There’s no doubt the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but once the celebrations are over, that tune quickly changes. January can be the busiest time of the year for you and your business with all that goes along with year-end close. Use this year-end survival checklist to get a strong start on the new year.
Make your list and check it twice
Here are a few items every business should look at and/or make sure are completed before closing the year:
- Reconcile general ledger accounts to bank statements
- Complete all invoicing
- Record all your supplier bills
- Print year-end reports for historical review (i.e. accounts payable/receivable, inventory, financial, payroll, etc)
- Make adjustments to reports as needed ( i.e. write off bad debts, account for depreciation expenses, adjust entries for accruals of payroll tax liabilities or pre-paid expenses, etc)
- Print and mail 1099s (due by 1/31)
- Print and mail payroll forms if you do it yourself (W-2, W-3, 940, 941)
- Print and mail 1096 to IRS (by 2/28)
Wiz Through Year-End with Sage 50 Year-End Wizard
When you’re ready, close any other applications and start the process at the end of your business day because you’ll want to leave your computer running. Before launching the wizard, print out any items such as invoices and payroll checks as well as clear the Waiting on Bill from Vendor check box in the Purchases/Receive Inventory window for any outstanding vendor purchases.
The Year-End Wizard guides you through the process. Simply select Tasks, System, Year-end Wizard. Sage 50 requires you to make a backup so give the back up a unique name and consider putting it on removable media (CD, flash drive, external memory, etc.) for future reference.
You will also be prompted to run year-end reports, which you can do on paper, export to Excel, or to a PDF file. It’s recommend you retain a backup file of your Peachtree/Sage 50 data for seven years, plus save PDF copies of the following reports for seven years as well:
- General Ledger for the year you are closing
- Under general ledger, General Journal for the year you are closing
- Under accounts payable, Check Register for the year you are closing
- Under accounts receivable, Cash Receipts Journal for the year you are closing
- Under payroll, Payroll Journal for the year you are closing
The best advice to survive year-end? Keep your financial activities consistent and thorough each month of the year (with the help of Sage 50), so you’ll prevent year-end from becoming a major undertaking.