Get Organized Now With This Year-End Checklist

A great way to make a wonderful start to 2020 is to wrap up 2019 feeling organized and on top of the world. Here’s a checklist of items that can be started now to make year-end close go smoother than ever before. If some of these tasks are intimidating, don’t hesitate to reach out to us – that’s what we’re here for.

  1. Catch up on the books, especially if they are done only once a year. By doing it now, the accountant can receive them faster. This time of year they will appreciate getting the work done ahead of their crunch time.
  2. Catch up on bank reconciliations in case they are not up to date. Don’t forget the savings accounts, PayPal, and any other cash equivalents. Void any old uncleared checks if needed.
  3. Review unpaid invoices in accounts receivable and get aggressive about collecting them, especially if the company is a cash basis tax payer. Clean up any items that are incorrect so that the account reconciles.
  4. Write off any invoices that are no longer collectible.
  5. Ask employees and vendors to update their addresses in the payroll system so that W-2s and 1099s will reflect the correct addresses.
  6. Collect any W-9s that aren’t already on file for contractors that will receive a 1099 form.
  7. Collect workers compensation proof of insurance certificates from contractors so the company won’t have to pay workers comp on payments made to them.
  8. Collect sales tax exemption certificates from any vendor who has not paid sales tax.
  9. Decide if there will be employee bonuses prior to year-end.
  10. Review employee PTO and vacation time and reset or rollover the days in the payroll system.
  11. After the final payroll runs, contact the payroll software company to make any W-2 adjustments necessary for things like health insurance.
  12. Set the date to take inventory, and once done, make adjustments to the books as necessary.
  13. Write off any inventory that is unsalable. If possible, sell scrap inventory or other waste components.
  14. Prepare a fixed assets register, calculate depreciation, and make book adjustments as needed.
  15. Record all bills due through year-end, and reconcile the accounts payable balance to these open bills.
  16. Make loan adjustments to reflect interest and principal allocations.
  17. Perform account analysis on all other balance sheet accounts to make sure all balances are correct and current.
  18. Make any additional accrual entries needed, or if paying taxes on a cash basis, make those adjustments as needed.
  19. Get an idea of what the profit number will be. Choose whether to maximize deductions to save on taxes, or whether to want to reflect more income. Decide what can be deferred into 2020 or what to have as part of 2019 results.
  20. Match all transactions with their corresponding documents – receipts, bills, packing slips, etc. – to make sure there is a paper trail.
  21. Download bank statements and store them in a safe place.
  22. Download any payroll reports and store them in a safe place.
  23. Scan in paper documents so that they’re stored electronically.
  24. File any important papers such as new leases, asset purchases, employee hiring contracts and other business contracts.
  25. Prepare a budget for 2020 and enter it into the accounting system.
  26. Take a look at the 2020 calendar to determine on which holidays the company close and give employees a copy.
  27. Review product and service prices if this is the time of year for that and make any changes necessary.
  28. Update the payroll system for any new unemployment insurance percentages received in a letter each year.
  29. Update the mileage deduction rate if that rate has changed at the beginning of the year.
  30. Set a time with the accountant to go over 2019 results and get ideas on how to meet financial goals in 2020.
  31. Review the metrics from 2019 and decide on the list of metrics and corresponding values for 2020.
  32. Celebrate the new year; it’s a wonderful time to gain perspective and be hopeful about the upcoming year.

Start 2020 with a bang and this year-end checklist, and feel free to contact Lucrum if we can help with anything.