February 10, 2020

Clean Up Your QuickBooks to Be Ready for 2020

QuickBooks Desktop
Ronald B. Allen

Yes, December is a very busy month. Nevertheless, you need to take time to sure that your QuickBooks is all set for 2020.

As the end of the year draws near you likely have a long list of tasks to do before the 31st. Add to that list a task, or rather several tasks, involved in QuickBooks cleanup for the year’s end. When you follow our guidelines you will ensure three things:

·        Make sure that every 2019 transaction has been process or know why you cannot do some of them

·        Get a sense of closure by knowing for sure that you have dealt with all of this year’s data

·        Let you begin your activities in QuickBooks in 2020 with a clean slate (or as clean as possible)

Do the First Things First of All

The first step before checking transactions and reports is to ensure that you have recorded your fiscal year properly in QuickBooks. To do this, open the Company menu and choose My Company. Then click the pencil icon to the upper right and open your Company Information window. In the tabs on the left, click Report Information. Here is what the window looks like.

In this report, the aging column shows the bills that are past and the number of days past due.

Note: QuickBooks offers several Preferences in regard to reports and aging. If you have not explored them yet, contact us to go over them with you.

Accounting for All of Your Company Income

To make certain that you have gotten all of the money owed to you as of December 31, run a report to see customers that have overdue and outstanding balances. To do this, open your Reports menu and choose Customers & Receivables and the A/R Aging Summary.

The customers in the first (Current) column are ones you don’t need to worry about. But the following four columns need your attention. Assuming that you have set your default payment terms to 30 days, your columns will be 1-30, 31-60, 61-90, and >90. This is your listing of customers who have not paid yet, organized by how far past due they are.

Note: For default terms that are different from this example, such as 15 days, you will have to customize the report. You will see a field in the top toolbar. It is labeled Interval (Days). Modify it to match your company’s default terms and then Refresh (upper right corner).

Everyone is paid up if all you see in these columns are zeros. Where this is not the case you can send statements to everyone who one day past due or more as reminders of what they owe. To see this window, open your Customers menu and choose Create Statements.

Year End QuickBooks Tasks, Checking Statements
Create Statements window, partial view

Start by being sure that your Statement Date is accurate because QuickBooks uses this date for aging calculations. Then you can request all of the open transactions as of the Statement Date or enter a precise Statement Period request. If you pick the first choice, you will wish to limit those statements to only customers with overdue statements. To do that, click the box that specifies this (Include only Transactions over (your number) days past due date).

Now, you can indicate the customers who need to receive statement, just below these options). The most frequent choice is All Customers that fall in the time period that you have specified. However, you can also send to everyone or just selected individuals. Whichever you choose, QuickBooks will display the list. There is list button to the right with a number of options that you will want to check or leave unchecked.  When you are ready, Print, Preview, or E-mail your statements.

Pay Your Outstanding Bills

You will also want to settle your Accounts Payable by the end of 2019. Go to your Reports menu and pick Vendors & Payables and the A/P Paging Summary. Find dollar amounts that demonstrate aging in the columns after the first. The image shows how this looks.

QuickBooks Year End Tasks, Checking for Unpaid Bills
In this report, the aging column shows the bills that are past and the number of days past due.

Note: QuickBooks offers several Preferences in regard to reports and aging. If you have not explored them yet, contact us to go over them with you.

Other related jobs that you ought to complete before December 31 are running year-end reports, reconciling all accounts, and clearing deposits that are still in the Undeposited Funds account. For jobs that require our assistance, feel free to contact us before December 31 or in the New Year.

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