Tax season is winding down and it’s a great time to organize your personal and dental practice’s financial records. The key word here is indeed “organize.” Throwing all of your important documents into a drawer won’t help much when an emergency occurs and you (or a family member) need to find a certain piece of paper.
Make a list
Of course, emergencies aren’t the only reason to organize your records. For example, you may need to be able to access relevant personal records if you’re ever audited or a victim of theft. Or your home could be damaged in a storm or fire. Or you may need proof of cash in investments or claim insurance benefits.
To get started, make a list of important records. These include items related to:
- Bank and investment accounts,
- Real estate and homeownership,
- Insurance policies,
- Credit card accounts,
- Health care benefits and medical history, and
- Marriage and your estate.
Grouping the items into broad categories such as these will make them easier to file and find later.
Establish your approach
With your list in hand, it’s time to start organizing and storing your records. Here are some tips for streamlining the process:
Create a central filing system. The ideal storage medium for personal documents is a fire-, water- and impact-resistant security cabinet or safe. Create a master list of the cabinet contents and provide a copy of the key to your executor or a trusted family member.
Designate a second storage location. Maintain a duplicate set of the records in another location, such as a bank safety deposit box, and provide access to a trusted individual (preferably not the same individual with access to the original documents). Consider keeping originals of your important legal documents, such as your will, with your attorney.
Back up records electronically. It also makes sense to store copies of records electronically. Simply scan your documents and save them to a trustworthy external storage device. If opting for a cloud-based backup system, choose your provider carefully to ensure its security measures are as stringent as possible.
Follow the ritual
Make organizing your records an annual ritual and not just a one-time event. Need assistance? We can help you identify the specific documents pertinent to your situation and organize them appropriately.
Sidebar: Create an emergency checklist to cope with calamity
Having an emergency checklist of important personal records handy is essential in the event you must evacuate your home. In a crisis, you’ll likely be able to take only what you can easily carry with you. That means storing the bare essentials in a portable container. Include these items:
- Driver’s license, passport, and Social Security card,
- Credit cards,
- Vital medical condition and medication information,
- Health insurance cards, and
- Emergency family and physician contacts.
This tax season was busy as ever, but, we are always available for you should you have questions or concerns regarding your dental practice finances. HP Advisors is focused on providing an experience for our clients unlike anything else in the marketplace. We thrive on knowing our clients enjoy less stress. Less tax. And more profit. Are you unhappy with what you experienced or the service you received from your CPA this year? Let us have a look with a free consultation.
Visit our homepage and chat with a Dental Profit Advisor today!