Get the most out of your reports in FreshBooks and stay cool and confident during tax season.
For small business owners, taxes can mean digging through piles of receipts, chasing invoices sent from several months ago, and losing sleep over choosing the right categories for your expense. Depending on how manual and outdated your process is, you could also be wasting lots of time going through these motions when you could have the most useful data available to your business in just a few clicks.
For tax time specifically, FreshBooks gives you easy access to all of the data you need in three thorough reports. The Profit & Loss Report, General Ledger Report, and Sales Tax Summary Report will save you time and spare you the stress of collecting and verifying everything you need to file your taxes with confidence.
Our own data shows us that of the 5 total reports for which we have full-year data (P&L Report, Balance Sheet, Trial Balance, Payments Collected, and General Ledger) in 2020 and 2021, customers accessed all reports at a notably higher rate in January through April. That makes now a perfect time to get acquainted with reports in FreshBooks to maintain clean and accurate data reports.
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Working Smarter With Your Accountant
The truth is, collecting your reports and reviewing them with your accountant or tax professional shouldn’t be hard work. With all your numbers in the right place from the payments you’ve taken to the taxes you’ve collected previously, FreshBooks gives you all the insights you need at your fingertips. For a veteran media advisor like Aliya Jiwan-Thawer, pulling reports in FreshBooks means one less thing to worry about.
“When it comes time to tax season, I basically give my accountants access to my FreshBooks and they see [all of my reports] at a glance,” said Aliya. “What I have to stay on top of is expenses, and incurring any mileage. With FreshBooks, it’s hard for me to fall behind on invoices and lose grip of my income projections since everything is tracked month to month. That makes tax time especially painless.”
Saving Time and Confidently Tackling Taxes
If your records are in spreadsheets or on paper, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to figure out who needs which return, and verify how much you paid them. But when your data is in the cloud, it’s as simple as running a report through an easily clickable dashboard.
A Profit and Loss report is the primary accounting report you will use when preparing your taxes. If you are a cash-basis taxpayer, meaning you pay taxes on income when it’s received and deduct expenses when they’re paid, make sure you run the report based on income collected rather than income billed.
Cleantech entrepreneur Graham Pugh’s approach to taxes is one that he actually enjoys doing at this time of year, partly because of the way things are organized with his reports in FreshBooks and Bench. “I saved at least another 20 hours of manual labor. Being able to see those reports, really gives me a sense of confidence that everything’s taken care of,” said Graham.
Avoiding Tax Prep Burnout and Staying Organized
With “The Great Resignation” and the small business boom that’s occurred as a result of these past couple of years, there will be a ton of new small businesses filing their taxes and organizing their paperwork for the very first time. For many, remembering their first time preparing data and reports can send chills up the spine.
Every year around tax time, renowned soul coach Alexis Girvan admits that she is normally used to being overwhelmed and feeling unprepared at this time of year. “Numbers to me, just instantly give me anxiety. I stink when it comes to tracking things and knowing what I can write off, and being able to know what category is what.”
After trying to do her taxes by herself and engaging with tax prep professionals and a CPA, she quickly felt in over her head and found herself lost in a sea of forms and paperwork. “The first year I did my taxes, I was like a deer in headlights. When I tried FreshBooks, everything was put in categories and sorted. I very quickly started using the reporting function in FreshBooks, and that ended up being one of my saving graces for taxes in general since I could look at the whole year and categorize, itemize and sort them appropriately.”
While the prospect of switching your process for reporting and organizing your data can seem daunting, getting a head start now can save you a ton of time later, and ultimately help you avoid expensive mistakes. By keeping your data clean and accurate year-round, not only will you delight your accountant, but you’ll probably save your own sanity, too.