November is the unofficial start to the close of the year. It’s a great time to start preparing for January, including the necessary paperwork and taxes involved.

Examine your system for tracking money. Are you simply reviewing your bank statement when it arrives in the mail? Do you keep an elaborate Excel sheet which takes double the time because you re-enter everything twice? Now is a great time to explore some potential new software solutions to track your business finances.

WaveApps

WaveApps, creates charts as it tracks things

I recently discovered WaveApps. It’s a free and user-friendly way to examine your finances at a glance and produce simply profit-and-loss statements or review your transactions.

A similar tool is Xero. This one is aimed more at the accounting and finance professional who will understand how to utilise the tax features and classifications better than, say, you’re average freelancer.

I have been in the habit of tracking weekly expenses in Harvest. With transactions going in at a regular rate, I can create reports to see an overview of what’s been happening.

Any one of these tools requires a bit of getting used to, which is why we should start on the offense now, rather than first week of January. This way, we’ll be able to see any shortcomings and where we might need to keep our old methods in place.

The oldest habit that many organizations have is relying on Excel. I will certainly recommend adopting one of the above platforms over any Microsoft Office title, but if you have to stick with Excel, try one of these templates to get a better real-time picture of your finances or run a report.

Your preparation and organization will only make you better. You’ll spend less time fussing with inefficient systems when deadlines are looming and you’ll have more energy for your actual work.

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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