Happy Friday, friends and Happy (almost) Tax Day! I know… I’m sorry, I’m the worst… but… so are taxes. BUT, this is just a friendly reminder that… if they aren’t done, you are running out of time! I’ve learned a lot about how confusing taxes can be as a small business owner. It is an understatement to say that DC has a pretty confusing tax system to navigate. I’m really trying though, and throughout time, I’ve found that there are quite a few apps and software that have made the confusing system a litle less scary!
Truthfully, taxes and numbers and books? They scare me. I know that sounds a little silly, but they just seem to be such a foreign and confusing thing. I will say though, that I have been making an effort to understand this crazy scary stuff myself. As a creative business owner, it is really easy to become overly intimidated by the numbers side of business, but once things start to click, it is SO empowering. Understanding and knowing your numbers is absolutely vital for business longevity and success.
If you struggled to stay organized this year and maybe had a big headache during this tax season or procrastinated becasue things felt too hard to organize, today’s post is for you! I’m diving into 5 apps that help me stay organized on the numbers side on the daily! I’m also sharing one amazing bonus resource today too!
*Just a note before we dive in totally: I am not a CPA, tax professional or accountant, and I cannot give you any advice when it comes to your books or numbers. I can, however, share with you what has helped me stay organized during the year and tax season as a small business owner. This is simply what has helped me. Take this post with a grain of salt, and do your own research as well! These are simply the tools that I love to use to keep the biz side of CKP organized. I highly recommend reaching out to a tax professional to discuss each of these resources and how they could benefit you. I’ll leave the actual filing process and the true accounting advice-giving to the real pros too!
QuickBooks (Receive 50% off for 12 months)
I’m slowly but surely learning the POWER of this program, and y’all, this is a LIFESAVER! I use QuickBooks to log and account all transactions: Sales & Expenses. It links right up with my bank account, so whenever there is a credit or debit in the account from automated payments, I know! I am able to put everything into an organized and assigned category and am also able to run all of my reports to send to my accountant. By staying up to date on categorizing my income and expenses, it just takes a few seconds to run and send a report. Talk about amazing!
MileIQ (Click here to receive 20% off an annual subscription)
Do you currently track your business mileage? I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your answer is: “Yes!! And I have the most amazing system to keep track of it all!” Just in case this wasn’t your answer, I need you to know about this amazing app that has saved me so much time AND so much money. Meet MileIQ: the app that has saved me thousands of dollars. That sounds totally dramatic, but it’s true! This app automatically tracks your drives and then allows you to categorize each as a personal drive or a drive for business. You can keep track of everything right on the app on your phone, and then when tax time comes, you can easily and quickly generate a full year report to send to your accountant. It is a BREEZE. If you are wondering WHY I recommend tracking business miles, I highly recommend reaching out to an accountant about this!
Honeybook (Click here for $200 off your first year!)
I sing Honeybook’s praises ALL the time, but it really is such a powerful tool! I use it to track all of my workflows and client relationships. BUT, in addition to that, I also use it to sign all of my agreements and to collect all of my payments. My clients have the ability to pay for their session, wedding, event, etc. right online, and the money is then directly transferred to my bank accounts. Best of all, Honeybook has an option for you to review reports for just about everything. I can see what I am expected to make in a month or year, what sales tax I owe for that month, what I have already made and so much more. It is amazing! *The reason that I use this in addition to Quickbooks is because of the additional workflow tracking features/fulfillment of contract and invoices! They do have very similar features when it comes to seeing what you are owed and what you owe, but I personally like having this information backed up in multiple places. It is also a little easier for my creative brain to read the numbers on Honeybook!
Yes, I have many fancy tools that I love, but I’ve found that a good old fashioned spreadsheet is what I like to use to track my quarterly and sales tax payments. I DO still have this data stored in Quickbooks, but I really like having a spreadsheet on hand with this information too. Each time I make a payment, I take note of when it was paid and how much was paid in my spreadsheet. This allows me to quickly pull numbers to send to my accountant or to reference myself.
How many of you have a shoebox for receipts? As a small business owner, I need to keep a receipt for every single thing that I purchase through my business account. A few years ago, my accountant recommended that I use the shoebox method myself, but with a pretty packed DC apartment with limited storage, I decided to make my own digital shoebox for receipts. Basically, I’ve created a folder within my Gmail inbox to hold all of my receipts for the year. I make a new folder every year. Most of my receipts are digital these days, which is great! However, if I ever have a paper receipt, I simply snap a photo of the receipt email it to myself and categorize it in the appropriate folder. It feels a little silly, but it has made the biggest difference in keeping organized!
I know this isn’t an app, but I couldn’t resist giving Little Fish Accounting a big shoutout! I found Keila late last year, and y’all, I was so excited. I’ve been working with a larger accounting firm for the last couple of years, and they truly are great. They’ve helped me out so much and I am SO grateful for my accountant who was so patient with ALL of my questions (There were a lot of ’em!). I recently realized that I wanted to take just a little more ownership over my books. I wanted to understand my books… I wanted to know what money was going where… how to make strategic and informed decisions for the future.
I’ve had one official meeting with Keila (over the phone while I was still in my pajamas!), and she has already equipped me with the confidence and knowledge to take on and to understand my bookkeeping and smaller accounting tasks. I am a small, women-owned business. I live and work in a place with ridiculous tax laws (Y’all… DC isn’t even officially a state. These “state” tax laws are something special, let me tell you!), and when I was considering the option of hiring a new accountant, it was really important to me that my accountant was familiar with both the life I live and the way my business runs. I literally hit the jackpot with Keila.
Little Fish Accounting is a small, female-owned business, offering services for small business owners. Little Fish’s mission is to empower small businesses to succeed by serving as a tax and accounting resource. Keila lives in DC, and she uses the crazy tax codes that I talked about before to manage her own business. This was the biggest breath of fresh air for me! In our first call, she answered all of my questions with confidence and offered some advice on how to use and organize my QuickBooks account more efficiently. She helped me craft a quarterly tax strategy for this year that will, most likely, result in owing less money come tax time next year! (Praise for that!!) She recently took her business full time, and I am just so honored to be working with and learning from her in 2019!
This post contains select affiliate links. I hope you enjoy the discounts and understand that I will be making a small profit when you use the above links marked with a discount. I hope you consider using the links when checking out each applications!
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