Ever wonder why you’re so busy this time of year? As you probably already know, there are a lot of extra tasks needed to be completed for year-end. While much of it is required by the government, clean-up and adjustments are vital to keeping your books accurate.
Here are just some of the items that are performed at year-end:
- Just about every asset on your balance sheet needs to be verified in some way or other:
- Petty cash accounts need to be reconciled and reimbursed as of year-end
- Bank accounts need to be reconciled with the bank statements. This includes PayPal.
- Accounts receivable balances and all other receivables need to be tied to each customer and any amounts determined to be uncollectible need to be written off.
- A physical inventory count needs to be taken and the inventory account should be adjusted accordingly.
- Fixed assets need to be reconciled to their fixed assets ledger and depreciation should be properly recorded.
- Goodwill accounts need to be checked and amortization adjusted.
- Prepaids, deposits, and all other asset accounts need to be adjusted if necessary.
- Liabilities and equity need to be adjusted too:
- Accounts payable balances and all other payables need to be tied to each vendor.
- Credit card accounts need to be tied to the statements and reconciled.
- Liabilities that haven’t been recorded need to be added to the books.
- Loans need to tie to lender statements, and interest paid on loans needs to be properly expensed.
- The Equity accounts need to be checked and tied out to prior year balances.
- Corrections and adjustments need to be made:
- Any misclassifications and corrections need to be made on the books with adjusting journal entries or other classification tools.
- If the client is a cash-basis taxpayer, a reversing journal entry needs to be made to get the correct tax numbers.
- A clean set of reports can now be run and used.
- If you have payroll, employees need to be sent their W-2s before the end of January, and the federal and state government need a copy of the W-2s with a W-3 transmittal.
- For employees, you may also be required to have an up-to-date W-4 signed by them.
- For employers, your federal unemployment 940 return is due.
- If you have contractors, they need to be sent their 1099s before the end of January, and the IRS needs the 1099s and the 1096 transmittal.
- For contractors, you must also have an up-to-date W-9 form from them. You may also need to request an insurance certificate, or you may get a surprise at your workers compensation audit.
- For vendors who claim exemption from sales tax, you’ll need to be sure you have an exemption certificate in your files from them.
- If you pay sales tax annually, your return and payment are due.
- Your personal federal, state, and local income tax and returns are due in the spring, or they can be extended until later in the year.
- Depending on the type of entity your business is organized as, you may have franchise, federal and state tax returns to file. This deadline comes up sooner than the individual tax return due date.
- This is a good time to file and store your receipts in case you are ever asked for them. For long-term storage, thermal receipts should be copied or scanned in before the ink fades.
- This may be the perfect time to start thinking about paperless document storage!
We are often so busy this time of year because of all the extra work we must do over and above the normal monthly load. If you have questions about any of this, please reach out anytime.
Congratulations, you’ve landed a new customer! Or, perhaps you prefer the term “client.” Either way, you should be excited; in this particular climate, sparking fresh interest in any kind of business can be challenging. Yet, you did it, and now comes the next part: What to do after you have officially landed that customer/client.
The following essential list of to-do’s will help ensure you not only keep your customer happy but that you KEEP them—period! Take a look; you will discover the list can apply to everyone and anyone.
- Welcome Your New Customer
A simple “thank you” goes a long way. Remember, with today’s competition, it is more important than ever to stand out. Nothing will help you stand out more than by showing appreciation to any new customers. Make sure to welcome them and thank them for choosing you/your business. This can be done in person, via card, or even email. Though, written form will likely make a lasting impression. Reinforce all of the benefits of choosing YOU!
- Make a Smooth Handoff
If you think about it, this new customer has joined your family—let them know that! Introduce them to your team (i.e. their new family and friends). Specifically, make sure they are acquainted with their person of contact and ensure it is a good fit by all involved parties.
- Get Them Onboarded in a Fun Way
During the initial meeting—orientation, if you will—give your customer all of the vital information they will need to easily navigate your business and get the most from your services. This information could include passwords to access certain areas, emails, phone numbers, a glossary of keywords, etc. If you could present this information in the form of a video, even better! Videos are much easier to understand and leave a lasting effect!
- Be Their New Best Resource (Goodies Added)
Do you have a new client kit? You should! This kit can include anything pertinent to the relationship with your new customer (i.e. relevant paperwork, files, contact information, etc.). Spice up this kit with some goodies, though! Everyone loves goodies. Make sure to properly read your customer to get a better understanding of their likes, but in general, these goodies could include candy and sweets, candles . . . You get the idea.
- Connect with Them on Social Media
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, almost everyone is on at least one social media platform. Connecting on social media will not only allow you to know your customer/client better but is also a great way to network with “friends” of your customer.
- Meeting with the Customer for the First Time
There will come a point when you have that first review meeting with your customer. Be sure to deliver value and explain the service you’ve performed so far. The most essential take away from this step is that your customer feels comfortable and knowledgeable. This is a perfect time to verify any information that may seem unclear or complicated; encourage questions during this meeting.
- Ask for a Referral or a Review
The best way to drum up more business is word of mouth. You can ask immediately or want until your relationship has blossomed and become strong. Asking for a referral or a review (or both!) is completely acceptable and a good business practice.
Incorporating these seven items into your new customer onboarding process will get your relationship off to a great start. By showing your customer they are important, you stand a better chance of securing their future business and attracting even more potential customers.
Here Rhonda’s latest video on how to add multiple users in you QuickBooks Desktop file:
Here is how to add users in your QuickBooks Online file:
Custom fields in your accounting software are data fields that you can define yourself. They are typically associated with customers, vendors, employees, and items, and they can help you store and categorize additional information about these stakeholders and your products and services in your business.
An example custom field that can be associated with customers is their anniversary date with you. You could also decide to store their birthday, their spouse’s name, their favorite color, or their shoe size.
Custom fields add functionality to your accounting system. Here are a few examples of practical uses for custom fields:
- Contact for customer – if customers are assigned a particular team member, you can add their name in a custom field
- Frequency of service – daily, weekly, monthly
- Warehouse location
- Type of customer; for example, non-profit, construction, retail, restaurant
- Referral Source
- Preferred method of contact: email, phone, fax, text, chat
- License number
Our customer custom fields track which version of QuickBooks you use, what payroll service is active, who your tax preparer is, etc. Then we can sort on any one of these fields.
Some software allows you to choose the type of custom field you want to add. In some cases, this allows for cleaner data as the data can be limited to a certain type or certain values upon entry. Here are the most common types:
- Free form text – this is the default type; it can come as a single line or paragraph
- Check box – choose one or more values from a limited number of choices
- Radio button – choose only one value from a limited number of choices
- Drop down – choose a value from a dropdown list
- File upload – add an attachment
- Image upload – upload an image that will be displayed
- Date/time – enter a date or time
- Number – enter a number; it can be currency, integer, or another mathematical type of number
Custom fields allow you to meet your company’s unique needs over and above what the software provides by default. It’s a great way to make your data more meaningful. If you have some ideas for custom fields in your accounting software and want help setting them up, feel free to give us a call anytime.
Nobody likes, them, but sometimes it happens. This is how you record it in QuickBooks if this happens to you.
Learn How to Record a Bounced Check From a Customer in QuickBooks® with Rhonda Rosand, CPA and QuickBooks® ProAdvisor from New Business Directions, LLC