For small business owners, April could be the best time to reassess and get a head start on your next year of tax preparations.
As April’s deadlines bring this year’s tax season to a close, many business owners will likely think about taking a break and planning vacations before they consider doing even more tax preparation. However, for those businesses that went through a particularly strenuous process this year due to manual processes and rigid tools, April might be the best time to reassess and get a head start on your next year of tax preparations.
Whether you’ve already laid down the groundwork and researched solutions, or are still in the early stages of considering a change – how do you know when the best time is to switch?
If you’ve just spent months in the weeds organizing your expenses, invoices, and tax forms, spending a little extra time to make things more manageable while everything is still fresh and available could be an efficient strategy to improve your accounting process. Not only will you be more prepared for the next go around, but implementing changes now at the beginning of this next cycle also features some less obvious benefits.
Better Data, Better Insights
When used effectively, switching to a cloud accounting solution and leveraging the unique features that come with it can enable things like taking online payments and real-time reporting. These features can engage you with your business in a more meaningful way, and allow you to have more productive discussions with your business stakeholders, advisors, and clients.
For business writer Ana Gotter, switching her process early allowed her to get taxes done early, to the delight of her accountant. It also allowed her to consider tax implications year-round by constantly monitoring her reports and dashboards. For Ana, the risk of leaving the heavy lifting for tax season wasn’t worth the possible penalties from the IRS.
“It’s just not something that you want to deal with,” she says, emphasizing the importance of an accounting system to track and manage your income and expenses. “Tracking shouldn’t be left until tax season. I did it once and it was awful and I hated it.”
Integrate With Other Tools and Software
You may already be using software for tracking customer contacts, project management, issuing proposals, managing leads, managing payroll, or running an e-commerce store. However, if these tools don’t communicate with the accounting software, you may experience transparency or relevance issues—or be doing a lot more work.
Switching to FreshBooks can benefit the rest of your financial and business processes, depending on what other tools you are using. With FreshBooks’ breadth of integrations, you can connect seamlessly to apps and integrations that you already use.
Having a united and integrated front across your business tools can bolster your taxes, reports, and business insights year-round by avoiding the constant logging in and out, manually entering information, and toggling back and forth between apps and integrations which can ultimately create speed bumps on the road to efficiency.
For a Business Event Manager like Lisa, the integrations and easier processes make all the difference. Specifically, FreshBooks’ easy-to-use integration with Bench has allowed her to take even more off her plate.
“I have to be able to manage how profitable we are on each individual program and eves how profitable our clients are,” said Lisa. “They have their own sponsors and exhibitors after all, plus expenses. Therefore, our bookkeeping needs to be very detailed.
I wasn’t interested in getting lost in the muck and mire of it all, so I was excited to learn about Bench, a new bookkeeping service available to FreshBooks customers. I loved that Bench could integrate with what I was already doing in FreshBooks for what I felt was a really responsible cost.”
Easy Collaboration Is Good for Business
In the desktop world, data is generally stationed on one computer accessible to a single user (let’s leave out hosted desktop solutions for now). When collaborating with a team, they won’t know what’s going on until someone shares the data with them.
Lack of transparency can lead to poor decisions. Without access to their numbers, they’re less likely to use them when planning ahead. They may end up relying on inaccurate measures, like a bank balance, to assess how the business is doing.
Switching to a cloud accounting software like FreshBooks not only allows for seamless collaboration with your team but also with your clients. Miami-based travel agency owner Carolina Herrera relies on FreshBooks for collecting payments and keeping track of clients’ invoices across different timezones and currencies.
“I love the multiple currencies offered as well because I work with clients in different countries with multiple currencies constantly. It shows me euros and dollars separately, and it’s easy to stay organized and takes away a lot of manual work.”
Tax season doesn’t have to be taxing. Getting a head start now can save you a ton of time later, help you avoid last-minute scrambles, and even avoid expensive mistakes.
Learn How Damona, a Relationship Coach, Uses FreshBooks to Make Tax Time a Breeze
about the author
If your books are a mess and you’re looking for an easy fix, FreshBooks is that solution. It’s software that makes billing, accounting, and client service easy for business owners. Get automated invoicing and payments to save you 550+ hours/year, reports that tell you how things are going, and access to time-saving tools for your whole team. Cool right? We’ve got a website with all the details, a Twitter account that’s pretty sweet, and a Youtube channel packed with awesome videos.