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Year-End Accounting Checklist for Smooth Transition and Financial Reporting

accountant accounting business cpa entrepreneur financials founder yearend Jan 09, 2024

It's very common for accountants to get asked to prepare a years worth of accounting and booking and the end of a fiscal.  I strongly encourage all businesses to get ahead of the game and do this monthly, it will help you with better decision making throughout the year.

Preparing your year end financials can be daunting and overwhelming, here is your CPA approved guide to help you and your accounting team make it through!

A robust year-end accounting checklist is pivotal for a seamless transition into the new fiscal year and fulfilling financial reporting obligations. Below, find a versatile checklist that suits various business needs:

Financial Review:

  1. Reconcile Bank Accounts:

    • Ensure accurate transaction recording.
    • Resolve discrepancies promptly.
  2. Review Accounts Receivable:

    • Confirm outstanding invoices.
    • Manage late payments effectively.
  3. Assess Accounts Payable:

    • Record supplier invoices accurately.
    • Organize vendor payment schedules.
  4. Inventory Valuation:

    • Conduct thorough physical inventory counts.
    • Rectify discrepancies in valuation.
  5. Fixed Assets:

    • Update records for acquisitions or disposals.
    • Consider adjustments for depreciation.
  6. Loan and Debt Review:

    • Verify outstanding loan balances.
    • Check interest rates and payment schedules.

Financial Statements and Reporting:

  1. Income Statement (Profit and Loss):

    • Analyze revenues, expenses, and net income.
    • Identify trends and variances.
  2. Balance Sheet:

    • Verify assets, liabilities, and equity balances.
    • Ensure accuracy in retained earnings.
  3. Cash Flow Statement:

    • Analyze operating, investing, and financing cash flows.
    • Evaluate cash position and liquidity.
  4. Budget vs. Actual Analysis:

    • Compare financial performance against the budget.
    • Identify areas of over/under performance.

Compliance and Documentation:

  1. Tax Preparation:

    • Collect necessary documents for tax filing.
    • Collaborate with tax professionals for compliance.
  2. Employee Benefits and Payroll:

    • Verify employee benefit records accurately.
    • Ensure precise payroll reporting.
  3. Business Registrations and Licenses:

    • Renew and review business registrations/licenses.

Closing Entries and Adjustments:

  1. Accruals and Deferrals:

    • Implement necessary adjustments.
  2. Prepaid Expenses:

    • Review and modify prepaid expense accounts.
  3. Depreciation and Amortization:

    • Update depreciation and amortization schedules.

Internal Controls:

  1. Review Internal Controls:

    • Assess effectiveness and implement improvements.
  2. Employee Access and Permissions:

    • Update financial system access permissions.

Miscellaneous:

  1. Documentation and Record Keeping:

    • Organize financial records systematically.
    • Retain essential documents securely.
  2. Audit Preparation:

    • Prepare for external audits if applicable.
    • Provide requisite documentation.
  3. Business Goals Review:

    • Evaluate past financial goals.
    • Establish new objectives for the upcoming year.

Now get started if you haven't already to make sure you hit all your reporting deadlines and avoid any penalties & interest!

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