The Ultimate Small Business Accounting Checklist

Create a payroll file sorted by payroll date and a bank statement file sorted by month. Many accounting software systems let you scan paper receipts and avoid physical files altogether. At QuickBooks, our business accounting software is intuitive and easy to use, to ensure you can achieve these tasks with ease. From managing your taxes to generating financial reports, our business accounting software can make running your business easier than ever. Take a look at the accounting duties you will have to manage for your business below. Start a suppliers file, sorted alphabetically, (Staples under “S”, Costco under “C,”etc.) for easy access.

  • But before we dig into those ideas, let’s talk about what day-to-day work looks like for an accountant.
  • At its core, accounting is a money-management process that tracks and records expenses.
  • As you review your payroll reports, look for inconsistencies or errors in your records and document any adjustments you make.
  • Federal tax returns must comply with tax guidance outlined by the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

Many businesses operate out of a cash account – or a business bank account that holds liquid assets for the business. When a company pays for an expense out of pocket, the cash account is credited, because money is moving from the account to cover the expense. This means the expense is debited because the funds credited from the cash account are covering the cost of that expense. A profit and loss (P&L) statement is a snapshot of your business’s income and expenses during a given time period (like quarterly, monthly, or yearly). This calculation will also be reflected on your business’s Schedule C tax document. Regardless of how you manage your business accounting, it’s wise to understand accounting basics.

Review Quarterly Payroll Reports and Make Payments

On top of that, you’re probably also running to your bank, depositing cheques, dealing with bounced payments, and managing foreign currency exchanges. There’s nothing more gratifying than receiving a payment and watching your bank balance grow. I know it’s one of my favorite parts of my job as a freelance writer. Keep a record of each of your vendors that includes billing dates, amounts due, and payment due dates. If vendors offer discounts for early payment, you may want to take advantage. Since cash is the fuel for your business, you never want to be running on or near empty.

This Accountant job description template is optimized for posting on online job boards or careers pages. You can easily customize this template to add any accountant duties and responsibilities that are relevant to your company. If you have not prepared a budget, compare your current year-to-date P&L with the same prior-period, year-to-date income statement to identify variances and make adjustments. However, there are other career options worth considering beyond a Certified Public Accountant.

The Ultimate Small Business Accounting Checklist

Management accountants examine a company’s financial situation to ascertain how it might affect the business as a whole. They may provide executive-level staff at a company with advice on how to strengthen the organization’s financial position in light of their analysis. Some management accountants also perform other financial tasks like profit analysis, risk management, and budgeting.

Roles and Responsibilities

But even if this applies to your business, continue to maintain accurate and timely records. It makes sure that financial statements are a realistic overview of revenues and liabilities. It reminds companies not to over self employed accounting software or understate their financial risk. This sounds straightforward, but accounting can impact both internal and external opinions. Because of this, many publicly-traded companies report both GAAP and non-GAAP income.

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This allows a bookkeeper to monitor financial positions and statuses by account. One of the most commonly referenced accounts in the general ledger is the cash account which details how much cash is available. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) require public companies to utilize accrual accounting for their financial statements, with rare exceptions. The first step in the accounting cycle is identifying transactions. Companies will have many transactions throughout the accounting cycle. All you need is a simple statement showing your current cash position, expected cash receipts during the next week/month and expected cash payments during the next week/month.

While you probably recognize this, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations and forget about it. It’s easy to see every payment as a profit, and not factor in expenses like rent, equipment, stationery, hardware, and so on. It’s also easy to wait until month end only to discover that you’re out of pocket because clients haven’t paid you. If you’re collecting sales tax and not tracking it, you risk combining it with your profit and spending. I’m sure you’d rather avoid a situation where you don’t have money to pay the tax man. Tracking expenses allows you to monitor business growth, build financial statements, track tax deductibles, and prepare tax returns.

Review employee timesheets.

If something isn’t “material” it’s something the business feels is too small to mention. This is a promise from the accountant that they’re not trying to mislead anyone. This helps investors trust that the information your business presents is accurate.

This way, nothing slips through the cracks or becomes a problem that’s too large to bounce back from. Employees should submit a W-4 form so you know how much tax to withhold. In exchange, you should provide employees with a W-2 form, which summarizes their yearly gross pay.

If the CRA audits your company and finds any underpayment of taxes, it will come to you, not your accountant, for any additional taxes, penalty, and interest. Welcome to your weekly accounting tasks, otherwise known as the land of invoicing, financial data management, and other business bank account fun. Look for “extras” that you aren’t using on a regular basis, and cut that expense to improve your cash flow. For example, you might be able to cut back on software subscriptions by consolidating all of your accounting tasks into one system.

With these emerging technologies, labor-intensive tasks like tax preparation, payroll, and audits can be automated to reduce the amount of time and resources needed to move forward. Automated accounting software, such as QuickBooks and other popular applications, are becoming increasingly influential in the industry. In fact, a recent survey found that bookkeepers and accountants spend roughly 86 percent of their time on tasks that have the potential to be automated. While not every accounting professional requires auditing skills, it can be a useful skill since it ensures financial data is accurately depicted in accordance with modern accounting standards.

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