Bookkeeping Checklist to usher in the New Year

The new year is upon us and there’s never a better time to put your business into better shape for 2016 with our Bookkeeping Checklist.  It’s designed to ensure you are ready to make 2016 your best year yet!

New Year Bookkeeping Checklist:
• Reconcile your bank account This will make sure that an expense or deposit (sale) is not missing. Don’t forget about those monthly bank fees.
• Catch up on invoices Do you have services or products you have delivered but not yet sent invoices for?
• Record transactions Have you imported or posted all transactions from your bank accounts, PayPal accounts, and credit card accounts into your accounting system? Search your pockets for any missing receipts.
• Personal expenses Are you missing any income or expense transactions related to your business that were deposited into or paid from your personal bank account?
• Categorize transactions Make sure all of your income and expenses have been properly categorised to the correct account.
• Don’t forget mileage Have you recorded all the time spent in the car? Your daily commute doesn’t count.
• Don’t forget home office expense allowances If you are operating your business from your home you may be entitled to expense a portion of your mortgage interest and utilities. Check with your accounting professional.
• Pay your estimated taxes To avoid penalties when taxes are due, be sure you’ve paid enough in estimated taxes for the year. If you need to make an additional installment do it now.
• Check your income statement Compare it to prior years. Look for posting errors in any amounts that have increased or decreased significantly.
• Record any year-end accrual entries and depreciation if applicable
• Check accounts receivable and accounts payable for accuracy
• Write off bad debts, if any (Hopefully there aren’t!)
• Prepare a budget for this year.  To start creating a new budget take your profit and loss statement in your accounting software from last year and export it to a spreadsheet. Then you can easily add formulas to increase revenue next year by a percentage or reduce some of your expenses.

Armed with this checklist and the help of your accounting professional your year-end/beginning of new year will go much smoother. Your business books will be error free, your tax return will be accurate and you will be set for a flying start in 2016.

Sally Hams

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