QuickBooks Online, one of the premier business accounting software options, contains lots of little ways to make tax season simpler for business owners. And in this crazy-busy time of year, anything that can make the small business tax preparation process easier—that doesn’t mean cutting corners, of course—is one of the best gifts you can get.
Two of these little QuickBooks Online tips are made to make tax season easier this year, and then you’ll be in even better shape during next year’s tax season, when you can use the rest.
How QuickBooks Online Can Help with This Current Tax Season
There are two main ways that QuickBooks Online can be used to simplify this year’s tax season for business owners:
QuickBooks Online Tip 1: Set Up Accountant Firms/Users
This is key.
It’ll let your bookkeeper and your tax preparer access your QuickBooks Online. Giving an accountant “user” access to your QuickBooks Online provides a few extra tools to make sure your books are accurate and up to date, and makes it easier to access the reports when your tax team needs them.
And that means they don’t have bug you to get info for them.
QuickBooks Online Tip 2: Ask Your Tax Preparer to Use ‘Requests’
If you’ve set up your tax preparer (and bookkeeper) as Accountant Firm/Users in QuickBooks Online, it’s time to use a feature in QuickBooks Online Accountant called “Work.” This feature is a project management tool that helps your tax team track tasks and projects.
Why should you care about this? Because they can create a “Request” using the work tab, to ask for any documents or information they might need to prepare your tax return, and anything you upload will be right there in your QBO for both of you to find! As an added note, this feature can also be useful throughout the year, allowing you to request work, like job costing in QuickBooks Online or developing a QuickBooks budget.
How QuickBooks Online Can Help You Prep for Tax Seasons to Come
Like the Scouts always say, be prepared—if for no other reason than to save a ton of stress when tax season rolls around. (The Scouts don’t say that second part.)
Use these two additional QuickBooks Online hacks in addition to the first two to simplify tax season next year and down the road, too.
QuickBooks Online Tip 3: Make Use of the Workers Tab
Intuit just introduced the Workers tab in QuickBooks Online. This replaces the Employees tab and lets small businesses track payments to employees (the ones who are paid via payroll and receive a W2 at the end of the year) as well as contract workers (those who are paid directly via QuickBooks checks, credit card, or online banking, and receive a 1099 at the end of the year).
The fantastic thing about this new feature is that you can invite a contractor to add their own W9/1099 info directly from QBO, to make preparing those 1099s next year much less painful.
Bonus tip: Don’t release a payment until you have that information!
QuickBooks Online Tip 4: Report Scheduling
So that you and your tax preparer don’t forget, have your financials (that means your profit and loss, balance sheet) send automatically to both of you. This way you always know where your business stands, and your tax preparer can make any needed adjustments to the amounts of the estimated payments you’re making each quarter.
Another report that you can create is the “Ask My Bookkeeper” report. Post any transactions that you’re not 100% about to an expense account called “Ask My Bookkeeper” or a Miscellaneous expense account, and then create a report that shows transactions posting to that account. That report can be automatically shipped off to your bookkeeper. They can then go reclassify the transactions properly, so that at year end, you’re not scrambling to figure all of this out.
Take it straight from an accountant—always using an accounting system like QuickBooks Online (as well as additional QuickBooks apps) simplifies tax season for business owners—even if it’s just by making reports easy to generate and providing multi-user, always-on access to the owner, their bookkeeper, and their tax preparer. QuickBooks also boasts a high number of integrations with other accounting apps and software including niche options like trucking accounting software. Other accounting software like FreshBooks offers similar functionality but QuickBooks is perhaps the best option on the market.
And, hey, who wouldn’t want their life easier during this stressful time of year?