Tax-Time Organizing

By Deanne Kelleher, Founder and Principal kAos Group

It’s time to get last year’s documents out of your filing cabinet, prep your tax information, and archive all pertinent paper work. If you are overwhelmed at the thought or not sure where to start, just follow these directions and you will be well on your way.

1. Start with the right supplies from Staples

file folder • Hanging folders Staples 10% Recycled Green Hanging File Folder

sub folder • Sub folders

label maker • Sharpie Marker (or better yet, a label maker!) Brother PT-90 Electronic  Labeller

tabs • Tabs Staples Hanging File Folder Tabs, 3-1/2", Clear, 50-pack

archive box • Banker’s Boxes Bankers Box Enviro Stor Letter/Legal Attached Lid Box, #872

Tip: Stick to standard colours for all hanging files, sub folders and tabs until your filing system is fully functional. It’s much easier on the eyes and once it’s fully functional, you’ll know exactly how to use the colours to identify specific areas.

2. Allocate 2-3 hours in your schedule for annual transitioning. This includes sorting, purging, moving out last year’s files and inserting this year’s. However, if this is your first time, consider booking two sessions of two to three hours each.

3. Ensure that all invoices from the previous year have been filed in the appropriate sub folders.

4. Label each hanging folder with the appropriate folder name and place in a sub-folder with the same name and active year written on it. For example: my hanging folder tab says Dues and Subscriptions and the sub folder says Dues and Subscriptions 2010. This year’s sub folder will say Dues and Subscriptions 2011.

5. Tabs can be positioned to the far left or far right on each hanging folder to allow for easy retrieval and a smooth appearance.

6. Office Expense headings will commonly include: Auto, Dues and Subscriptions, Communications (land line, cellular and Internet), Meals and Entertainment, Office Supplies, Professional Services, and Utilities, if you are home based.

7. Office Document headings will include: Bank Statements, Bank Contract/Communications, Business License, Government HST, Tax Receipts, Marketing, Advertising, etc.

Click here for more file name suggestions.

8. You are now ready to remove last year’s expenses and place them into a large envelope or banker’s box. Be sure to clearly label the box. This system will not only ensure accurate tracking of all business documents, but it will also allow you to easily transition next year and effortlessly compile pertinent tax information for this year.

Deanne Kelleher is the founder of kAos Group, author of the Core Four™ System and a motivational speaker and facilitator on the realities of disorganization and how to take the reins back. kAos Group works with clients to help identify inefficiencies—the clutter and disorganization that prevents professional and personal growth—and help clients streamline their business and personal lives to reduce stress, increase profits and create more time. Visit kAos Group for practical tips and motivation to organize your home, office, time and spirit.

By Adam

February 18, 2011