From a CPA’s Perspective:
Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Records for a CPA


Alex Blackham, CPA


MTNA Business Digest, Volume 1, Issue 2

January 2022


Are you nervous about your taxes? As a CPA/piano teacher, I offer these Top 5 ways to successfully prepare your records for your tax return.

  1. Keep Track of Car Mileage and Report Home Business Use: Don’t forget to count any mileage or home office deductions available to you each year. Make sure you give your CPA the square footage of the area of your home exclusively used for your studio, the total square footage of your home, the total mileage on your car and the business mileage on your car.Each of these four numbers is needed for your tax return to be filed, which means you need to track your business mileage throughout the year to give an accurate number.*
  2. Organize Your Information: The more organized your information is the better. I personally use Excel/Google sheets to track my income and expenses and just create a column for each separate category. If you want to make your CPA’s job super easy look up a copy of a schedule C (the form your business activity is filed on) and look at the different categories the IRS has. Make your categories match the IRS and add other expenses as needed. The more organized you are, the less you may need to pay your accountant.
  3. Get a bank account for your business: Get a single bank account to track your business activity. This will make it incredibly easy for you to track the income and expenses of your business in case you don’t keep track of your records on a consistent basis. This is one of the single most important steps you can take in case the IRS ever wants to audit your business—and you can send the bank statements to your CPA along with your summarized income and expenses for the year. This is the first recommendation we always make to anyone with a business.
  4. Consider a money-tracking app/application*:I mentioned that I use Excel to track my personal business expenses. However, there are even easier options out there to track your activity and organize it into categories for your accountant. Many of my clients use Mint/Quickbooks or other similar apps to track their financial activity. You can link your business bank account/credit card to the app and use it to track every transaction, then print reports for your CPA to use for tax reporting.
  5. Send any tax forms related to your business: Make sure you send any 1099s reporting business income to your CPA. This will allow him/her to make sure all the income that has been reported to the IRS has been accounted for and will make it easier to defend against potential audits.
  6. * Check the Technology Tips and Tools section of this Digest as well as the October issue for suggestions on helpful apps.


Alex Blackham

 

Alex Blackham, CPA, is a tax senior at Squire & Company PC as well as a piano teacher, Youtube pianist and father of two little girls. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Accounting.

 

 

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