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Year End Bookkeeping Checklist (Updated)

December 12, 2016 by Ed Becker


The year has come and gone and now it is time to get information to your CPA for tax return purposes.  A small business should be performing all of its essential accounting functions in a timely manner all year to ensure nothing is overlooked. This also could save you in CPA costs, if you are organized your accountant does not have to spend as much time on your files.

Your bookkeeping, if kept up-to-date, should not be extremely stressful at year end. Many small business owners are not recordkeeping savvy; therefore, they stress out more than necessary. Whether you delegate, or do your bookkeeping yourself can determine your stress level. To help you out either way here are some great tips, although not fully inclusive, they will get you on the right track.

Year End Tips:

This is just a sample.  Depending on your industry, complexity of business, software used, and many other variables, the list can be much more complex.

  • Reconcile bank and credit card accounts. PayPal is considered a bank account and is sometimes neglected in this process.  If you use accounts such as PayPal, you may receive a special 1099K for merchant card and third party network payments.
  • Reconcile all loans and lines of credit, and verify that principal and year-to-date interest is accurate.
  • Update fixed asset records and record deprecation
  • Amortize intangible assets
  • Ensure that all subsystems for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable tie to your general ledger balances
  • Tie out all wages, payroll taxes to W-3’s and quarterly payroll returns
  • Prepare and issue 1099’s to recipients, filing dates have changed for 2016 tax season, most are due by January 31st. For more on this read this.
  • Are all prepaid expense accounts adjusted?
  • Have necessary accruals been recorded for accrual basis taxpayers?
  • Reconcile petty cash account
  • Clean up all A/R and A/P accounts to ensure that credits and/or overpayments are correct
  • Review all posting for the year to determine if there are any items that need to be reclassified
  • Obtain documentation for all charitable donations made throughout the year
  • Close out any Distribution accounts
  • Make a complete back up of your data file. Most clients should be doing this daily, but I have seen cases where months of data needed to be re-created due to lack of backups.
  • Condense and archive your QuickBooks’s file. This can help with performance on your file
  • Review and determine if any checks need to be voided and reissued before you finalize your December 31st bank reconciliation
  • Write off any bad debts to offset capital gains

Unless you have a bookkeeper or use the services of a professional outsourced accounting firm such as Outsource Your Books LLC (OSYB LLC), it’s not unusual to be behind and stressed out about it.

OSYB performs a variety of functions for its clients during the year, and a complete review is done at year end so that our clients data files are ready for tax time.




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