Every January, I do a couple of things that just make the rest of my year easier in my business and in my personal life.
- PLAN YOUR VACATION. Yes… I start the year knowing when and where I am going. I have something to look forward to, I can save money by planning early, and I can plan my business around my time off.
- CLEAN OUT YOUR FILES. I have file folders categorized for my personal taxes and business taxes. As I incur expenses throughout the year that are applicable to my taxes, I just file those receipts/invoices in those folders. As I get monthly/quarterly statements, I also file those. At the beginning of the year, I empty out all of those folders to avoid mixing current year documents with the prior year’s documents.
- ORGANIZE FOR TAXES. As my documents were already in folders by category (see #2 above), it is really easy to take a quick pass at sorting and organizing them for the tax accountant. I only take about a half an hour doing this. I paperclip each category together and label with sticky notes and put in a large envelope or box. As I receive tax documents, such as W-2’s. 1099’s, financial summaries, etc., I just add them to the sorted documents as I receive them. When I sit down to do my final prep for the tax accountant, the document preparation makes it much easier.
- MAKE APPOINTMENTS. Tax preparation, doctors appointments, regular health screenings, auto maintenance… I can look at last year’s calendar and know when I need to make the appointments, or at minimum put alerts on my calendar to make the appointments.
I find this little bit of organizing makes sure that I stay organized and on track for the remainder of the year.
I also linking to an article from CBSNews from Jan.1 regarding tax preparation.