While the majority of businesses focus on their respective March and April Deadlines, it is important to remember that accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses starts earlier. The first filing for most businesses is typically for 1099’s (Not sure if you have 1099’s? Check out our explanation of employees vs contractors here) and is due January 31 of each year. However, understanding how taxes effect your business is critical. Organized filing can mean the difference in a big return and small return for both your business and personal taxes. Here is our list of ways to stay organized with your bookkeeping leading up to tax season:

1. Get a Tax Organizer

Tax organizers help straighten out your books before tax season. This log of your finances keeps each and every bit of important information handy. Additionally, we have a team of professional bookkeepers that help guide you on tax planning and strategy to save you time and discover deductions. During the course of the year our team helps consolidate pertinent information into the tax organizer to save, including files and documents.  Once tax season rolls around, our tax organizer will help you efficiently compile your tax information for the deadline. Gathering your write-offs and deductions can be  tedious task at year-end so we prepared a tax organizer that can assist you.

2. Keep Up to date books

While it is easy to let your books fall behind because there is no deadline, the farther ahead you work, the more options you will have later. We help our clients get on a schedule so that they hold a pace leading up to tax season. Our team of tax planners, bookkeepers, and professionals can help guide you to save and spend where you need to.

3. Start Early with Some Free Tools

Tracking Mileage

When it comes to the day-to-day stuff and bookkeeping there are some great apps, digital tools, and accounting softwares designed for small business. In 2018 the way the IRS let businesses track mileage changed to be more favorable,  “rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.”

These miles add up but since they are hard to track we’ve compiled some of the top apps in 2018 to help you quickly choose a way to get started. 

AppDriversnote Mileage TrackerMileIQQuickBooks Self-EmployedEverlance
Platform(s)iOS and AndroidiOS and AndroidiOS and AndroidiOS and Android
Track MileageYesYesYesYes
IRS StandardsYesYesYesYes
Mileage Detection and Automatic TrackingYesYesYesYes
Team UseYes - with upgradeYes - with upgradeNoYes - with upgrade
Cheapest Price$0 for 20 Rides/Month$0 for 40 Rides/Month$10 for Unlimited Rides/Month$0 for 30 Rides/Month

We recommend using MileIQ to ensure you log each and every mile. This app is one of the easiest and offers the most for the least amount of money. The aforementioned apps will maximize your return and keep a neat and organized set of records.

Tracking Expenses

In addition to mileage, businesses can deduct various other items including but not limited to some meals and entertainment, contract labor, and even advertising. The best way to keep track of your bottom line is to know what your expenses are and what you can deduct. We’ve outlined some great ways to keep up to date books and track expenses here. While each expense tracking platform has its benefits, overall we recommend small businesses use the QuickBooks App as their expense tracking software. The accounting software is ideal for small business because of its price point, depth, and its ability to be accessed remotely in the cloud.

While most business don’t realize what expenses they can deduct, many businesses save just by having organized books. Get your books in line today with our bookkeepers and free tax organizer today