QuickBooks Year-end Checklist

There’s lots that needs to be done at the end of the year to get your books ready for taxes. Here’s a list of to help you; those who have been diligent about bookkeeping will find this list will be shorter.

  • Order Forms: If you haven’t done so already, get the forms you need like your W-2s, W-3s, 1099s, and 1096s.  Even if you e-file with Uncle Sam, you still have employees and vendors needing documents.
  • RECONCILE !! I can’t tell you how big this step is.  This is a good step to verify that you have tracked all money into and out of the company and will help you find missed entries, duplicates, checks not cashed, and more.  You will save money with your accountant if they don’t have to reconcile.   And DO NOT simply rely on Bank Feeds or go into the register and check off transactions. I promise that using the reconcile feature inside a QuickBooks will not only be faster but more accurate. Accounts to reconcile would include
    • Bank and credit card(s)
    • Loan accounts- Remember, interest is an expense – it doesn’t reduce your loan balance, so do review; your bank may have that online as well as sending out a statement.
    • Other balance sheet accounts, such as employee advances, prepaid insurance, customer prepayments, etc.
  • List of loans and terms – Make a list any new loans, lines of credits, etc. that you took out this year. Your accountant may want to see a copy of the terms and interest rate.
  • List of equipment purchased – Your accountant will want to know of any equipment, vehicles, furniture etc. that you purchased during the year. If the purchase is large enough, rather than expense the purchase in full, your accountant will depreciate the purchase over a few years .Ask your accountant what size purchase – frequently it’s been purchases of 500 or 1000, but with tax law changes their answer may be different.  Usually your accountant will want a copy of the receipt or purchase document with the price.  In the case of a vehicle where you had a trade-in value and/or down payment, then they would want that information as well.
    • FYI – for future reference there is a Fixed Asset list where you can keep lots of pertinent information. you can click on List, Fixed Asset List.  In the future, when you purchase a fixed asset, you can use an Item (instead of account) and select Fixed Asset so you can put in the detail.
  • Employees
    • Unemployment – unemployment rates frequently change each year in part based on how many employees in any claim with your company. And given the high rate of unemployment these last few years, unemployment coffers have run low so the rates may have gone up even if you have not laid off an employee unfortunately. The state of Maryland usually sends you a letter in November with the number to call to see what your new rate will be. If you process payroll yourself in QuickBooks, look to see if your version will let you enter the new rates for the upcoming year – new versions do. If you need help entering the new rates, call us for help.
    • Employee withholding – it’s good to check whether employees’ withholding will be the same or if they want to revise it, so have them do a new Federal W-4 and state withholding forms (sometimes they decide after their taxes are done!)
    • Before you print out your w-2’s,
      • Run the Payroll Summary Report and compare to the W-2’s
        • Besides wage and taxes, you may also need to review fringe benefits that need to be on a W-2
      • 1099 Vendors –Review your list of vendors. To get your list, Click on Vendors, Print 1099’s
        • Be sure that all who need to get a 1099 are marked as 1099 eligible. When in doubt either call them, ask your accountant or make them 1099-eligible. Best to err on the safe side!
      • Confirm that contact information is correct, ask for tax ID or have them send a W-9.
        • Some companies make it a policy to obtain a W-9 before they ever pay a vendor – that’s incentive to get the form returned to you!!
        • Here’s the link to the IRS website to get the W-9 – they’re listed right at the top (left side)
      • If you need to update several, the Add/Edit Multiple Lists is a great tool for updating this information. Simply click on Customize Columns and select the Tax ID field (and any others you might want); remove those you don’t need at this time.  This does NOT remove any data from your QuickBooks; this is simply a feature to simplify editing.

QuickBooks Year-end Checklist

  • Inventory – If you have inventory do a physical inventory (Inventory > Physical Inventory Worksheet) and then compare with what QuickBooks says.
    • I also recommend you do NOT print out the Quantity On Hand column so no one can get lazy and use the numbers in the system
    • For those with large inventories, you may want to consider “cycle” counting – i.e. you systematically do counts on just some of your inventory checks (daily, weekly, monthly – whatever works), but this way it doesn’t get away from you
  • QuickBooks Version – Intuit supports 3 years, so in May they will “sunset” QuickBooks 2014. Doesn’t mean 2014 won’t work, but if you download bank transactions, use payroll or email reports, invoices, or statements, those features will no longer work.
    • Here’s a link to the October article discussing the new 2017 QuickBooks products.
    • This page has 2 videos highlighting the differences between the different versions,
    • This page has a comparison chart of the different QuickBooks versions; we can also provide demos if you need
    • You can also download a 30-day trial of Enterprise here.
    • I’ve mentioned before but I’ll mention it again ;),
      • For those of you using Enhanced Payroll and paying for direct deposit fees, Enterprise Gold is often a better deal – even if you’re in QuickBooks Pro or Premier.
      • Those of you on Intuit’s “older” Enterprise plan, you may find the subscription is a better deal – especially since Intuit is raising their prices on the older plans – substantially. We can help you navigate your options so you can get the plan that’s best for you –whether that’s staying with your current plan or changing.
    • For those of you considering moving to the online version but want job costing, check out this article.
    • If you would like to upgrade, let us know – we can help you get a good price and assist with the upgrade if you need.
      • Review your QuickBooks setup. This is a great time to make changes in your QuickBooks setup.  Even I do this!  Perhaps you want to use Classes or change your Classes.  Or maybe the Chart of Accounts needs some cleaning up.  And often the Items list can use some (or lots!!) of clean-up (including mine!).   We’ll be happy to help you review, make recommendations, and even give you tips to make it go faster!
    • Other Services – Calendar or fiscal year-end can be a good time to review other services – whether you need them and or want to change them.
  • Customer payments and credit cards – If you would like to process checks in QuickBooks instead of having to go to the bank, or want customers to pay you online or have customers asking you  to accept credit cards, Intuit Payments  is definitely worth reviewing – they have simplified and lowered their rates.   I can promise that Intuit is NOT going to give away their integration with QuickBooks to another provider.  With no double-entry, the ease of reconciliation and the time saved, it’s often a smart decision.  Let us know if you are interested or reach out to George Madenian – George_Madenian@intuit.com 818-436-8158!
  • Payroll – This is a great time of year to review your payroll options. This page has a simple chart comparing the payroll products.  Let us know if you have questions. Keep in mind we can get you discounted pricing.  Don’t just look at tangible costs. Also consider job/project costing (if that’s an issue), amount of time to handle payroll tasks, risk (of under payments or missed payments) or fraud (I’ve known of bookkeepers and even a payroll company).   For those who don’t want the hassle of the payroll tax filings and w-2’s, there are Intuit products that will do that for you, but do contact us so you can get discounted pricing.
    • Adjustments to make to your books. While some adjustments are best left for your accountant, there are a few that you can do or at least get the information pulled together for your account.
  • Bonuses – It’s great to give bonuses to employees at year-end, but it’s not so great to forget about the tax part of it. Bonus checks should always be run through payroll, but often are not, which requires an adjustment after the fact.
  • Work in Process – For those of you who have projects that span over a few months and need to track work in process there are usually two methods – one simply for year-end for tax purposes and the other method is done monthly; typically only my larger commercial clients track monthly. Contact our office if you want help with that.
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