It’s the end of the year, and it’s time to take stock of your lawn care company’s finances. If you search for “year-end checklist,” you’ll find plenty of ways and templates for resolving your numbers with your accounts.
Keep in mind: This information is an overview of getting your year-end accounts organized. Always consult your accountant for detailed information.
How to Close the Books at Year’s End
At the end of every year, review your bookkeeping records before making an appointment with your tax preparer in January.
It’s also a great idea to ensure that all of your accounting records line up with your lawn service’s bank accounts.
Tips for Your Year-End Checklist
At the end of the year, you’re busy with holiday preparation and celebrations with your employees and family. If your lawn service includes a snow removal service in the wintertime, you’ll be busy pushing snow so holiday shoppers can get on with their lists.
Here are year-end tips to help you get your business accounts and paperwork organized before December 31st:
- Check your accounts and reconcile any outstanding invoices or bills: You don’t want to end the year without making sure you pay all of your vendors. You also want to make sure that all of your customers are up-to-date with paying their invoices for the year.
- Collect W-9s from your vendors: If you outsource your bookkeeping or marketing jobs, issue a Form 1099 – MISC to any vendor you paid $600 or more throughout the year for their services.
Always give your vendors a W-9 to fill out at the beginning of the business relationship before you pay them.
- Examine your accounts receivable and payables: Make sure your customers have paid you in full. Go through all of your invoices to make sure they’re up-to-date.
If you’re missing payments, make sure to settle up with your clients before December 31st. Check the oldest invoices to make sure there are no errors or other problems.
Additionally, make sure you’ve paid all of your vendors. Take the extra time to go back over old invoices and receipts, which gives you a map of your spending and earning throughout the year.
- Inspect payroll records: Double-check to ensure that you have all of your employees’ correct information, including their full name, address, and social security number. Then, issue W-2s to your employees. If any information is incorrect on the W-2 forms, you’ll face penalties from the IRS.
Also, check that you recorded all paychecks for the year, including bonuses, commissions, and additional payments.
- Review all financial statements: Line up all of your financial statements against your balance sheet. Go line-by-line to make sure everything looks correct. If you find dollar amounts that don’t match, make the necessary corrections.
Pay attention to any discrepancies, including:
- Negative account balances
- Any balances that differ—whether balances are too high or too low
- Any inconsistencies with the last year’s account balances.
Numbers don’t lie. Instead, they give you an accurate understanding of how your business is running—examining your financial statements against your balance sheets now rather than at tax time saves you time and accounting headaches.
- Put your business receipts in order: Don’t store your business receipts in a shoebox. Instead, organize your receipts into folders by date, and keep them digitally on your mobile device.
- Take stock of your inventory: In January, retailers and other businesses check their inventory against their balance sheet. As a lawn care owner/operator, check your supplies and equipment, such as
- Lawn mowers
- Fertilizer tanks and hoses
- Leaf blowers
- Other lawn equipment such as rakes, shovels, and spreaders.
Make sure you include any repairs and replacements for your lawn service company in next year’s budget
- Reconcile your bank accounts by comparing your bank statements and accounting records: If your bank accounts don’t match up with your accounting records, go back and find the mistake. Many mistakes include forgotten interest amounts or other balance issues.
Improve Your Lawn Equipment Inventory with Spyker Spreaders
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Keep your snow removal clients happy this winter by investing in our walk-behind salt spreader. You can find Spyker spreaders at your local dealer or on our online store. If you have questions about your Spyker Spreader, call our customer service at 800-972-6130 in the U.S. or 519-652-9611 in Canada.
You can also reach us through our contact form.
NerdWallet.com, “7 Items Small Businesses Need on Their Year-End Accounting Checklist.” PatriotSoftware.com, “The Ultimate Year-End Closing Checklist for Accounting.”