July 20, 2012 by Ed Becker
Closing the year in QuickBooks is a “must do” step once your year-end is complete and/or once you have sent your file to your CPA. You want to ensure that data does not change and more importantly, make sure you don’t enter data into the wrong period inadvertently. It happens frequently and often creates more work for your CPA the following year.
QuickBooks is different than some traditional software programs, as you don’t do a “hard close” at the end of a month or year (you can close each period if you prefer to run your business this way). QuickBooks keeps your accounting data forever unless you condense your file, which you might do if it becomes too big.
Not properly closing the period means there’s a possibility that you or a employees can change, add, or delete entries made in a previous year. Remember, QuickBooks is driven by the date of your entry so if you enter 1/1/11 on the first day of the new year but meant to date your entry as 1/1/12, that entry is now in the prior year.
To solve this problem, you will want use the Set Closing Date and Password option within Company Preferences. This option locks the information from your previous period/year, so it can’t be changed without the password being entered.
To locate the closing date option, click Edit –> Preferences. Under Accounting Preferences on the left side, select Company Preferences tab. On that tab, you will see an area called Closing Date. This is where you enter the date and password you have elected.
The password you use should not be the same as your login password and should be safeguarded so that only you and sometimes your CPA know this.
The password can be changed each month, year or whatever timeframe works for your business.