The annual closing of accounts is a very important operation for business leaders and for accounting firms because it materializes the purpose of all the accounting work that was carried out during the financial year.
This operation not only makes it possible to determine the accounting result and the tax result through the income statement, but it leads to the realization of a global image of the company through the balance sheet.
Also, to ensure an exact and faithful image of the company, it is necessary to determine rigorously exact amounts fixed on D-day. This is the reason why the chartered accountant must obtain a large amount of information from his client. The manager obviously has every interest in providing information as complete and precise as possible if he wants to obtain this faithful image of his company.
We are going to present to you below a list of the main information which is necessary to proceed to the closing of the accounts, while briefly specifying the usefulness of each one. All companies will obviously not have to provide all of this information, which depends on the size and above all on the activity of the company concerned.
We have classified the information to be provided into three categories:
- Information concerning the incomes;
- Information concerning the charges;
- Information concerning the balance sheet.
But it should be noted that all the accounting entries at the end of the financial year that will result from this will have an impact on the balance sheet. Any increase in expense or decrease in revenue will decrease the amount of assets or increase liabilities and vice versa.
I – Information concerning the incomes
- List of invoices not yet completed on the closing date and relating to products sold, work or services completed on that date. This makes it possible to record all the sales or production made during the financial year;
- Copy of long-term service contracts scalable over several years, in order to determine the part of the service provided during the financial year and to adjust the corresponding income accounts;
- The amount of discounts and rebates still to be granted to certain customers in order to adjust actual turnover;
- Operating subsidy contracts obtained during the financial year in order to verify their correct accounting (avoiding the recording of investment subsidies as income). This will also make it possible to record any amounts remaining to be collected as well as the risks of reimbursement when they exist.
II – Information concerning the charges
- The list of purchases made before the close of the financial year, the goods being received and included in the valuation of stocks when the invoices have not arrived or arrived with a date after the closing date. These purchases must of course be accounted for as they are added to the inventory (or possibly not included in the inventory);
- The list of invoices received and posted (the date of which is before the closing date) and for which the goods had not arrived on the closing date. Those goods not being included in inventory should be subtracted from the amount of purchases;
- The amount of discounts and rebates not yet recognized as receivable from suppliers on the balance sheet date;
- The valuation of the products and goods taken by the operator from the stocks during the financial year for his personal consumption. This amount should be subtracted from the amount of purchases;
- The evaluation of mixed expenses recorded in the accounts. This mainly concerns company-owned assets which are partially used privately by the operator;
- Copy of new leasing, insurance, marketing or advertising contracts covering several financial years in order to enable the accountant to determine the amount of the charge relating to the financial year;
- Copy of new, modified or renewed commercial leases during the year;
- Copy of medium or long-term maintenance contracts in order to determine the amount of the charge for the year;
- Name, address and profession of the persons to whom the company has paid fees, commissions, brokerage, reimbursement of costs or benefits in kind for an amount of at least € 1,200 during the financial year. These payments must be the subject of a special declaration;
- The state of paid leave and bonuses remaining due to staff. These amounts as well as the corresponding social charges must be recorded in the accounts;
- Copy of profit-sharing contracts signed with employee representatives during the financial year. The amount that will be paid after the accounts are closed must be calculated and provisioned.
III – Information concerning the balance sheet
- Copy of invoices for fixed assets acquired during the financial year and indication of their probable duration of use. This information will make it possible to update the fixed asset file as well as the depreciation tables;
- Statement of fixed assets sold or scrapped during the financial year in order to update the depreciation tables and calculate the capital gains and losses;
- Valuation of investment securities and equity securities held at the closing date of the accounts in order to provide for any unrealized capital losses (and possibly certain tax capital gains);
- Details of commitments and deposits. Deposits are recorded in assets and certain commitments are mentioned in the appendix to the balance sheet;
- Copy of concession contracts, patents or license;
- Copy of the subsidy contract in case of total or partial financing of assets thanks to a subsidy. This will allow the fiscal reintegration plan to be put in place;
- Copy of new loan contracts as well as the schedule to allow the accountant to distribute the financial burden;
- The amount of inventories valued at their purchase value or at their production cost as well as the amount of inventories of consumable supplies and packaging;
- The amount of damaged stocks to be destroyed or to be sold at a loss;
- Work in progress as well as products in production at the closing date of the accounts valued at their cost price on this same date;
- The list of doubtful customers and the amount that will likely be recovered, in order to provide for the possible loss;
- A statement of all ongoing disputes with customers, suppliers, third parties, administrations in order to provision for any losses;
- All documents making it possible to establish bank reconciliation statements (check books in use, transfers in progress not yet debited or not credited, etc.);
- Amount of customer invoices received in advance from a financial institution and for which the payment deadline has not yet been reached on the account closing date. In some cases, VAT is not yet due on these invoices.
Whether you are one of our clients or not, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any doubts about the information given in this article!
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