Solid bookkeeping practice is fundamental, but at times can be overwhelming, even for those in the accounting field. Keeping financial records up-to-date and accurate usually involves a variety of tasks. If you get behind, it can derail your whole financial system, not to mention impact your business.
That’s why it’s critical to stay on top of bookkeeping tasks for up-to-date insights into the health of your business at any moment.
Having a well-defined workflow for bookkeeping, whether you manage your own business or you’re looking for a good checklist of items to help your bookkeeping clients, will help make sure that financial information is concise, cash flow is accurate, deadlines are being met, and nothing is getting missed. That’s where a monthly checklist comes in handy.
Here is the monthly checklist to help guide you through all the tasks that need monitoring:
✔️Analyze Your Inventory Status (If Applicable)
If you have inventory, set aside time to reorder products that sell quickly and identify others that are moving slowly and may have to be marked down or, ultimately, written off. By checking regularly (and comparing to prior months’ numbers), it’s easier to make adjustments so you are neither short nor overloaded.
✔️Process/Review Payroll & Approve Tax Payments
While you have an established schedule to pay your employees (usually bi-weekly), you need to meet payroll tax requirements based on federal, state, and local laws at different times, so be sure to withhold, report, and deposit the applicable income tax, social security, Medicare, and disability taxes to the appropriate agencies on the required dates. If you need help with payroll, we can help.
Review the payroll summary before payments are disbursed to avoid having to make corrections during the next payroll period. A payroll service provider can do all this to save you time and ensure accuracy at a reasonable cost.
✔️Review Actual Profit & Loss VS. Budget & VS. Prior Years
Your profit and loss statement (also known as an income statement), both for the current month and year to date, tells you how much you earned and how much you spent. Measure it against your budget every month (or quarter). Comparing your actual numbers to your planned numbers highlights where you may be spending too much or not enough, so that you can make changes.
If you have not prepared a budget, compare your current year-to-date P&L with the same prior-period year-to-date P&L to identify variances and make adjustments.
Check out Intuit’s guides to download a free customizable budget template and profit and loss statement.
✔️Review Month-End Balance Sheet VS. Prior Month
By comparing your balance sheet at one date—June 30, 2015, for example—to a balance sheet from an earlier date (December 31, 2014), you get a picture of how you are managing assets and liabilities. The key is to look for what has significantly risen and/or declined, and understand why. For example, if your accounts receivables are increasing, is it due to a climb in recent sales or because of slower payments from customers?
If you’re looking for simple workflow templates to stay on top of your bookkeeping checklist, check out this resource:
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