Preparing Your QuickBooks for the New Year

Making a List and Checking It Twice
 
Where to start? Depending on how conscientiously you entered transactions and ran reports, you might need to set some extra time aside in the midst of your other year-end and holiday-related commitments.  Now’s the perfect time for a QB health check. Call us at 256-337-5200 to schedule TODAY! 
 
Year End Closing:  Did you instruct QuickBooks to “close your books” at the end of the year? QuickBooks will automatically make year-end adjustments if you entered December 31 as a closing date in Preferences. However, it’s not required, and there are both advantages and disadvantages to doing so. We can help you decide if this is the best decision for your company.
 Dec 2015 QBC Fig 1
Figure 1: If you set a closing date of December 31 in QuickBooks’ Preferences, you need to prepare your company file for this deadline in advance. We can help you get ready.
 
Post Transactions & Payments:  Prior to year end closing, though, there’s another important task you should complete before the end of the year. It’s simple, but not everyone remembers it during the December rush: Ensure you’ve entered all transactions and payments that should be included in your QuickBooks file for 2015.  If anyone else on your staff works in QuickBooks, be certain they know that you’re trying to wrap up the year. If they’re holding anything back because of questions and comments, now’s the time to confer with you.
 
Taxes and Planning:  Have you been planning with your accountant for the 2015 tax year? If you haven’t, or you haven’t been doing so on your own, you need to look at your incoming and outgoing funds for the year before December 31st. Do you need to hold some income and/or expenses that haven’t been recorded until 2016? This kind of question really needs to be resolved now.
Dec 2015 QBC Fig 2
Figure 2: Time is short, but we may be able to help you make some decisions about carrying some 2015 income and/or expenses over to 2016 if it will help reduce your tax obligation.
 
Talk to your accountant now if you think this may be necessary. They can advise you on any situations where you might want to put off — or accelerate — some actions. Is your income running high and your offsetting expenses low? If so, this may be a good time to make a fairly major purchase you’ve been considering like purchasing additional Point of Sale software to add registers for the holiday rush.
 
Maintenance:  How do you back up your QuickBooks company file? On a local drive or in the cloud? How often do you do this? Backing Up your data is critical. Think about what would happen if you lost your customer records or a month’s worth of transactions or multiple payments. Is there a better, safer way to ensure data security? Are there special backup activities you should do at year’s end? This is an area where we can provide guidance.
 
Some companies wait until January to do a physical inventory count. Rather than being surprised in January, you may want to consider doing this now if it’s feasible.
 
And when you think you’ve entered everything, all accounts should be reconciled. QuickBooks makes it easy to do this regularly.

Dec 2015 QBC Fig 3 Figure 3: Before the end of December, you should do a final reconciliation of all accounts for 2015. 

It will be painful to open QuickBooks on January 2 if you don’t feel like you’ve paid extra attention to your finances in December. We can help you ring in the New Year on a more confident note, so schedule your year-end appointments TODAY–call 256-337-5200.
 
Happy Holidays,
The “QB Bob” Team
256-337-5200