As 2019 is beginning, there are several things clients can do to begin to prepare for the upcoming audit and/ or tax return request lists sent by their accountants. Sometimes these lists can feel overwhelming and daunting but here are a few things clients can do during the year and at year end to alleviate many of the stresses related to gathering the information in time for the accountants:
- Create a file (electronically would be preferred) to stick certain documents in obtained during the year. This will help prevent the last minute searching and potential calls to your financial institutions for documents you can’t seem to locate.
- During the year, place copies of any new loans obtained during the year. If possible, include the amortization tables as well.
- Copies of any new leases entered into during the year as well as any lease amendments.
- When payments are made to the IRS, place copies of checks/ remittances in the folder.
- Evidence of all fixed asset transactions. This would include any asset purchases and sales.
- During the year end close process, place copies of the following in the folder:
- Year-end bank statements and reconciliations
- Year-end investment statements. (Depending on the institution, it may be beneficial to put copies of the monthly statements in the folder)
- A copy of the W-3 once it is filed.
- Once reconciled, a copy of the year-end accounts receivable aging report.
- Detail of any distribution accounts.
- Year-end loan statements.
Although performing these simple tasks will not completely alleviate the gathering of all items requested, it will definitely cut down the list to a less cumbersome and more manageable list.
Richard Skinner, CPA