Tax season is here. While it isn’t quite crunch time, it is time to start prepping and get everything in order. A good way to get started on your tax prep is to focus on the three most important things small businesses need to do now.
- Get organized. There is almost nothing more frustrating than dumping a pile of papers onto your accountant’s desk and wasting time (and money) sifting through the documents. This process – while it continues to happen to some of us year after year – is very inefficient and almost always results in missed deductions or miscalculations. Rather than taking the time to read through the receipts and documents and manually separate into piles, consider scanning the documents (or snapping a photo) and letting your software do the work of parsing the data and separating the expenses. The process of digitizing and filing will result in organized documents and data. Therefore, there will be a smooth transfer of data from you to your accountant and help streamline this process.
- Get in the cloud. Once you have your pile of papers digitized and organized, ensure that your file transfer is seamless by deploying a cloud-based option. For example, consider the simplicity of sharing a folder with your accountant via an email and link. If you upload your documents and share the file folder that lives in the cloud, you and your accountant can simply add to the folders and access [the updated] information as needed and in real-time. Cloud-based solutions allow you to quickly and securely access your files from any computer or device. This makes the process of sharing accounting information more convenient and less tedious.
- Plan the plan. Know that the filing deadline will approach quickly. So instead of rushing around at the last minute or doing everything at once and feeling overwhelmed, plan the process. Work backward from the filing date and set weekly to-dos and milestones that will keep you on track. Work these deadlines out with your accountant and ensure that both of you are on the same page – and the same pace.
Be sure to file on time or file for an extension. More importantly, don’t feel overwhelmed if your tax documents are out of sorts this year. Do the best you can and then work on your tax prep process – one that will last all year so future tax seasons are easier to manage.