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Client Accounting Services

Month-End Financial & Accounting Close Checklist

Posted on March 22, 2023 by

Beth Butchart

Beth Butchart

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Month-End Close ChecklistThe month-end close process includes recording, reconciling and reviewing business transactions, which can be time-consuming for business owners who are already juggling multiple tasks while running their businesses. Establishing a routine and following this month-end close checklist can help streamline the monthly financial close process.

1. Create a Schedule for Finance Maintenance

Instead of leaving the entire financial review for the end of the month, it helps to tackle as much as you can as you go. While some businesses may not have a dedicated finance team that can afford to solely focus on this task, putting together a schedule will help improve accountability and allow your team to prioritize certain tasks to maintain important deadlines.

2. Keep Records of Expenses and Income as You Go

Practicing dedicated recordkeeping throughout the month makes it easier to tackle the final review at the end of the month. Incoming revenue from sales, rental income, debt repayments and investment income should be included in the review. It is also important to record all expenses including utilities, insurance, supplier payments, payroll, business travel expenses and any interest accrued on business loans. 

3. Reconcile Accounts

Reconciling cash and credit card transactions ensures all transactions have been posted for the month and properly categorized to better analyze results. Timely application of customer receipts against open invoices and payment of vendor bills is key to tracking outstanding customer receivables and supplier commitments to manage customer collections and cash flow needs.  

4. Identify Adjustments

Identify adjustments to match the company’s revenue and expenses to the correct accounting period to provide a more accurate picture of the company’s monthly results. Common adjustments may include recognition of revenue earned and expenses incurred but not yet invoiced, amortization of prepaid expense, and depreciation of fixed assets.

5. Examine Fixed Assets and Liabilities

Keep an up-to-date list of the company’s fixed assets such as buildings, vehicles and equipment as well as any related purchases, maintenance or updates. As these assets depreciate, it is also important to track the current value and condition of these assets over time. This asset review should also include documentation of business loans and the progress of those payments. 

6. Assess Inventory

For businesses that maintain inventory, completing an inventory count regularly helps inform what products need to be replenished and how frequently. Keeping an accurate and consistent inventory is important to determine when adjustments need to be made.

7. Review and Analyze Results

Consistently review the company’s financial data to analyze trends and track performance. Identify the key data points and reports to be prepared to monitor key metrics and inform business decisions. 

8. Implement Changes and Adapt as Needed

The month-end review process is more than just a checklist to complete—it should result in actionable adjustments. The results from each monthly review should be used to strategically inform financial decisions in the next fiscal period to help meet both short-term and long-term company goals. 

Continue the Conversation 

If you need support with your month-end close or any other outsourced accounting needs, we can help. Please reach out for a discovery call with our CAS team. 

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Beth Butchart

Director, Client Accounting Services

Beth leads the firm's client accounting services group, serving domestic and international companies at all stages of growth.

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