Finalizing your books for the year has already been on your mind since perhaps the beginning of the last quarter of the year. And now you have to have your QuickBooks file ready for your CPA. How can you make it easier for them to prepare your annual financial statements and tax returns?
Most accountants do not want you to bring in a vault of receipts. Today QuickBooks makes it really simple to streamline your business and will contain a lot the pertaining information your accountant needs. Providing PDFs of your bank statements, credit card statements and loan statements, especially for the last month of the year. Do not forget to include the W-3’s, W02s and 1099’s.
Review your Accounts Receivables and Payables
By reviewing the activity in your AR and AP will help reveal any old, outstanding items that need to be written or further action taken. You can access these accounts in QuickBooks by selecting:
Reports > Vendors & Payables > Unpaid Bills
This will you the balances you need in detail that is summarized by your vendors.
In order to open a report of the balance details for your customers, select:
Report > Customers & Receivables > Open Invoices
Balance Sheet Comparison and Review
You balance sheet is an important document in QuickBooks that provides a valuation for your business and accounting for your assets, liabilities and retained earnings.
This is the first account to review, retained earnings. The most recent balance sheet should be equal to the ending balance report on last year’s tax return. If there is a discrepancy, you’ll have to dig deeper to reconcile the differences. What about any adjusted journal entries created by your accountant? Have these been posted to your QuickBooks? Some of the more common transaction are perhaps checks that been voided, or additional bills…however there are a number of reasons.
P&L Statement Review
As with the Balance Sheet, you should normally only see positive numbers, where negative numbers should be reviewed. Look for accounts in the income section that might contain money that was loaned to your company…and these should be reported in the liabilities section and not in the income section.
Bank and Credit Account Reconciliation
This is a recurring activity and standard good practice that you should be doing monthly at your company. It is sometimes overlooked at the flurry of the year-end activities. Pay attention to the uncleared transactions with both payments and deposits.
This simple checklist of activities will help save your accountant many hours of work and go a long way to ensuring that you are getting the complete and accurate financial reports not only at the end of the year, but on-demand through the year.