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Recordkeeping Tips

© 2003 Brigitte A. Thompson

As a business owner, you need to keep complete and accurate records. This is required by the Internal Revenue Service, but it can also help you save money by reducing your taxes.

Try to make it a habit to request receipts for everything you purchase and keep them all in one envelope. Once a week, sit down with your receipts and your checkbook.

Some people find it helpful to create a simple filing system using manila folders and loose-leaf paper. Under this system, folders would be labeled by month. Transactions are recorded on 8 1/2" by 11" sheets of paper placed in the front of each folder and all supporting documentation gets filed inside of it. You should include one sheet of paper for income and one for expenses. Be sure to staple them all together and prepare this package for the front of every folder.

For every expense, list the date, who was paid, the item purchased, the amount and the method of payment. Separate your receipts into each category, record them and file in the appropriate folder.

For income, list the date it was received, the source, the amount received, the method of payment, reason for payment and reference number.

At the end of the month add up the amounts listed on your sheets of paper. At the end of the year simply compile the totals from each month to arrive at your final numbers.

Once you have completed the year, file everything away in large 10" by 13" clasp envelopes marked with the tax year and keep in a safe place. You may reuse your emptied folders or start over again with new ones.

Recording everything on a weekly basis will allow you to create an organized recordkeeping system for your business and will support your claims in the event of an audit.

Brigitte A. Thompson is the President of Datamaster Accounting & Publishing Services, LLC and author of several recordkeeping books for daycare providers. To find out more about her books please visit " target="_blank">

All information is based on the current federal tax laws of the United States. Since these laws are subject to change, neither the author nor assume liability for modifications that occur after the creation of this work. Every effort has been made to ensure this information is as accurate and complete as possible. These articles contain general information for businesses and are offered as an overview of the law.

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