When you reach the end of the calendar year, you’ll need to prepare several summary documents. There are tax filing deadlines that fall at the end of January and February for 1099s, and for some organizations, December 31st is the end of your fiscal year. With this in mind, we offer these reminders to help make the coming of the new year simple for your accounting team. Much of this is written in the language of our non-profit clients, but these reminders will apply regardless of the type or size of your business.

1099s

In January, you will need to file 1099s for any contractor your organization paid more than $600 for the calendar year. In order to submit the 1099s, you’ll need the email address, mailing address and social security number of each vendor whose cumulative pay goes beyond that cap. If you’d like help pulling up a list of the payees who will need 1099s, ask us and we can help. The information for 1099s is contained on a contractor’s w-9 , so December is a good time to review whether or not you have kept w-9s on file for your various contractors. Being well prepared with your w-9s will save valuable time and energy in getting them filed on time.

990 / Audit?

If your fiscal year is closing, have you contacted a CPA to conduct an audit? If you haven’t conducted an internal audit before and want to know about why you might consider one, ask us and we can tell you more and put you in touch with great local CPAs. The 990 is a mandatory annual filing, so if this is the end of your fiscal year, it’s time to start planning on how the 990 data collection will occur and who will prepare the filing. We don’t prepare the filings, but we can assist you in the data collection and put you in contact with CPAs who can help you file.

Budgets

December is a good time to both review your current budget performance and work on your forward looking plan. If your year-end is December 31, you should be setting up your budget for next year and discussing it with your CFO and board. If your organization has a June 30 year-end, now is a great time to see how you’re doing at the half way mark.

Development, Restrictions, and Cash

If you are considering your budget for next year, we offer these questions for your consideration.

  • How much cash will you have at the end of the year?
  • What is your current secured funding, and when will it arrive?
  • Do you have any restricted funding carried over from the year that is ending that can support your programs into the next year?
  • Will your objectives require acquiring new types of assets?
  • Do you plan to pay off any debts in the coming year?
  • Finally, what are your monthly operating expenses — what is the best way to use what you have to further your mission?

If you have answers to these questions, we can help you model the coming year so you can ensure you can support your budget and meet your goals. If you don’t have clear answers yet, we can help.

Cash and Check Deposits

Many of our clients receive a large push of donations at the end of the calendar year as their donors fulfill their pledges or respond to year-end appeals. Donations should be recognized on the date written on the check, not the date received. It makes closing December much easier if you make separate banking deposits for checks dated before and after December 31. This same principle applies to credit card donations, but the revenue should be recognized the transaction date, not the clearing date.

Payroll

For those of you who have a payroll service provider like One Stop Payroll or any of the other big name service providers, they’re already handling your 941 filings, paying your withholdings, and creating w-2s and w-3s. If these things are not handled by your current payroll solution, let us know so we can make sure you meet the various January deadlines for payroll compliance.

Late Bill Arrivals

If you get bills in January or February that are for goods or services provided before December 31st, flag them for us so we can accrue them to the proper fiscal year.

Paid Time Off

Check your employee manuals for your company’s policy around paid time off accruals — if you have to use paid time off within a certain time of it being earned, or if you are near the max of your accrual, maybe now is a great time to consider taking an extra few days off for the holidays. It improves the financial presentation for your company and you get the time off.

Time to Clean Shop

January is a great time to clean the office, start fresh vendor files, and archive any data that pertains to the year ending December 31.

These are just reminders, and are by no means exhaustive. We’ll be working with you to be ready for the new-year. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions.

Alex Nitta

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