We’ll be ringing in the New Year soon! Will you have wrapped up your yearly finances by then?

There’s something very satisfying about turning our calendars to January. It always feels like a fresh start. We resolve to develop new, better ways of using our work and leisure time. We reflect on what we accomplished in the last 12 months, and we look forward to achieving even more in the next 12. But sometimes we have a nagging feeling that we forgot something. And it often has to do with our finances, both personal and professional.

You can take steps now to make the upcoming new year less worrisome. Doing some extra work in QuickBooks during December will ensure that you’ll start 2016 ready to move ahead, rather than scrambling to see what you missed on January 2.

Thinking Ahead

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.

For example, 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.

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Prior to this, though, there’s another important task you should complete before the end of the year. It’s common sense, but not everyone thinks of it during the December rush: Make sure 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 Accounts

It is important to look at your incoming and outgoing funds for the year before it’s over. Do you need to hold until 2016 some income and/or expenses that haven’t been recorded until 2016? This kind of question really needs to be resolved now.

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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.

Odds and Ends

How do you back up your QuickBooks company file? On a local drive or in the cloud? How often do you do this? Archiving 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? We can help you decide what is best for your business and subsequent records.

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 but payments or transactions that may come in at the last minute (unless you’re going to defer these until 2016), all accounts should be reconciled.

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It will be painful to open QuickBooks on January 2 if you don’t feel like you paid extra attention to your finances in December. We can help you ring in the New Year on a more confident note. To find out more about how the experts at Gibson, Gale & Associates can help you prepare for tax season, please call 775-720-3282 or click here.

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