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Case Study: An Organized Process for Tax Paperwork

Do you find that you are more likely to get things done when you have a definitive deadline? This tends to be the case, especially when the task needs to be done within the next few weeks. My client, who has a home-based business, and I met periodically to organize tax paperwork for her accountant. The tax filing deadline was looming, and we were still far from getting all the information together. As a NYC Professional Office Organizer, I truly believed that a deadline imposed by her accountant would be the best motivator for my client to get this task done.

I asked my client if she had scheduled a meeting with her accountant, and she advised that she hadn’t done so. She believed she wouldn’t be ready to file taxes until April. As I was aware that her accountant would prefer to meet earlier, I suggested she make the appointment which she booked for the end of March.

With a set deadline, my client was much more focused on getting all her paperwork organized. I ended each of our meetings with a homework assignment to help her reach her goals.

It’s important to note that at the time my client preferred a paper system. We had worked together to organize her tax paperwork for several years and had developed a process that worked for her. It included sorting receipts and statements, filing, and categorizing the expenses. My client had preferred to create a handwritten document summarizing the expense
categories and their respective totals. With my urging, we created an Excel worksheet to capture all the relevant information. This not only helped make corrections easier, but also ensured that all calculations were accurate.

It took 4 years to introduce technology into our process…it was a major step that was outside of her comfort zone. By working with me and implementing the processes and procedures I suggested up to that point, my client was ready to embrace the change and adapted well. Applying a customized process, using technology and having a definitive deadline keeps her focused so that the work is done well in advance of meeting with her accountant.

Ready to make a change in how you organize your paperwork? Reach out to your NYC Professional Office Organizer today.

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