It’s almost the end of 2017 – and for us accountants that can mean long days going over budgets, spreadsheets, accounts, and preparing for 2018.

However have no fear! Abila has released their third annual Year-End Survival Guide for Accountants to help you get through these busy and tiring next few weeks.

Below we highlight some of the keys ways you can get through the remainder of 2017 without too much of a hassle.

Accounting Year-End Survival Guide

Use Your 2017 Budget to Start Your 2018 Budget

When planning your 2018 budget, there’s no reason you should have to start from scratch! Use your 2017 budget as a base to get going on your new year plans.

This will actually allow you to make better, more-informed financial decisions as you’re using real data to guide your new plan. As you’re updating everything, you may find that you didn’t spend as much on one fund and can re-prioritize that money for another fund that maxed out their budget.

You may have to reallocate money if you decide to do away with a fund, add new funds, prioritize certain initiatives over others, or plan to hire more people in the new year. Using your 2017 budget to start your 2018 budget will really help you visualize all this and make your 2018 budget more realistic.

Processes and Tasks to Close Out 2017

The end of the year can be a little chaotic. With holiday parties, time off to celebrate with families, and a rush to hit last minute goals, it’s all too easy to forget about tasks and processes that need to happen to close out the year.

Here are the top 5 tasks and processes you need to do before 2018 begins:

  • Reconcile cash and balance sheet accounts
  • Perform a break-even analysis
  • Prepare a schedule for auditors
  • Prepare year-end reports for stakeholders
  • Reconcile actuals to budgets for grants and federal awards

Plan for 2018

Planning for 2018 is more than just getting an approved budget. It’s figuring out how many new people you’re going to hire, how many more volunteers you’ll need, or what initiatives your organization is going to prioritize.

To plan for 2018 this way, you can:

Talk to program managers about what they’re planning to do next year:

  • Are they hiring new employees?
  • Do they need additional volunteers?
  • Will they need new tools to run their campaigns?

Talk to HR about how they plan to accommodate new employees and volunteers:

  • Will they need additional budget to make them feel welcome and increase retention?
  • Will you need more desks/chairs/equipment?
  • Are they planning to improve the volunteer program and make volunteers feel special while they’re working with you?

Figure out how to be more transparent about your goals and milestones with your stakeholders:

  • Are your reports giving them the right information? And are they receiving it at the right cadence?
  • Are the reports easy to read? Easy to share?
  • Do they make stakeholders want to continue donating?

Re-evaluate your accounting software:

  • Does it make your job easier?
  • Are you having to finagle parts of your software to meet your needs?
  • Will it continue to work throughout 2018?

Strategizing for 2018 early will help your entire organization start the new year off on the right foot!

Want to read more ways to survive the end of 2017? Download Abila’s full survival guide here.