Ready or not here we go! November has arrived, which means it’s time to kick year-end prep into overdrive.
So are your finance staffers ready to go?
Whether this is your third or thirty-third year-end, it’s worth a rundown of what needs to be done in the coming weeks.
The following checklist can help make sure you and your staffers are on track.
By now you should have:
- created your holiday schedule and set processing dates for 2014 (Payroll)
- ordered W-2s and envelopes (Payroll)
- reviewed the pay calendar for the new year (Payroll)
- ordered 1099s and envelopes for applicable vendors (A/P)
- determined final cutoff dates for final vendor payments and reimbursements of 2013 (A/P)
- signed up for IRS taxpayer ID number verification service (A/P)
- reported unclaimed property to the state (most have a Nov. 1 deadline) (A/P)
- given the mail room a heads up on when information returns will go out (Finance), and
- talked with IT about testing that forms will print properly: all fields lines up, etc. (Finance).
The good news: If you haven’t done any of these yet, you still have time. But you’ll definitely want to get your staffers moving ASAP.
This month you’ll want to:
- contact all employees with a very important question: Is your address correct? (Payroll)
- watch for new tax rates going into effect and submit amended W-4s if needed (Payroll)
- download SSA’s Accuwage (Payroll)
- make one more push for employees to receive their W-2s electronically (Payroll)
- verify that you have completed W-9s for all 1099-able vendors (A/P)
- crack open all packages of forms to make sure they are correct. Tip: Look deeper than the first few pages of the pile (Payroll and A/P)
- send a reminder to employees of key dates in December: when all check reqs, expense reports, etc., must be submitted by to count towards 2013 (A/P), and
- verify that the postage meter will be ready to handle the volume of information returns on the date they’re set to mail out. (Finance).
Of course the work’s far from done when December arrives — you and your staffers will really be in the thick of it then. That’s when all the previous weeks of planning will pay off to finish out this year strong.
But you also have to start prepping for the new year. In the next few weeks everyone from IRS to the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be churning out updates for 2014.
In December, keep an eye out for the following news info you’ll need the minute Jan. 1 arrives:
- the taxable wage base
- pension plan and 401(k) limits
- state unemployment rates
- state supplemental rates
- the standard mileage rate
- adoption assistance limits, and
- parking, vanpooling or bicycle commute limits.
Of course, Resourceful Finance Pro will update you as soon as any of that info is released. Stay tuned.