As our summer days start to shorten and the cooler evening temperatures tell us it is time for our kids to go back to school and our fall is coming, many businesses are preparing for the new year ahead of us. A new year also means the year-end will be here before you know it.  

September is the perfect time to start making your lists and reviewing tasks that need to be completed for your budget and year-end process as well as sending reminders for employee and employer-related bookkeeping categories. Many of these tasks include check-ins with your employees to ensure their information is current. The following information is prepared by a joint effort from our sister companies, JJ BizWorks and Withezz, both working heavily with accounting and bookkeeping. These are our best practices recommendations for preparing for the year-end and the new year with plenty of time for changes if needed. 


Prep for Year End 2022 

Employees and Year End Payroll Prep
W-2 Prep – Send reminders to all employees to review the personal information on their paychecks. We specifically ask them to review their address and social security numbers for accuracy. Incorrect social security numbers will result in having to file corrected W-2s and W-3s for reporting year-end numbers to the IRS and Social Security Administration. Employees change their addresses and often forget to change them on their paychecks. A reminder will help avoid having to resend copies of W-2s to the correct address. 

Benefits – After the last payroll in September, review your annual deductions for your employee benefits. This can include flexible spending accounts for out-of-pocket expenses or dependent care expenses, employee and employer costs for health insurance and retirement fund employee deferrals, and employer matching or discretionary contributions. You can pull a year-to-date payroll report and review each item to ensure the correct amount has been deducted or attributed to each item. Now is the time to review and make changes as needed. For instance, there are maximum limits on flexible spending that your company and the IRS will allow to be deducted on a pre-tax basis. You want to be sure the employee will not go over those limits.  

Retirement Plans – Review totals for your retirement plan as well as flexible spending plans. Some flexible spending plans have testing requirements to ensure the plan is not top-heavy. We recommend preparing and sending this information with estimates for the year to your plan administrator or Third-Party Administrator (TPA) in September. If there are any corrections to be made, this will give you time for the testing to come back so adjustments can be made before the year-end. Reviewing your totals and information for retirement plans will help the year-end compliance testing go smoothly in the following year. 


Open Enrollment Prep 

  • Employee benefits plan Open Enrollments for a January renewal date often start in October or November. September is the right time to send an employee benefits satisfaction survey. Ask your employees how satisfied they are with their current benefits package. You can ask open-ended questions or just survey on a scale of 1 -10 to find out how satisfied they are with their plan. Take the opportunity to ask employees if they have ideas on other types of benefits they would like to see or if they would like to see a change in their plans. This will help you prepare as you receive your renewal quotes. A survey will help you understand how important the benefits are that you offer and help you in decision making if you must change plans or in crafting your message to employees if your rates increase dramatically.
  • Also, review your current benefit bills and ensure that all employees who should be enrolled are enrolled, and make a list of those employees who may be eligible during open enrollment. Do not forget to send open enrollment to employees who are on PTO, Paid Family, Medical leave, or other leaves of absence during open enrollment.


Company Year End Financial and Tax Prep 

  • Review your vendors and ensure you have W-9s on file from all vendors to ensure the 1099 filing process goes smoothly. If you have paid any of your vendors, you will want to have a W-9 on file and the correct information in your bookkeeping system to ensure you issue a 1099 only to companies that should have them.
  • In Washington state, Personal Property Tax (PPT) listings are sent in September. Have you purchased new personal business property assets in the current year? Be sure your asset list is updated with the item name and value to make this tax filing easy to complete.
  • Remind the owner(s) of the company to create their mileage tracking for business miles they have driven for the year. If the owner drives a company car, they need to track their business and personal miles and the personal miles will need to be calculated and added to their final paycheck or via a separate “Fringe Benefit” check. 
  • Owner Fringe Benefits also include adjustments for company-paid benefits such as medical, dental, vision, and long or short-term If you have not tracked this information already, this is your time to catch up.
  • Review your financial reports to see if any red flags need to be addressed before year-end. 
  • Review your Profit and Loss statements from January through August. Here are a few questions to ask.


  1. Have all expenses been properly categorized?
  2. How are you doing when comparing actuals to budgeted income and expenses?
  3. What adjustments can be made to meet the budget?
  4. How are you doing compared to the prior year? Are there any major shifts in income and expenses? If so, do you know why and do adjustments in expenses or income need to happen?
  5. Are you tracking owner expenses so you can easily make journal entries for year-end?
  6. Have you accounted for asset purchases in the proper place and added them to your asset list for proper depreciation?
  7. Has the owner of the company, if there is one, paid enough in estimated taxes? If not, what can the owner do to adjust their estimated taxes to avoid a large tax bill for the year?


Budget Prep
Budgeting often takes place in October; however, you can make it easier by preparing for it in September. Here are some questions or items to think about: 

  • Who needs to be a part of the budget process and how can you help them prepare?
  • Run year-to-date numbers of actual vs budgeted line items and send those to the relevant responsible party to ensure that all data is accurately reflected.
  • If departments are under budget, now is the time to let them know and ask if they will still need the full amount budgeted for their
  • Make your lists of who should be included in the budget process and prepare their budget worksheets ahead of time.
  • Schedule budget meetings with the right people. It is so easy to put off budgeting, but this is a valuable tool for measuring your ongoing success or areas of improvement in the new year.


With some preparation in September, you will be ready to tackle your year-end work before the leaves start falling. Contact Us if you would like help with your year-end planning, or to learn more about building a successful business strategy to get you where you want to go. Give us a call at (800) 317-1378 x14.