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Close the fiscal year: Year-end accounting checklist 

Written by Hira Naeem

The Intersol team is dedicated throughout the year to providing the finest consultation and training services to our valuable clients across Canada. All the efforts put into our work are translated into numbers at year-end, making it a critical time for finance teams. 

The fiscal year end is the date on which a company finishes a 12-month business cycle. The end of the fiscal year is a critical time for finance teams. Each year, finance professionals bury their heads in the books to prepare their end-of-year accounts, statements, and financial reporting. They check carefully for discrepancies between company spend and budgets, namely accounts payable and accounts receivable.  

The goal is to prepare a final financial statement for potential external audit, to be stored within the company’s official financial records. 

The most effective way to cut down time on closing is to stay on top of financials and spend management throughout the entire fiscal year.  

Here’s a simplified year-end accounting checklist to help you streamline the process: 

  1. Prepare a closing schedule 

Identify the important dates and the activities that must be completed by each. These include reporting and data processing deadlines and the fiscal close date. Create a calendar with target dates to avoid missing any crucial deadlines. 

  1. Gather outstanding invoices & receipts 

You’ll need these to close the books. Ensure employees understand what’s required and give ample time to submit documents.  

  1. Review asset accounts 

Reconcile all cash accounts and record adjusting entries. Compare inventory accounts with physical stock (if appropriate), and review prepaid spend. This step determines the value of all assets that your company currently owns. 

  1. Reconcile all transactions 

Ensure that your recorded transactions match evidence from credit card statements, bank statements, invoices and receipts. Take care to account for every cent to be audit-ready at the end of the year. 

  1. Close out accounts receivable and payable 

Compare amounts received or paid against what has been accrued. You need to ensure that all records of money coming in or going out of the business match what actually occurred. If there’s a balance outstanding, create adjusting entries to the original journal entries. 

  1. Accrue accounts receivable 

Any receivables owed at the end of the year should be added as credits on the income statement, and debits on the balance sheet. Doing so will ensure you start the next fiscal year with the right financials. 

  1. Accrue accounts payable 

Any unpaid debts should be listed as liabilities or accrual expenses on the balance sheet. Keeping track of all your company debts is crucial to managing your finances effectively. 

  1. Adjust grants and entitlements 

Where appropriate, account for any grants or entitlements received during the fiscal year. These can include government contributions or special tax exemptions, as well as private grants. 

  1. Double-check payroll and benefits 

Reconcile your payroll tax account remittances and T4/RL-1 report with your payroll register and validate that earnings and deductions are reported in the correct boxes. 

  1. Analyze financial statements 

Preparing and analyzing financial statements is crucial not just for enterprises but also for small and mid-sized businesses. They let you analyze past and present transactions and help you predict the business’ financial future. It allows you to plan for the new year accordingly.  

Financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements can help the management team as well as shareholders and investors analyze the year-end better.  


Celebrate completing Year End!