It is important to keep finances organized, whether for an individual person or a business. Many people do not organize their finances until tax time comes. They often find they have a mountain of information to sift through and no idea where to start. Here are some tips on better financial and tax organization from a public accountant in Reno, NV.
Bank accounts are crucial money-management tools. Single people should have both a personal expenses and a savings account. Families should have a family account, which wage earners can deposit money into for household bills. They should also have individual accounts for personal spending, plus a family savings account. A self-employed person or small business owner needs to keep their company’s expense separate. This will keep personal and business matters from mingling. A public accountant in Reno, NV can help set up a plan for how to contribute to each account.
Keep or Throw Out?
Many financial records can be thrown away after a time. Any papers about major expenses (a vehicle, appliance, investment, etc.) should be kept forever, or at least until the item is no longer in use or needed. Anything about taxes and personal or investment income should be kept for at least 3 years, although six is advisable in the event of an audit. Credit card and bank statements, receipts, and utility and other bills can be thrown away annually once taxes have been filed with a public accountant in Reno, NV. Streamline your life and save paper by scanning and saving these papers.
An individual can use a simple, low-tech paper filing system. Set up files according to the area of expense: loans (mortgage, car, etc.), bank and credit card statements, insurance, household expenses (groceries, gas, clothing, etc.) and bills. Public accountants advise that certain tax-deductions need their own files, like education, health care spending, travel, charitable donations, investments, etc. Keep a box in a visible place to put all receipts and bills into when you empty your purse or briefcase. Reconcile the box’s contents weekly when balancing bank statements.
Self-employed people and small businesses should organize their financial records with a computerized system. This minimizes missed payments and keeps the volume of paperwork down. Important items can be scanned into the computer and saved onto a disk for your public accountant to use at tax time. Dates such as quarterly tax payments and payroll can be set ahead of time. Linking a business’s bank account with the software can result in payments being automatically deducted. All these measures reduce hassle and increase efficiency.
Individuals can pay their taxes once yearly on or before April 15. Businesses should make quarterly or bi-annual contributions to a tax account. This keeps the amount owed from becoming unmanageable. Any time taxes are paid, a payment for work or a service or a money gift is received, or a life insurance or other investment dividends report arrives, the paperwork should go right into the tax file for the public accountant in Reno, NV. They should get all the information you have well before tax time, in order to get the best tax deductions possible.
Careless record keeping can result in missed deadlines and payments. A certified public accountant in Reno, NV can give valuable advice on how to streamline your tax and financial organization. Everyone should review their own procedures periodically and see how they can improve them.
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