Savvy small business owners keep a bookkeeping checklist. Actually, they keep multiple checklists: one for month end, one for the quarter end and one for the year end. Each timeframe requires specific tasks that are critical to keeping your business running smoothly. Moreover, sticking to a master bookkeeping checklist will make tax time easier and help you make better business decisions because you'll have real-time, accurate financial information right at your fingertips!
Let's look at the different bookkeeping checklists...
- Pay all outstanding bills and review any overdue invoices. Send notices to clients who are behind.
- Run Profit and Loss Statement and Aging reports for the month. Compare revenue and expenses totals to month goals.
- Close out payroll (if applicable). Double check and make sure you have all W-9s on file for contractors hired during the previous month.
- Run Profit and Loss statement and Aging reports for the quarter and compare to the yearly goals.
- File any required quarterly taxes and payments (i.e., sales and other taxes applicable to your area).
- Using your financials, create a brief business plan for the next three months. Be sure to review which services are performing well versus those that are costing a lot of time and energy to produce.
- Run Profit and Loss and Aging Reports for the year. Compare your revenue and expenses to your yearly goals and budgets.
- Pay all outstanding bills and follow up with late payments from clients.
- Issue 1099s to all contractors. (Make sure you have completed W-9s for all contractors on file!)
- Using this information, determine which service offerings you should continue to have versus those that need to be tweaked or removed.
Of course it goes without saying that these checklists are meant to be guides. Every business is different, but in general, there's likely no reason why you wouldn't run through these to-dos every month, quarter and year end!
Danetha Doe is a financial growth consultant for small businesses, specializing in beauty and fashion. She works with clients to improve their cash flow and profit margins, so they can expand and achieve financial success. An accomplished speaker and writer, she has been featured on Huffington Post Live with Suze Orman, Mind Body Green, YFS Magazines, and other media for her business accomplishments and expertise in cloud accounting. Visit her site danethadoe.com for free business strategy advice and to learn more about her affordable services.