By Leigh Hansen, Senior Director of Operations
Year-end is naturally busy for those involved with payroll, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly stressful. Believe it or not, the beginning of this year is the best time to start preparing for the end of this year. Here are 3 tips that will help you with your next year-end:
1. Plan ahead.
Take some time now to review your year-end timeline. If you don’t have a year-end timeline, create one while the most recent year-end is still fresh in your mind. Meet with your key stakeholders in year-end tasks to identify all areas that need to be addressed. Some year-end items, such as ordering W2 forms, can be handled as early as September or October.
2. Track as you go.
Create a year-end file, and keep copies of anything relevant to year-end in that location as the year progresses. There are typically some items that pop up during the year, which will require some special attention later on, and your year-end folder is the perfect place for those items. At the end of the year, simply reference your year-end file to ensure that you have everything covered.
3. Audit all year long.
Use available reporting tools and schedule periodic reviews to stay on top of discrepancies in year-to-date balances, prepaid tax amounts, and pending refunds that can be applied, as well as data information such as tax rates and employee address changes. This will prevent you from having to scramble to fill in the gaps or apply last-minute corrections later on.
These are simple steps you can take now that will yield big results later.