Timely review of your financials and a monthly close give insight into the health of your business and impacts planning. Addressing questions on transactions while their “fresh on the brain” saves you time and headaches when it’s time to turn the books over to your tax preparer.
Whether you are the lone accountant or part of a larger department, it’s your primary responsibility as the keeper of the books to ensure accuracy so others using data have good numbers to work with. The faster they have those numbers, the more beneficial they will be to the organization.
To close out your books each month, follow these steps:
1 – Post all transactions for every bank and credit card account. Ensure receipts are attached to transactions, stored digitally, or physically filed away.
2 – Run a General Ledger and scan the coding detail for each account. If you are a bookkeeper or accountant using Quickbooks Online Accountant, you can do this by utilizing the “reclassify transactions” tool and reviewing the details in each account.
3 – Reconcile every bank account, credit card, loan, and line of credit to a third party statement. This includes PayPal!
4 – Perform a high-level flux analysis on your P&L comparing the current month to prior months. Make sure large swings in account balances make sense.
5 – Finally, when you’re done, close the prior month so transactions cannot be changed without a warning or inputting a password. “We are closed” is what every accountant loves to hear.
If the numbers tell the story of a business (and they do!) and your numbers aren’t accurate, the story of your business won’t be true. A solid set of books is Step 1 for a successful accounting department. If the books aren’t right, the work of everyone else using those numbers isn’t right. Implementing a monthly close routine ensures that “Step 1” is done and done right.
Some businesses prefer to work on this on their own. If you’re ready to outsource the monthly close, along with all your other accounting needs, fill out our Get Started form.