As you’re feasting on your Thanksgiving dinner, don’t let year-end responsibilities eat you up. You can ease year-end concerns by ticking off some key tasks now.
√ Confirm year-end deadlines and final 2012 federal/state deposit dates. Reminder: The day after Thanksgiving is a regular federal deposit date; schedule the deposit ahead of time, if you need to.
√ Schedule special year-end reports to and from other departments.
√ Schedule bonus payrolls.
√ Update your W-2 software and run samples on plain paper. (Shred the samples before tossing them.)
√ Check your Social Security Administration (SSA) website password. Passwords expire every 90 days, so you may need to create a new one.
√ Check with exempts regarding their reporting of accrued time off through November, and whether they’re planning to take time off next month.
√ Send memos to employees showing 2013 paydays, the new Social Security taxable wage base, 401(k) pretax limit and state unemployment/disability wage bases, if applicable.
√ Review posting descriptions on nonrecurring journal entries.
√ Post employees’ benefits/adjustment data. Include: relocation allowances, educational assistance, group-term life insurance, third-party paid sick pay and manual and void checks.
√ Document gross-to-net calculations for manual checks; ensure that manual checks and voids are entered properly; review the general ledger accounts. This helps Accounting reconcile the payroll bank accounts.
√ Reconcile your tax register. Also reconcile bank accounts through November and ask your bank to prepare an early cutoff statement for December.
√ Head off last year’s problems this year. Consider: Was the mailroom notified of the volume of outgoing mail when W-2s were mailed? Was there enough postage in the postage machine?
√ Check the IRS’ website to ensure that you have the most recent Forms 941, 940, 944 and 945.
√ Submit 2012 laser-printed substitute W-2 (Copy A) and W-3 forms to the SSA for approval. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.