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Year-end guide and checklist - ProAdvisors

As the end of the year approaches, you will need to complete certain tasks in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payroll powered by KeyPay 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.

Here are some handy downloadable checklists for you:

End of financial year review checklist.docx

End of financial year checklist for Advisors.pdf

Reconcile all bank and credit card accounts, checking that clearing accounts such as Payroll Clearing accounts are at zero on June 30. This ensures the accuracy of your bookwork and also verifies that all transactions on your bank, credit cards, and loan accounts have been entered and matched to your reconciliations. 

  1. Select the Gear Icon on top-right.
  2. Navigate to the Tools column.
  3. Select Reconcile.

Once you see the Reconcile window you will be able to see the Reconciliation History by account and if any changes or Auto Adjustments have been made - now you can start reconciling your bank account: 

  1. Choose the bank account you need to reconcile from the account drop-down box.
  2. Enter your bank statements’ ending date and balance. 
  3. Select the Start Reconciling button. 
  4. Reconcile the bank account and Click Finish Now. 

Once the difference is at zero, select the Finish Now button. Follow this process for ALL bank accounts. Below are some tips on how to treat specific accounts.

For more information on reconciling accounts please refer to Reconcile an account in QuickBooks Online.

Reconciling Credit Card accounts

Credit cards are typically not dated at month-end, so you will need to set an end date of June 30 and reconcile to the amount at this date. Depending on the last date of reconciliation, you may find that you need to reconcile to June 30, and then to statement date balance. 

Reconciling Loan accounts 

These type accounts should be reconciled on a regular occurrence as they are a liability to the business and must reflect the true and accurate balance as at June 30. 

Reconciling Clearing accounts 

Clearing accounts should also have a zero balance at the end of the financial year. Follow the process above with a zero balance at June 30 to ensure there are no unallocated amounts in the clearing accounts.

Ensure ALL clearing accounts are at zero unless there is a reason for it not to be. Check with the client to see if uncleared transactions in the clearing accounts are supposed to be there.  

Task 4 goes into further detail on how to reconcile payroll accounts.

Reconciling Petty Cash 

Petty Cash needs to be counted and reconciled to balance as at June 30. Make sure all receipts have been entered into QuickBooks Online and reconciled to the Petty Cash account held by the business.

Reconciling Undeposited Funds Account 

Similarly to the clearing accounts, this account needs to be checked until June 30. The remaining balance in this account should only be the amounts left undeposited as of June 30.

Reconciling Suspense Accounts 

Suspense account transactions are transactions that have been put on hold until it has been decided what account the funds should be allocated to. Suspense accounts must show a zero balance on June 30.

Once all accounts have been reconciled, you can be assured that all transactions for the year have been accurately entered into the QuickBooks Online file. 

The next step is to review the balance sheet to ensure all balances accurately reflect the position of the business. To support this process you need to check the following accounts.

A/R Ageing Summary Report (Debtors) 

This report summarises the customers that owe money at year-end and how long they have owed it to the business. This is extremely useful to determine the status of a customer who may owe money and identify the possibility of the money not ever being received. 

  1. Select Reports on the left menu.
  2. Under the Who owes you section, select Accounts receivable ageing summary
  3. Click on any of the customer totals to drill down into the total amount owed. This will give you a transaction report of all outstanding receivables. 

A/P Ageing Summary Report (Creditors) 

This report summarises the suppliers the client owes money to at year-end, how long they have owed it, and helps determine why it has not been paid.

  1. Select Reports on the left menu.
  2. Under the Who you owe section, select Accounts payable ageing summary
  3. Click on any of the supplier totals to drill down into the total amount owed. This will give you a transaction report of all outstanding payables. 

Write off bad debts 

Once the debtors have been reviewed the next step is to reflect all identified bad debts in the file.

The way to write off bad debt in QuickBooks Online is dependent on whether the accounting method is Cash-based or Accrual based. 

Learn how to write off bad debts in QuickBooks Online.

Reconcile Foreign Currency Debtors and Creditors 

If the business has multi-currency transactions, you may have foreign debtors (receivables) or creditors (payables). You will need to check that the financial year-end balance of the accounts payable and accounts receivable in each foreign currency is valued at the correct financial year-end exchange rate. This ensures the balance sheet, which is always in the home currency, displays the correct home currency value of each foreign currency debtor and creditor account. 

QuickBooks Online creates journal entries behind the scenes, affecting Exchange Gain or Loss in the home currency only. Note, the number of foreign monetary units (by account and by supplier or customer) in each of the foreign accounts being revalued does not change; only the value in the home currency is changed 

This is achieved by making a home currency adjustment in QuickBooks Online.

Revaluation of foreign currency debtors and creditors 

If you would like to revalue the debtors and creditors to reflect the exchange rates at the end of the financial year:

  1. Select Gear Icon on the top-right
  2. Navigate to the Lists column
  3. Click on Currencies
  4. Click on Edit currency exchange for the currency you want to adjust
  5. Change the market rate date to 30 June and click on Save

This will show all the balance sheet accounts in this currency as well as any open invoices for customers and bills for suppliers for this currency 

This step will also create a journal entry reflecting the unrealised gain/loss for these transactions for this currency as of June 30. This helps to revalue creditors and debtors.

Review returns or credits & unbilled charges; apply to invoices or clear 

Review returns your client has made to their suppliers, and ensure that bill credits have been received and recorded for legitimate returns. 

Review the Supplier Balance Detail report to see if any offsetting transactions add up to zero and should be applied and cleared:

  1. Go to the Reports on the left menu
  2. Navigate to the What you owe section
  3. Select Supplier Balance Detail 
  4. In order to clear quickly, click on the Bill to bring up the original transaction.
  5. Select the Make Payment option right top of the screen, or select Add from a Supplier Credit on the right-hand side drawer and apply to the open bill.
  6. Select Save.
  7. Click the browser back button until you get back to the Supplier Balance Detail report.

Also, review returns your client’s customers have made or refunds which their customers have claimed, and ensure that adjustment notes, refunds, or non-posting credits have been recorded as appropriate if these returns or claims are legitimate. 

First, review the Customer Balance Detail report to see if any credits should be applied and cleared:

  1. Go to the Reports on the left menu
  2. Navigate to the Who owes you section
  3. Select Customer Balance Detail to review the report for adjustment notes that should have been applied.
  4. In order to quickly clear, click on the Invoice to bring up the original transaction.
  5. Select the Receive Payment option right top of the screen
  6. If applicable, tick the Credits you would like to apply to an open invoice - make sure the amount received at  the top is zero.
  7. Select Save.
  8. Click the browser back button until you get back to the Customer Balance Detail report. 

Clearing accounts 

Point-of-sale clearing accounts, like electronic clearing accounts, should be zero at the end of any given day. However, if at the end of a year-end date there happens to a non-zero balance in this type of account, this account should be reconciled to find out why this non-zero balance exists as this money should have been electronically deposited into a bank account. 

It could be likely that this balance is temporary and, like the Undeposited Funds account, will be zeroed out within a day or two, especially if this year-end date occurs on a weekend or a public holiday. If it does not clear out on its own, then you must check with the financial institution to find out what happened to the money. 

If the company is required by the ATO to record the total payments made to contractors for building and construction services, you will need to prepare their TPAR and lodge it with the ATO. 

What is TPAR?

If TPAR is not enabled, here’s how to enable TPAR in QuickBooks Online.

First, you’ll need to ensure that the relevant suppliers are flagged to be included in the TPAR. To add a supplier to the TPAR:

  1. From the left-hand navigation bar, select Expenses.
  2. Choose Suppliers.
  3. Click on the name of the Supplier, then Edit.
  4. Check the box Include this supplier in my annual TPAR.
  5. Select Save.

Then, run the TPAR to review the transactions included:

  1. Select Reports in the left-hand navigation bar
  2. Under Manage Taxes, select Taxable Payments Annual Report
  3. Ensure the Transaction Date/Report Period is correct and then click Run Report

Once all is finalised, download the TPAR file to be lodged to the ATO. 

  1. Navigate to the top of the TPAR report
  2. Select Download TPAR button
  3. Once the TPAR is ready to download, select Download

If there are missing transactions in the TPAR, ensure that you have enabled the transaction to be added to the TPAR. To check this:

  1. Find and select the relevant transaction
  2. Under the Payee drop-down menu, ensure that Include the transaction in my annual TPAR is ticked
  3. Select Save

Reconcile Unpaid Superannuation to balance sheet Superannuation Liability 

At the end of the year, you will need to reconcile various payroll reports within the Balance Sheet in QuickBooks Online to confirm that payroll is being completed correctly. You also need to confirm that no non-payroll transactions such as journal entries were recorded which could affect the various payroll accounts in the general ledger. 

  1. Navigate to Employees on the left menu.
  2. Select Reports.
  3. Select Super Contributions Report. Specify the full year and run the report.
  4. Compare any as-yet-unpaid Superannuation in the super report to the Balance Sheet figure for Superannuation Liability in QuickBooks Online at the financial year-end date. These figures should match. If they do not, click on the Superannuation Liability balance on the Balance Sheet to see the detail; if there are any non-payroll transactions that affected that balance edit them and correct in QuickBooks Payroll powered by KeyPay if necessary. 

Reconcile unpaid PAYG withholding to Balance Sheet to PAYG withholding liability

  1. Navigate to Employees on the left menu.
  2. Select Reports.
  3. Select PAYG Withholding Report. Specify the full year and run the report.
  4. Compare any as-yet-unpaid PAYG in the PAYG Withholding Report to the Balance Sheet figure for PAYG Withholdings Payable in QuickBooks Online at the year-end date; the figures should match. If they do not, click on the PAYG Withholding Liability balance on the Balance Sheet to see the detail. If there are any non-payroll transactions that affect that balance, edit and correct in QuickBooks Payroll powered by KeyPay

Reconcile Payroll Clearing account

If the company has their bank account connected to QuickBooks Online and the wage expense transactions come into the bank feed, the transactions should be matched to the Payroll Clearing account. If this was done properly during the year, the Payroll Clearing account should be zero-ed out after the last wages of the Financial Year are matched.

  1. Select Accounting on the left menu, then select Chart of Accounts
  2. Search for the Payroll Clearing account
  3. Select Account History from the Actions column
  4. Scroll through the journal entries and ensure that all pay runs paid during the year have a corresponding journal entry.

 Note: Ensure that all pay runs have been posted as journal entries into QuickBooks Online. If there are missing journal entries, this could be the source of discrepancies. 

To rectify this, open the relevant pay run in QuickBooks Payroll powered by KeyPay, then unlock that pay run and select Finalise Pay Run again. This will re-post the journal entries into QuickBooks Online.

It’s important not to manually adjust the journal entries posted from QuickBooks Payroll powered by KeyPay. If you need to make adjustments, open up the relevant pay run in QuickBooks Payroll powered by KeyPay, unlock it, and adjust it there. Then, finalise the pay run again to re-post the journals to QuickBooks Online.

If the company uses QuickBooks Payroll to lodge pay events to the ATO under Single Touch Payroll (STP), you will have to lodge a Finalisation Event to send the final year-to-date figures to the ATO. 

To start this process:

  1. Select Employees from the menu.
  2. Select the Reports tab, then select Single Touch Payroll.
  3. Select Start Finalisation Process and follow the steps in the wizard to confirm YTD payroll data, RFBA amounts and request client authority.

Note: If employees have been paid on multiple pay schedules throughout the financial year, you DO NOT have to complete a finalisation event for each pay schedule of that employee. Only complete the finalisation event for the pay schedule the employee has mainly been using throughout the year.

Note: If you need to make amendments to the payroll figures after lodging a Finalisation Event, you MUST create an amended Finalisation Event to update the ATO.

More information about creating and lodging a Finalisation Event and amended Finalisation Event can be found here: How to create and lodge a Finalisation Event

Review Directors’ Loans 

Directors or Shareholders borrowing money from their company for private expenses can result in tax consequences.  Under tax law, any loans to shareholders may be automatically treated as an un-franked dividend payment.

It is recommended that you review the transactions posted to the Directors Loan to ensure they have posted correctly and highlight any issues to the accountant, especially if the director’s loan is a debit.

It is a good idea to get the accountant to review this account before June 30 so that loans can be paid back by the Director or Shareholder. The accountant may be able to allocate wages to the loan account to repay the loan before June 30.

 To review director loans in QuickBooks Online, display a Balance Sheet as of the financial year-end:

  1. Go to the Reports tab on the left menu
  2. Select Balance Sheet from the Business overview section
  3. Select Run Report
  4. Locate each director loan account and click on it to produce a Transaction Report for that account.

Reconcile Intercompany Loans and check balances are the same in both intercompany loan ledgers. 

When working with customers that have inter-entity loans check that the loans balance each other in each company file.  

Run a balance sheet for both companies as of June 30. One company will have a debit balance while the other company should have the same amount in a credit balance.  If the amounts don’t balance you will need to drill down into each account from the balance sheet report in QuickBooks Online, going through each transaction across both accounts to work out which transactions are missing.

Write off Obsolete Stock 

If the company has stock that can no longer be sold as of June 30, a simple way of dealing with this stock is to do an Inventory Quantity Adjustment.

  1. Select +New then select Inventory Qty Adjustment
  2. Check the transaction has updated the accounts correctly
  3. Go to the Reports tab on the left menu
  4. Select Balance Sheet from the Business overview section
  5. Click Run Report button
  6. Locate the Inventory account and click on it to produce a Transaction Report for that account.
  7. Repeat the process with your Profit and Loss Report and check the amount in your cost of goods is a debit.

Check Stock-take Balance against Balance Sheet Stock on Hand Balance 

It is important to make sure that if inventory is being tracked, all transactions that affect the inventory asset account are purely as a result of products in transactions, not accounts. This will help ensure that the Inventory Asset account on the balance sheet on any given date will be accurately supported by a sub-ledger for each product. 

First, run the Products/Service List report in QuickBooks Online:

  1. Select the Gear Icon on the top-right
  2. Under the Lists column, select Products and Services
  3. Select More on the top-right of the Products and Services screen, then select Run Report
  4. Click on each product on screen and ensure that it is using the correct Inventory Asset account on the Balance sheet; if not, correct it. Verify that the Income and Expense account for each product has been chosen correctly. 

After taking a count of the stock and year-end date, run the Balance Sheet:

  1. Go to the Reports tab.
  2. Select Balance Sheet under Business overview
  3. Select the date range.
  4. Click the Run Report button.
  5. Click the Inventory Asset account dollar amount figure to produce a Transaction Report. Ensure that it covers the entire period being reviewed. 
  6. Select Customise.
  7. Select the Rows/Columns drop-down, then under the Group by drop-down box, select Product/Service.
  8. Select Change columns, then tick Product/Service and Qty, reordering the list if necessary.
  9. Select Run Report.

Note: You may wish to export this report to Excel in order to get quantity totals for each product by selecting the Excel button. 

Review the Quantity and Amount totals for each product. Compare the totals to the inventory count results. The Amount total in QuickBooks Online reflects FIFO inventory costing, so compare the FIFO cost of what is remaining to the stocktake and the current value and test for reasonableness. 

Check if any transactions using the Inventory Asset account without specifying a product, which will have its own section labelled “Not Specified.” Click on each of the transactions in this section to correct the transactions, then re-run this report to ensure that there are no “Not Specified” inventory transactions and that the totals match the Balance Sheet figure as well as the stock count.

If your client records their kilometres using the Mileage section in QuickBooks Online, you can generate a Mileage report to review the mileage deductions.

Learn more about mileage and how to extract the mileage data from the company.

To generate a mileage report as an accountant user:

  1. Select Mileage from the left menu
  2. Select the year you want to download from the drop-down menu
  3. Select Download - this will download the report as a .csv file to your computer

Keep these guidelines in mind when reviewing the client’s kilometres:

You can claim deductions for the business kilometres you've travelled on up to 3 vehicles, including motorbikes.

Your deductions stop once you reach 5,000 km per vehicle. You can continue tracking your kilometres reaching the limit, but it won't give you any additional deductions.

For more information, visit the ATO’s website.

Review the asset register and discuss with your client the state and location of each fixed asset on the list as at the end of the financial year, including:

  • If the asset is no longer serviceable, or if it has been sold
  • If the asset was sold, that any gain or loss on the disposal of the asset was correctly entered
  • If it was donated, or if it no longer worked, that there is a journal entry reflecting the disposal of the asset

Generally, a Tax Accountant will create these journal entries as part of the income tax reporting.

As part of the bookkeeper’s year-end process you should review all assets purchased during the year and ensure they were properly recorded for the accounts review.

  • Review all large expenses on the Profit & Loss, and check with your client to see if any of these “expenses” should really have been recorded as fixed asset purchases.
  • Ensure that each purchase has the correct purchase date, value and full description so that Reports will give the accountant the detail required.
  • It is also a good idea to attach a copy of the purchase to the transaction in QuickBooks Online so it is easy for the accountant to access.

If the Retained Earnings need to be divided among owners or partners for your client then you can create a Journal Entry for this. 

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.

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

Provide Information to the Client 

It’s a good idea to provide the client with reports and information throughout the year, generally the end of a BAS period is a good time to share. This will address any problem areas as they come up and will enable the client to make sound decisions and rectify any issues.

Clicking on figures or transaction details can be done in any report to zoom in on the selection to provide more detail and open original transactions. When changing the settings of any report, such as the date range, select Run Report to display it using the new settings. 

If you aren't already doing so, you should be accessing the client file using QuickBooks Online Accountant, as some of these functions and reports are available only in QuickBooks Online Accountant, and are not even available to the primary admin user of the company file. 

Here’s a guide that you can forward to your client on how to invite an accountant user to their company.


Assume that the dates are for the year-end just being completed unless otherwise stated: 

Profit & Loss 

  1. Go to the Reports on the left menu. 
  2. Select Profit and Loss under the Business overview section
  3. Change the dates to produce this report for the client at any time for This Financial Year-to-date (YTD) and, after the year-end that just occurred, for the Last Year.
  4. Select Run Report to display the report using the new settings.
  5. Click on any figure in this report to produce a detail of all transactions adding up to that figure, and click on any transaction in the detail to open up the original transaction for review/edit. 

Profit & Loss YTD analysis vs. previous year YTD

  1. Go to the Go to the Reports on the left menu. 
  2. Select Profit and Loss Comparison under the For my accountant section

Note: This report is only available in QuickBooks Online Accountant. Clicking on figures in this report will display details behind any glaring discrepancy between the year being reported and the previous year.

Balance Sheet at Year-End

  1. Go to the Reports on the left menu. 
  2. Select Balance Sheet under the Business overview section
  3. Select the year end date range.  
  4. Click the Run Report button. 

Note: It’s a good idea to sit down with the client and explain the significance of particularly important accounts. Show them their bank and credit card balances, debtors, creditors, loans, and inventory.

Summary of Outstanding Debtors

  1. Go to the Reports on the left menu. 
  2. Select the A/R Ageing Summary under the Who owes you section
  3. For more detailed information, click the A/R Ageing Detail report as well. 

Note: If viewing the Summary version of this report prompts questions, clicking on the figures in the Summary report will provide details as well. Review this report with the client to ascertain if any invoices should be written off as bad debts. 

Summary of Outstanding Creditors

  1. Go to the Reports on the left menu. 
  2. Select the A/P Ageing Summary under the What you owe section
  3. For more detailed information, click the A/P Ageing Detail report as well. 

Note: If viewing the Summary version of this report prompts questions, clicking on the figures in the Summary report will provide details as well. Review this report with the client to ascertain if all these outstanding bills are indeed payable. 

Project/Job/Location/Class Profitability

  1. Go to the Reports on the left menu
  2. Select the Profit and Loss by Location and/or Profit and Loss by Class report
  3. Modify date as needed
  4. Select the Customise button
  5. Select the Rows/Columns drop-down 
  6. Select either Customers, Locations or Classes in the Group by drop-down menu.
  7. Select the Run Report button. 

Provide Information to the Accountant 

Providing information for tax preparation is easy in QuickBooks Online.  An accountant will be able to log in to QuickBooks Online Accountant once they have accepted the invitation to be an accountant user and view the data.  

Here are the typical reports:

  • Profit & Loss
  • Balance Sheet at Year-End
  • Trial Balance at Year End
  • Receivables Summary at Year-end
  • Payables Summary
  • BAS Reports for the Year

A few of these reports were created in step 1. The others can be added to your reports group and exported or emailed as one report to the accountant along with a copy of your End of Year Checklist.

The accountant may wish to enter these end-of-year adjustments directly into the client’s QuickBooks Online file, or he or she may give you the finalised trial balance with the entries to record. 

Although journal entries can be recorded in any of the subscription levels of QuickBooks Online, it’s best to be accessing the company via QuickBooks Online Accountant, as it features special tools that are unavailable to even the primary admin user of a QuickBooks Online file. One such tool is the ability to tag a journal entry as Adjusting by checking a box on the journal entry screen. 

Start out by making a journal entry in the usual way: 

  1. Select the +New button, then select Journal Entry under the Other column
  2. Then check the box next to Is Adjusting Journal Entry?, and then fill out the journal entry as per the accountant’s year-end entries. 

Other special tools, which are related to Adjusting Journal Entries, under the Accountant Reports, and they include the following tools which will be very useful for you after you enter the end-of-year entries:

  • List of Adjusting Journal Entries to compare to the accountant’s list (Accountant Reports > Adjusting Journal Entries) 
  • Adjusted Trial Balance to view the unadjusted (pre-adjustments) trial balance, the total adjustments in adjusting journal entry form by account, and the adjusted trial balance by account (Accountant Reports > Adjusted Trial Balance). This will enable you to compare the accountant’s papers with QuickBooks, and segregate the pre-adjustment and post-adjustment figures in case there is a discrepancy that must be located.

After finalising all the reports, you’ll want to make sure that your client does not delete or edit any of the transactions in the last financial year.

A simple way to prevent this is to set a closing date, known as closing the books.

  1. Go to the Gear Icon on the top-right
  2. Select the Account and Settings
  3. Select Advanced from the left side menu, then under Accounting, select Close the Books 
  4. Place a tick in the box next to Closing the Books. This will open up some more functionality
  5. Enter a Closing Date (i.e. the year-end you are completing)
  6. Click on the drop down button under the Closing Date field and select Allow changes after viewing a warning and entering password
  7. Enter the password you wish to establish for this closing date and then reenter it to confirm it
  8. Select Save 

If your client is the primary admin user of this QuickBooks Online file, that won’t stop him or her from entering the closing date password (or changing the password if they forgot it) and making changes to periods that should be left untouched except for reporting purposes. However it shows a warning and password field to the client if they attempt to edit any transactions in the closed period.

Notify your client repeatedly, verbally and in writing, that they are not to make any changes to closed periods and explain to them what that means. Furthermore, explain to them that if they do so, they will incur increased bookkeeping and accounting fees to undo the mess they created despite the warnings.

It's now time to prepare the company’s tax lodgement. 

You can use QuickBooks Online’s Prep for taxes feature to view the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss reports side-by-side, and compare between periods.

  1. Select Accountant Tools (Briefcase) Icon on the top of the screen
  2. Select Prep for Taxes

Here’s an article for more information on how to drill down and make adjustments to account totals through Prep for taxes: Prepare your clients’ accounts with Prep for taxes

If you want to streamline the process of transferring data from QuickBooks Online to the company tax return form, you may want to look into signing up for LodgeiT, an app integration that makes it easier to process lodgements.

Getting Started with LodgeiT

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