Year-End Checklist Every Accounting Firm Should Follow
December 9, 2021
The end of the year is a busy time for everyone, including businesses. This is when most business owners are planning out their goals for the coming year while balancing end-of-year accounting obligations like sales and payroll, not to mention all the other additional computations like year-end bonuses and such. All in all, it can become quite a hectic time for accountants and bookkeepers.
If you’re also juggling these tasks, use a year-end accounting checklist to help manage your time across all the tasks that need to get done. To help you get started, we’ve created a sample year-end accounting checklist that you can use for your firm and as well as your clients.
1. Gather and Analyze Financial Statements
Financial statement analysis helps you identify the health of your business and make proactive business decisions. Include items in this part of your checklist such as finance trends, business benchmarks, and what your ratios mean. This can include yearly statements like a balance sheet, statement of cash flows, income statement, and a statement of owner's equity. It can also include interim financials like quarterly reports and monthly financial statements. You can also include a projected financial statement.
2. Collect Past Due Invoices
Be sure to collect all the invoices that have been unpaid or outstanding for more than 30 days. Include all outstanding payments or invoices to determine where your business stands at the end of the year. This will help you ensure you have a clean balance sheet and that all bills have been paid before the year ends. Include this on your checklist to ensure that you cross this off your list. You can also separate bills that have already been paid from those that are still past due on a separate spreadsheet. So, you can quickly review who still needs to be paid and who has already paid their bill.
3. Review Your Tax Documents for Incomplete and Incorrect Information
Looking through all your tax documents can be tedious, especially if you have several returns to handle. You can use the checklist to remember to scan your tax documents and incorporate them into your accounting software. If you have any questions, you can also use the checklist to make a note to contact your tax preparer.
4. Incorporate Your Quarterly Financial Statements into Your Accounting System
Quarterly financial statements provide important information on the trends within your business and are essential to understanding the health of your business. They can also be used to conduct financial analyses and get insights into your business.
5. Review and Audit Payroll Records
The current year’s payroll is a good time to audit your payroll records. This is also the time to do an annual compensation review to ensure that you're paying your employees fairly and in accordance with local and federal laws.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when preparing your year-end accounting checklist for your accounting and bookkeeping business. Before using this checklist, be sure to review it with your staff and adjust it according to your business’ needs and standard operating procedures.
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