Paperless Tax Planning with Evernote

What comes to mind when tax season arrives?  Stress?  Frustration?  Many of us tend to feel at least a measure of increased tension as tax season approaches.  Going through a year’s worth of paperwork associated with business transactions and whittling them down to a few spreadsheets or folder items is rarely a welcomed task.  Let’s take a look at how you’re accustomed to prepare for tax season and consider how to do them the Evernote way.

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Tax Planning Then

The organized business owner generally keeps a properly labeled set of folders with financial documents, statements, payroll information and charitable donations archived in the office or home.  Then, as tax season arrives, these documents creep out claiming real estate on much of our desks or the desk of our tax preparer.

This can be a tedious process for even the most organized business owner.  For those that let the documentation take over, scattered paper piles, some online files, and still others at the office can really get out of hand.  Once office documentation gets to this point no doubt a hike up Mission Peak (Fremont, CA) on the hottest of summer days may be a preferred activity.

Consider Evernote Now

Invest in an affordable scanner for the office (a Fujitsu ScanSnap retails for under $500 on www.amazon.com) or check out http://goo.gl/uAL6CC – Evernote scansnap.  Connect it to your Evernote account.  Then, every time you receive a bank/credit card statement, charitable donation acknowledgement, or other financial documentation simply scan directly to your Evernote account.  Statements can even be “clipped” to your Evernote account.  These documents can all be organized into a notebook labeled ‘Finances’ or ‘2013 Taxes’.  Evernote allows you to tag each statement type if more specifics needed (i.e., Bank, Charitable Donations, Payroll).  See here Adam Dachis, LifeHacker blogger suggestions for other affordable scanning tools and suggestions on running a paperless office.

Spend most of your time outside of the office?  Most smartphones allow for a quick snapshot of receipts (i.e., business trip dinner with clients) and tagging these images with a tag like ‘client receipts’ insuring these are organized.  Evernote partners like Docscanner can improve the quality of your snapshot making it easier to search within this tool.  Camscanner has been my iPhone scanner app of choice.

Saving time and energy during tax season with Evernote will allow you to get back to business. When taxes are done, save your paperwork in the same folder by scanning it, or adding the PDF into your notebook.  Your previous year’s tax documents will be securely in one place for easy reference the following tax season.

Have you gone paperless?  If so what tools are working for you?  I’d love to hear your comments!

Be effective in ALL you do!

Jenelle

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