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Spring Cleaning

The taxes are done. The data has been updated for any adjustments made during the tax preparation process, and by now, we are at least two months into the new year. If you haven’t done so yet, it is a good time for a spring clean.
I use a spring clean to simplify the bookkeeping for the year, allowing for quicker, more accurate recordkeeping. Regardless of the software system you are using, these simple tasks are good practice.

Review these lists

  • Customers
  • Vendors
  • Items/Inventory
  • Accounts

Customers/Vendors:

  • Merge duplicates
  • Inactivate/hide non-active
    • My general rule is, non-activity in 3 years. For most of my clients, 3 years of inactivity will indicate either it was a one-time transaction, or a customer/vendor will not be active for some reason

Look for any missing information and begin a task to try to gather that information during the year

Items/Inventory

  • Review to identify any incorrect items
    • Occasionally there will be an item entered as a new item that is actually already in the system. It could have been a transposition, entered as incorrect number (the UPC number was used and not the part number, entered as the vendors stock number and not the identifier you use, etc.)

BE CAREFUL – any adjustment may affect your inventory valuation on your balance sheet. Be sure you understand how it may affect your financials before making adjustments.

Chart of Accounts

  • Review the chart of accounts
    • Is there anything that you have repeatedly needed to find financial answers to, or that you should be keeping your finger on?
      • i.e. How much was spent on equipment repairs last month?
      • What is the amount of payroll for outside service repair?
      • Can we save money on the freight for our supplies if we switch to a different carrier?
    • Sometimes adding a sub-account of further defining an account can help us keep a better eye on expenses and/or profitability. It also makes it easy to spot errors or dramatic changes, which can be monitored using specific period-to-period comparison reports. But beware! Do not become so detailed that your Chart of Accounts becomes unwieldy. For a small business, it is ideal to be able to keep your Profit/Loss statement as well as your Balance Sheet to 1-2 pages.

This is a great place to start those spring-cleaning chores. I know these simple tasks lead me into other things as well, organizing my digital and paper files, cleaning my desktop on my computer and my desktop on my desk!!! Enjoy the process! I think you will find renewed energy and, a little more time to dig into those financials to see where there is a possibility to increase profitability!!

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