Lists, lists lists. If there was an official government agency that monitored list-making amongst the general public, the end of the year would undoubtedly be its busy season. Shopping lists, gift lists, naughty-and-nice lists, delicious baking ingredient lists... it never stops! And of course that means we need to add our own. This year, we've tapped the brilliant minds of you, the Kashoo community, for your best year-end accounting checklist to-dos. Tips, tricks, little known money-savers. We've even included a few of our own!
Reconcile your accounts. The last thing you want to do is pay an accountant to track down little errors that you could easily find through reconciliations. Bonus tip: maximize your retirement savings options to reduce current tax burdens. - Matt Edgar at Sawtooth Management
Realize a capital loss while there’s still time to gain. Before your year-end is the time to plan for potential tax losses. If you have a losing position you can use that to offset capital gains. - Ken Rousselle at FBC
Ask 1099 eligible vendors for W-9s now rather than waiting until January 30th! - Nancy at Anchor Bay Accounting
The education tax credit is allowed in the year the expenses are paid, not in the year the academic period begins. - Chad Schultz at Monster Accounting
Ensure that all of your business expenses are recorded. Double check to see if there are credit card transactions that haven't been recorded. Similarly, has a vendor or service provider neglected to send a bill? These expenses need to be recorded too.
Research old outstanding checks to see if you need to void and reissue them so they can be cashed by the vendor. There are some governments who have the right to claim them as abandoned property (escheat laws) after a period of time so you want to get them resolved before the end of that period.
Be sure that interest on loans is recorded correctly. Oftentimes, small business owners will apply the entire loan payment against the loan balance, but in reality, a part of each payment should be interest expense. Make sure that's adjusted so you don’t miss out on the deduction! - Sandra Tomlinson at Kashoo
Do everything—and I mean everything—you can to collect on outstanding invoices. - anonymous
See your CPA before the end of the year! - Jody Padar @ New Vision CPA Group
Defer income and taxable capital gains until the next tax year and purchase new depreciable assets and defer depreciable asset sales. - FBC
For a bunch of additional, year-end tax strategies, check out this blog post from our friends at FBC: Year-End Tax Decisions. (PS - Canadian Farmers, we've got even more year-end tax planning tips for you!)
We've also included some bonus tips from last year's list that still apply...
When it comes to selecting a tax accountant, plan early! Finding a good tax accountant during tax season is like making reservations at a restaurant Valentine’s Day morning. The best ones might already be booked up.
Learn from your mistakes. While you’re getting ready to wrap up the year, look for weaknesses in your current system. Not happy with your online accounting software? Didn’t spend enough on advertising? Make a list of trouble spots, and make a plan to improve them this year. - Eric Matthews at ThatBookkeeper.com
Of course, we're always open to your feedback and thoughts! Tweet us your year-end tax tips and we'll include them in our accounting checklist.