The information we need to successfully serve you is quite similar for our Flat Fee Monthly Accounting (ongoing), and for our Accounting Clean-up/Catch-up/Tax Prep packages (one-time). The goal for both is to make sure your financial statements accurately reflect all of your business activity. However, there are a few differences, which we will detail below.
Accounting Clean-Up/Catch-Up/Tax Prep
- PDF Bank Statements for the periods you need us to review
- PDF Credit Card Statements for the periods you need us to review
- If you have Loans/Lines of Credit/Mortgages, or any other type of long term liability, we will need a statement showing the balance of the liability as of the last period you’re asking us to review. So if you’ve engaged us to clean up your books from Jan-Dec of 2019, we will need a statement from your lender(s) showing the balance of your liability as of December 31, 2019.
- In order to verify the balances of any fixed assets (buildings, vehicles, equipment, office furniture) on your books, we will need a list of these assets that includes Date of Purchase (or date of first use for the business), Purchase Price, a brief description of the asset, and the amount of depreciation you’ve claimed in prior tax years. The easiest way to get us this information is to provide us a copy of your annual income tax filing – with all supplemental schedules – from the previous year, along with a list of any items you have purchased in the current year.
- We’ll review your Accounts Receivable (Balance of open invoices owed by your customers) and your Accounts Payable (Balance of any bills you owe to outside vendors) for reasonableness, and send you a full list of these items for you to confirm. Since the goal of our Catch-Up packages are to provide a “second set of eyes” review of your books, and not a true audit, we typically do not perform external verification of these amounts with your customers/vendors unless you ask us to.
- If you have an external system that provides a summary of your revenues, expenses, or other activity, we’d love to receive a copy of these as well.
Monthly Accounting Packages
Our requests for Monthly Accounting are a bit more in depth, because one of the first things we do in-office is build a permanent file for your company, the goal of which is to minimize the amount of information we need to request from you on an ongoing basis. The less we have to bother you, the more time you have to focus on other things.
- Online bank access to your business bank accounts, credit card accounts, mortgage accounts, investment accounts, note payable accounts, and lines of credit. Many financial institutions have options for online “read only” access, which is our preference. This access allows us to pull PDF statements to use for reconciliations, view copies of checks you’ve written to help determine how we categorize the activity, copies of deposit slips, and the ability to download account activity in case something goes wrong with your sync between your bank and QuickBooks.
- Copies of original signed contracts for any loans/LOC/mortgages (this helps us set up amortization schedules so we can correctly record any tax deductible interest expense)
- A copy of your prior year Tax Return. If this is your first year in business, and you don’t have this, we will need your EIN, business mailing address, legal business name, and details of ownership (% equity if there are multiple owners/partners).
- Your contact information for accounting/finance related inquiries
For Payroll Clients
- Copies of W-4 forms for all employees
- Copies of W-9 forms for all Contractors
- Payroll Tax IDs (Federal, State, Unemployment, etc.)
- Details on pay rates, payroll schedules
- Details on Benefit plans you offer your employees
- Direct Deposit information if you wish to pay out payroll electronically
For Invoicing and Bill Pay Clients
- A List of all Customers and their preferred contact information (used for billing)
- Details on services provided/products sold (used to build the invoices) and any associated costs (used to record Cost of Goods sold)
- Terms of payment (Net 15, Net 30, any prompt pay discounts)
- A List of all Vendors, their preferred payment information, and a copy of their W-9 (if you don’t have this, we can help; this information is needed for annual 1099 filing)
- Copies of bills/statements (for data entry into system and payments)
- If we are providing bill pay services, we’ll need you to provide us with the means to pay bills – either packages of blank checks or Electronic Deposit information for all your vendors. (we offer many options, and we’ll discuss this during your consultation/on-boarding)
Sales/Use Tax Filing
- Online portal access for filing
- Your tax IDs
For Online Document Storage using Sharepoint
- A list of users you’d like to grant access to your files, along with their email addresses
We do not, under any circumstances, share any of the information you provide us with other parties, unless legally required to do so, or if the disclosure is required to complete our contracted work (i.e. entering sales details for sales tax filing, providing bank and routing information to your customers or vendors for payment). Because of this, we ask that your formally grant us written permission to share information and documents with your Tax Planner, CPA, Financial Institutions, or any other entities you’d like to grant access to.