Studio Sneak Peek: Taxes

The only real problem with a Studio Sneak Peek day is that sometimes the studio is kind of, well, boring. Not that there isn’t a ton going on, but sometimes the majority of those things are more managerial in nature and therefore don’t make for great photos. Today is one of those days. No matter how lovely the composition, no one is ohhing and ahhing over me answering emails.

The biggest example of one of these less than exciting tasks would be taxes.* Personally, I don’t find taxes to be very fun at all (I’m all for the fair tax) and I have yet to find a tax moment that needs to be documented with a photo. Actually, I take that back. I did a little dance when I saw that something would come back to us and given my dancing “style” that may have been entertaining to you all. But only a video would capture my “pure talent” (hahaha) and I’d rather not have a video of me anywhere on the internet.

Anyhow, back to the point. Since the act of filing taxes is pretty dry (and convoluted) I thought I’d tell you how I stay organized since that seems to be a question I’m asked on a fairly regular basis by other people trying to start a business. If you have no interest in how I stay organized, feel free to stop reading :)

To me, organization is synonymous with binders. I love my binders and when it comes to business bookkeeping, I have two. (I attribute my love of binders back to when I worked for a law firm in high school. Every single case had its own incredibly organized binder, which kept everything in one place.). One binder- the smaller of the two-is on my desk and the other “big binder” is neatly tucked away in my supply closet. The desk one is separated into 12 sections and labeled by month. Under each month section I have 2 additional sections- income and expenses- the latter of which includes a sheet protector. I print every paid invoice, hole punch it, and then put in under the appropriate “income” section (i.e. if it’s a January invoice, it goes under January income) and for every bill I receive, I do the same and put it under the expenses section. (Receipts I’ve collected go in that months sheet protector.) When the month is finished, I simply input the information into an excel spreadsheet which totals everything up. This way, I can easily track my business throughout the year and at the end of the year all I have to do is print my spreadsheet to do my taxes. All of the “hard copies” are neatly tucked away in my desk binder in case I ever have a question or need to find something.

The big binder holds all of my past tax information separated by year. Once my taxes are filed, all I have to do is transfer the files from my small binder to my big binder and put it back on the shelf. No more digging through boxes or filing cabinets to find that receipt from 2008 or that invoice from 2009- now all I do is open the binder, flip to the year and month I need and there it is.

Hopefully some of you found that to be helpful, but either way I promise to have photos of painted work up next week! *I'm super lucky that my father in law is a CPA so he takes on the task of actually filling out our tax paperwork. Apparently he doesn't find it to be as annoying or confusing as I do which rocks and I am incredibly grateful for.