QuickBooks Year End Tips

(Editor’s Note: This is a repost from January 2016)
Ready for 2016? QuickBooks Can Help
 
We’re done ringing in the New Year. Have you wrapped up your 2015 finances?
 
There’s something very satisfying about turning our calendars to January. It always feels like a fresh start. We resolve to develop new, better ways of using our work and leisure time. We reflect on what we accomplished in the last 12 months, and we look forward to achieving even more in the next 12.
 
But sometimes we have a nagging feeling that we forgot something. And it often has to do with our finances, both personal and professional. 
 
You can take steps now to make this year less worrisome. Doing some extra work in QuickBooks will ensure that you’ll start 2016 ready to move ahead.
 
Thinking Ahead
 
Where to start? Depending on how conscientiously you entered transactions and ran reports, you might need to set some extra time aside in the midst of your other fresh start commitments.  
 
For example, did you instruct QuickBooks to “close your books” at the end of the year? QuickBooks will automatically make year-end adjustments if you entered December 31 as a closing date in Preferences. However, it’s not required, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to doing so. We can help you decide if this is the best decision for your company.
 
Figure 1: If you set a closing date of December 31 in QuickBooks’ Preferences, you need to prepare your company file for this deadline in advance. We can help you get ready.
 
Prior to this, though, there’s another important task you should complete before the end of the year. It’s common sense, but not everyone thinks of it during the December rush: Make sure you’ve entered all transactions and payments that should be included in your QuickBooks file for 2015.
 
If anyone else on your staff works in QuickBooks, be certain they know that you’re trying to wrap up the year. If they’re holding anything back because of questions and comments, now’s the time to confer with you.
 
Odds and Ends
 
How do you back up your QuickBooks company file? On a local drive or in the cloud? How often do you do this? Archiving your data is critical. Think about what would happen if you lost your customer records or a month’s worth of transactions or multiple payments. This is an area where we can provide guidance. Is there a better, safer way to ensure data security? Are there special backup activities you should do at year’s end?
 
Some companies wait until January to do a physical inventory count. Rather than being surprised in January, you may want to consider doing this now if it’s feasible.
 
And when you think you’ve entered everything but payments or transactions that may come in at the last minute (unless you’re going to defer these until 2016), all accounts should be reconciled. QuickBooks makes it easy to do this regularly.
Figure 3: Before the end of December, you should do a final reconciliation of all accounts for 2015.
 
If you don’t feel like you paid extra attention to your finances in 2015, we can help you tackle the New Year on a more confident note.

About the Author

Karen is a CPA, Advanced Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor and Certified Profit First Professional, with 20 years accounting experience. Besides running a successful accounting practice - Beyond Your Books - she enjoys lounging at her lake and hanging with her children, dogs and cats.

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