As the year draws to a close, there are a few steps that can help wrap up the bookkeeping side of your business. My friend Barb Fisher of Fisher Business Management has published a helpful tip sheet which I have borrowed from liberally.

1. Forms
Audit vendors for W-9 forms. Run a report showing every vender that you paid more than $600 during the year. Check each qualifying vendor for a W-9 on file.

2. Travel
Collect, enter, and file all mileage information. Be sure to enter the mileage in the month incurred so the monthly profit and loss report is accurate.

3. HR Records
Audit employee records. Print each employee record and have them verify the SSN, mailing address, and all W-4 information.

4. Balance
Reconcile the following:
• Vendor accounts
• Checking accounts
• Credit card statements
• Credit lines
• Employee loans
• Payroll advances, etc.
Clean up as needed, and don’t forget about cash receipts.

5. Cash
Is there cash to spend down before year-end? Do a careful cash flow projection for year-end. Remember that cash and profit are different but still linked together. If you made a profit, make sure you know where that cash went.

6. Prepare information for taxes
Find out what your accountant or tax preparer needs to complete your business taxes. Being organized for year-end will save time and money come tax time.

7. Left-Overs
Do you have a Section 125 cafeteria plan? Request a report from the administrator to inform employees about remaining money. Are there vacation or personal days that will expire? Print out a report so that employees know where they stand.

(Used with permission from Barb Fisher, of Fisher Business Management)

Disclaimer: this checklist is a reminder about accounting steps that can help keep business operations running smoothly. It’s not intended to be a comprehensive approach to accounting needs. Your mileage may vary. If you have questions or would like help with year-end tasks, contact Fisher Business Management for a consultation.