possible. Being thorough in your preparation will not only instil confidence in your client but also provide a solid foundation for your discussion.

  2. Review Key Financial Achievements and Challenges
    Begin your meeting by discussing the key financial achievements from the past year. Highlight areas where goals were met or exceeded, such as increased revenue, reduced costs, or improved cash flow management. It’s important to celebrate these successes before moving on to more challenging areas.

    Next, address the challenges or shortfalls experienced throughout the year. Be honest but constructive in discussing these topics, focusing on solutions and learning opportunities rather than dwelling on mistakes. This could involve analysing any unexpected expenses, cash flow issues, or revenue targets that were not met.

  3. Identify Areas for Improvement
    With a clear understanding of the past year’s performance, steer the conversation towards improvement. Discuss any financial practices that need refining, such as inventory management, expense tracking, or tax planning (suggest speaking to their accountant). This is also a good time to solicit feedback from your client about your own services and discuss any additional support they may need going forward.

  4. Plan Joint Strategies for Future Financial Health
    The next step is to use the insights gained from the review to plan for the new year. Work with your client to set realistic financial goals and develop strategies to achieve them. This could include budget adjustments, setting new financial targets, or planning for major expenditures. Make sure these plans align with your client’s broader business goals and personal ambitions.

  5. Discuss Compliance and Changes in Regulations
    Ensure that your client is aware of any changes in financial regulations that could affect their business. Discussing compliance is crucial and helps prevent costly penalties or legal issues. It also positions you as a trusted advisor who keeps their best interests at heart.

  6. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
    Finally, propose a schedule for regular check-ins throughout the coming year. Monthly or quarterly meetings can help keep your client on track and allow for timely adjustments to any financial strategy. Regular engagement also reinforces the value of your services and keeps communication open, fostering a stronger relationship.

  7. Follow-Up After the Meeting
    After your review meeting, send a follow-up email summarising the main points discussed, including any decisions made and plans for the future. Attach relevant documents or action items and express your appreciation for their time and trust in your services. A follow-up not only ensures clarity but also demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to their success.


Conducting an effective year-end review is essential for maintaining a healthy client relationship and setting the stage for future success. By being well-prepared, transparent, and proactive, you can help your clients understand their financial landscape and navigate the coming year with confidence.

Katrina Aarsman

Article by Katrina Aarsman

Author of Grow, Profit, Exit, mother of two and mentor Katrina Aarsman has been with Pure Bookkeeping since 2018. As spokesperson for Pure Bookkeeping Australia, Katrina uses her role to help bookkeeping businesses in a meaningful way. Along with leading development, implementing goals and upholding values, Katrina is dedicated to staying in touch, on top of trends and issues with the bookkeeping industry. Before Pure Bookkeeping, Katrina built a multi-staffed bookkeeping business that she sold in 2015. Since then she has guided, supported and helped bookkeepers build and grow their businesses. She continues to find new things that inspire her and the people around her. Currently, she is exploring meditation and dreaming of one day living by the water.