How to Get Organized Fast for Tax Season
By Deborah Sweeney on March 05, 2014
Welcome to March Madness AKA the month that many a small business owner, entrepreneur, and freelancer will spend frantically diving through months of receipts, documents, and additional necessary paperwork to get organized to file their business taxes in April. While the expectation here is that all documents have been some filed accordingly throughout the year, the reality is usually a bit more scattered. If you’re among those who are currently combing through every shoebox, wallet, car seat, and desk drawer possible that may contain receipts from 2013 somewhere inside, here are a few tips to ensure you keep your cool and stay on top of your paperwork.
Avoid paying with cash.
This is a great piece of advice from Entrepreneur.com – if you opt for cash over a card for business expenses, you’ll have a much more difficult time tracking your expenses and maintaining your bookkeeping records in the event that you’re potentially audited.
Secure everything on the cloud.
If you started a business this year, or last year, hunting down every single document related to the start-up is just as difficult as having all of your paperwork in one place but all of its completely disorganized. Look into cloud based storage solutions to upload your paperwork to. The cloud ensures that your documents are all in one place, organized by the proper folder, and password protected but also still accessible anytime you need to check in.
Make an Excel spreadsheet tracking all expenses.
Your business should have a daily spreadsheet in place that tracks all of the expenses you’ve racked up over the course of the year to go alongside your receipts (which should also be scanned and kept close at hand to the spreadsheet). Keep this spreadsheet categorized and updated with every purchase made, no matter how big or small. Maybe it sounds a little excessive to note every coffee meeting out with a potential client, but those lattes do add up and entrepreneurs are much more likely to pencil in a meeting date than note the exact amount they spent while out with a partner for said meeting.
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