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The fastest way to year-end

If you’re living in New Zealand or the UK you’ll be well aware the 2010 financial year has just ended. The good news is that if you’ve been using Xero for the past year, you’re very close to being ready for your accountant to begin work on your end-of-year reports.

To make sure you’re on track here’s a check list you may want to follow:

1.  Complete a Bank Reconciliation for each of your bank accounts. You will know if you have any unreconciled items because the Reconcile Now button will be visible on the Dashboard.

2.  Make sure you have all your Accounts Payable up-to-date. These should be coming in either by mail, email or as a Xero to Xero transaction, so check they’re correct and entered into Xero via Accounts Payable.

3.  Finish off your end-of-month billing. If you have any outstanding jobs that need to be billed, complete the invoices and send them off.

4.  If you hold stock, complete a stock-take and let your accountant know what the value of your stock was at year-end.

5.  Finish your March expense claim for any business expenses paid personally. If you are using Xero Personal, categorise  these as “Business Expenses” so you can submit them to your Xero Business edition and they’ll automatically appear.6.  Complete your March payroll and enter the payroll tax due for March but payable in April, as an Accounts Payable Invoice. If you use one of the payroll packages that integrate with Xero, then you only need to make sure you have finished the final March payrun.

7. Have at the ready any other other documents such as investment statements, RWT certificates for interest, dividend statements, details of any new hire purchase arrangements or new loans and loan summaries from the banks. Scan these and email to your accountant. 

8.  Run an eye over your Profit and Loss. Go to Reports, select the Profit and Loss, select Compare Periods, Change the Date to March 2010 and change the Compare With to Previous 11 Periods. Look at each line and just make sure everything looks reasonable. Sometimes ‘strange’ items will jump out at you which you can drill into the detail to fix.

If you’re not sure of any of the above there’s more detail about year-end here in the Help Centre.

Now, you’re ready to get in touch with your accountant and let them know you have Xero up-to-date and ready for their review. Your accountant will let you know if there is any other information they need from you.

For the accountant

I suggest you have a look at the Reconciliation Report. This is a great start for your work papers and includes a Trial Balance, Aged Receivables and Aged Payables Report, Bank Reconciliation(s), GST Reconciliation, Fixed Asset Reconciliation and a General Ledger Exceptions Report that looks for anomalies across the entire GL. You can export this entire report to Excel and use it to supplement your own work papers package. You can also use the report for a quick sanity check of the data before you start the job and see if any other key information is missing. Just the  thing to minimise the dreaded “pick-up and put-down”.


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