Are you ready for everyone’s favourite season? No, not spring. Tax season!
Yes, tax season is upon us again. It’s the time of year when, no matter how well prepared you think you are, you’re probably still going to be panicking to get everything filed in time.
Tax season can be a remarkable source of stress for just about everyone, but especially for entrepreneurs who run their own practice. They not only need to figure out their personal taxes, but also have to handle the taxes of their small business. This can take up huge swaths of time, possibly far more than anticipated. You need to get all of the relevant forms, find all of the deductions, and make sure you pick up every tax credit. All of this can cut into your daily schedule, putting you behind on just about everything.
Although we certainly can’t eliminate the stress of doing taxes, we can provide some handy tax tips that may help you better manage your financial stress level this time of year!
Whether you work with an accountant or bookkeeper, or tackle year-end record keeping on your own, you’ll need to make use of the appointment data you’ve entered into Owl Practice during the year.
Visit our blog post on Getting Organized for Year End Accounting to learn exactly which exports to use to make your taxes easier than ever!
Lose the Shoebox
Okay, it might be a little too late for this this tip, but it will come in handy next year!
Storing all of your receipts, invoices, cheques, and any other financial documents in a shoebox or similar container is a disaster waiting to happen. Without any real organization, it can take hours to go through every document in the box when it comes time to categorize and date them.
A far better way to handle this sort of paper organization is to use a series of envelopes to store everything and sort them as you go. Date each envelope with the appropriate month and the type of financial document it contains. Come next March, everything will already be sorted, potentially saving you hours of mind-numbing organization.
Use Owl Practice for Invoicing
If you’ve been using Owl Practice for all or part of the last year, then you’re going to be in pretty good shape as far as invoices and billing records go. Not only can you send off beautiful, customized invoices, we also have balance owing management to keep track of all payments. You just have to log in to Owl Practice to see all of your invoices and other financial documents stored safely online. There are also multiple secured backups made of your data, so you never have to worry about losing them. If you need physical copies of these financial documents, all you have to do is print them off, no shoebox required!
Practice management tools like Owl Practice have nearly eliminated the stacks of paper that used to be strewn all over the office. The paperless office is now a reality, and that can be a huge benefit come tax time. Instead of having to shuffle through papers, looking for the exact right documents, you can simply just search for them through Owl Practice.
To get all of your digital financial info in one handy document, use the accounting export feature. This will create a .csv file that contains a complete history of all your appointments, invoices, fees, and payment data from the previous year. We know how important privacy can be for a practice, so there is no personal information included in the file.
Just Hire Someone
Some people might call hiring someone else to do their taxes “the easy way out”. And so do we. It’s easy—super easy! That’s why it can be a fantastic idea for someone working in the mental health profession.
Your time is valuable and you’re often facing a schedule packed full of appointments and meetings. The time you have to invest into your taxes could be better spent doing other things, like putting in more billable hours. By hiring a professional to do your taxes, you’ll be able to free up a huge chunk of time, saving you stress and maybe even money. And besides, accountants know exactly where to look for every deduction and credit, whereas you may not.
There are many people out there who like to do their own taxes, and more power to them! If you do plan to self-file, make sure that you invest in a reputable tax filing program to save you time and frustration. It will double check your math automatically and help you find every last deduction and credit. You also won’t have to worry about mailing a huge package off to the CRA. You just hit the big button saying “File” and off it goes!
When tax time arrives, good time and stress management habits can go out the window. But it doesn’t have to be like that for a small practice owner! Owl Practice offers you a vast array of tools designed to simplify your practice management and keep everything organized right where you want it. If you currently use Owl Practice, you already know how our services can help you out during tax time. If you decide to give Owl Practice a try (here is a free demo), then we bet that by this time next year, you’ll be wondering how you ever managed your practice without it!