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As the year winds down, it’s time to start planning for the new year ahead. So, what steps should you be taking in the next month or so to make your financial year-end easier? Read on to see our top three To-Do’s before year-end!

1. Get Organized!

Time to get all those receipts and paperwork out of your shoeboxes and ziplock bags (need some help organizing?). Start the process by getting that info into a spreadsheet, document, or accounting program to hand off to your accountant. Keep in mind, the better organized and documented your records are, the less time your accountant will have to spend sorting things out, and the more time he or she will have to help you plan and analyze.

Easier said than done? Well, for those who embrace technology, the answer is no! To help streamline your organization, apps like Expensify can be a godsend. Expensify is an app that integrates very well with QuickBooks and can be used on your computer or mobile device.

Expensify can help you:

Track mileage by entering the distance traveled, starting and ending odometer readings, or with GPS. Enter notes to define the business purpose, and Expensify will do the calculations for you.

Organize receipts. You can snap a picture of it with your phone, and note the business purpose for the expenditure. Even if you don’t have a receipt, you can enter the expense and it’s business purpose.

Track your time. Clock in, make comments on work being done, clock out. You can then create an Expense Report for any time frame you choose.  It can be printed and submitted for approval or you can sync the information right into your QuickBooks file

How great is that? Minimal work with maximum benefit come tax season!

2. Track Your Time!

My big recommendation for preparing for the 4th quarter? Make the most of your time! You’ve heard “Time is Money”… time is what you bill your clients, and pay your employees or subcontractors. It’s very valuable. It’s been estimated that “time theft” averages out to 
at least ten minutes per employee, per day. Time theft does not mean employees purposely steal “time” from employers, but it’s more the result of rounding time up – human nature. This also effects the time YOU take to work on tasks – don’t lose that valuable currency!

It can take a lot of time to collect payroll information, track PTO, calculate, and forward to your payroll company, and subsequently record in your accounting software. Also known as: unnecessary STRESS! Why not adopt a practice that will minimize these issues and your stress? A process that can also take the time data and generate relevant and meaningful reports for not only payroll, but job costing and audit logs.

This year, I passed the certification exam and became a TSheets Certified Pro. TSheets is a time tracking system that can be used on your computer or mobile device, and it syncs seamlessly with QuickBooks. Keep track of your time and never lose another minute!

3. Plan Ahead!

Now is a good time to start thinking about how you can improve and be ready for 2016. Get the process rolling during the 4th quarter, and start out 2016 with a bang!

So, “What can be done in the next month or so, to make year-end easier?” I say:  think about your business now. What can be done better? What can be made easier? Do some research. Ask questions. Seek out the advice of experts in the areas and software you’re considering. Gather information. Decide to improve now. Be ready for 2016! It will be here before you know it.

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