Year-end accounting checklist: How to close the fiscal year

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Naturally, the end of the year is an excellent time to begin creating goals for the new year. Aside from carrying over any plans that have already been put in place, try making a list of goals the entire company can work towards. We recommend following the S.M.A.R.T. system (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Sensitive). Watch and clock repairers fix, clean, and adjust mechanisms of all objects that tell time.

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Selecting the «right» software for your company might seem like an overwhelming task, but we’d like to help make this process easier for you. Industry focus allows us to be experts in the accounting needs of the companies that operate within these industries. In either case, you should clear up any differences between what’s on these reports and what has actually occurred. If there are any late bills, you should also pay them before your year end. And while you’re at it, you should probably contact those who are late in paying it.

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You want to be focusing on sales and growth to start the new year not 1099 compliance and taxes. One thing that you should do is to take a peek through the details of your asset accounts. You want to be looking for any glaring errors that you mistakenly booked to an asset account. This will help determine whether any of your outstanding receivables can be written off as bad debt. Having your CPA handle tasks that should be done by your bookkeeper will be very costly. Also, if you hand your CPA a QuickBooks file that is not reconciled you are almost asking for a tax extension to be filed.


Your income statement lists all of the money you gained and lost throughout the year. Before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, you need to square away several accounting tasks. Your accounting books should be organized, up-to-date, and ready for the transition into a new year.

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To give you a headstart, we’ve laid out all the essential steps to a successful year-end closing cycle in this article. Before the new year starts, setting goals is extremely important for a finance team that would let them plan for the targets accordingly. It also helps the team to stay motivated and focus on the set goals. The right set of goals should be specific and attainable within the realm of possibility. You must also choose relevant goals which focus on improving the areas of weaknesses in your business. In 2007, Park East was formed to provide exceptional bookkeeping services in the Greater Cleveland Area.


Review your accounts receivable to ensure that all due invoices have been paid. Also, review the accounts payable to ensure that all expenses are up-to-date. This step can help you identify any unpaid bills or late payments so that you can stay on top of them before the new year. A major aspect of your accounting year-end procedures checklist is reconciling your bank accounts and credit cards. That way, you verify that your accounting records match your bank accounts. At this time, you may also want to review your company’s accounting processes to make sure it’s still adequate to handle all of your tax and accounting needs.

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If you haven’t already, invite your accountant to collaborate with you. This gives them permission to review and make changes to your books. It also gives them all the financial information they need to prepare and file taxes on your behalf.

Comparing your payroll liabilities to actual year-end balances is one of the crucial tasks to complete as you wrap up your bookkeeping for the year. This will ensure that all of your employee wages and withholdings are accounted for and that there are no discrepancies. Perform a physical inventory count and reconcile it with the balances in your bookkeeping system.

That means you must separate your personal and business expenses. One of the most important aspects of closing out your business’s financial year is making sureall income and expenses are recorded and up to date. If you have any unbilled invoices, don’t wait any longer to send them.

You must get an accurate count of the materials and supplies you have on hand if your business has inventory. Otherwise, you could wind up with empty shelves or inventory shrinkage (e.g., expired goods). Expert advice and resources for today’s accounting professionals. The goal is to prepare a final financial statement for potential external audit, to be stored within the company’s official financial records. In addition to making sure all of your customers pay you, you should confirm that you’ve paid any vendor or contractor debts your small business has accrued.


We can help you identify any areas of concern and make sure that all of your what is notes payable records are accurate and organized. As you wrap up your bookkeeping for the year, one crucial task is reconciling your revenue to actual year-end balances to the point-of-sale system and billings. This will ensure that all of your income is accounted for and that there are no discrepancies. Do any of your clients’ account balances need minor adjustments? Run an Adjusted Trial Balance Report to make sure all debits and credits equal out. The easiest way to wrap up one fiscal year and get ready for the next is with a systematic approach to getting your books organized.

Ideally, this should come from the professional who handled the client’s account . The professional may even ask for a lower amount than what is owed. While this may sound like a crazy idea, getting paid any amount for the invoice is better than collecting absolutely nothing from it.

  • This will ensure that all of your income is accounted for and that there are no discrepancies.
  • This task focuses on taking the proper steps to ensure your small business’ financial transactions are recorded and up to date.
  • …which is why you should have an accountant on your side to help you through your beginning, during and year end accounting process.

Goals that are specific are definite and leave little to no room for interpretation. Because specific goals are well defined, they give your business direction. Answering these types of questions will help you make and continue to make profitable business decisions in the future. This is a sure fire way to catch any transactions that may have been double-counted or not counted at all. Maybe you let a month slip by, but year end is the time to catch up and tie those loose ends. There are so many hurdles to overcome and questions to answer when running a business.

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If there is one year-end booking tip that you simply cannot afford to overlook, it is to back up information. This will save you time and make things a whole lot easier for you when you need to access that data for yourself or the IRS. Businesses that have inventory need to keep an accurate count of all the materials that are available on the premises or the warehouse. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with inventory shortages or an unnecessary surplus.

To reconcile your accounts, compare your bank and credit card statements to your accounting records. If they don’t match, do a little digging to find the discrepancy. You may need to adjust one of your records for the balances to be equal (e.g., interest amounts).

If you find discrepancies between the two, make adjustments where necessary. You may find that some financial statements are overstated, meaning its value is showing an amount greater than what you incurred. The thought of putting together a year end accounting checklist may sound daunting, overwhelming or just plain boring. We’ve taken our years of experience working with hundreds of small business owners and distilled them down into practical online lessons. Yes we like tidy books at year end, but what really gets us excited is helping business owners achieve success, whatever success means to them.

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