If your fiscal year-end is December 31, you have to complete all the necessary steps for closing the fiscal year while also preparing W-2s, 1099s, and donor giving statements. With a little planning though, you can avoid long hours and frustrated staff, no matter when your fiscal year ends. Here are the top 10 things you can do to make the end of the year easier:
- Prepare a monthly closing checklist. This list should include items such as bank reconciliations, investment reconciliations, and items 2 through 5 below. It should also include the name and initials of the preparer and reviewer. Set a realistic timeframe for completing the checklist each month and monitor it for compliance.
- Perform monthly donor reconciliation. Reconcile the donor system with the contribution accounts in the general ledger on a monthly basis. This will allow you to detect any errors or unusual reconciling items, such as recognition of pledges, and will make the year-end reconciliation quicker. Even if you use an integrated church management system, posted journal entries could result in differences.