While everyone else is enjoying the holidays and easing their way into a new year, it tends to be a different story for us bookkeepers.

We’re putting our battle armor on, setting our alarm clocks early, and sending the kids to a friend’s house. Cause a new year means it’s tax time, baby.

But there’s a problem here. If you’re waiting until “tax season” to start thinking about 1099s, you’re already behind schedule 😬. Trust me, I know because I’ve been there. 

I’ve shared before how absolutely chaotic tax season used to be for my team and me. We spent many 12+ hour days and sleepless nights trying to meet our deadlines, only to fall into the same trap the following year. Finally, I had enough of feeling out-of-my-mind stressed every January. 

So now I’m here to share with you the not-so-secret ingredients to conquering tax time year after year:

Establish good workflows and, ultimately, create a yearlong tax time infrastructure for your biz.

The Power of Workflows

Here’s a quick truth bomb 💣: Goals are only achievable when you have good workflows to make them happen.

For tax time, that means my team and I follow monthly and quarterly checklists that help us address tax time to-dos in real-time, all year long.

While I’m happy to share with you my exact process for taking the stress out of tax time, I do need to caution you on one thing:

Workflows will only work if you actually document and use them — over, and over, and over, and over again

I recommend making yourself a checklist that you can use for every client. This could be as simple as a Google Sheets, or take it up a notch with a project management system (I love Teamwork for what it’s worth, and yes that’s an affiliate link).

My Monthly and Quarterly Tax Workflows

Okay so let’s dive in to the exact workflows we use to get ‘er done all year long.

Every month, my team and I:

✅ Conduct detailed reviews of P&L and entries to make revisions

✅ Collect W9s & Save to QBO

✅ Populate our 1099 system

✅ Do any necessary client revisions

✅ Check for unreconciled transactions

✅ Resolve any nagging or sticky issues (don’t wait!)

And every quarter, we address high-level concerns that include:

✅ Save our quarterly payroll reports (You’ll want these for your Digital Tax Package — which I touch on more in my Tax Time Training!)

✅ Review your clients’ books and tidy them up if necessary

✅ TRIPLE check that you have all those pesky W9s

A Month-by-Month Tax Time Snapshot

So now that you’re equipped with both your monthly and quarterly checklists, it’s time to set your calendar up right for 2023.

Here’s a sneak peek at how my team and I work month-by-month from October to February:

👉 October: Prepare my end-of-year (EOY) Dashboard (more on this in a minute) & create a timeline based on tax dates.

👉 November: Send out YTD reports to the client’s accountant for tax planning and touch base with my team to make sure all W9s are in good order.

👉 December: Update December transactions WEEKLY, this way we’re not scrambling in January.

👉 January: Reconcile accounts and send 1099 forms.

👉 February: Finish our EOY process and CELEBRATE!! 🙌🎉

The Importance of an EOY Dashboard and Process

Okay so that EOY dashboard I mentioned earlier. This is something I teach in my Bookkeeper’s Business Incubator program and share in my Tax Time Training.

Put simply, this is where we track everything. It gives us a bird’s eye view of the entire year and where every client account stands. No file digging here lady, who has time for that?? I sure as heck don’t.

Not only does it help my team members and me stay accountable for completing our tax workflows every month, but it gives an AWESOME sense of satisfaction when all steps have been completed. I’ll tell ya what, very few things make me happier than having a crossed-off to-do list in front of me.

Ready to Conquer Tax Season?

Listen, you totally got this.

I know it may be a little overwhelming now to think about implementing new systems and tackling taxes all year long. But I can promise you, my friend, I’ve been doing it for years now and it is SO. MUCH. BETTER. then the alternative.

In fact, I use these exact workflows to get around 90% of my clients’ books closed, tied out, and shipped to their accountants by February 15 every year. That’s pretty freakin’ awesome, if you ask me.

I hope you find these workflows helpful! As always, feel free to shoot me a message if you have any questions or want more resources to help you kick tax season in the you-know-what. 

Cheers to you,