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Tax season is here, and advisors are starting to take a more detailed look at their books in preparation for filing and sending financial statements to their tax accountants. Before you send anything to your tax professional, a little legwork in advance might just get you moved to the front of the line and makes a big difference in filing as accurately as possible. So, what are some things to consider before passing anything on to your CPA?
Tip #1: Make sure your books are up-to-date (the sooner, the better)!
Complete and accurate financials are vital for your CPA to start your tax prep. This includes categorizing all transactions and reconciling all bank and credit card accounts. Reconciliations are particularly important because it confirms that the balances on your Balance Sheet match what your balance is on your bank and credit card statements. This also ensures that all activity that occurred in your business is included in your financials—nothing has been missed or included twice. The faster you can send accurate financials to your tax accountant, the quicker they can get those in their system and crank out your taxes! Are you doing your own bookkeeping? Read this article to avoid common mistakes.
Tip #2: Are all transactions categorized appropriately? Check!
Making sure all transactions are categorized appropriately can really save your accountant time (and save you money). Your accountant will likely ask for your General Ledger of all transactions from 2021 to make sure things are categorized appropriately. They will be looking for things such as purchases over $2,500 in expense accounts that need to be capitalized on the balance sheet (or vice versa), uncategorized transactions that need to be categorized, and anything that might be miscategorized. You can save them a lot of time by reviewing the General Ledger yourself before sending it to them.
If there are transactions sitting in an uncategorized income or expense account, categorize them so your accountant doesn’t have to. Did you spend over $2,500 on a piece of furniture, equipment, computers, etc.? Put it into a Fixed Asset account and send your accountant receipts, invoices, or any relevant details. Or, are their expenses sitting in a Furniture and Fixture account on your balance sheet that are less than $2,500? Expense it! Check out this blog post on reviewing your books yourself—How to Review Your Books.
Tip #3: Gather your documents.
Did anything major happen in your business this year? Some examples include merging with another company, adding a partner to your firm, purchasing expensive furniture or equipment, selling assets, or moving locations. Your accountant will likely ask for relevant documentation, so save them the email and send it to them with your financials. Relevant tax documents include W-2s, K-1s (from other entities you have ownership in), 1099s, and W-2s/payroll documents. Your accountant will also want to see bank statements, credit card statements, and other loan documents as of year-end to make sure the balances on the statements tie to the amounts shown on your Balance Sheet.
If your accountant is filing a Form 1040 on your behalf, they will likely ask if you had unreimbursed medical expenses, paid any state and local taxes, made any charitable contributions, or if you contributed to a college plan or IRA. You should also let them know if you received the Economic Impact Payments. Have a mortgage? They will need your mortgage interest statement too!
The quicker you can get all of this done and sent off to your accountant, the quicker they will be able to complete your taxes. Anticipate what they will need and questions they will ask and send it their way. You might even save them some time, and your money!
Filing taxes yourself? Check out this post on things to double-check in your books before finalizing your return! Another way to make your life easier? Work with the Bean Team to handle all your accounting. Get more information and join our waitlist here.
About the Author
Becca Huyard, CPA, is Senior Accountant at XY Bean Counters. Her favorite part about being on the Bean Team is building relationships with the advisors she serves and her XYBC teammates. All about the details, Becca loves working with advisors to make sure their financials are clean and accurate. When not flexing her CPA skills, you can find her skiing, fly fishing, and hanging out with her cats Bear and Bird.