With unrelenting time pressures, accountants often delay activities which may seem to have no immediate or material consequences (but they might). For example, reconciliations and financial statement adjustments to conform to accounting standards may languish on “to-do” lists. If December is your fiscal year-end, perform the activities below to help shorten your year-end “to-do” list. Your numbers will be more accurate, so you can make time-sensitive decisions before year-end. Year-end closing will also be smoother; once year-to-date balances are correct it is easy to roll-forward to, and finalize year-end. Even if December is not your fiscal year-end, December is the payroll year-end, and, you can create a calendar reminder now, to catch up on these activities at least a few months before your fiscal year-end:
- Review payroll numbers: Run reports or obtain reports from your payroll provider and check year-to-date taxes and deductions for accuracy. Making corrections now will reduce T4s errors and help you avoid Pensionable and Insurable Earnings Report (PIER) errors.
- Review and reconcile payroll and sub-ledger accounts: Reconciliation of the year-to-date payroll register to the general ledger may reveal errors caused by manual payments, advances, gifts or other taxable benefits that were perhaps processed outside of payroll. Accounts receivable reconciliations may help you identify and chase long-outstanding balances or, alternatively, make appropriate bad debt provisions.
- Make time-sensitive decisions: With a clearer sense of your numbers you may decide to make much-needed expenditures before year-end. For example you may decide to hire temporary help to work on that languishing “to-do” list. Or you could buy new assets. Once purchased and in use, you get 50 percent of the annual capital allowance this year and you get to deduct 100 percent of the annual allowance next year.