In the first part of this series, we offered a Manager’s guide year-end planning to getting your employees ready for 2019. Now, here’s the Manager’s guide to a year-end checklist for accountants.
Let’s take a closer look at what you should do to make sure that your books are ready for the end of the year.
A Business Owner’s Comprehensive 2018 Checklist for Accountants
Closing your books is one of the most common tasks that businesses attend to at the end of the year–and there are so many factors to consider. Companies actually struggle with where to start when it comes to rounding up their accounting during the last quarter. So it really helps to have a year-end checklist for accountants that runs down everything that you have to take care of so you don’t miss a single thing.
Your Business’ Year-End Checklist For Accountants: #1: Review Your Profit And Loss Statement
Before you dive into anything else, check your profit and loss statement. In your year-end checklist for accountants for your business, your profit and loss statement essentially summarizes your company’s revenues, costs, and expenses throughout the year.
This snapshot of your company’s financial standing provides a big-picture overview of what your company is doing right and what you need to change for the coming year.
Misclassified expenses are one of the most common mistakes that companies make on their profit and loss statements so be sure that everything is categorized properly. Consult a professional if you have the option to do so. A lot of these mistakes can easily be avoided if you onboard an accountant as you begin to wrap up your books for the year and address many of your questions. So add to your year end checklist for accountants: Accountants you feel confident in partnering with for your business.
Your Company’s Year-End Checklist For Accountants: #2: Make A List Of Your Vendors And Collect W-9s
Most businesses tap into a pool of suppliers throughout the year. If your company did as well, you have to remember to collect W-9 forms for every single one of them.
The W-9 serves as a paper trail so the IRS can confirm and track your expenses. On the flip side, it also allows the government to keep an eye on the vendors and their income. Some key guidelines to keep in mind:
- The law requires you to issue and complete a 1099 form for each vendor you’ve spent a minimum of $600 on.
- The 1099 has to be filled out and completed by January 31.
- Make sure that the document is sent promptly to the IRS by February 29, if you’re sending it manually, and March 31 if you’re filing it electronically.
Year-End Checklist For Accountants: #3 Organize Your Receipts
Get everyone together and gather your receipts. You don’t realize how much work-related receipts you accumulate until you actually start to collect all of them for filing.
Most companies today use a software solution to manage this part of the accounting wrap up. If that’s the case, try to make it easier for the one uploading data by tracking your receipts and organizing them in according to how your CPA needs it—usually by category or by date. This is so they can easily reconcile expenses with credit card statements and bank accounts.
Year-End Checklist For Accountants: #4: Reconcile Bank And Credit Card Statements
Make sure that what’s contained in your official financial statements match up. For example, your bank and credit card statements should always align and that your ledger balance matches.
This is critical—especially if you were entering all your numbers manually. If you’re using accounting software, make sure that you double-check your figures. When in doubt, turn to professionals and tap into your bookkeeper or accountant. Your accounting books are not something to take lightly and whenever you can seek the help of an expert, do so.
Year-End Checklist For Accountants: #5: Manage And Double Check Payroll
Double-check your payroll expenses and make sure that everything matches up. Review the accuracy of your employees withheld taxes for the whole year, especially when it comes to withholding taxes, fringe benefits, or deferred compensation.
Year-End Checklist For Accountants: #6: Review Your Accounts Receivables And Invoices
Have you sent out your year-end invoices? There’s a tendency for companies to overlook this, especially given the numerous other accounting tasks that you have to attend to and you’re doing everything manually. In your year-end checklist for accountants, gather all of your invoices and make sure that you’ve sent everything out to avoid understating or overstating your account.
Another thing to take note of are the dates. Ensure that all of your revenues are recorded in the correct time period.
Year-End Checklist For Accountants: #7: Complete A Physical Inventory
Not all companies may need to do this, but if you deal with a retailer for example and deal with physical stock, this is the best time to take a comprehensive physical inventory.
Your objective is to match what you currently have with your end of the year balance sheet. Doing so will greatly help your bookkeeper determine if you’ve spent too much on inventory throughout the year and assess it’s current value. Be sure to record details of sales, disposal, and depreciation—all these factors greatly into your current financial standing.
Make sure you go through this list carefully to close out your year-end checklist for accounting. Closely related to this are your taxes, which we will discuss in the next part of this end of the year guide series. So be sure to watch out for Part 3.