The economic challenges of the past year mean that having timely and accurate financial data is all the more critical to help make sound decisions for your company.
Get a head start on tax planning by setting a schedule to finalize your statements for the year so that you can take proactive steps before the tax season rush.
Here’s a checklist:
- Call your bookkeeper, accountant, and/or CPA today and schedule a meeting for within the next month.
- Set a date to finalize year-end numbers. Give this date to your financial advisors and get their commitment to meet it.
- Review funding for retirement contributions with your advisors.
- Ask your CPA what issues need to be resolved to make your deadlines. Most likely they will include:
- Depreciation schedules (start getting capital purchases and sales to your CPA now so s/he can start updating your depreciation schedule)
- Payroll Reconciliation
- Compare current year-to-date expenses to prior year for any unusual/unexpected variations
- Have your CPA come up with an initial tax liability estimate for the year by forecasting remaining revenues and profits
- Work with your CPA to come up with a strategy to minimize your tax liability for the coming year
- Review needs for working capital for the coming year, including anticipated capital expenditures
- Review current financing and bank relationships, including line of credit, term loan balances, and potential financing needs.
- Is your existing accounting system adequate to meet management’s information needs? If not, what’s the plan to upgrade?
Assign a date and a person responsible for resolving each of these issues. Put these dates into your calendar and have weekly progress meetings. Establishing a written year-end closing procedures checklist for accounting staff and management personnel will help you to achieve your goals of a timely, accurate and cost efficient financial close for 2009 and all future years.