30 Dec2009 Bookkeeping Year-End Checklist

The end of the year is upon us, and it is time to get organized with your accounting records.  If you have not done so already, I would   highly recommend getting on a robust accounting system for your business.  Check out Outright, Freshbooks, Less Accounting or whatever works best for you.

It’s not an exhaustive list but a good guide to ensure that you are ready for the end the year and tax time.  Some of the tips I got from the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB).

  • Enter final transactions for the year. Pay bills, people and other expenses.
  • Enter ALL cash receipts for business expenses (taxis, business meals,subway, train)
  • Reconcile all your accounts and enter any missing transactions.
  • Work on reducing receivables (Follow up with clients/customers to get paid)
  • Write-off bad debt if necessary, but work on getting paid by customers/clients first.
  • Make IRA or 401K contributions and donations to charity to reduce taxable income
  • Make all asset depreciation entries (only applicable for equipment that you had put on a depreciation schedule)

Organize: Make Life Easier on Your CPA and Understand What Happened During The Year

  • Collect all bank statements and business credit card statements for the year.
  • Make sure you have check register.
  • Inquire from your CPA as to what reports, form and any other documentation are needed.
  • Ask if year-end reports should be on a cash basis or accrual basis
  • Back up the accounting file in case of any data loss
  • Send a copy of your Income Statement and Balance Sheet to your accountant at the end year to get an idea what your taxes will be in March 15 (quarterly) and/or April 15 (personal income tax deadline).

Employee/Independent Contractors

  • Order 1099-MISC forms (Independent Contractors)  and W-2 forms (Payroll Employees) early. The forms are much cheaper if buy at Staples then via Quickbooks.
  • Get Independent Contractors current mailing address and  SSN.
  • Calculate the total payments made to them for the year.
  • You can file 1099s online.  The deadline for when are sent to independent contractors is January 31.

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