Do you and your accounting team dread tax season? We feel you. For even the most organized accountants and business owners, tax season can be a time of immense stress and frustration. If you’re tired of working long days and losing sleep just trying to keep up with your bookkeeping to file on time, we can help. Follow these tips and techniques for staying efficient during tax season so you won’t face any last-minute problems or penalties.
Scan and Photograph Everything
There’s nothing more frustrating than losing a receipt and missing out on a big reduction. To ensure this never happens again, make a folder for all your slips and then photograph and upload the receipts as soon as you receive them. That way you won’t accidentally lose it or misplace them.
Set Up Reminders
All business owners know when taxes are due, but few put in reminders to make sure that they have everything they need on time. If you find that you and your team are always scrambling come tax season, you can save yourself a lot of stress and frustration by putting reminders in your calendar and phone to request any outstanding receipts, invoices, and payments ahead of time.
Keep Business and Personal Separate
Small businesses are notorious for mixing business items with personal items. But paying for business items with your personal bank accounts and credit cards can cause all kinds of problems during tax time. You can eliminate any confusion by getting a business visa for yourself and the employees who typically expense items. This makes it easy to account for and can also help make things a whole lot easier if you are audited by the CRA.
Check the Government Website for any Changes
Most penalties are issued because of simple negligence. As a business owner or accountant, it’s your responsibility to stay up to date on all the tax changes that take place every year. You can find a list of all the tax changes taking effect for the new year by visiting the Department of Finance Canada’s website. That way you won’t miss a major modification that could cause you to redo everything or result in a hefty penalty.
Create and Use a Checklist
Keep on track with a checklist that outlines all the items required to prepare and complete your financial statements and file your corporate income tax return. This checklist should include a list of all the forms that need to be filled out and filed, all the financial documents and records that will need to be tracked down before filing, the name of employees who will be submitting expense forms, and a list of all the bookkeeping and accounting documents that will need to be used to fill out the forms or included.
Utilize Smart Accounting Software
Every accountant has a horror story about receiving a box of receipts from an employee right before taxes are due and trying to chase down documents to ensure that they are reconciled and filed on time. Fortunately, there’s a solution to all these tax woes – smart accounting software.
These programs can automatically upload, file, and organize all your financial documents in one place. They can even be used to sync with other bookkeeping software to reconcile accounts, send invoices, and produce instant reports, all at the touch of a button. Accounting software is designed to save you time and help you be more productive by doing all the work for you. You won’t have to hunt down documents, fill out excel data sheets, or produce ledgers by hand — it’s all done automatically and stored online in a cloud.
Take Hubdoc for example. This software allows you to snap a photo of your receipts, forward invoices from your email or sync your accounts for automatic uploading. It then extracts key information from the document and exports it into data you can utilize in the cloud. It will even create folders and file everything for you automatically, keeping things nice and organized. You can then sync it with the Xero cloud accounting software to create reports, send invoices, receive online payments, track accounts receivable and payable, reconcile accounts, and much more. The dashboard lets you know how you’re doing financially at any point in time, so you are always ahead of the game when it comes to filing your business taxes. What’s great about these two systems is that thanks to the cloud platform, they can be used on any device from anywhere around the world, and they can be shared with your accountant team for even better efficiency.
Hire a Pro
If you and your team are constantly struggling with your accounting systems and managing your paperwork, it might be time to hire a company to help. Envolta is an accounting firm that provides effective business accounting and bookkeeping services by leveraging the best tools and technology available today. We use cloud-based accounting software like Hubdoc and Xero that our clients can also easily use and understand. Our goal is to provide solutions for all your daily accounting needs, whether it’s ongoing or on-demand.
Contact us to find out how we can help your business or firm today! Our accounting and bookkeeping team at Envolta are ready to help you streamline your accounting operations so you can spend more time focusing on growing your business.