Between the holidays and year-end accounting tasks, the end of the year is a busy time for both you and your clients. To help gear up and prepare for the new year, there are some accounting reports you should pull for your clients (and review with them). To help your clients start off on the right foot in the new year, learn which year-end accounting reports to prepare.
Year-end accounting reports
Year-end accounting reports can tell you and your clients a lot about how your client is doing financially. They can help you assist your client with:
- Making smart financial decisions
- Catching bookkeeping mistakes before year-end closing
- Preparing for tax season
- Forecasting finances for the future
If you use accounting software, gathering year-end financial reports and information for your clients will be a breeze.
To get ahead in the tax game and let your clients know where they stand financially come year-end, pull and discuss these four accounting reports.
1. Balance sheet
Your client’s business balance sheet breaks down their assets, liabilities and equity. It can show your clients their financial progress for the year. Not to mention, the balance sheet helps you spot if your clients are in financial trouble before it snowballs out of control.
Before year-end, make sure you and your clients pull and review their business balance sheet. That way, you can track your client’s progress with them, go over what they own and owe, and see how much money they have after business expenses.
Check over your client’s balance sheet to ensure everything checks out, too. If something doesn’t balance, review your client’s books for any discrepancies before the year comes to a close.
2. Profit and loss statement
Another accounting report you should pull at year-end for clients is the profit and loss (P&L), or income, statement.
Your client’s income statement can give you insight into your client’s income and expenses for the year. It can also show you details about cost of goods sold, operating expenses, depreciation, and more.
After pulling the statement, go over the money your client has gained or lost during the year. You can also help your client find their business’s bottom line by looking at their gains and losses for the year.
3. Trial balance
Your client’s trial balance report gives you an overview of their general ledger account balances and whether their debits and credits equal each other.
You and your client should review their trial balance throughout the year (aka at the end of each accounting period). However, it’s still a good idea to run through it one more time before year-end. That way, you and your client can catch any mistakes and ensure the accounts balance. If you do find any mistakes, fix them as soon as possible to avoid problems later on.
If you use accounting software, you can easily pull the report each period to ensure everything balances. At year-end, grab the trial balance report for the year and make sure all of your client’s debit and credit ducks are in a row.
4. Cash flow statement
We’re not done quite yet—there’s still one more report to gather at year-end for your clients: a cash flow statement.
The cash flow statement details your client’s incoming and outgoing cash on hand. With the statement, you can discuss your client’s cash flow situation and whether or not it’s healthy.
Based on the cash flow statement, you and your client can also determine if any adjustments need to be made going into the new year. Plus, it can help you create a cash flow forecast to help project future cash flow.
Other year-end accounting tasks
Pulling accounting reports isn’t the only thing you should do year-end to help your clients wrap up the year. Other year-end accounting tasks your clients should keep in mind include:
- Collecting past due invoices
- Gathering forms (e.g., Form W-4 and W-9)
- Looking over payroll
- Accounting for inventory
- Reconciling bank accounts
To ensure your clients are good to go at year-end, make sure they know what tasks they need to cross off of their lists. And, give them a heads up about what kind of information you’ll need from them to get their books ready for year-end and tax season.
Year-end accounting tasks can be a lot to keep up with. To help you and your clients ensure everything is checked off their year-end accounting to-do list, check out this handy year-end accounting checklist guide, Are Your Books Ready For Year-End?