• Small Business Tips To Help You ‘Clean Up The Books’ For Year-end

    As 2017 comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about taxes (unfortunately) for your small business. Although there is still some time before the year is over, it’s better to focus on the books now so taxes will be a breeze when the time comes. Norton Financials, a local Hoboken accounting, bookkeeping, and financial consulting firm, has listed a few items to prioritize when preparing to close out the year.

    Clean your QuickBooks (or Xero Accounting) Queue

    If you have synced your QuickBooks accounts to your bank, transactions will be flowing through to your QB company file. The first step in getting ready to close out the year is to make sure that all transactions have been categorized. Clearing out the queue can be a painful process, but is a necessary step in getting the books organized. Feel free to give Norton Financials a shout if you need some guidance getting started.

    Reconcile the Books

    Whether you’ve been maintaining the books via QuickBooks or Xero Accounting throughout the year or if you’ve been neglecting the bookkeeping altogether, you will need to do a reconciliation for the entire year. If you’ve been keeping up, then this process shouldn’t be too painful. If you haven’t been keeping up with the books and would like some help, feel free to reach out to Norton Financials for a clean up package to get you caught up. Using your bank data, Norton Financials will be able to populate all data into Quickbooks  for the year so that your file is up-to-date.

    Clean up outstanding payables & receivables –

    Now is the time to reach out to your clients who have aged accounts receivable balances. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to get paid at all. Start by splitting your receivables into age buckets (0 – 30 days, 31-60 days, 61 – 90 days, and 90+ days). Then work through the list, starting with the oldest items and work your way down to the most recent. Many companies will be looking to clean up receivables for year-end, so make sure you are on clients radar earlier rather than later. Likewise, it is also a good time to pay your vendors so you can start 2018 fresh (with a minimal amount of past due payables from 2017).

    Prepare to file 1099-MISC (payments to Independent contractors) –

    1099’s are informational returns that need to be issued by employers who hire freelancers, consultants, artists, etc.. Whether you handle this or your accountant does, it’ll be an easier process if you have all the data organized. The best way to organize this information is to flag the payments in QB, so it can be easily pulled when the time comes. The form will need data such as Vendor name, total amount paid to vendor, address, tax ID, etc.

    Perform a sanity check on the financial reports –

    The last step in ensuring the QuickBooks data is accurate, is to pull year to date reports and confirm the numbers look accurate. Start by looking at the Profit and Loss report, and check items such as revenue, expenses, and net income (loss). Make sure these numbers make sense, and investigate any categories that look suspicious. Another report to consider is the Balance Sheet. You will want to compare to prior year and try to make sense of the changes from year to year. If something isn’t adding up, then dig into the figure and try to resolve. Norton Financials is helping companies clean up the books, and can offer suggestions as to what might be causing issues with your books.

     

    While many of these items can be completed by small business owners themselves, Norton Financials can also assist with any of the above. Norton Financials offers onsite Quickbooks training and support, monthly bookkeeping services, accounting and financial consulting. For local help with your small business’ accounting and bookkeeping, contact Norton Financials {201.855.6344 or email Info@NortonFinancials.com for an assessment of your business’ needs}. You won’t regret it!