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business taxes 2021

A Tax Checklist All Small Business Clients Need


Tax season is tough enough without having to sort through a mess of paperwork a client tosses on your desk. Fortunately, this is one problem that has a solution: Give small business owners a checklist to follow so they're clear about what you need to do your job. Garrett Baird, CEO of The Neat Company, explains what should be on the list.

Apr 12th 2022
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One of the most painful challenges your accounting practice can face is the small business or solo entrepreneur who shows up at the front desk with a box full of disorganized receipts, a problematic ledger of check deposits, and confusing home-grown spreadsheets of indecipherable numbers. 

Any number of reasons create this sort of client. Like the little engine that could, you love these intrepid small business owners. But also, like that little engine, these clients thought they could keep on top of bookkeeping.

They thought they could keep track of finances -- up until they couldn’t. Their expenses haven’t been properly accounted for, are incomplete, or weren’t recorded at all. Payroll has been mismanaged: people were hired without completing the proper tax forms or properly making employee tax payments during the year. 

That pain grows more acute the closer it is to Tax Day, but it isn’t limited to tax season. In a way, the faith that these hopeful clients hold in the ability of an accountant to perform in these conditions is inspiring, ascribing abilities that are almost super-heroic.

Even when these types of clients are charged appropriately for the time they require, they still add stress and anguish. Had finances been managed better by the business owner throughout the year, the process could have been straightforward. The recommendations, applications, and checklist below are ideal for leading small business clients to good bookkeeping practices that will help you both.

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