5 Smart End of Year Accounting Projects
No matter your sales volume, the end of the year is a stressful time for most companies. With much of December lost to paid holidays, employees also rush to schedule their unused vacations and
those last-minute procedures before their health insurance deductible resets. For this reason alone, it is often beneficial for companies to enlist the help of a staffing agency to round out a depleted labor force and keep employee morale positive. But there is another reason to seek the help of temporary accountants during this time of year – End of Year reporting.
What makes financials such a nightmare in December is that the majority of the work must be done before the office closes for the holidays, giving you about a week less than usual to get all the reporting done. In addition, we are not just talking end of the month reports, but also end of the quarter and year. Here are 5 projects to begin now to ensure your financials are in order before the end of the year.
- Review the Books
Reviewing your books is probably the most important of all the projects and, depending on how much you have to sort through, it’s something you want to start as early as late November. The goal is to ensure that you pay as many outstanding bills as possible before the end of the year. It is also important to pull records for any aged outstanding account receivables you have. Early December is a good time to send final reminder invoices, and then decide which debts are bad and eligible for write off by mid December.
- Audit Your Inventory
The holidays are a great time to take stock of your inventory. A temporary accountant can come in for the sole purpose of determining how much of your inventory is damaged, discontinued, or otherwise unsellable and how much is still considered an asset. This is a grueling and time-consuming task and your regularly staffed accountant may not have the bandwidth to do a thorough job before the end of the year.
- Organize Vendor Lists
If you’ve used contractors this year, then you will likely need to provide them with a 1099 form before January 31st of next year. Once all final payments have been made for the year, you’ll want to sort through your vendors to determine which will require a 1099 and be sure you have an updated mailing address for them. End of year accounting projects that get you organized will be valuable for years to come.
- CPA Assessment
Before the end of the year, you’ll want a CPA to review your accounting in order to estimate the amount of tax liability you may have and make suggestions as to strategies that would optimize your company’s financial standing, depending on your particular goals for 2017. By April, it will be too late to conduct any transactions affecting 2017 tax reporting.
- 2018 Operations Planning
As you close the year, it’s a great time to review what worked and what didn’t as far as accounting goes. Accounting is one of the most cross functional departments in an organization and as such, standard operating procedures must constantly be evaluated and tweaked to work for all those involved. Since productivity is usually down during the holidays, it may be a good idea to schedule some brain storming and strategy sessions for 2018 accounting procedures or have an independent accountant come in to evaluate and make recommendations.
End of year accounting projects often can be handled by bringing in a temporary accountant to help. Accuracy and speed at this time of year in accounting is critical, and with all your personal activities as well, having piece of mind that the work is getting done is a bonus!
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