December 31st has come and gone. Was this the end of your fiscal year? If so, then it’s time to start thinking about taxes and organizing the shoebox of receipts to send off to your accountant. Despite year-ends being the source of numerous sleepless nights and headaches, they are also the most important reports for any business to issue. They will be used for tax preparation, future reference, and smarter decision making.
Below is a simple checklist of items you should prepare for your tax professional:
- Does my general ledger bank balance reconcile to the bank statement?
- Are there any accounts receivables that are worthless and should be written off?
- Is my balance in Allowance for Bad Debts a reasonable estimate of potential write-offs?
- Is the company’s inventory balance correctly stated?
- Are there inventory items that cost more than their worth and should be written down to their market value?
- Does the company still have all the fixed assets?
- Is my depreciation correctly recorded for those fixed assets still in the company’s possession?
- Did I amortize goodwill and franchise fees?
- Are there any prepaid items that need to be adjusted such as prepaid insurance?
- Have all assets been reviewed for accuracy?
- Have we recorded all of our payables?
- Do the payroll tax liabilities coincide with our quarterly reports?
- Do the balances in the notes payable accounts (loans) agree with what the banks say we owe?
- Are there other debts that have not been included on the books?
- Are there debts on the books that no longer exist because of forgiveness or oversight?
Important documents to gather and provide to your accountant:
- Income statements (Profit and Loss)
- Balance sheets
- Cash flow statements
- Personal and business bank statements for all accounts
Receipts and Invoices:
- Sales receipts
- Purchase invoices
- Expense receipts (e.g., office supplies, travel expenses)
- Employee payroll details
- Payroll tax forms (e.g., W-2, 1099)
- Tax Documents:
- Previous year’s tax returns
- Form W-2 (wage and tax statement)
- Form 1099 (various types for different income sources)
- Form 1098 (mortgage interest statement)
- Form 1095 (health insurance coverage)
Business Licenses and Permits:
- Copies of licenses and permits relevant to your business
Contracts and Agreements:
- Copies of contracts and agreements with clients, suppliers, and partners
Asset and Inventory Records:
- Details of assets owned by the business (e.g., equipment, vehicles)
- Inventory records (e.g., stock count, valuation)
Loan and Debt Information:
- Loan agreements
- Debt repayment schedules
Legal and Corporate Documents:
- Articles of Incorporation/Organization
- Bylaws or operating agreements
- Shareholder agreements (if applicable)
- Insurance Policies:
- Copies of insurance policies (e.g., general liability, professional liability)
- Any other relevant financial documents:
- Lease agreements
- Investment statements
- Contracts with professional service providers (e.g., lawyers, consultants)