2009 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.


Nichelle Stephens is a blogger, cupcake enthusiast, editor, event producer, and social media strategist. Nichelle is the co-founding editor of Cupcakes Take The Cake, the most popular blog about cupcakes. Nichelle lives in suburban Atlanta after toiling for years in Brooklyn, New York. Nichelle is also the founder of Keeping Nickels, a personal finance and business accounting blog for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Nichelle is also the founder of lifestyle and pop culture blog, CoolBlkPpl.