Monthly Accounting Checklist
Most often, successful bookkeepers and accountants prepare a monthly accounting checklist for them to be able to organize accounting activities and leave little or no room for errors or omission in carrying out their job.
If you are a full-scope accountant handling all accounting works from accounts receivable, accounts payable, monthly reconciliation, adjusting entries, financial statement preparation and analysis before submission to the management, then you have a different monthly checklist as compared with that of a more specialized accountant handling only accounts receivable, or accounts payable, general ledger or financial statements reporting. It is important to note that while you have a checklist of the monthly routine transactions, you should also observe cut-off period.
For full-scope accounting work or business owners who handle all financial transactions recording, you can create your own checklist and this checklist might be grouped into several categories. If you are using a spreadsheet for this checklist, then you have more than one worksheet that further breaks down the checklist. You can opt to break down the checklist into any of the categories below:
- Accounts receivable – aside from taking note of recording checklist and taking note of very important customer monthly recurring transactions, you can also include the sending of periodic monthly statement of accounts, analysis of aging reports can also be included in this checklist.
- Accounts Payable – you can also include the sending of statements to the suppliers confirming end of the month balances as well as analysis of aging reports.
- Accrual – If you are using accrual method of accounting, then monthly accrual of expenses like petty cash fund replenishments and other unbilled payables and invoices have to be taken notice of. Accrual recording is very important to accurately match revenues and expenses for the period they are incurred.
- Reconciliations – you can include in this checklist the normal routine reconciliations done – cash on hand, cash in bank accounts, general ledger vs. subsidiary ledger and other accounts.
- Trial Balance – be sure to include in your checklist a review of your Trial Balance. Most often, review of trial can also make it easier for you to spot errors, omission in carrying out your routine monthly transactions.
- Balance Sheet – you can also indicate in this checklist the reconciliations done as well as the fixed assets, accounts payable and other items. This is aside from the normal review of the Balance Sheet before finalizing the report. Be on the lookout to spot negative balances on the balance sheet accounts. Most often, the negative balances are caused by errors or errors in accounts being used in recording transactions. If not, be prepared to provide answers as to why accounts are negative. This is in exception of course, if the business operations result in recurring losses so that negative retained earnings would be reasonable. A comparative balance sheet with that of the previous month or months would be more ideal for review and evaluation purposes, as it makes it easier for you to spot significant increases or fluctuations of balance sheet accounts.
- Income Statement – be sure to also review Income Statement compared to previous months to make it easier for you to spot significant fluctuations or increases in the profit and loss accounts and better analysis of the business operation results.
Please take note that preparation of monthly checklist should be done to ensure that all items are properly done and must be revised from time to time for any changes to make it most useful.