Happy National Organize Your Files Week
Well my friends, we are getting close to the end of tax season. Just a few hundred minutes left until midnight April 15.
We're scrambling to find missing client files that someone has out to work on for some obscure reason. Perhaps a notice, or a pending amendment, maybe a last-minute call about an IRA contribution...or just a whim because someone suddenly woke up in the middle of the night remembering a stray comment that needs to be incorporated into a tax return.
Regardless, a key file or document in a file isn't where it's supposed to be.
That's not what file sharing is about, is it?
Over the years, we've been fortunate to have some really special people working in our offices. Usually they were the result of a weak heart - mine. Some family member, or family of friend needed a way to make a living, the file room is a good place to start, right? It's easy. Every one knows the alphabet. How hard can the job be?
I had no idea!
But if you've ever seen Radar O'Reilly's filing system on M*A*S*H, you'd have an idea of the uniqueness of the minds of some of these women I've hired. Without a doubt, there was some logic to the places they hid the files, or the cabinets or drawers that contained entertaining conglomerations of various, unrelated names, letters or numbers. But without a hypnotist to draw them out to help find the pockets in their brain that have secreted the system, it was impossible to follow their train of thought.
Of course, in The Avengers, Emma Peel once worked for a deadly secretarial service. Those girls had a filing system all their own, specifically designed to bamboozle their bosses to the extent that only they could ever find any documents or information - until the girls would kill and replace their bosses.
Could it be possible that's the problem with your filing system? Your staff is out replace you, too?
Me, I've given up. I know I'm not meant to know where anything is.
So, I have my own filing system. It's hidden securely in my computer. No one will ever find it. They will never figure out what I know. They will never find my dastardly secrets to take over the world!!!!!!!!!!!
Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.