Are You Ready?
Ernie Neve, CPA
December 3, 2019
Like it or not, the end of 2019 is here.
From a tax point of view, if you still haven’t got all your paperwork and “stuff” in order, you’re woefully behind.
Now, it might be easy to hide behind all the things going on this month to allow you to neglect getting your ducks in a row, but let me share a secret with you:
No matter how screwy your files are, you can get the whole year square this month – in less than four hours. Even better? You can do this so easily, you can likely do it and never notice it took ANY time.
Week One: Start with all those paper receipts. In the “good old days” this meant you got out the shoebox you’d crammed stuff into all year and started breaking them down by category or by month. Here’s where technology has made some changes to this generations-old idea – with the preponderance of QuickBooks and Xero, you’ll probably find it easier to break all those paper receipts and invoices into categories. In an hour, you’ll be shocked at how far you can get! Right now, simply keep off the computer, just get this paper organized!
Week Two: Now, take all those receipts, invoices, and miscellaneous documents and fire up the magic box on the desk. Depending on what your bookkeeping system is, now, you’re simply going to enter the information from the paper copy into the digital copy. Should you scan? Maybe. It’s really going to depend on how (and who) is handling your tax preparation. Check with us to see, because there are some different rules for different entities and scenarios.
Week Three: Week three might not be too much fun, but again, in about one hour, I’d like you to go and retrieve all the banking documents from your business accounts. Print those out (or import them into the accounting software) and double-check you’ve got everything. Then shut it down for the day. The key is to have all this ready – not necessarily organized – at this stage.
Week Four: Now, those of you that are really good at math realize that Week four coincides with the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I’ll make this week easy on you – remember, a lot of your contributions close out this week, so if you are going to be dropping money into accounts, do it today! Obviously, you’ll take this document and add it to your tax information, but the most important thing is this: Get it done today. There are no “do-overs” with the IRS.
All of us wish you the best this Holiday Season, so enjoy the time with family and friends!