Published on: November 05, 2019
A year-end ERP checklist can help you get your systems ready for the new year ahead. Not only can this checklist provide a simple plan for ending the year on a positive note, it also ensures all the hard work you’ve put into your ERP system throughout the year won’t go to waste.
We’ve put together this year-end ERP checklist for the business owner who doesn’t have much time but wants to make sure their system is at its peak for the new year. If you need further accounting software support. Mindover Software offers software selection, implementation, and support.
Share This ERP Year-End Checklist
Print or share this year-end ERP checklist with colleagues and coworkers. The tips and information provided in this checklist are useful for any accounting software support and ERP systems such as Sage and Acumatica.
- Develop a year-end strategy: Year-end hits just at the time when many employees take vacation and holiday schedules interrupt the financial institutions and vendors who provide information for year-end close. Develop a strategy now and determine who will gather information for year-end close, when information such as bank statements will be ready, and so on. Assign tasks to employees and due dates to ensure everything gets done before vacation time begins.
- Reconcile all balances. Reconcile bank statements, invoices, credit card accounts and other information to ensure the end of year tally is accurate. If you do not have the final information yet, you may need to run through these steps another time after receiving the final December statements from your financial institutions. Don’t forget to reconcile payroll reports, too. Reconcile payroll to the General Ledger and double check it now. This helps you avoid amending payroll tax returns later.
- Check physical inventory: Conduct a physical inventory and update the inventory quantities in the ERP system. Some companies use barcode scanners which automatically feed data into the ERP system as items are scanned in the warehouse. Make sure all products in every area of the warehouse, including returns and backstock, are accounted for before calling the inventory counted for the year.
- Review the data retention settings in your ERP system: Depending on your ERP system, the settings may automatically record historical data. Be sure to check this in your particular system (Sage 100, Sage 300, Acumatica) as you want to save all historic data for future reference. Review the system settings now so nothing is lost at the end of the year. Another area to check is the General Ledger. Look in the settings to see what the settings are to maintain the history.
- Print important statements: Yes, we’d all like to move to a completely paperless office. However, some information is just too important, and a paper backup provides peace of mind. Print off Detailed Final Balance Report, Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement, Statement of Cash Flows, and Statement of Retained Earnings.
- Review the chart of accounts: This is a good time to review the categories in the chart of accounts and determine if you’ll keep them the same in the new year or make changes. If you decide to make changes, reviewing the information early in the process of year-end close gives you the opportunity to discuss amongst the accounting and financial professionals in the company.
- Check and perform file maintenance: Cloud-based systems may perform updates on their own but site-based systems may need manual updates. Check to see if any patches or updates have been issued by your software provider. Update all systems. It’s also a good idea to update other productivity software you use including word processing systems and others as determined by your IT person and/or the software vendor.
- Make a backup: Backup the entire system. Use a fresh backup drive and label it with the appropriate year.
- Set up the new year: Now that you (hopefully) have agreement on the Chart of Accounts for the new year and all of the information has been updated and system settings verified, it’s time to set up the new year.
- Close out the old year: Close out the old year. Make another backup (yes, another one. You’ll thank us later). Then celebrate with your team the great job you’ve done getting ready for the new year.
Update Virus Protection Programs
Another important consideration at year-end (and all year round, for that matter) is virus protection. Cloud-based ERP systems offer greater protection as vendors add layers of security to their services to keep their clients’ data safe.
However, that doesn’t keep your computers and on-site systems safe. Now is the time to upgrade your virus protection systems. If you do have a package installed on your computers, check it to see if important updates or patches have been released and install them.
Lastly, add training on how to spot phishing schemes and other tricks cyber criminals use to access company systems. New tricks used by crooks include phishing schemes in which a criminal pretends to be the CEO and emails employees asking for their passwords to access the system. Other phishing schemes include password “reset” links and harmless games passed around social media in which participants divulge the street name where they grew up, their favorite teacher, or other information often used as security questions.
Awareness is an important step to preventing hackers from gaining access to valuable company data. Cyber security is always important, but year-end is a great time to refresh everyone’s memory on how to keep data secure.
Consider Updating Your ERP
If you’re satisfied with your current, ERP—great! But if not, now is an excellent time to consider updating your ERP system. Sage offers two great ERP systems, Sage 100cloud and Sage 300cloud, tailored to different business needs. Acumatica is also a great choice for small to mid-sized companies looking for a flexible ERP system that will grow with their business.
Choosing an ERP system takes time, research, and preparation. If it’s time to upgrade or switch to a new ERP system, now is a great time to take notes on what you like and don’t like in your current system. As you work on your year-end close, you’ll find aspects of the system you love and some you wish you could change. Take plenty of notes. When it’s time to create an RFP or meet with potential software vendors, you’ll be ahead of the process by having your list ready of likes/dislikes to compare to their products.
Accounting Software Support
One of the most important aspects of any enterprise resource planning system is the support provided by the reseller and the software vendor. At Mindover Software, we offer selection, implementation, and ongoing support to all our customers. We understand the time and money invested into an ERP system can be considerable for our customers and we’re here to ensure that at every step of the way, you have experts available to answer questions or help you get the information you need.
Mindover Software offers a range of accounting software support services to help you choose the right ERP system or better manage the one you have. These services include:
- Documenting software deficiencies, gaps, and areas for improvement.
- Mapping workflows and aligning software systems with how your team works
- Software selection and review
- Data migration from old systems to new ones
- Training for your whole team
- Post-integration support
Accounting software support doesn’t end when you’ve become our client. It continues long after, when you need us, as you need us, to ensure you get the most from your ERP software.
Other Software Maintenance for Year-End Close
As we mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to check all of your software, not just your ERP software, for updates, patches, and other vendor-released updates. If your business experiences a lull over the holidays, it’s a great time to perform other necessary year-end software maintenance. This includes:
- Updating all systems, including operating systems, as needed
- Retiring unused apps or programs—take them off your equipment
- Checking your website for updates to plugins and software and making any necessary updates
- Updating virus protection and security scans or adding upgraded ones
- Backing up all systems
- Gap analysis of any software needed for critical areas not covered by your current ERP system
On this last point, consider contacting us if you find you have gaps in the ERP system and feel you may need additional software. Often, ERP vendors make additional software that integrates seamlessly into the base package and provides additional functionality. For example, Sage makes Sage HRMS, a human resources management software package, as well as Sage CRM for contact management, sales, and marketing support. Each package works well with Sage ERP systems and offers excellent integration. Other products, like Acumatica ERP, also integrate with many additional software packages. We can advise you on the best choices to meet your needs.
Contact Mindover Software for more information: 512-990-3994. And here’s to a Happy New Year!