Why you MUST set a closing date in QuickBooks!
You’re a small business owner, and you’ve just sent your QuickBooks data file off to your accountant to complete your tax return for the year ended June 30, 2012. For the next 12 months, your staff unknowingly make changes prior to that date – they delete a few invoices, add a few receipts, add a couple old bills from vendors who haven’t been paid, delete a lost payroll cheque…you get the idea. Now your accountant has the June 30, 2013 data file and runs a report from June 30, 2012 to make sure the numbers match from the previous tax return. THEY DON’T. Now what?
DON’T RUN INTO THIS PROBLEM. IT CAN TAKE HOURS TO FIX.
There’s one REALLY important thing you need to do as soon as you send your file to your accountant: SET THE CLOSING DATE! This prevents users from making changes to QuickBooks, prior to a date you select. Here’s how to do it:
COMPANY > SET CLOSING DATE > Select SET DATE/PASSWORD
Enter a closing date (the fiscal year end). Create a password that users will be required to enter to override the restriction. There’s now also a box to exclude non-posting transactions from the closing date restriction – a fabulous new feature if you use estimates, purchase orders, and/or sales orders. Check it!
Once you set the closing date, you’ll be able to run a CLOSING DATE EXCEPTION REPORT if you ever need to see what changes have been made:
REPORTS > ACCOUNTANT & TAXES > CLOSING DATE EXCEPTION REPORT
Don’t rely on your users to know whether or not changes they’re making will affect a prior period. SET A PASSWORD-PROTECTED CLOSING DATE TO PREVENT CHANGES.
If you find yourself in the hypothetical scenario described at the top of this post…call a ProAdvisor to get your books back to where they were when you sent them to the accountant 🙂
NOTE FOR SALES TAX and/or HST/GST FILERS: I recommend that you set the closing date as soon as you’ve filed a sales tax return. In the case of quarterly filers, this means the closing date is changed quarterly.