Make Filing Your Taxes Easier With Better Organization and Digital Tools
When it comes to preparing your tax return, organizing receipts and other documentation is an important first step. Yet it’s also a time-intensive task that you may feel tempted to keep putting off. Whether you keep all your receipts in a shoe box or you have a self-designed system that helps get your return done in the nick of time, a few relatively simple shifts in your document gathering and managing efforts can help save you time and energy — and make tax season a whole lot easier in 2021.
Get an Expense Tracker App
Expense tracker apps help in a number of key ways. For example, they help you keep track of various types of business expenses in one spot, such as meals, mileage and other travel-related items. Many apps also enable you to create reports, be reimbursed through direct deposit and reconcile your credit card statements.
Although most of these tools aren’t free, they’re a relatively inexpensive option that tends to run between $5 and $30 per user per month. When you weigh the monthly price against the time, efficiency and potential money savings you achieve by keeping track of potential deductions right from the start, you may find that a tracker app is worth the cost. Three apps you might want to look into include BizXpense Tracker, Mileage Log+, and Shoeboxed.
Use Your Smart Phone to Track Expenses
When you connect your smartphone to your expense tracker app, you can digitize your record keeping at the point you incur the business expense and record as you go — eliminating the need to block off time before tax season to get all your expenses organized. With many apps, you simply take a photo of a receipt or business card and technology takes care of capturing the relevant information. You can categorize expenses, keep track of mileage in a few clicks and create reports. Additionally, you can export your expenses to many common accounting programs. Some apps even have humans who help do the work for you. It often requires a higher-level monthly plan, but you can either send your receipts to the app provider and have your documents scanned and categorized for you, or you can scan them yourself and get help organizing the data. Then you can access your data digitally and ditch the paperwork.
Get Help From Accountants
As the founder of an accounting firm, my team and I have made it a priority to develop a turnkey solution to help small-business owners focus on their core competencies — running their businesses and delivering their products and services, rather than spending excess time on administration. So, we offer a program that helps small-business owners track revenue and expenses, and complete financial reports, monthly. This makes tax planning and preparation much easier, since record-keeping occurs all year long.
Components of our monthly process include:
Recording your business expenses doesn’t have to be a chore. With the help of some digital tools and a few small adjustments to your daily routine, you can keep up with your tax preparation throughout the year rather than having to catch up during tax season.
About the Author:
Chris Smith, CPA, CGMA, is owner of CB Smith & Associates P.C. He leads a staff of certified public accountants and other tax professionals who offer business and individual services to clients throughout Georgia. CB Smith & Associates is a business advisory and full-service accounting firm with offices in Lake Oconee, Cumming and Macon that works in tandem with its sister company, Reliance Payroll LLC, a full-service payroll and human resources outsourcing firm. Visit CBSmithCPA.com or call (706) 484-0304 for more information.
Chris Smith | 04/16/2021