Year-end may upon some of you already, so get your guide and checklist ready! Along with year-end comes thoughts of financial preparation, time management, and more stress. Many of our clients have voiced to us, while year-end is important, there are still many other important duties to be fulfilled. So, it is not uncommon for businesses to leave year-end preparations on the back burner until it becomes an absolute necessity.
Successful and efficient year-end preparations require a more timely execution of daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance. But if you are unsure of what these maintenance tasks are, you may want to consider opting for our QuickBooks Health Check! In addition to checking your overall QuickBooks health, let one of our experts perform your year-end review to save you time and money.
If you are interested in being more prepared for this year or next, read on to view our recommended year-end checklist:
✔️Balance Your Checkbook
Just as you reconcile your personal checking account, you need to know that your cash business transaction entries are accurate each month and that you are working with the correct cash position. Reconciling your cash makes it easier to discover and correct any errors or omissions—either by you or by the bank—in time to correct them.
✔️Review Past-Due (“Aged”) Receivables
Be sure to include an “aging” column to separate “open invoices” with the number of days a bill is past due. This gives you a quick view of outstanding customer payments. The beginning of the month is a good time to send out overdue reminder statements to customers, clients, and anyone else who owes you money.
At the end of your fiscal year, you will be looking at this account again to determine what receivables you will need to send to collections or write off for a deduction.
✔️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. You can also use our free paycheck calculator to figure out what you need to withhold from each paycheck.
✔️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?