Accounting Holiday Check List

Good Accounting Practices: Make a List and Check It Twice

In the month of December, most people are putting together their Christmas list and focusing on time with the family. It is important to spend the holiday season with people that you love. But, don’t overlook the essential tasks that need to be handled for your business.

Failing to keep up with business tracking and information during the last month of the year can be disastrous for your company. Make sure that you finish the year on the right foot so that you can set your company up for success next year. The progress that you make each month will have a cumulative effect on the possibilities that are available for the future.

Accounting and financial tracking create the foundation that you need to build on for the future. While you are putting together your holiday list and checking it twice, also look at these accounting tasks that need to be addressed:

Check the Cash Position of All Accounts

As the business owner, you need to know the cash position of all of your business accounts. This information can impact the flow of money for deliverables and expenses. Without the right accounting practices, you could face a cash flow issue that results in overdraft fees and unhappy vendors.

One of the top items on your accounting to-do list should be to log into the banking websites to see a quick snapshot of your accounts. Many times, this information can be viewed through your accounting software as well. But, you need to make sure that the daily data entry tasks and regular reconciliations are done to ensure the accuracy of these reports.

You should never make major financial decisions without knowing how much cash on hand. In addition to the bank account balances, you also need to have a clear picture about the upcoming transactions that will be moving through the account in the future. Know how much you expect to receive, as well as the amount of money that will need to be paid for outstanding invoices and vendor costs.

Documentation and Filing of Receipts

Are you keeping a good record of all business-related expenses? Documenting every transaction is essential so that you can maximize the tax write-offs that are available. This documentation needs to be kept on file so that you can provide the records if needed.

Even small transactions can add up over time. So, don’t overlook the importance of keeping your receipts and recording these transactions. For example, if you spend $5 on coffee at business meetings three times a week, then it could be a $780 write-off at the end of the year. $5 seems trivial, but the long-term accumulation of these costs can impact the bottom line and profitability of your company.

If you are going to write off a transaction, then it needs to be recorded in your accounting software. Additionally, you need to be sure that you keep track of the receipts for these transactions. Many companies are working with digital databases, and they don’t like holding onto the paperwork. So, you might find it beneficial to snap a quick photo of the receipt. Then, you can throw away the paper receipt and keep digital records instead.

Assessing Tax Burden for the Year

One of the most important tasks for the month of December might be assessing your tax burden for this year. Are you set to show a strong profit for the year? Look at the reports to see where you are regarding profitability, tax brackets, taxes that are owed, and more.

Most business owners don’t have the time or experience to assess this information in the right way. So, the best solution is to lean on the expertise of your professional accounting team for help. We can assist by crunching the numbers to see if there are any tax options that you can use before the year is over.

For example, sometimes it might make sense to purchase equipment before the end of the year so that you can maximize the write-offs for the calendar year. If you can see that your profits are coming in high and you want to minimize your tax burden, then the timing of these purchases can be done strategically.

Don’t spend money that you don’t have available. But, don’t be afraid to make a purchase before the year-end if there are items that you need and you have the cash. It might be a great time to take advantage of the holiday sales to get new computer equipment, office furniture, or anything else that is needed to support the activities in your office.

Review Accounts Payable and Receivable Invoices

Maintaining good relationships with your customers and vendors is a foundational principle of business success. So, you need to make sure that you are keeping up with the invoices that are coming in and going out. Late payments on vendor invoices can cause people to be unhappy and decrease the likelihood that they want to provide products or services in the future. When you are running through your accounting checklist, make sure that paying these invoices is a priority.

Also, don’t forget to send out the invoices that need to be paid by your customers. It is easy for some business owners to be so busy focusing on business growth that they forget to send out the invoices that are due. As a result, incoming cash flow is negatively impacted, and it can have an impact on the growth of your company.

In most situations, there are 15-day or 30-day windows of time when the invoices need to be paid. But, sometimes payments are due immediately. So, make sure that you have the cash available to meet all of the payments that will be coming up.

Payroll Processing and Employee Benefits

Consistent paychecks are a foundation for employee satisfaction. It is important that you pay your employees on a reliable schedule. Not only do the checks need to go out at the right time, but you also need to make sure that the details are accurate.

Even though payroll is an important part of employee management, unfortunately it sometimes falls to the last priority of the day. Don’t make your employees wait for their paychecks! Instead, make it a priority to send the payments on a schedule. This consistency builds trust among the employees, helping them have more confidence and satisfaction in their employment.

Measuring the impact of employee satisfaction is hard. But, you can know that happy employees will result in the long-term results that you desire. This company culture is important for retention, helping you avoid the long-term problems that result from high turnover. If people aren’t happy with their work, then it increases the likelihood that they will leave the company. As a result, you will need to pay the costs of marketing, hiring, training, and onboarding the new employees.

These issues can be avoided by building trust and a good company culture with your current employees. Consistent, accurate paychecks should be a part of this strategy.

Set Monthly and Annual Goals

You will have a hard time hitting the target if you don’t know where you are aiming! It is obvious that you want to grow the company and increase profitability. But, do you have specific goals in place to help you reach the future success that you desire?

As you are going through your accounting checklist, it is important to make sure that you have tasks on the list that will help you meet your monthly and annual goals. But, first you need to identify these goals so that you have a clear understanding of the things that you are trying to accomplish.

Work with your accounting team when you are setting financial goals. Together, you can create a realistic budget and anticipated cash flow. These details build the foundation that you need so that you don’t have to worry about the smaller details of running the company. Outsourcing the accounting tasks will enable you to focus on the big-picture marketing, growth, and management.

Create these goals in a way that is achievable, and yet pushes your team to reach higher levels of success. People can get lazy if the goals are set too low. At the same time, goals that are too high might cause people to be overwhelmed and get stuck in over-analysis when they are working on the project. Find the middle point to create goals that can be reached, and use these goals as stepping stones for the future milestones that you want to achieve.

If you are looking for help with your accounting checklist, then you need to talk to our team here at Easier Accounting. We offer the best services in the industry, helping small business owners take control of their financial futures. Our services can be catered to match the needs of your company. Call us right away to learn more about the things that we can do to help with your accounting needs: (888) 620-0770

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