As year-end rolls around, it is vital to prepare for year-end close well in advance. Some may be wary of the task ahead, but do not get overwhelmed. Here are some things to consider to make this daunting task easier.
Use A Year-End Checklist
Using a checklist will help you track activities that are complete and those that still need your attention. Some items you may want to add to your checklist are:
- Reconcile all cash accounts - Verify all transactions have been posted into Vision/Vantagepoint to ensure your general ledger balances matches your bank statements. Make adjustments as required.
- Final Invoicing – Process all client invoices for the fiscal year.
- Review outstanding accounts receivables - Follow up with clients who have outstanding accounts receivable beyond 30 days. Send past due statements and/or simply give them a call. Enter the results of your collection efforts in the comments section of Vision Invoice Review. Year-end is an excellent time to collect your outstanding receivables. If you determine there is uncollectable AR, be sure to write those invoices off.
- Review Unbilled detail - Time and expense transactions that cannot be invoiced to clients should be written off at this time.
- Fixed Assets – Fixed Assets are larger purchases that are made throughout the year (i.e. equipment, automobiles, furniture, computers, etc.). Are all fixed assets reported on the balance sheet still owned? If not, record the sale or disposal of these fixed assets. Verify the depreciation on your fixed assets as well. Make any necessary adjustments.
- Employee Expenses and AP - Verify that all accounts payable vouchers have been recorded in Vision/Vantagepoint. Make your 401(k), SEP IRA, and Simple IRA contributions, if you have not done so. Try and pay all your vendors and employee expense reports by year-end.
- Notes Payable - Verify notes payable (i.e. loans) amounts on your balance sheet match the statements from your lenders. Make adjustments if necessary.
- W-9’s – Order 1099 forms. Make sure all W-9’s from your vendors and/or contractors that are paid $600 or more throughout the year are on file. Don’t forget 1099’s should be mailed on January 31st. 1099 forms can be purchased from most office supply stores or you can order them for free from the IRS (gov).
- W-2’s – Order W-2 forms if you run payroll in Vision/Vantagepoint. W-2’s should be mailed by January 31st.
- Budget for next year - Create your GL budget for 2018.
Bonus Year-End Tips
Here are just a few tips to make your year-end close just a little easier:
- Communication – It is vital to communicate to the rest of the firm that year-end is approaching and the important dates that they should be aware of: final timesheet due date, final expense report due date, etc.
- Create a calendar – Your calendar should contain all of your year-end deadlines: final AP check run, final timesheet due, final bank rec are all dates you may want to add to your year-end calendar.
- Create a year-end manual – Given that year-end procedures change very little from year to year, create a manual. With a manual to refer to, you no longer have to rely on your memory or cryptic notes you may have taken in years past.
- Reconcile on a monthly basis. Stay on top of your monthly reconciliations. Nothing adds to the stress of year end more than performing several months of reconciliations that could be done monthly.
- Recurring transaction files – If there are yearly JE’s or other transactions that you only post once a year, consider creating a recurring transaction file. Each year those files will already be in place so you don’t have to re-create them from year to year.
- Order year end forms well in advance. Why wait until the last minute to order your 1099 and W-2 forms? By ordering your forms in advance you know they are on hand when you are ready to process.
Get Ready for 2019
Deltek publishes the Year-End Bulletin each year. This is an excellent resource for preparing for year-end. Make sure to visit the Deltek Customer Care site to ensure you close out 2018 properly and your firm is ready for 2019.