Year End Check List

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:

  1. Call your bookkeeper, accountant, and/or CPA today and schedule a meeting for within the next month.
  2. Set a date to finalize year-end numbers. Give this date to your financial advisors and get their commitment to meet it.
  3. Review funding for retirement contributions with your advisors.
  4. 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.

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