When it comes to tax season, many small business owners find themselves in an all out scramble to collect all of the necessary documentation. Receipts of business purchases and a list of miles driven to and from client meetings are often hard to find going back 12 months!
Keeping this information organized and up-to-date all year long will save you a great deal of time and energy each spring. Here are some helpful tips for staying organized.
Keep a mileage log book in your car
If your work day involves you spending a lot of time in your own car driving around town from meeting to meeting, it can be a hassle to remember each of the stops you made when you sit down a week later to track your mileage. If you find yourself in this situation buy yourself a notebook that you keep in your car at all times. When you get into your car at the beginning of the day write down the number on your odometer, then when you arrive at your destination write down the next number. There’s no need to do the arithmetic on the spot as long as you do this every time you leave for and arrive at your next meeting. Then, when you sit down a few weeks later to track your mileage all you have to do is add up the numbers you’ve been carefully keeping!
Track your mileage on Google maps
If keeping a log just seems too complicated, trust an online mapping service like Google Maps or MapQuest to tell you the exact mileage you drive from meeting to meeting. This way you can simply page back through your calendar and enter the starting and ending addresses and voila, your mileage is tracked for you. Of course, this method doesn’t account for missed exits or detours, but in most cases it will do the trick.
Create a habit of keeping every receipt
Create a space somewhere in your home or office where you can habitually deposit all of your receipts, personal and business. Then schedule time into your week to sort through those receipts, put aside and label the ones you need to keep for your business records and toss the rest. Making it a habit to track your receipts during your weekly routine means you won’t end up with a pile of receipts to sort through at the end of the year.
Invest in technology
If keeping track of your receipts is too burdensome on your own, considering investing in technologies built to save you time and hassle. Products like Receipt Bank allow you to take a photo of your receipt with your cell phone and track it through their cloud-based software. No more sorting through wrinkled up receipts from the bottom of your briefcase, investing in the right software will make your job a whole lot easier.
Staying on top of the minutiae of business ownership is not always fun or exciting, but it’s an important task to make sure that your books are done properly. And tracking your mileage and receipts on an ongoing basis will save you time and frustration at the end of each year. If tracking your mileage and receipts are not already part of your weekly habits consider implementing some new strategies or even investing in new products to make your job easier. As your business continues to grow, hiring a bookkeeping service will help you stay on top of these tasks without having to hire full-time team members. Contact us today for a free consultation.