Last week I went over the bookkeeping tasks you should be completing on a daily and weekly basis. It's important you do so in order to maintain organized and current books while keeping your finger on the financial pulse of your practice. You can check that out HERE. Today I’ll be going over the monthly, quarterly and annual bookkeeping tasks you need to complete. I’ve also put together a checklist form HERE, for the monthly, quarterly and annual tasks, that you could use for your own practice.
1) Review Aged Receivables (Past Due Invoices)
Your accounting software will keep track of past due invoices, as long you prepared them through your accounting software. You can even automatically email customers with outstanding invoices through your account. You would just select when you would like the reminder sent (i.e. 7 days past due) and your software will automatically send the email reminder for you. Once a month, go over your aged receivables and set up these email reminders so that you don’t have to worry about them.
2) Analyze Inventory
Keep fastidious records of your inventory through your accounting software and make sure to mark what inventory you would like tracked. If you do so with the accounting software Xero, it will keep a count of your inventory items and will update the count for items purchased and sold. It will also calculate the value of the items on hand and will update your accounting records accordingly. This is an incredibly helpful tool that will ensure you are neither short nor overloaded. It’s also helpful for keeping track of what is selling and what isn’t.
3) Review Financial Statements & Budget
Your income statement (aka profit and loss statement) will show you how much you have earned and how much you have spent. Compare it to your budget every month to see where you may be spending too much or not enough. Make changes accordingly. You should also take the time to review your balance sheet and your statement of cash flows. I recommend hiring a financial consultant to go over your financial statements and budget with you, if not monthly then quarterly. They will save you money and help you set a financial road-map for your practice. This is also a service many bookkeepers offer, so make sure to ask about that during the hiring process.
4) Run a Trial Balance Report
Run this report through your accounting software to make sure that all your debits and credits are in balance and that all your transactions have been posted to the correct account.
1) Review Quarterly Payroll Reports and Make Payments
The IRS and most states require quarterly payroll reports and any remaining quarterly payments. Your payroll service provider should be completing and filing these reports, however you should be reviewing them to make sure they appear correct.
2) Review Sales Tax and Make Quarterly Payments
If your state requires sales tax, check with the U.S. Small Business Administration to make sure you are meeting your state tax obligations.
3) Compute Estimated Income Tax and Make Payment
The IRS and some states require you to pay income tax on a quarterly basis. Review your year-to-date profit and loss statement (Income Statement) to see if you owe any estimated taxes for that quarter.
4) Compare Actual Amounts to Projections
Review your revenue, cost of sales, gross profit and expenses and compare them to your budget and projections. Make necessary changes to make sure you meet your goals during the next quarter.
1) Review Past-Due Receivables
Check your aged receivables (past-due invoices) for any significant accounts. Decide whether you think the customer will eventually pay and either send the past due bills to a collection agency or write them off for a deduction.
2) Review Your Inventory
Determine the value of items not sold and any inventory that needs to be classified as “inventory write-off”. Remember, any inventory write-off equals a deduction on your year-end taxes. If you don’t write off inventory that no longer has value, you are overstating your inventory balance and paying additional taxes that you don’t owe. Take this time to also evaluate and make decisions about what services/products did better or worse.
3) Fill Out IRS Forms
The IRS has a February 1 deadline that requires you to report the annual earnings of your full time employees (W-2s) and independent contractors (1099s). That means that by February 1 you must have already mailed copies of the tax forms to the people who worked for you. Your deadline for filing with the IRS is no later than February 28. I highly recommend using a CPA or tax service to make sure this is done correctly and on time.
4) Review and Approve Full-Year Tax Returns
Carefully review your company’s full-year financial reports before giving them to your accountant during tax time. Make sure to carefully review your tax return before signing it. If the IRS audits your practice and finds any underpayment of taxes, it will be up to you, not your CPA, to pay additional taxes, penalties or interest.
5) Review Your Financial Reports
Go over your financial reports for the year and see how your practice has done. Apply what you have learned this year to set your goals for the following year. This is another time I recommend you make use of a financial consultant who can help you set your financial road-map for the following year.
There you have it! Follow these checklists and your bookkeeping will become an organized process, saving you time and leaving you with books that accurately portray the financial health of your practice. Don’t forget to download my checklist form HERE to use during your bookkeeping process.
Now that you’ve read both of my articles listing all the bookkeeping tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis, you can see how time consuming the process is. Bookkeeping is not for everyone, and most times the best use of your time and money is to outsource your bookkeeping to a trusted, certified and veterinarian-exclusive bookkeeper. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we are a good match to work together.