We’re almost two months in to 2017, but now’s the perfect time to put some processes in place to make your life so much better this time next year. I’m sharing three simple things you can do right now to make 2017 super successful when it comes to your business finances.
Make bookkeeping “business meetings” with yourself for every month of 2017.
Choose a date for each month and create an appointment for yourself. Treat this like a client meeting. You wouldn’t cancel last minute on a client or keep pushing the meeting back. When the meeting time arrives, go to your office or a coffee shop and get your bookkeeping done for the month.
By scheduling the bookkeeping meetings before the year starts, you’ll be mentally prepared to set aside the time needed. After a couple months, it becomes old habit and just another thing on your to-do list. If you keep pushing your bookkeeping to the bottom of your list, it will snowball and feel unmanageable.
Set up monthly folders for your receipts (digital and physical).
I don’t know about you, but when I get home from a business lunch meeting, that meal receipt has a 50/50 chance of getting lost in the depths of my purse or making it up to my office. To increase my odds of rescuing receipts from my purse, I labeled 12 envelopes with the months. I keep the current month’s envelope in my purse or in my kitchen so it’s a no-brainer when I get home and have receipts to file.
For digital receipts you can set up folders in your email where you can save receipts as soon as they hit your inbox. Since the IRS accepts digital or paper receipts, don’t feel like you have to print out every emailed receipt.
Every month, when you have your bookkeeping date, make sure you export your emailed receipts to PDF format and save in a secondary location. I’ve heard horror stories of emails being hacked or history being deleted and then losing all of that important documentation. While it’s an extra step to save your documents in another location, it will give you peace of mind.
Create a separate savings account to save for taxes.
The key is “out of sight, out of mind.” By creating a completely separate account from your day-to-day business operations account and transferring a portion of your profit to this account, you’ll be less likely to spend the money that you’ll need to pay for your taxes.
This concept can be used for sales tax that you collect from customers as well as setting aside money for income taxes.
Setting up the account is simple. Go to your current bank (or do it online!) and let them know you want a business savings account. Make sure the account has a limit on transfers out so that you aren’t tempted to take money out for personal use, only for tax payments.
This will set you up for success when it comes to saving for taxes and help ensure you never have to feel that awful feeling of not having enough cash when it comes time to pay your taxes.
Amy Northard is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who has a passion for working with creative entrepreneurs all over the US and making the tax and accounting side of owning a business less stressful. When she’s not getting nerdy with numbers, she loves to knit and take Instagram pictures of calculators.
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