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Year-End Bookkeeping and Accounting Checklist for Small Business Owners

The end of the year is a hectic time for small business owners. Between catching your breath after tax season and managing holiday sales, year-end bookkeeping and accounting tasks understandably fall to the bottom of the to-do list. 

Xendoo is here to help you avoid the year-end scramble. Check out our year-end bookkeeping checklist to organize your finances and successfully wrap up the year. 

1. Get Your Books Caught Up

The first step is to make sure that your books are up-to-date. You can do this by: 

  • Accounting for all bills and invoices, even if they haven’t been paid yet. 
  • Reviewing bank and credit card statements to confirm that they match. 
  • Recording any expenses that you paid for with personal funds. 

Accurate records ensure reliable financial statements. If your books are behind a few months, or even years, you are not alone—25% of business owners are behind on their books. 

Xendoo’s online bookkeepers provide catch up bookkeeping services, so you can focus on the future. 

2. Collect the Necessary Forms

Once January arrives, your accountant will request certain forms to close your books and file your small business taxes. Be sure to collect them as soon as possible to ensure a smooth start to the new year. 

Here are common forms and their deadlines. 

Form W-2

Business owners use form W-2 to report salary information for their employees. It also helps businesses report the taxes they withhold from paychecks. Employees need this information to file their personal tax returns. 

Business owners are responsible for sending this form to the IRS. Employers must provide the form to their employees no later than January 31st so that employees have enough time to file their taxes.

Form W-9

If you worked with an independent contractor or vendor and paid them $600 or more, you will report those payments to the IRS using Form 1099-NEC. 

The information you need to complete this form is on Form W-9, which you can collect from your contractors.

If any W-9s are missing, reach out to your independent contractors and have them complete the form before the end of the year.

Schedule K-1

CPAs provide the Schedule K-1 or Form 1065. The Schedule K-1 must be sent to shareholders and partners by March 15th. 

S-Corporation shareholders and partnership members use it to report their share of the business’s profits and losses. They’ll also include the form with your personal tax return.

Form 1099-K

The 1099-K tracks the payments received through third-party payment networks, like eBay, Stripe, Shopify, PayPal, and others. You should receive one 1099-K from each of the Online Payment Networks you use by January 31st. You are required to complete each one. 

Your gross receipts must be at least as high as the amount that you report on your 1009-K.

The 1099-K shows gross sales, which is the amount before fees are deducted. What appears in your bank account is the Net Amount, the amount after fees are deducted from the Gross Amount. The sales from each vendor must be reported as the Gross Amount, which is what appears on the 1099-K.

If you use freelancer platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to hire independent contractors, they may also send 1099-Ks to your freelancers instead of 1099-NECs. Since they are considered Online Payment Networks, these platforms typically send 1099-Ks to freelancers that make over $20,000 a year and have at least 200 transactions. 

However, if you paid freelancers more than $600 outside of their platforms, then you will need to send out a 1099-NEC. 

Click here to download our Tax Documentation Checklist.

3. Follow Up on Past-Due Invoices

Review past-due invoices to see what you are owed. If there are any outstanding payments, reach out to your customers before the end of the year to successfully close your books. 

4. Account for Inventory

If your business stores inventory, perform an end-of-year inventory count to make sure your totals match your Balance Sheet and your books. This review will provide insight into waste and loss management, as well as reduce inaccuracies in inventory counts and receivings.

Consider utilizing inventory management software to streamline inventory creation and order fulfillment.   

5. Review Your Financial Statements

Once you or your bookkeeper completes your bookkeeping, review your financial statements to confirm your numbers are correct.

You can also take that time to review how your business grew over the course of the year. Was there a steady increase in profits? Can you identify connections between your costs and sales? The financial statements provide visibility to confirm that you are on track to meet your goals, make projections, and prepare for the future.

Click here to learn more about the key financial statements. 

6. Reach Out for Help

Everyone deserves a supportive team of people who care. If you feel overwhelmed with year-end bookkeeping, reach out to an online bookkeeping service

Xendoo’s bookkeeping and accounting team provides monthly bookkeeping and accurate financial reports. We’ll give you financial visibility throughout the year and deliver insights to make strategic business decisions. 

Ring In Success

Juggling the holidays with running a business can be hectic. Although this year-end bookkeeping and accounting checklist can help you prepare for tax time, you don’t have to do it alone. Xendoo has a range of plans with flat monthly fees. You can get certified, professional online bookkeeping, accounting, tax, or CFO services to help you manage your finances and grow your business. 

Schedule a call with one of our online accountants to get started.




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