When should small businesses start preparing for tax season?
December 12, 2013

During the last month of the year, business owners and accountants alike often have a lot of running around to do. Not only is this often companies' busiest season, but these individuals often have to buy gifts, cook big family dinners and host parties outside of the office as well. As such, both bookkeepers and store leaders don't tend to have much free time to take on extra projects or do something they can put off until the fervor dies down a bit.

However, traditional small business advice would have it that both financial experts and entrepreneurs need to start planning for the following year's tax filing process before the current fiscal year comes to a close. Sure, even if people abandon this strategy and push the task off until February, they still have a couple of months to get everything in order.

And while some people are able to wait until the last minute, why give yourself that headache? Business owners should contact an accounting expert and begin compiling the proper records sooner than later so they can simply enter the right numbers and forms into accounting software early in the New Year. 

When is best?
With the extra holiday pressure, when should accountants and business owners tackle this job? Fox Business suggested that right before Christmas might not be the best idea, but the weeks immediately after New Year's tend to be quieter and are a good time to get finances in order. 

Why is this important?
Accountants and bookkeepers know they're going to be slammed with work in March and April, as unorganized business owners hustle to get everything together. By consulting with a professional earlier on in the winter, company leaders can ensure that the accounting firm has ample time to dedicate to their operations. Plus, this can be a favor to the financial professional - the news provider pointed out that the certified public accountant (CPA) will probably be less stressed and can work more closely with the owner if contacted before the rush hits.

What forms need to be put aside?
While the CPA is probably well-aware of what forms can be compiled before the end of the year, it never hurts to educate the business owner and create a checklist to ensure everything is accounted for, literally. According to Small Biz Trends, the important documents include: employee forms, receipts from business expenses and depreciation proof, among other forms.

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