5 tips for planning Year End

Another Year End – Already?!

by Ruth Stockdale, Director of Professional Services

It happens every year — we get to September, wondering how the time passed so quickly! So, once again, it is time to plan for Year End. Whether you are an experienced user with set year-end procedures, or a new user going through year-end with your Sage software for the first time, planning and anticipating are key.

Recommendations for your YE strategy

  1. Schedule, schedule, schedule
    • Set windows of time for tasks. This could be for you, your staff, your consultant, your IT people, or your CPA. Be sure to block times when people are not available, such as the holidays or scheduled vacations. Keep in mind that your Ledgerwood consultant, your CPA and your outside IT people probably all fill up their schedules quickly during the 4th quarter and beginning of the new year.
  2. Establish your checklist for this year
    • Model it based on existing lists from multiple sources: your own from previous years, Sage documents, Ledgerwood Associates newsletter, your consultant, TUG. Watch for more examples as we get closer to December.
  3. Identify critical events
    • What needs to happen before 12/31? Immediately on 1/1/19? Later in January? Typical events would be PPL or vacation payouts according to your company policies, internal review of quarterly payroll information to anticipate YTD totals, pre-closing session with your CPA, and software updates.
  4. Confirm software upgrade or update
    • The requirements are specific to your situation. You may only need a minor tax update for 2019 or you may need a significant version upgrade to produce year-end forms. Both Sage and Ledgerwood Associates routinely send information about current supported versions but contact us if you are uncertain about your situation.
  5. Stock up
    • Do you need additional software or licenses? (Are there any Sage promotions you can take advantage of NOW?)
    • Perhaps new or additional computer equipment? Consider this now, either for 2018 purchase or to budget and plan for 2019.
    • Most forms (W-2s, 1099s) are handled digitally now. But if you are using any paper-based forms, be sure to confirm what you need and know the deadlines for ordering.

We all know that every year-end cycle brings surprises by the time the books are closed, and the New Year is no longer new. But it is possible to minimize the impact of those surprises if you start planning now.