It’s the moooost, wonderful time of the yearrr.
Yep, you know exactly what we’re talking about – tax season.
Whether you, like me, are taking your return straight to your accountant’s office, or you are thinking of tackling the task all on your own, it’s important to ensure that you have all of the necessary financial statements ready and available.
Of course, the amount and type of financial statements you will need to collect for your return will vary on your situation. Some of you will have nothing more than your T4 – nice and simple and not worthy of hiring a big 4 firm – and some of you will have more forms, receipts, and statements than you will know what to do with.
These following tips for preparing financial statements, while useful knowledge for anyone, are particularly important for the latter of you mentioned above.
Top Tips for Preparing Your Financial Statements
Filing your taxes, as tedious as it can be, is an important and complex task. Make it a little easier on yourself by starting off on the right foot – by keeping organized and on top of all your financial statement preparations – with these helpful tips.
- Separate and Conquer Individually
First things first – if you try to focus on everything all at once, your brain might explode. We all know how tedious paperwork is.
Our advice is to break your statements down into categories and focus on collecting everything needed for one category at a time.
For example; you have your revenues and incomes – one category. Expenses? Another.
- Organization is Key
Over the course of the year, you will collect a lot of paperwork. If you are always putting your statements, forms, and receipts in different places, trying to corral them all at tax time may drive you mad – and you may not even be able to find half of them.
To ensure you aren’t running around on a wild goose chase at the end of March trying to locate every last slip of paper your accountant has asked for, put together a system that allows you to keep them organized as you receive them.
It doesn’t need to be a big fancy filing cabinet, even a binder, some dividers, and sticky labels will work – as long as it keeps everything organized and in the same spot.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Collecting everything necessary for your return can be intimidating – especially if your return is a complex one. However, fear not – when in doubt, an accountant can help.
An accountant can offer some time as simple as information or advice, or full services, such as statement preparation, bookkeeping, etc.
It’s Smooth Sailing From Here
An organized tax return is an easy tax return.
If you provide your accountant with all of the statements they need to successfully file your return the first time, not only will they appreciate you, they will be able to file your return quickly and smoothly.
Where things start to get stressful and messy is when your accountant has to hunt down forms they need, repeatedly ask for more information or details, etc.
Help yourself, and your accountant, by following our tips above and prepare all of your financial statements correctly the first time around.