A Year-End Checklist for Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Professionals

by | Nov 28, 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’re eating too much turkey and getting ready to celebrate the holidays with our family. However, as nonprofit accounting and finance professionals, the term “year-end” is looming over our heads. With each year end comes dozens of tasks which need to be completed prior to the start of the New Year. Completing these tasks don’t have to be a dreaded process. The most important thing is to make sure you are organized, know what needs to be accomplished and by what date it needs to be completed. We have compiled this general year-end checklist, that will hopefully help you to compile one specific to your nonprofit.

Nonprofit accounting tasks for the year-end

  • Reconcile all bank statements. Resolve any outstanding checks, record void checks, and reissue the payments if necessary.
  • Update fixed asset records, enter adjustments and record depreciation for the year.
  • Balance Sheet account analysis. Analyze balance sheet accounts (accrued payroll, prepaids, deferred revenue, etc.) for accuracy and make necessary adjustments.
  • Income Statement account analysis. Analyze your nonprofit’s revenue and expense accounts compared to budget and make any required journal entries for correction.
  • Review vendor summary to ensure all vendor information is complete. Prepare 1099’s after the last check run for the year.
  • Complete all grant reporting and year-end financial statements for the board.

Nonprofit payroll tasks for the year-end

  • Remind employees to update their address or withholding information prior to running the last payroll of the year.
  • Review all employee information for accuracy prior to running the last payroll for 2016.
  • After completion of the final 2016 payroll, process W-2’s for all employees.
  • File all quarterly and annual payroll tax filings.
  • Update payroll records for any pay changes effective in the upcoming year.

Tax statement tasks for your nonprofit’s year-end

  • Process all donations received by the postmarked cut off of December 31.
  • Send annual contribution statements or donation summaries to all donors.
  • Thank donors in an annual letter and ask for their continued support.
There you have it! Ticking off the year-end checklist can be a daunting task but with this comprehensive list, we hope that you’ll have an idea of what needs to be done. For those who would like a more detailed year-end checklist, here is a link referring you to Abila’s Year-End Survival Guide for the Nonprofit Accountant. Additionally, Abila has also compiled a tax form timeline to help ease the pain that comes with filing paperwork with the IRS. You can access the timeline by clicking here.  

Stephanie Underwood, Nonprofit Accounting and Finance Consultant