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Recordkeeping Checkup: How Organized Are You?
Now that we're into the final quarter of the fiscal year, this is the perfect time to think about tax preparation, starting with going through and preparing your tax-related records and supporting documents to make sure everything is in good order. After all, you'll be sending this paperwork to your CPA in just a few short months, so getting a handle on the current state of your records will help prevent any unpleasant surprises from cropping up in the 2013 income tax season. Our CPAs in Raleigh are sharing some tips on how to get organized with your financial record keeping.
Organizing Your Financial Statements
While combing through your physical and electronic receipts, reports, and financial statements, you might find that you're not as organized as you could be. This is a fairly common occurrence among small business owners, as they frequently get so caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of running their company that "tax stuff" receives little attention until April 14.
But that's not a very efficient or effective approach to record keeping, and could lead to an increase in your tax liability due to misplaced, overlooked, or destroyed documents. If this fourth quarter checkup reveals that your records are in disarray, here are a few easy tips on how to get more organized:
- Use bookkeeping software that is appropriate to the size and complexity of your business. Sometimes a simple spreadsheet can be just as powerful an organizational tool as QuickBooks,
- Set up a physical filing system for all hard copies of bank statements, invoices, receipts, and similar documents, and get in the habit of filing your paperwork accordingly instead of dumping everything into a single desk drawer.
- Keep a business travel journal or write memos on the back of receipts to help clarify and justify expenses. Taking notes on the go is far more reliable than trying to remember the details of a business dinner that took place in June six months after the fact.
- Invest in payroll software to help maintain meticulous records pertaining to wages, benefits, awards, bonuses, and tips paid out to all employees during the fiscal year.
- Be sure to track additional costs associated with any depreciable assets bought for business use. These costs may include taxes, delivery, training, and setup fees.
- Don't forget to log cash transactions made with money from the petty cash fund.
- Consider purchasing record keeping apps that allow you to enter data or scan documents via your smartphone and automatically sync info across all connected mobile devices and PCs.
Good record keeping not only helps make tax time a lot less stressful, but also contributes to the smooth and efficient daily operation of your small business. If you're lagging behind in this area, start putting the above tips into practice now so you can get on the right track as soon as possible.
Contact Us for Small Business Bookkeeping in Raleigh
If you are struggling with keeping up with your records and would rather spend more time focusing on running your business, we can help. We offer a variety of small business accounting services, including bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, and so much more. Reach out to our CPAs in Raleigh today to set up a consultation and learn how we can save you time and minimize your tax burden by calling us at 919-420-0092 or fill out our contact form.
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