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.
- 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 click 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! “