Incorporate the necessary steps now to prevent common pitfalls
April 10th, 2015
Congratulations! By now, you've probably met with your CPA and made it through another year of tax preparation. For some, this can be a rather stressful time trying to gather a year's worth of information. Looking to avoid some of the pitfalls and stresses that you endured this year? Want to do a better job next year?
Here's the simple answer: Avoid the guesswork at the end of the year by tracking all of your personal and business expenses throughout the year with finance software. At the end of the year, gathering your tax information will be as simple as running a report from the software instead of guesstimating.
Make sure you meet with your CPA in October or November to get a head start on year-end tax planning. Your CPA will look at your books and give you valuable recommendations so you have your ducks in a row come January.
We have a few time-tested tips to make your tax planning easier:
Incorporate electronic software such as Quicken or Quickbooks into your household bookkeeping efforts. This is especially important if you have outside income from property rentals, a small farm or an in-home business (such as a small jewelry business, for example).
Track your charitable contributions throughout the year and do not rely on thank-you letters from organizations.
Remember to track your personal deductions such as mortgage interest, property taxes, and DMV registration fees.
You absolutely should use accounting software. Take the time to learn how to use it properly.
Keep your business and personal expenses separate.
Have dedicated business credit cards and refrain from using your personal cards for business, and vice versa.
If this was a particularly challenging tax preparation year, we recommend breaking down the preparation and meeting with your CPA quarterly. Although we're happy to help clean up your accounting records at the end of the year, you'll see enjoy a greater value from the sound business advice that an expert at Grimbleby Coleman can provide.
Remember - track, track, track all year!
Ian serves as a lead client contact focused on attest services. He applies his international perspective gleaned from working with clients from multiple industries including utilities, technology, pharmaceuticals, retail and not for profit. Although Ian initially started out as a marketing major at Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business, he later switched to the accounting program to gain more insights into how businesses run.
Ian is a Modesto native but spent seven years with PWC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) – starting as an intern in San Jose, then joining the firm’s LA office before eventually transferring to their offices in first Edinburgh and later Aberdeen, Scotland.
While abroad, Ian and his wife Jessica found time to travel throughout Europe, including a 3,000 mile camping trip through France and Italy with their 5-month old son. Ian "considers Edinburgh one of his favorite places in the world, despite the high cost of living in the UK." He highly recommends traveling there, especially during the festivals in August.
Ian would like to spend his Saturdays in June with his young family enjoying the ocean either in Carmel or Pismo Beach. By October, he’s likely to be headed to Big Sur for a camping trip. When January rolls around, Ian will no doubt be yearning to put his season pass to use snowboarding at Dodge Ridge.