Posted on November 3, 2015

The Three Cs of Year-End Preparation

Year-end is a busy time for businesses, and it can be stressful to think about all the things you need to do to prepare for the end of one year and the beginning of the next. According to Paycor's own payroll expert Arlene Baker, year-end preparation can be broken down into three Cs: checklist, communicate and coordinate. If you follow the three Cs, year end will seem less overwhelming.


Give yourself peace of mind by getting organized with a year-end checklist. Walk through everything you need to do to close out this year and begin the next. Items on your checklist could include:

* Verify employee information to ensure correct W-2s
* Verify that company information, such as state unemployment rates, is correct
* Request to have your payroll provider hold your books open if necessary
* Reconcile all four quarters of 941s
* Report all independent contractors' earnings for 1099s
* Anything else that may be unique to your company’s year-end preparations


Be sure to communicate with the people who are providing you with the year-end information you need, such as your company’s controller or your CPA. Once you have that information, communicate it to your payroll provider.


It’s important to coordinate with your team on any details around finalizing the year-end process. Examples include:

* Determining at what point you need all the necessary information to make your payroll processor’s deadlines
* Ensuring you are prepared for compliance in the coming year by updating state unemployment rates
* Deciding on next year’s payroll schedule
* Updating for next year any employee pay rate changes and benefit accruals such as paid time off

Following the three Cs of year-end—checklist, communicate and coordinate—can help you stay on top of your year-end tasks.