15 Essential Bookkeeping Tasks – The Checklist

bookkeeping checklist

Bookkeeping is the backbone of any successful business. It allows you to keep track of your income and expenses and helps you make sure your business operations run smoothly.

However, it can often become overwhelming due to its complexity. But we have the perfect solution for you – we have created a bookkeeping checklist of 15 tasks that will help you stay on top of your financial records.

This will help you simplify the bookkeeping process and make sure that you don’t miss out on any important tasks.

1. Recording Transactions: Documenting all financial transactions accurately and promptly

Recording transactions is the first step that you have to do. It’s all about keeping a record of every financial move your business makes. Whether it’s sales, purchases, payments, or receipts, each should be documented accurately and promptly.

This makes sure that your financial data is always up-to-date, so you can make informed decisions for your business.

2. Invoice Issuing and Tracking: Generating client invoices and keeping track of payments

The second task on our bookkeeping checklist is invoice issuing and tracking. This means creating bills for your clients for the products or services you’ve provided and keeping an eye on when they pay them.

It’s important to stay on top of this to make sure that money is flowing into your business as expected. Just like you track your expenses, it’s important to monitor your income too.

3. Expense Tracking: Monitoring and categorizing all business expenses.

Expenses are a big part of any bookkeeping process. When you have an accurate record of your expenses, you can see exactly where your money is going and identify areas where you may be overspending.

This task involves tracking and categorizing all business expenses. There are mainly two types of expenses – fixed and variable.

Fixed expenses are those that remain the same every month, such as rent or insurance.

Variable expenses, on the other hand, fluctuate depending on your business activities.

So make sure to keep track of both types of expenses to better understand your business’s financial health.

4. Bank Reconciliation: Matching.

Next, on our monthly bookkeeping checklist is bank reconciliation. Bank reconciliation in simple terms means comparing your bank account statement with your own records.

This is important because it helps identify any discrepancies or errors in either record, such as missing transactions or incorrect amounts.

By doing this regularly, you can make sure that your financial data is accurate and up-to-date.

5. Payroll Management: Calculating and disbursing employee wages, taxes, and benefits.

The last thing you want to make a mistake on is your employee’s payroll. Your employees are your main workforce who basically run your business.

It’s important to make sure that they are paid accurately and on time.

This includes:

  • Calculating their wages
  • Taxes, benefits
  • And any other deductions

Keep in mind that there are specific laws and regulations you must follow when it comes to payroll, so make sure to stay informed and compliant.

6. Inventory Management: Tracking inventory levels and values for accurate financial reporting.

If you are in the business of selling products, inventory management is very important.

Keeping track of your inventory levels helps you understand the cost of goods sold and can also reveal any discrepancies in your records or even potential theft.

Make sure to regularly count and reconcile your physical inventory with your records to ensure accuracy. If you have the budget you can hire people to keep track of this for you.

monthly bookkeeping checklist

7. Accounts Receivable Management: Following up on outstanding payments from clients.

Most businesses these days run on credit – this means you provide a product or service to your clients and they pay you at a later date.

It’s important to keep track of these outstanding payments and follow up with clients who have not yet paid. This helps improve cash flow and makes sure that you are receiving the money that is owed to you.

Make sure to send out invoices promptly and follow up with reminders if necessary.

8. Accounts Payable Management: Ensuring timely payment of bills and vendor invoices.

Your bookkeeping checklist should also include managing your accounts payable.

This means keeping track of bills and vendor invoices and making sure they are paid in a timely manner to avoid any late fees or penalties.

Make sure to regularly review your bills and invoices and schedule payments accordingly. Don’t forget to also maintain good relationships with your vendors as this can help with negotiating payment terms if needed.

9. Financial Reporting: Generating regular financial reports such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets.

You have to make sure that you regularly create and review financial reports to track the performance of your business – these reports can give you valuable insights into your:

  • Expenses
  • Revenue
  • Profits
  • And overall financial health

Make sure to keep these reports organized and easily accessible for future reference or in case of an audit.

10. Tax Preparation and Filing: Gathering necessary documents and preparing tax returns for filing.

Bookkeeping is a big part of tax preparation and filing. You don’t want to be scrambling for documents when tax season comes around.

Make sure to keep all necessary records such as receipts, invoices, and bank statements organized throughout the year. You may also want to consider hiring a tax professional or using accounting software to help with this process.

11. Budgeting: Creating and monitoring budgets to track and control expenses.

Budgeting is like your financial roadmap – it helps you plan and allocate your resources effectively.

Your business budget should include expenses such as:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Inventory
  • Marketing and advertising

Make sure to regularly review your budget and make adjustments as needed to stay on track. This will help you control expenses and keep your business financially healthy.

Keep in mind that unexpected expenses may arise, so it’s important to have an emergency fund or contingency plan in place to cover these costs.

end of year bookkeeping checklist

12. Cash Flow Management: Forecasting and managing cash flow to ensure liquidity.

Cash flow management is crucial for the survival and growth of your business – it involves forecasting and monitoring cash inflow and outflow to make sure enough liquidity to cover expenses.

You have to identify areas where most of the cash flow comes from and where it goes. This will help you make informed decisions about managing your cash flow.

Most of the time, the main source of cash inflow is from sales revenue, while the major outflow is for expenses such as salaries, rent, and inventory.

If you properly forecast and manage your cash flow, you will be able to manage your business more effectively and avoid potential cash flow problems.

13. Depreciation Tracking: Recording and tracking the depreciation of assets for accurate financial reporting.

The next item on your bookkeeping checklist is depreciation tracking – depreciation means the decrease in value of an asset over time.

It is important to accurately track depreciation for financial reporting purposes, as it affects your business’s overall profitability and net worth.

Plus, if you want to sell or dispose of any assets, knowing their current value after depreciation can help you make informed decisions. So make sure to record and track depreciation for each asset on a regular basis.

14. Financial Analysis: Analyzing financial data to identify trends, opportunities, and areas for improvement.

From investments to expenses, financial analysis allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your business’s financial performance.

By analyzing data such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, you can identify patterns that will help you make informed decisions for the future success of your business.

To get started with financial analysis, make sure to regularly review and compare your financial data, set clear goals and targets, and seek professional help if needed.

15. Compliance Monitoring: Ensuring compliance with relevant accounting standards, regulations, and tax laws.

Legal issues can be a major headache for any business, especially when it comes to finances.

To avoid potential legal and financial consequences, it is important to stay updated on relevant accounting standards, regulations, and tax laws.

Make sure to have a system in place for monitoring compliance – this includes:

    • Regularly reviewing and updating your financial processes and procedures
    • Keeping accurate financial records
    • Seeking professional advice when unsure about compliance requirements.

You have to make sure you are following all the necessary regulations and laws to avoid any potential legal or financial issues.


1. What should be included in your monthly bookkeeping checklist?

It mainly depends on your business and its financial processes, but generally, a monthly bookkeeping checklist should include checking bank statements, reconciling accounts, reviewing financial reports, and updating budgets.

2. What should be included in your end-of-year bookkeeping checklist?

End-of-year bookkeeping is a bit different from monthly bookkeeping and may include tasks such as closing out books, preparing financial statements, filing taxes, and reviewing budget plans for the upcoming year.

3. How often should a business reconcile its bank statements?

A business should reconcile its bank statements at least once a month to ensure the accuracy of its financial records.

4. Can I adjust my budget once it's been set, and if so, when should this be done?

Yes, you can adjust your budget whenever required. Ideally, it should be done when there are significant changes in revenue or expenses.

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