23 Jan Business Bookkeeping Checklist
A new year provides the ideal opportunity to get your business finances in shape. The calendar makes this time prime for two reasons. First, in the first weeks of a new year, you’re open to changing habits for the better and to making a fresh start. Applying that clean-out-the-clutter mentality to your business finances is smart. Second, you’ll need to get your business finances in order as you begin tax preparation. You’ll be more organized to accomplish that by putting a Business Bookkeeping Checklist in place.
An accounting checklist is a useful tool to help you tackle bookkeeping on a regular basis. Checklists are smart tools because they take the guesswork out of your tasks and make them healthy routines. When you make this checklist part of your regular accounting procedures, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of every financial aspect of your business. In the end, being on top of your finances provides peace of mind.
Daily Bookkeeping Tasks
Daily bookkeeping tasks ensure you’ve got the cash you need for business operations to run smoothly.
- Resolve to start each business day knowing total cash on hand – cash on hand is liquid capital available to invest in business.
Weekly Bookkeeping Tasks
- Staying on top of weekly tasks sets you up for success. Stay prepared for important quarterly and annual accounting tasks.
- Record each transaction using spreadsheet or accounting software like Quickbooks.
- Save and file your receipts. These include copies of all invoices sent, all invoices paid, as well as all receipts for cash purchases and expenses. If you don’t already have a vendor file, consider establishing one so that you organize all invoices and receipts under the appropriate vendor file.
- Monitor all accounts payable. Create an “unpaid invoices” folder to regularly monitor what is owed by whom – and when you expect to receive payment.
- Track your accounts payable. Pay what is owed on time, keep copies of all invoices sent and received.
- Review cash flow. Ensure you’ve set aside necessary funds to pay suppliers, vendors, and employees. Customizable cash flow statements let you record assets on hand and incoming receivables.
Monthly Bookkeeping Tasks
Tasks in a monthly accounting checklist help you keep an eye on revenue and expenses.
- Balance your business checkbook to ensure you have an accurate grasp on your cash position
- Review past-due receivables and request payment. Review your “unpaid invoices” file and send “aged” or “past-due” invoices as appropriate.
- Manage inventory. Inventory management is a regular and ongoing task. Assess what sold quickly as well as what items may need to be marked down.
- Process payroll and tax payments. You’re likely already paying employees on a regular basis, and you’ll also need to set aside funds for local, state, and federal taxes.
- Review budget against actuals. You’ll want to determine actual profit and loss to see where deviations occurred – and analyze why.
- Review month-end statements against prior periods. The same analysis you apply to your budget and P&L is an exercise you should carry over to your month-end statements. Comparing prior years against each other can help you assess fluctuations and plan better for the future.
Quarterly Bookkeeping Tasks
- Pay sales tax quarterly. You may also need to compute estimated income taxes.
- Review quarterly payroll reports and make any remaining quarterly payments.
Annual Bookkeeping Tasks
- Review and make determinations about your past-due receivables. You’ll need to decide whether to be patient or write them off.
- Examine and make determinations about inventory. You can write down unsellable products to ensure your stated inventory balance is accurate. This helps avoid paying additional taxes on those items.
- Fill out IRS W-2 and 1099 forms for all employees and independent contractors in advance of February 28 filing deadlines.
- Carefully review full-year financial reports before providing them to your accountant. Also carefully review prepared tax returns before signing them.
A regular accounting checklist requires an investment of time throughout the year – but it can save you time and money in the long run. At McClure Inserra & Co, we have over 30 years’ experience helping small and mid-sized businesses, nonprofits, and more navigate the complexities of accounting and tax law. Contact us to talk about how we can help you too.