In a perfect world, tax time and the end of the financial year would roll around, your accountant would ask for your paperwork and you would have it all there, in order, at your fingertips, ready to go!

The reality is that not many of us live in that “perfect world. More often than not paperwork is at the bottom of the list of priorities. A job you know you HAVE to do, but have the least desire, or motivation to do, so you procrastinate……until you can’t put it off any longer.

There’s got to be an easier or better way to manage that accounts paperwork. Even IRD have got on the bandwagon of trying to make it easier for you by updating their computer system and introducing the new system to help make it easier for you.

In an effort to keep up with the times, IRD now allow you to store your paperwork electronically if you have the right approval. Say goodbye to that ugly pile of seven years paperwork packed in your back room that you’re probably never going to look at again, but know you have to keep, to keep the tax man happy. Imagine the extra space you’d have.

So how do you go about storing your records electronically? If you use one of the organisations on IRD’s approved list (e.g. Xero, MYOB or Reckon), you can start straight away. All your invoices and receipts can be uploaded into your online accounting system…..and then you can throw the originals away. You can make the process even simpler by using an app on your phone or tablet that takes a photo of your receipt which then uploads it to your accounting system.

You can use the accounting system app or another specially designed app which will also help gather the data required off your receipt e.g. invoice number, amount, date due; then it sends it straight into your system. Receipt Bank is one app that can do this for you, and then sends it into your accounting package. Using a system like this will reduce the amount of paperwork you have cluttering your office, but it will also reduce the time you spend/waste manually entering data.

Imagine what tax time would be like if all your info had been sent by email or the camera on your phone throughout the year? All you would have to do, is tell your accountant that you’re all ready to go when they are.

People set New Year’s resolutions on the 1st January each year. How about setting a “financial new year’s” resolution on the 1st April this year. Get yourself on a system that will reduce time, paperwork and stress. It would mean you have more time to spending working your business….or fishing, surfing or hanging out with your family. Tax time would never be the same again!