Stephen Merritt, CPA, PC | Certified Public Accountants | (757) 420-5778
233 Business Park Drive, Suite 104, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
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- Checklist for Clean Books
- Time Batching
- October Days
- Office Hours
Checklist for Clean Books
Keeping your business’s books clean all year long can help to provide more accurate financial statements and reports as well as an easier tax time. Here is a checklist of activities to perform periodically to keep your books clean.
- Make sure all bank accounts are reconciled.
- Make sure all credit card accounts are reconciled.
- Update year-end inventory balance, if applicable.
- Review liability accounts and balance statements.
- Check for any old, uncleared items in the bank and credit card registers.
- Verify that there are no negative numbers on the financial statements, or provide an explanation as to why. With limited exceptions, generally the only legitimate negative numbers would be depreciation, owner’s equity and refunds.
- Make sure the Chart of Accounts is clean. Merge duplicate or similar categories. Eliminate any “other” expenses (for example, “Advertising – Other”), as well as “miscellaneous” accounts. Sort the Chart of Accounts alphabetically.
- Categorize any transactions listed as “Uncategorized Expenses,” “Ask my accountant,” or similar clearing account.
- Review P&L Detail sorted by name for consistency in categorizing.
- Enter the credit card charges through the end of December. With the cutoff date of credit cards, sometimes you must wait for the statement in February to get transactions from the last week of December.
- Pull an Open Invoice report and clear out any old invoices that are not accurate. Deleting an invoice should only be done if a client is on a cash basis, not accrual. It will affect the tax return if you delete or change any invoice the client files on accrual basis.
- Pull an Unpaid Bills report to see if any bills need to be deleted. Remember the rule on cash/accrual basis.
- Ensure that the Profit & Loss is showing “Gross Wages,” not net. This helps match financial statements with payroll reports. Match to Tax & Wage Summary provided by payroll processor.
- Separate out “Officer Gross Wages” from employee gross wages on the Profit & Loss report.
- If the owner made any deposits to the business bank account, show the deposit as a loan or capital contribution (equity). You can also show the money deposited as an offset to the owner’s draw account.
- Check for eligible 1099 vendors, and make sure you have the proper forms in place to process their 1099 forms by January 31st.
- If a company has more than one vehicle, make sure they are listed separately, showing gas, insurance, repairs and registration per vehicle. Get the percentage of business use for each vehicle.
- At year end, if you are using QuickBooks, set the Closing Date Password once everything is clean. If you are using another software, find out how to lock the balances for the prior year.
Keeping your books clean will help you make better business decisions on data that is more accurate.
For small business owners, it seems like there is never enough time to get everything accomplished. One tool that will help you get the most out of your time is time batching, also called time blocking. If you haven’t heard of this before, it can revolutionize the way you approach work.
What Is Time Batching?
Time batching is where you group like tasks together on your calendar to gain economies of scale. Almost everything can be batched: answering email, running errands, customer calls or appointments, employees’ questions, and even meetings.
Here are a couple of examples. Instead of running to the office supply on Tuesday, going to the printer on Thursday, and visiting the warehouse on Friday, why not do it all on Wednesday in one trip? Instead of answering emails through the day, plan to answer them for 30 minutes at 8AM, 1PM, and 4:30 PM. Instead of having appointments scattered throughout the week, make them back-to-back on Monday.
The beauty to time batching is that your brain will be less exhausted at the end of the day. The reason is interruptions are minimized as are switching costs. Switching cost is the time it takes your brain to switch from one task to the next. Too much switching strains the brain by making it change gears frequently. Time batching helps your brain to get into and stay in “flow,” with more work accomplished in less overall time.
Business and Personal
You don’t have to restrict time batching to your work life. It’s likely you are already practicing time batching at home and don’t know it. When you prepare the week’s meals on Sunday or wash several loads of laundry in a row, you are practicing a form of time batching.
While some things can’t be batched, like walking the dog, many more can. You just need to be open to the possibilities.
The Highest Payoff
The highest payoff with time batching comes when you can reduce the interruptions that happen to you the most. For example, when an employee has a question, could they write them down during the day and approach you at the end of the day with all of them at once?
Emails and texts are constant interruptions for many. The first thing to do is turn off your email and text notifications so that you’re not interrupted every time one comes in. Then decide how often during the day you want to check for new items. Aim for three or fewer times if your job allows it.
Phone calls can be another interruption. When possible, encourage callers to schedule a time to call you or let them know how much more efficient email is.
Getting It All Done
Time batching is something that you can practice for years and still get better at. Try implementing one piece of time batching at a time so as to not overwhelm yourself with change. Do look intentionally for more items to batch every few months, no matter how long you’ve been practicing.
Time batching will not only help you get home sooner to your personal life; you’ll also be less drained and more energized at the end of the day. Try it and see what you think.
Here are some Days to Remember in October!
October 1st – National Pumpkin Spice Day
Start off October with National Pumpkin Spice Day! Have yourself some yummy pumpkin pie or go grab yourself pumpkin spice latte!
October 4th – 5th – Yom Kippur
Otherwise known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day in Judaism. On Yom Kippur, people observing are asked to abstain from food and drink. In turn, it is encouraged that people spend the day asking God’s forgiveness for their sin
It begins sundown on October 4th and ends in the evening on October 5th.
October 13th – U.S. Navy’s Birthday
“Non Sibi Sed Patriae”
October 13th, 2022 marks the 247th Birthday for the U.S. Navy!
Happy Birthday Navy!
October 15th – Tax Deadline
October 15th is the filing deadline for Individuals that received an extension.
October 21st – National Back to the Future Day
“Roads? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads.”
National Back to the Future Day was first celebrated in 2015! Pop some popcorn and sit down to watch the 1985 sci-fi classic!
October 26th – National Pumpkin Day
Pumpkins are traditional to fall and indigenous to the Western Hemisphere! They are a member of the gourd family – they’re a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
October 31st – Halloween
“Halloween is Cool” – Marnie Piper, Halloweentown 1998
Celebrate Halloween this year with your favorite traditions! Tick-or-Treating, dressing up in costumes, or just sitting at home and putting on your favorite Halloween movie!
Movie Suggestions: Halloweentown, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, Hocus Pocus, Halloween, Beetlejuice, Scream, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Craft, Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost
Office Hours: May 2, 2022 – December 2, 2022
Monday – Thursday 8 AM to 5 PM
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Stephen Merritt, CPA, P.C. understands the challenge the impact COVID-19 has on our community.
Fully-Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask while in our office.
Unvaccinated or not Fully-Vaccinated individuals must wear masks and follow COVID-19 protocol, such as social distancing, while in our office to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Tax documents may be mailed, FAXed, emailed, uploaded to client portal, or dropped off.
Final Returns can be picked up or mailed out.
As always, please call, we are happy to assist.
Stay safe and healthy!