Instead of stuffing all your year-end duties into December, you’ll lighten the load considerably by completing some of these key tasks now.
√ Confirm year-end deadlines and final 2014 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/from other departments and bonus payrolls.
√ Inform IT of any special year-end needs.
√ Review state unemployment rate notices and input the appropriate data into the.
√ Update W-2 software and run samples on plain paper; shred 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 2015 paydays, the new Social Security taxable wage base, 401(k) pretax limit and state unemployment/disability wage bases, if applicable.
√ Review posting descriptions on non-recurring 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.
√ Reconcile the tax register; also reconcile bank accounts through November and ask your bank to prepare an early cut-off statement for December.
√ Head off last year’s problems for this year. Consider: Was the mailroom notified of the volume of out-going mail when W-2s were mailed? Was there enough postage in the postage machine?
√ Email 2014 black-and-white substitute W-2 (Copy A) and W-3 forms to the SSA for approval: firstname.lastname@example.org.