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No Job's Finished Until the Paperwork is Done

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That time of year is quickly approaching... I'm talking
about dreaded taxes! To make tax time easier this year
and certainly next year, read on.

As is the case with many other small business owners
I've talked with, taxes, recordkeeping, and all that
darned paperwork are the hardest and most unpleasant
parts of running your own business. However, I have
established a system for tracking my antiques and
collectibles business inventory and expenses, which
keeps headaches to a minimum.

Keeping Uncle Sam happy (KUSH) is important, too!

Numerous books on small business operation are available
today. I suggest visiting a local bookstore or library
and just sitting down with a stack (and there are stacks
of them!) to see which one works best for you. My
inventory-tracking system works for me because it's simple.

I don't like to do this part of my antiques business, so
I have to keep it simple or it would be overwhelming. But
as long as I stay on top of things, I'm fine. I estimate
that I spend four to six hours a month at the task of
recordkeeping (a little more than one hour per week).

I keep an inventory sheet that has five columns: Inventory
Number, Description, Purchase Price, Marked (Sold) Price,
and Date Sold. Using this simple method helps me track what
I've purchased and for what price as well as when it sold.

To track expenses other than inventory, I use a relatively
simple software package (Quick Books) on my computer that
totals the numbers I input. The same results can be
realized by using a good old notebook, writing down the
date of purchase, where purchased, and purchase amount,
and totaling the amounts yourself.

Tax preparation is not what I call fun, so I use a tax
preparer. For a little more than $100 a year (which is
tax deductible), he does the dirty work, and I keep my
sanity.

Good luck in the "business" end of your business!

About the Author

Peggy Hazelwood is the author of From Old to Gold: How
to Start and Run an Antiques Business, $7.95 ebook
available at the Albooktross E-bookstore,
http://www.albooktross.com/, in the How To category.

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