Year-End Guide: December 2021

Year-End Guide: December 2021

Year-end guide: December 2021

It’s a good idea to perform certain year-end tasks with your financial records at the end of the calendar year. Some of the tasks are just good financial housekeeping, while others are required by the government.

Fortunately, you can spread the tasks over the period from December to February.

The following sections outline information about the tasks to perform in each month, as well as employee-related tasks for the end of the year.

December tasks

December is a good time to tie up loose ends for the closing year, to make profit distributions, and to start preparing for tax time with your accountant.

Create and send customer statements

The end of the year is a good time to remind your customers of any outstanding balances that they owe to you, or to send them a statement of their activity throughout the year.

Make distributions

It’s not mandatory, but you can choose to distribute profits (also known as Retained Earnings) to the owners or partners at the end of the year.

Prepare for taxes

Many small business owners use an accountant, especially at tax time.

If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to give your accountant access to your QuickBooks Online company so they can review your financial reports and other data, and even make any necessary changes before the end of the year.

January tasks

January is when you should reconcile your accounts, prepare summary reports, and (optionally) close your books for the previous calendar year.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s also a good time to get in touch with your accountant and talk about preparing for tax time.

Reconcile your accounts

At the end of the year, and when you prepare your taxes, you’ll want to have the most up-to-date and correct information in your financial reports. Reconciling can help ensure that.

When you reconcile an account, you compare the beginning balance and transactions listed in your QuickBooks Online company file with your monthly bank or credit card statements to make sure they match. Reconciling is like balancing a chequebook, as you review your bank statement to make sure it matches the amounts you recorded in your cheque register.

The process helps to ensure that important financial reports, like your Balance Sheet, are accurate.

Reconciling can seem intimidating if you haven’t done it before, or if you haven’t done it for a while if we can be of assistance please get in touch

Run Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss reports

The start of the new year is the natural time to run reports and evaluate how your business performed over the previous year.

Running reports is also an essential part of preparing for taxes.

The two most important reports that you and your accountant will need are the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss reports, and it’s a good idea to run these reports at the beginning of the year. Make sure the date range in the Transaction Date field for these reports covers the year you’re reporting on.

February tasks

The bulk of your year-end work should be complete by February, with just a task or two to finish up and prepare for taxes.

Prepare for taxes

An accountant is a valuable resource, especially at tax time. If you don’t have one or are looking for a change give us a call 

Payroll – Do you have employees?

If you have employees (not independent consultants or contractors), there are additional tasks you should complete at the end of the year, along with additional government forms to file and deadlines to meet.

  • If you use standard QuickBooks Online Payroll, you can access information about year-end payroll tasks in QuickBooks Online by selecting Employees from the left menu, and then selecting Payroll year-end guide.
  • If you use a different payroll provider, it’s important that you consult them for items and forms to complete for the end of the year.

Review these important direct deposit cut-off dates as you plan your year-end payroll work.

Payroll dateApprove payroll by
December 24, 2021December 22, 2021
December 25, 2021N/A on holiday
December 26, 2021N/A on holiday
December 27, 2021N/A on holiday
December 28, 2021N/A on holiday
December 29, 2021December 23, 2021
December 30, 2021December 24, 2021
December 31, 2021December 29, 2021
January 1, 2022N/A on holiday
January 3, 2022N/A on holiday
January 4, 2022December 30, 2021
January 5, 2022December 31, 2021

Other dates to remember

As you work through your year-end plan, don’t forget these important dates for your T4 and RL-1 forms.

  • January 4, 2022- Electronic filing options are available online with Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Québec.
  • February 28, 2022- The deadline to export your T4 file and submit T4s and RL-1s with CRA and Revenue Quebec. You also must provide your employees a copy for their own records, which they use to do their personal income tax. 

 

 

Managing the Bottom Line

If you don’t keep track of how much money you’re making, you have no idea whether your business is successful or not. You can’t tell how well your marketing is working. And I don’t just mean you should know the amount of your total sales or gross revenue. You need to know what your net profit is. If you don’t, there’s no way you can know how to increase it.

If you want your business to be successful, you need to make a financial plan and check it against the facts on a monthly basis, then take immediate action to correct any problems.

Here are the steps you should take:

  • Create a financial plan for your business.
    • Estimate how much revenue you expect to bring in each month, and project what your expenses will be.
  • Remember that lost profits can’t be recovered.
    • When entrepreneurs compare their projections to reality and find earnings too low or expenses too high, they often conclude, “I’ll make it up later.” The problem is that you really can’t make it up later: every month profits are too low is a month that is gone forever.
  • Make adjustments right away.
    • If revenues are lower than expected, increase efforts in sales and marketing or look for ways to increase your rates. If overhead costs are too high, find ways to cut back. There are other businesses like yours around. What is their secret for operating profitably?
  • Think before you spend.
    • When considering any new business expense, including marketing and sales activities, evaluate the increased earnings you expect to bring in against its cost before you proceed to make a purchase.
  • Evaluate the success of your business based on profit, not revenue.
    • It doesn’t matter how many thousands of dollars you are bringing in each month if your expenses are almost as high, or higher. Many high-revenue businesses have gone under for this very reason — don’t be one of them.

Bookkeeping vs. Accounting

Did you know we do both!

–Bookkeeping vs. Accounting–

If you’re a small business owner, you might be wondering if you need to get a bookkeeper or an accountant – or both.

And now that you understand the need for bookkeeping, you’re might be wondering, “How does it differ from accounting?”

Good question.

The words “bookkeeper” and “accountant” are often used interchangeably. However, there are some key differences that determine the main responsibilities of each role.

–Bookkeeping is a Subset of Accounting–

37883981_2140118849644035_5128132333710344192_n.jpgAn accountant, professional bookkeeper, or an employee of the business can do your bookkeeping.

If you’ve just started a business, chances are you’ll be doing the bookkeeping yourself.

This is no bad thing. When launching a new business venture, it’s crucial that you have an intimate grasp of your financial situation. What better way than to do the bookkeeping yourself?

Essentially, bookkeepers take care of the day-to-day financial work.

They keep detailed and accurate financial accounts and use this financial clarity to help make informed business decisions.

–Accountants are Financial Experts–

Accountants are usually qualified, registered members of a statutory association. So they often have titles like CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CA (Chartered Accountants).

That’s how they can charge the big bucks.

These experts will use the accounts provided by the bookkeeper. They focus on analyzing the transactions to provide financial advice.

They’ll also use the information in the accounts to file tax returns and other reports.

Whereas bookkeepers handle the day-to-day financial tasks, accountants often step in on a quarterly basis to provide advice and make adjustments.