Checklists make work faster and easier, and even a simple checklist can save you hours of time at year-end.
A Year-End Checklist
- Saves time: Your checklist helps you do each step in order, keep from back-tracking, duplicating work, or doing unnecessary work.
- Increases accuracy: A checklist can help you make sure to use the same system to tackle the issues the that come up only once a year, like Inventory, Fixed Asset depreciation, Owner’s Wages, etc. That way the books stay consistent year over year.
Here are a few tasks that should be on everyone’s QuickBooks Year-End Checklist:
- Go to Banking > Reconcile: Use the reconciliation function to match your QuickBooks balances to the balances on your bank and credit card statements and eliminate duplication and errors in your accounts. Expert Tip: Run a QuickReport, and filter for uncleared transactions.
- Go to Reports >Company and Financial >Balance Sheet Prev Year Comparison: Start with the first checking account at the top of the report, look at its balance and ask yourself this very important question: “Does this make sense?”. Look at the “$ Change” column, it shows you exactly what changed from one year to the next, like if you added a new “Fixed Asset”, and then ask yourself that same question. Wherever possible, confirm balances with outside source documents such as statements, bills, etc. Expert Tip: Toggle the report basis between Cash and Accrual, does A/R or A/P appear on cash basis? If so, watch the short video “QuickBooks cash basis Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable”
- Go to Banking > Make Deposits:Never close the year without doing this step. If a window pops up showing that you have money waiting to go to the bank from last year, you don’t want to close until you find out where that money went. Expert Tip: Save time by using “Fix Undeposited Funds” in the Client Data Review.
- Go to File > Back Up: When the year is completely wrapped up and all the numbers are finalized, make a backup. If you are ever asked to give your QuickBooks file to the IRS , you’ll be ready to give them the info they need, and nothing more.
- See if you need to upgrade: Every May 31 Intuit “sunsets” software and it’s really not wise to run a business on un-supported software. To check your version go here: QuickBooks service discontinuation policy and upgrade information. Expert Tip: Before upgrading make sure you listen to this short training: “Upgrading QuickBooks? Make sure your data file is healthy before you do it! “
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Listen in as two QuickBooks Experts walk through their year-end, sharing the secrets they’ve learned from years of experience: Prepping the QuickBooks data for your CPA at Year-End