If the very thought gives you shivers, a pit in your stomach or a strong desire to just go take a nap – you’ve probably been putting them off. Dreaded taxes. Especially business taxes. Perhaps you have that proverbial shoebox under your desk.
There’s not much I can say to help you now (except maybe to go mix yourself a strong margarita), but here are some tax prep tips from Intuit (makers of Quickbooks) to prevent the panic next year.
Below are some of my personal strategies to keep the tax blues away:
- Hire a bookkeeper. Trying to “keep the books” yourself to save money actually does the opposite – it costs you money. The hours you spend doing it yourself are hours better spent marketing or serving clients.
- Hire an accountant. Even if you are just starting, that’s a perfect time to have a professional set up your accounts properly.
- Invest in accounting software. My fave is accounting software offered by QuickBooks. Every bookkeeper and accountant I’ve ever worked with also uses Quickbooks, so we can all share files and I can dig into the numbers. Then all the info your accountant needs to put together your taxes in January is right there!
- Stay up-to-date on entering all income and expense items. Many transactions happen electronically these days, so your bookkeeper can do the heavy lifting for you, but you’ll still want to let him/her know how to classify each item. Accounting software makes that easy!
- Stay organized. Avoid the “shoebox” by using a 12-month expandable folder to capture all your receipts.
- Set up a mileage log. When I travel, I put in the date and the mileage, and the spreadsheet keeps a running tab for me. At the end of the year, I just send that to my accountant. (Or even better – I just found out Quickbooks has automated mileage tracking online capability, including a mobile app!
Next year, you’ll be sipping that margarita knowing it’s all already done!
© Copyright 2017 Terri Zwierzynski