4 Lessons Learned from Tax Prep
You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. -Zig Ziglar
Tax prep used to cause me so much angst until I realized I could control the mountain of paper by being intentional throughout the year- not just frantically starting on January 1! I have created a list of top things you can do to help reduce the anxiety that the tax season brings so many of us.
1. Find an amazing accountant. Take your time and find the best one for you! Seriously, this isn't something you want to do quickly. Take the time to get recommendations and then have a conversation with each one. If you want to be successful, you need an accountant that you can communicate easily with. They are a huge part of your success story. Without them you could be missing huge deducations. I have a sit down meeting with my accountant mid year to discuss projections and see what, if any, adjustments need to be made so that we don't have any major surprises come the end of the year. Being blindsided is the WORST and can be avoided with some diligence. This mid-point meeting also forces me to take the time to run the reports and be able to speak to what I have done til this point and also where I want to go.
2. Keep up with the receipts
This is so much easier to write this advice than to actually practice it. The picture above is me not following my own advice. I was good at keeping receipts and putting them in the proper folder but past that- it is a hot mess! There are a ton of useful apps out there such as Shoebox that you can just scan your receipt and organize them electroniclly. January 2018 I started the process of scanning everything and it feels good! I created a bunch of folders on my desktop so they are neatly organized.
3. Educate yourself
Accountants have a wealth of knowledge- don't just send your documents in and wait for a return to be sent back. Ask them questions about the how and why of the process. It saves time when you understand it. For example, I purchased a vehicle for the company but use it for some personal use so instead of waiting until next year- I got on a call and understood what the tax law is and how to properly enter it in Quickbooks.
4. Make it fun!
Unless you completely outsource all aspect of recording keeping, it is going to be in your life forever so find a Pandora station that makes you feel like jamming out and focus on how good it will feel to have it all squared away! It is such an invigorating feeling when you see it all organized and ready to go. I always feel like a superhero!