As a business owner, the end of the month can feel like a whirlwind: hectic, chaotic, and overwhelming. But by following a structured checklist and diligently staying on top of your core financials, you’ll alleviate some of your stress and keep your business on solid financial footing.
If you’re ready to conquer the end-of-month chaos, follow along in this blog series as we dive into the ins and outs of the month-end close.
10 Comprehensive Steps for Your Month-End Close Checklist
Here we have broken down the month-end process in a step-by-step checklist, so you can feel confident, informed, and prepared to tackle the month-end close:
- Review transactions: The first step to kick off your month-end period is to review all transactions for the month. This includes bank statements, invoices, receipts, and other documents retaining financial data. Make sure everything is accurate and there are no discrepancies.
- Reconcile accounts: Once you’ve reviewed all transactions, you’ll need to reconcile and account for all transactions. This involves matching the balances in your general ledger to the balances in your bank statements and other financial records.
- Adjusting entries: Made at the end of the accounting period, adjusting entries record additional transactions to keep your accounts accurate and up-to-date. This includes accruals, deferrals, prepaid expenses, deprecation, or other adjustments.
- Review journal entries: Accurate financial reports allow you to make more informed decisions about your business. By reviewing all journal entries, you’ll ensure they are correctly categorized and coded.
- Check for errors: Make sure your reports have no errors or discrepancies and that all numbers add up correctly. Even a tiny mistake can have significant consequences, impacting cash flow and legal implications.
- Close sub-ledgers: Reconcile all sub-ledgers and include any journals and related entries so you’re prepared to close them out. Any discrepancies should be noted and cleared, and you must also include any new or unrecorded transactions.
- Prepare financial statements: With your sub-ledgers closed, you can now prepare your financial statements. Include your income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows.
- Review financial statements: Before finalizing your financial accounts, review them carefully. Take this time to assess your tax liability and areas of improvement.
- File all documents, paperwork, and statements: As the last step in the month-end close process, all financial records should be archived and saved for future reference.
- Begin the next accounting cycle: Review any last-minute details and prepare yourself for the new month.
Now that we’ve reviewed this checklist, the month-end close may not seem so bad. But the reality is that the month-end close is a daunting task, especially if you’re working with outdated software or manual processes.
Divide and Conquer: Making the Month-End Close a Breeze
One way to make your close more efficient and less stressful is by automating as much of the process as possible. This could include using software to reconcile accounts, generate reports, and archive records.
If you want to delegate your financials to a trusted outsourced partner and get ongoing support, we’ll help you break down the process and streamline your monthly close. We want to help you power through this stressful season and confidently complete each step of your month-end close.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you slash your close time and empower your company with growth and continued success.