For HR departments, the start of a new year brings a flurry of tax filings and end-of-year reports. After a holiday break, it can be difficult to ramp up this level of work quickly. This is why it’s a good idea for HR departments to take care of as much of their year-end accounting as possible before January.

With so much to do, it can be tough to get started. With this checklist, your team can plan ahead and avoid any difficulty.

Checklist for Human Resources to Get Ready for Year-End

  1. Pay Vendors and Contractors: Always be sure to pay your vendors and contractors in full by the end of the year. Check with your accountant to see if your contractors need to submit a W-9 form. By January 31, each contractor should have also received a 1099-MISC form.
  2. Review Clients: Review client contact information, and confirm that all details are correct.
  3. Review All Employees: Be sure to verify that your payroll contains only current employees and that their information is correct. Ensure that previous employees cannot access company systems.
  4. Compliance Reporting: Send applicable year-end compliance notices, and prepare Form 1095-C for ACA reporting.
  5. Prepare Payroll Records: Begin to gather this information. If you’ve partnered with payroll experts like LBMC Employment Partners, we’ll ensure that there are no issues and that you comply with all regulations. Be sure to review FLSA status to ensure you are still meeting any new FLSA thresholds.
  6. Profit and Loss Report: Generate a profit and loss report, as well as a balance sheet, and identify what your business did well and what could be done better for next year.
  7. Review Profitability: Generate an income statement and review each revenue-generating item, as well as each tax-deductible expense. Cash flow reports are vital documents for your business, as they indicate how much cash your business has readily available.
  8. Estimate Taxes: If you epay tax payments quarterly, be sure to keep track of what you’ve already paid. This will help you determine what you’ll need to pay at the year’s end. Don’t forget to include taxes from bonuses given to employees, as these are also subject to any taxes applicable to regular pay.
  9. Tax Deadlines: Depending on the structure of your business, tax dates will vary. Verify your deadlines.
  10. Tax Payments: Keep tax payments secured separately, and be sure to include enough to cover both state and federal taxes.
  11. Goals: Review what you were able to accomplish this year, and develop goals for the next year to keep you motivated and growing.
  12. Document the Process: Create a detailed year-end reporting process document. This should include step-by-step instructions for each task, deadlines, and responsible team members. Having a well-documented process ensures consistency and provides a helpful reference for future years.
  13. Technology and Automation: Leverage HR software and payroll systems to automate repetitive tasks. Automated reminders for deadlines, automated tax calculations, and pre-built templates for required forms like 1099-MISC and W-2 can save significant time and reduce errors.
  14. Data Verification: Throughout the year, maintain a process of regularly verifying employee data, vendor information, and financial records. This practice minimizes discrepancies and reduces the chances of last-minute corrections during year-end reporting.
  15. Communication with Stakeholders: Keep open lines of communication with vendors, contractors, and employees. Notify them of any changes to reporting procedures or required forms well in advance. This proactive approach can prevent misunderstandings and ensure timely submissions.
  16. Employee Training: Train your HR team and relevant employees on year-end reporting requirements and any updates to tax laws or regulations. A well-informed team is better equipped to handle challenges and address queries from employees.
  17. Backup and Security: Safeguard all your sensitive financial and employee data by backing up important records in secure digital and physical formats. Regularly update passwords and access controls to prevent unauthorized access.
  18. Outsourcing Expertise: If your HR department is small or lacks specialized expertise, consider outsourcing certain aspects of year-end reporting. Professional accounting firms or payroll providers can assist with complex tax calculations, compliance reporting, and even offer strategic advice.
  19. Continuous Improvement: After completing year-end reporting, conduct a post-mortem review. Identify areas where the process could be improved, whether through automation, better communication, or enhanced data management. Use these insights to refine your approach for the next year.
  20. Future Planning: Year-end reporting is not just about looking back; it’s also an opportunity to strategize for the future. Analyze the financial data you’ve gathered to identify trends, opportunities for cost savings, and areas for growth.
  21. Employee Engagement: As part of the year-end process, consider providing employees with a summary of their own financial details, like total compensation, benefits received, and taxes paid. This transparency can enhance their understanding of their financial situation and reinforce trust in the company.

If preparing your year-end financial reports seems daunting, LBMC Employment Partners can help. We can advise your company on everything from payroll to taxes or even take over your system entirely.

We at LBMC Employment Partners are here to help your company prepare for the new year. Contact us today!