Do all those end of financial year sales (EOFYS) jingles on TV make your blood run cold because it reminds you of all the paperwork you have to get through to prepare for your tax return? Well switch that jingle playing in your head to one of my favourite 80’s bands Roxette and come along for the ‘joyride’ as I introduce you to our DRESS for success FileOsophy.
There are just 4 simple steps that will help you clear the paper clutter in your home AND have you ready and raring to go come tax time.
Like many processes if you don’t schedule time to do something you are likely to forget to do it. So the first step of this process is to schedule in a time each month to work through the next 3 steps.
- Allocate the time in your diary when you know you won’t be distracted by other tasks
- A little effort now will go a long way come tax time
- Commit yourself and just do it. If you forget, don’t delay, catch up as soon as possible to avoid being overwhelmed.
Even if you are following our CAST (Consider, Action, Stow or Throw) FileOsophy steps, we are all human and get a little off track.
Rummage around the ‘usual places’ for any stray receipts; here is a mini check list of places to look for receipts:
- handbagS (that’s plural for the ladies that change bags regularly)
- car console or glove box
- kitchen junk drawer (everyone has one, even me. Ok, well maybe not Jo!)
- bedside drawers
- pants pockets
- shoe box
- to file tray etc etc
If you are using an action station or action folder you will also need to access that for any current information.
Use the receipts, statements and invoices you have gathered to enter the basic $ in and $ out into a simple excel worksheet or for small business you could use your chosen accounting program e.g. MYOB or Xero.
Don’t run away screaming ‘noooo not data entry’, remember if you are doing this every month it will only take 5 minutes, in a quiet month there might not be any entries at all.
This step can be skipped if you are using the services of a book keeper or accountant.
Thermal receipts can start to fade within a few months and be completely unreadable come tax time, making them useless so we recommend you scan or photograph your receipts.
We save scans or photos into a designated computer folder ‘Tax 2013/14’.
There are also apps and services that you could use. Read what Daniel James had to say about it on Business IT late last year
If you are using our FileOsophy Stow system you can then file everything in your For-Tax folder, or simply file in the storage unit of your choice: ‘For tax guy’ envelope or ‘take to tax lady’ shoe box.
Very simple stuff.
If you can REPEAT these steps each month not only will you will have a manageable amount of paperwork to be handling but processing your tax return will be blissfully easy as everything will be ready to go.
Every year our accountant exclaims “I wish all my clients were as organised as you!” You too can achieve this kind of TaxTopia by being better organised.
As we get closer and closer to the end of THIS financial year now is a great time to get organised and prepare for a prosperous 2014-15 financial year. We can help you set up your space, shop for equipment and design customised systems and solutions for you and your family.
Contact me for a Family Filing discovery session booking in June, mention this blog and receive a 50% discount on your initial consultation.
Have a magical day