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Small Business Accounting: How To Close Your Books At The End Of The Year

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Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. You've heard about closing the books, but how do you do it? Follow these simple year-end accounting steps
Chelsea Krause

Chelsea Krause

Managing Editor - Accounting
Chelsea Krause is a writer who has specialized in accounting for over three years and is a QuickBooks Certified User. She has a BA in English & Creative Writing from George Fox University and studied at the University of Oxford as well. She has been quoted in Forbes and her work appears in Startup Nation, Small Business Bonfire, and Women on Business.
Chelsea Krause

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9 Comments

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    Theresa Turner

    It is a very Informative post.

      Chelsea Krause

      I’m glad you found the information helpful, Theresa! Thanks for reading!

      -Chelsea Krause

        Mickie

        Chelsea,
        I’m new to small business bookkeeping. The business has been dormant for the first few months of the year and not sure how to start fresh books for 2019. Using QB2018. Do you have a guide for starting a new year?

        Thanks in advance
        Mickie

          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

          Chelsea Krause

          Hi Mickie,

          Thanks for reaching out! This post, while a bit dated, offers helpful insight on how to prepare your books for a new year. If you’re wanting to know how to start fresh in QuickBooks, this article can help.

          Best wishes,

          – Chelsea Krause

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.

            Caren

            Great information. I have a question.

            After going through year end for corporate taxes, I found a few invoices were unpaid. We email, mail and fax invoices to clients. This client said they never received and closed their books. So I would assume they billed their client and failed to pay us…and are using the excuse of that they closed their book as reason to not pay. A repeat customer, not one that we’ve had issues with. A customer we give special pricing to, great lead times. So what do we do? It’s less than $500 but I expect payment for service. Am I wrong to ask for for what’s owed?

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              Chelsea Krause

              Hi Caren,

              I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. I’ve found a few articles that offer helpful advice on how to take action against non-paying customers: Ghosted: What To Do When A Client Doesn’t Pay Up and What To Do When A Client Doesn’t Pay. If these steps don’t work and your client absolutely refuses to pay, you can write off the invoiced amount as “bad debt” for a tax deduction. Here’s how the process works.

              I’d also recommend consulting your accountant to see if they have any additional advice for how to deal with this situation. I hope this helps and that everything works out well.

              Best wishes,

              -Chelsea Krause

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Tina Gunderson

                My question is are you able to input information that happened after January 1, 2018 but was for the year 2017 in accounting software? Example, $3,000 worth of expenses that were not transferred to the proper accounts until January, can I transfer them in my software as 12/31/2017 so my accounts zero out?

                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                  Chelsea Krause

                  Hi Tina,

                  Could you tell me more of the specifics of the transaction you are trying to enter? Also, which accounting software are you using?

                  -Chelsea Krause

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Joel

                    Thank you, Chelsea for great article! So true.
                    I run a small retail business. We usually don`t have much time to keep and enter receipts and last year we found that we even lost many. Not taking into account those mail receipts that you get when you or your employees shop online for the small staff.
                    We have tried many of the expense management software lately but were surprised about the level of detail and all those features that seem to be created exactly for small business needs. So if anyone would be interested, just try Veryfi app. Good thing is that my accountant has constant access to this app, and see all the company`s financial info in real-time and can advise right away. Helps a lot with taxes.

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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