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Year-end guide and checklist


As the end of the year approaches, you and your accountant will need to complete certain tasks in QuickBooks Online to close out the old year and prepare for the new one.

The following sections can help guide you through these year-end tasks to make the ending of one year and the beginning of another easier.

It's important to ensure that the correct month is selected for the start of your fiscal year to allow QuickBooks Online to clear accounting ledgers behind the scenes while you work on other year-end activities.

To confirm or change the first month of your fiscal year:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙.
  2. Select Account and Settings.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. In the Accounting section, verify that the setting in the First month of fiscal year field is correct, or select Edit ✎ to change the setting.
  5. Select Save and close.
  6. Select Done.

Your fiscal year is confirmed.

At the end of the year, it's a good idea to ensure your client base has up to date account balances and that billing and payments are all up to date.

To check customer account balances:

  1. Select Reports.
  2. In the search bar, enter Accounts Receivable Aging Summary or Accounts Receivable Aging Detail and select the report you want to review.
    These reports are available in QuickBooks Online Advanced, QuickBooks Online Essentials and Plus only.
  3. Review the report to identify customers with outstanding balances.

Once you identify outstanding balances, you can send statements to the customers.

To send a statement:

  1. Select Sales, then select Customers.
  2. Locate the customer you want to send a statement to.
  3. From the Action column drop-down menu, select Create statement.
  4. In the Create Statements window, select Print and Preview to print the statement, or select Save and send to create and preview an email to send with the statement to the customer.

Here's some more information about creating statements.

You should also confirm that all deposits are cleared from the deposit queue. Any funds sitting in this queue will not be included in your current year's income.

Here's how you create a bank deposit.

The end of the year is a good time to take care of any outstanding bills you owe for the year, and address any outstanding credits, discounts, or products you're owed from your vendors.

To review outstanding bills:

  1. Select Reports.
  2. On the search bar, enter Accounts Payable Aging Summary or Accounts Payable Aging Detail and select the report you want to review.
    These reports are available in QuickBooks Online Advanced, as well as QuickBooks Online Essentials and Plus only.
  3. Review the report to identify any outstanding bills to pay before the end of the year.

Once you identify any outstanding bills, you can clear them up before the end of the year.

It is good practice to match your QuickBooks Online data to your bank and credit card accounts to ensure that all transactions have been recorded correctly, and that your year-end reports display accurate financial data.

To reconcile your accounts:

  1. Select Settings ⚙️.
  2. Select Reconcile.
  3. Follow the prompts to match the transactions on your bank or credit card statement with the transactions on the Reconcile page.

For more detailed information about reconciling, see How to reconcile accounts or Year-end: Reconcile accounts for the entire year

Your accountant has the expertise necessary to give you suggestions on data input, help with your year-end process, and forecast your company’s financial future.

If you haven't already done so, QuickBooks Online makes it easy to invite your accountant to collaborate with you, and to give them access to your QuickBooks Online account.

Once your accountant accepts the invitation, they have access to your accounts.

It's important to run year-end reports to review the information and identify any issues or discrepancies.

To run year-end reports:

  1. Go to Reports.
  2. Locate and review the Profit and Loss report and the Balance Sheet, as well as any customized reports you or your accountant require.
  3. Make sure that the Profit for the Year figure matches the balance on the Profit and Loss report.

You and your accountant can review the information in these reports to identify any potential issues to resolve.

Your accountant can review a more detailed view of how transactions or journals will affect the Profit and Loss or Balance Sheet depending on the account types, and can make changes to any item for appropriate display on reports.

To review detailed information:

  1. Ask your accountant to sign in to their account.
  2. Under Accountant Tools (the envelope icon), select Reclassify Transactions.

Your accountant can either change the Account that the transaction is in or the class that the transaction is attributed to.

If your Retained Earnings need to be divided among owners or partners, your accountant can assist you.

It's good practice to have previously set up an Owner's Equity and Draws ledger for any payments or withdrawals from the company during the year by the key people who founded the company.

To create journal entries:

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Journal Entry.

For detailed information about journal entries, see How to create a journal entry

Taxes are typically prepared by a company's accountant.

When you send your accountant an invitation to your QuickBooks Online account, you give the accountant access to all the financial information they need to prepare and file taxes on your company's behalf, and to make any necessary changes.

Your accountant can use this information to prepare, or help you to prepare, any required year-end tax return.

Closing the books lets you control changes to transactions dated before the end of the fiscal year.

  1. Select Settings ⚙️.
  2. Select Account and Settings.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. In the Accounting section, select the pencil (edit) icon to open the fields for editing.
  5. Select the Close the books checkbox.
  6. Enter a Closing Date and select a warning preference.
    You can also optionally enter and confirm a password that anyone who tries to make changes must enter.
  7. Select Save.
  8. Select Done.

For detailed steps to guide you through closing your books, see How to close the books

For more year-end information, see Year-end Checklist for QuickBooks Online Payroll Users

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