Every year it happens. You promised yourself that this year would be different. Now, once again, you are rushing to your gather receipts, remember how much money you spent at last year’s company retreat, and backtrack through balance sheets. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have this year-end stress anymore? The good news is that by implementing a few simple procedures once a month, you can get your accounting goals back on track and avoid another crunch-time crisis.

Finding Balance In Your Work

As you already know, the key to accurate financial statements lies in your balance sheet. Now, as we find ourselves in the midst of August, there is no time to waste. To get started, set aside a little bit of time to catch up. From there, simply apply a little monthly maintenance and you should be smooth sailing through the remainder of the year. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Block out the time to work on your finances in advance and set recurring calendar events to remind you of upcoming tasks.
  • When making sure your balances are up to date, make sure to tie them to the necessary documentation or calculations.
  • Create a checklist to guide you through your monthly close procedure.
  • Reconcile your balance sheet every month; complete bank reconciliations, make sure that your accounts receivable have been reviewed, that you are writing off all bad debts, that you have tied out loan balances to amortization schedules and that you have made sure everything on the balance sheet is valid.
  • Make time to regularly update your depreciation schedule by making sure new assets are added and that old ones are deleted.
  • Pay attention to your company credit card and record the charges at the same time you sit down to pay the bill. This will not only save you time at year-end, it will provide you with a clear snapshot of your finances throughout the entire year.
  • Reconcile the payroll on the books to your actual payroll registers (at least) quarterly to ensure gross wages and taxes are accurate. You may even be able to download your payroll information from a third party provider right into your software, which will also save time and enhance accuracy.

Give Your Work The Attention It Deserves

When your financial data is current, it is easier to maintain. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed by a single end-of-the-month deadline. Instead, look at your financial reporting as the completion of several small tasks instead of one big one. The best way to do this is to spread your work out over the entire month.

For instance, you may decide to review your receivables on the 20th of the month. A few days later, you might block out some time to sit down and do your billing. Then, five days later you may decide to tackle your bank reconciliations. By scheduling time to complete several little jobs instead of one big job, your financial reporting not only becomes more manageable, you are able to give each task the attention it deserves.

Discover a brighter way to manage your financial reporting and get more information about how to maximize your business’s financial efficiency, while optimizing your operation methods and your staff’s time and talent. Email Rea & Associates and ask for more information about financial reporting best practices.

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