Planning and prioritizing your month-end accounting duties strategically will ensure your reconciliations and deadlines are completed with ease. Accounts receivable and accounts payable are two of the most important functions in accounting as this is where the money coming in and going out is handled. The information processed in this stage lays the foundation for the higher management to complete their duties and reporting. Below are a few of the strategies that helped me as an employee with my month-end reconciliations and deadlines.
· Make a list of your month-end duties and reconciliations. This will include all your bank/ledger accounts to be reconciled, prepayments, credit cards, the outstanding issues and other month-end responsibilities. Update this list during the month as your tasks and responsibilities grow. If you have extremely complex tasks, break it down, step by step on your month end checklist to ensure you cover every aspect. As you start your official reconciliations on April 1st, 2019, mark off the tasks as you complete them.
· Reconcile all transactions in your bank account as at 03.29.2019. This will vary depending on the set up in the accounting software, permissions and controls used but the goal is to ensure all transactions are posted currently. Investigate any missing postings and try to see why the posting is delayed. Investigate and settle all credits in your bank accounts and get them posted before the 1st. Post all inter-company transfers or chase whoever in your team needs to post them.
· Review all open amounts in your vendor and customer accounts to ensure credits will be applied to the next payment run and debits settled with the next payment from customer. In your customer’s accounts, investigate all differences and notify customers monthly of any under or over payments.
· Ensure your customer payments are applied to the correct invoices. Too often companies cannot reconcile their customer accounts at the end of the financial year because payments are randomly applied to the outstanding amount on a customer’s account. Review the remittance advise that is sent with the payments and always pay attention to the parent company payments (to be discussed in a later post). Investigate all differences in customer’s accounts and follow up to ensure settled the following month.
Monday 1st April 2019, the clock will officially start for month-end/1st quarter closure. Do everything you can today to ensure your reconciliations are completed before your deadlines. Review your posting to ensure the dates, amounts, vendor/customer, cost accounts and companies are correct. Post your prepayments and FX differences. Do everything you can today to ensure accuracy and efficiency with the work you complete.