Your Quarterly Bookkeeping To-Do List

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It’s the end of the quarter, y’all! That means it’s time to take care of some quarterly bookkeeping tasks — but don’t panic. “Quarterly bookkeeping” might sound boring and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

It’s not complicated, but it is necessary. It’s best to check in with your books every month, but if you can’t do that, at least get everything squared away at the end of each quarter. Up-to-date books are crucial if you want to have a complete, accurate picture of your business finances.  
Fortunately, you don’t need complex math formulas or a dictionary of accounting terms. Just follow these simple steps to wrap up your books and feel totally ready to jump into Q2. Let’s go!

1. Categorize revenue

The first area we’re going to look at is revenue. If you use an accounting software program (like Xero), it should be pulling in every transaction from your business bank account. So all you need to do is open up your software and look at your revenue (in Xero, they’re under the “Receive Money” column) transactions for the past quarter.

Every one of those transactions needs to be categorized. That way, you can see exactly which parts of your business are making money. With this information, you can decide which offers or services you want to keep, promote, modify, or scrap.

2. Categorize expenses

Once you’ve categorized your revenue, it’s time to do the same things with your expenses. Where did your money go during the last quarter? Did you pay for software subscriptions? Team member salaries? New office supplies?

Make sure you go through every expenditure and figure out exactly what it was for. You need more information than just “$361 at Office Max.” What did you buy? Add that description detail to the transaction.

Categorizing your expenses makes it so much easier to see what you’re really spending money on. Is most of your money going toward typical business expenses, like payroll? Or have there been a few extra spending sprees on fancy notebooks and cool fonts (guilty!)

Not using accounting software? Then dive into your bookkeeping spreadsheet and make sure you’ve got entries for all your income and expenses. Depending on how you set up your spreadsheet, you might be able to organize your revenue and expenses into categories. If that’s a huge hassle, maybe it’s time to upgrade to a software program.

3. Reconcile your accounts

Revenue and expenses categorized — check! Now it’s time to reconcile your accounts. That means looking at your starting bank balance (from Jan 1), adding/subtracting all your revenue/expenses (and your owner’s draws!), and making sure that the result matches your bank balance on March 31.

If you’re using accounting software, this step is really easy. Just go to the reconcile function and make sure the number in your software matches what’s actually in your account. If they don’t match, go through and look for missing or duplicate transactions, and fix them.

This step is pretty much the same if you’re using a spreadsheet. Figure out what your ending balance should be based on the transaction is in your spreadsheet, and make sure it matches your bank account. If not, check all your formulas and look for missing/duplicate transactions.

4. Review everything

We’ve got all the data from the past quarter — now it’s time to analyze. This is the fun part! You get to see how your business really did over the past three months:

  • Did you hit your sales goals?
  • Which month had the highest revenue? Can you figure out why?
  • Did that marketing campaign you tried pay off?
  • Which month had the highest expenses?
  • Where did that money go? And did you get a good return on that investment?

By answering all those questions, you can figure out what you want to adjust going forward. Maybe you can find some places to cut back on expenses. Or focus on the offers that are currently resonating with your audience. Maybe you can afford to increase your salary! You can make those decisions confidently because you’re basing them on complete, accurate data.

5. Pay your taxes

You knew it was coming…Time to pay your estimated quarterly taxes. I’d encourage you to work with a CPA to figure out how much your quarterly tax payments should be. Your CPA will determine that number based on your entire financial picture — including your personal finances. And nobody needs to be over- or underpaying the government!

Make quarterly bookkeeping easy with a checklist

You did it! Congratulations on getting through your quarterly bookkeeping checklist. Make things easier on yourself next quarter by saving this checklist now. Put it in a Google Doc, or make yourself an Asana task. Then you’ll be all set to do your quarterly bookkeeping again when June rolls around.

But if you don’t want to touch your books at all? No worries — that’s what I’m here for. If you need someone to manage your bookkeeping (including your quarterly wrap-up), let me know!

When you work with us, you get monthly bookkeeping (aka transaction management and categorization – basically, we’ll take the tedious stuff OFF your plate!) and easy-to-understand reports. We also offer visual reports each quarter and customized Loom videos giving you a complete financial overview of your business. We’ll even create reports that show you how your last launch did, which offer sells the most, where your expenses go, and more.

Unlike other bookkeepers, we also offer unlimited Voxer access (for questions about bookkeeping, pricing, etc.). This sort of 1:1 contact makes it easy to get support and for us to lend a listening ear!

We also specialize in creative businesses and online businesses, which means our processes are built for the way you run your business. No extra steps, no poor-fit expense categories. Just streamlined categorizations and reports that show you what’s happening in your biz.

Our clients also know that they need someone to help them understand their numbers, and that’s exactly what we do. Between Voxer access, reports built for your finances, and our focus on sharing info in a way that works for your brain… 

We’ve got you covered! Want to work with us?

Schedule a discovery call here!

“Working with Madison has been such a personalized and enlightening experience—from her monthly recaps to our quarterly meetings, I consistently feel empowered with my bookkeeping and where my numbers stand.” 

Sarah from BRANDSPEAK Studio™

  1. […] your income was especially high or low, you need to figure out the reason! You can also compare revenue by quarter to see which parts of the year are better or worse for your business. And you can zoom out even […]

  2. […] you’ve got your payment system set up, remember to keep your books updated with all those transactions. Or if you don’t want to do your bookkeeping yourself, let me take […]

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