Don’t even bother with New Year’s resolutions in 2011…

No, I’m not being a pessimist about the direction of the country, the state of the economy or even how the real estate market is “on its back.”  These are all viewpoints that remain highly subjective depending upon which end of the stick you are on.  No, my point is that many of you do not have a measurement of how you did in 2010 so why bother making a prediction for 2011?

That being said, it is not too late to get that measurement for 2010; in fact, if you are one who’s always making the last minute scramble with your accountant at tax time now is the perfect time to do so.  I hear you, “there’s so much to do, I am not even sure where to start.”  Well let’s get started with these 5 easy steps:

1.       Gather every piece of paper related to your business – best case this would amount to a business checking account with a debit card and maybe a credit card that is used exclusively for business activity and this would be an easy step.  If you aren’t set-up this way then there’s a resolution we can make at this point.  So if you’re making that resolution now then start gathering everything, all of the personal credit cards, the personal bank statements, those receipts that are everywhere and dedicate a space to accumulating them.

2.       Gather all of the electronic information related to your business – print it all out and turn those bytes turn it into paper.  Now is not the time to go paperless, let’s make a game of how big we can make the stack of stuff.  It will be far less intimidating of a process if the game is how big can we make the pile?

3.       Let it germinate – Since we are not on a hard deadline of April 15th or rushing because the extension expires tomorrow let the project sit for now.  NO, I am not suggesting that we abandon it; quite the opposite!  No matter how thorough you’ve been with steps 1 and 2 I can assure you that there are still some receipts, emails, and scribbled notes that haven’t made it into the piles just yet.  Over the course of the next few days your mind will remind you of where they are; just like it does the day after we’ve E-filed the return.  Only now we have some room to not be so rushed.

4.       Cut the deck – sift the pile into three categories:  income, expenses, and other.

5.       Check your commitment – are you really in this business?  I mean really committed to it?  Then while we wait for next week’s continuation on what to do with our three piles let’s head down to the bank of choice and get that business checking account opened up and ready to go for January 1st.  You’ll be much more relaxed around those three piles knowing that you’ve already made the first step towards a whole new way of doing things for next year.

Until next week,



This U.S. Treasury Circular 230 disclosure is provided on all electronic communications to assure compliance with new standards of professional practice: 

Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer under the Internal Revenue Code.


Read my bio here

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *