Time is ticking and running out on the 2014 year. With a new year just around the corner, you’ll need to be focusing on closing out the books and preparing year-end reports. Unfortunately, the holiday season makes it hard to focus on what needs to be done. Many nonprofits could use some help in preparing for the year-end. This checklist will help you prepare for both software and organizational year-end tasks to help you start 2015 on the right foot.
- Print yearly reports– From financial and general ledgers to payroll and accounts receivable/accounts payable, we recommend that you print these reports for financial reporting reasons. You will want to have a hard copy of your historical company information, especially if you get audited.
- Print and finalize payroll forms- Tax returns should be filed and completed for the year that you are closing.
- Back up all company data- You can save the backup on a CD or flash drive. Save the backup with a name you will recognize in the future. We recommend that you include the words “Year-end” and the year you are closing in the file name. Both the paper documents you printed and this electronic data backup are essential for future reference and future audits.
- Plan strategically- The end of the year is a natural time to start re-evaluating your financial processes, procedures, and goals. Focus your efforts on maximizing your impact in the next year while minimizing your expenses.
- Import your current budget, analyze it, and create a new one- Learn from this year’s mistakes and create an effective budget for the year to come.
- Evaluate your financial records- While it is important to straighten out your financial records due to legalities, it is also important for properly managing your organization. Inaccurate financial records often results in poor decision making and missed opportunities, not to mention trouble from the government.
- Update donor records- Make sure that your donor records are in order by the year-end because donors will be expecting their annual contribution statements at the beginning of the year.
- Hold an end-of-year meeting- Have a year-end meeting to discuss the challenges of the past year and focus on the necessary improvements for the year to come. Prepare for your end-of-year meeting by creating the necessary financial reports.
- Finalize payrolls- Make sure everything is in order to ensure your employees receive their W2s in a timely manner.
Contact us for individualized assistance in finishing the year well at your nonprofit organization.