And the Clean Desk Day Winner Is…

We’re thrilled to announce the winner of our #CleanDeskDay contest is Steve Dittmore. Thanks to everyone who participated!

To celebrate National Clean Off Your Desk Day, we held a #CleanDeskDay contest to encourage individuals and small businesses alike to make 2014 our most organized year ever.

National Clean Off Your Desk Day. Perfect way to start the first day of the semester. #CleanDeskDay (coffee mug is essential)  -@stevedittmore
National Clean Off Your Desk Day. Perfect way to start the first day of the semester. #CleanDeskDay (coffee mug is essential)

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the winner of the #CleanDeskDay contest is: Steve Dittmore!

Steve won an awesome set of prizes designed specifically to help you get organized and stay productive in 2014, including:

Steve, please send an email to to claim your prize.

Thank you to everyone who participated in #CleanDeskDay, and stay tuned to the blog for more fun contests in the future!

How to Finish Your Taxes in 5 Minutes Per Day

This tax season, don’t let the stress of completing your small business taxes drive you nuts. Here’s how to finish your taxes in 5 minutes per day.

The second the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, tax season has officially begun.

From January through April, that nagging voice in the back of your head refuses to shut up until you’ve scanned and submitted every last detail to your tax professional.

What a headache!

This tax season, don’t let the stress of completing your small business taxes drive you nuts. It’s possible to finish your taxes easily and effortlessly, without enduring massive amounts of stress and without spending hours shackled to your laptop.

Follow our stress-free plan to finish your taxes in just 5 minutes per day (or less)!

1. Set aside 5 minutes each day to focus on your taxes. You might spend 5 minutes when you first arrive at the office, or 5 minutes before you leave for the evening. Whatever you choose, pick a time that’s consistent each day.

2. Scan 3-4 receipts each day. Whether they’re from last year or this year, scanning a few receipts each day will reduce the amount of clutter in your office, keep your purse and/or briefcase organized, and help you track the previous year’s expenses.Alternatively, you can spend 5 seconds one day dumping all of your paper clutter into one (or four) of our famous Magic Envelopes, and let us do the scanning for you.

3. Focus on one expense category at a time. On Monday, you might spend 5 minutes calculating some of your travel expenses. On Tuesday, you can begin going through your education expenses, or track what you spent on gas and car maintenance.

4. Force yourself to stick to the 5 minute rule – not more, and not less. Even if you accomplish hardly anything, setting aside the time to focus on taxes will keep you in the habit of dealing with them daily until they’re complete. On the other hand, allowing yourself to spend hours pouring over bank statements will quickly lead to tax burnout.

5. When examining your accounts, focus on one month at a time. There’s nothing more overwhelming than trying to determine income and expenditures for an entire year. Start in January of the previous year, and compare your receipt totals with your bank statements. Break the task down further by focusing on a single area, like meals and entertainment. Note any discrepancies you may find, then hang up your hat – you’re done for the day!

6. Spend 5 minutes emailing or calling your tax professional and discussing any questions you might have or forms you might need. On the days you’re really not in the mood to do your taxes, this action step can be a great way to “cheat” while still making progress.

7. Go over any unassigned receipts in your Shoeboxed account and assign them categories. Making sure each receipt has a specific tax category will speed up reporting and make it easier for your accountant to figure out what you owe (or what your refund should be!)

8. Check the Shoeboxed blog for any frequently missed write offs you may have forgotten about.

    • Are you paying health insurance premiums for your employees?
    • Do you own a company vehicle?
    • Are you paying off student loans?

There are tons of write offs that small business owners don’t realize they can take. Make sure all of your bases are covered.

By starting in January or February and committing to just 5 minutes per day, you’ll be shocked at how quickly you’re able to finish your taxes – most likely long before April 15th rears its ugly head.

What tricks do you use to finish your taxes on time?

No Rendering of Advice – The information contained in here represents the opinion of Shoeboxed, Inc. and is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant or attorney. We advise not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant. Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this website is not intended to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under U.S. federal tax law. 
Accuracy of Information – While we use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate and up-to-date information, we do not warrant that any information contained in or made available is accurate, complete, reliable, current or error-free. We assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content of this website or such other materials or communications.

De-cluttering and De-stressing the Lives of Countless Entrepreneurs

In this User Success Story, we interviewed Kate Ross of Ross Business Management about starting a business, working with small business owners, and how she uses Shoeboxed to simplify and de-clutter her business and those of her clients.

With Shoeboxed there has never been one “best” way to use our service to stay organized. And after processing over a billion dollars of expense data since 2007, we say that from years of firsthand experience!

Shoeboxed takes enormous pride in serving clients from around the country and across the globe, all of whom use our service in a myriad of ways to fulfill a whole host of organizational needs in both their personal and professional lives.

Today’s post features Kate Ross, the Principal at Ross Business Management!

“We recommend a suite of products that allows people to run their businesses from anywhere there is internet connectivity, including Shoeboxed. Not only is this a green option for businesses, but it makes tracking, organizing, and understanding the health of your business literally a few clicks away.”

– Kate Ross

_MKZ0702Introducing: Kate Ross

Profession: Principal, Ross Business Management

Location: Washington, D.C.

LinkedIn: Kate Ross

Twitter: @RossBizMGMT

Shoeboxed: Hi Kate! Tell us a little about yourself and Ross Business Management.

Kate Ross: I started my business because I uncovered a need for entrepreneurs and artists to build sound financial enterprises. My company is a boutique firm that specializes in financial and operational solutions for entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, and small business owners. I am inspired to elevate smaller companies in my community to do good work, and not be limited by their resources, but empowered by them.

I started Ross Business Management so entrepreneurs can exceed their goals and pursue their craft. My passion lies in working with people who are creating amazing work, so that they can do what makes them light up without the stress of back-end operations.

My goal is to educate, inspire and empower entrepreneurs, artists, and musicians. I want to continue to provide talented people with jobs, and provide more people with access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.  Communities are built based on the success of others and the ability to partner with people – as a connector in the music industry and also amongst small businesses in DC, I help more people become profitable.

My path to starting my own business started out as what many would consider a setback: I was laid off. Prior to starting my own business, I was a policy analyst at a health care reform coalition, which allowed me to gain expertise in setting up companies with their health care and benefits packages. I also worked as the finance director of two large organizations, where I became an expert in creating solid profit streams for my clients.

Through my setback, I realized that my talents were something that I could use to elevate businesses in my community. I was inspired to help entrepreneurs because I am one myself. Starting my business was not a breeze – with no staff at first, I worked tirelessly to ensure the success of my early clients, one of whom came to me with a $21,000 tax levy, no organized accounting system, and minimal credit. In less than one year, this same client started working on large government projects without the stress of managing their finances and operations.

SBX: It’s wonderful that you were able to turn a setback into success! What is your favorite part of your job, and what is the most stressful?

KR: My favorite part of my job is being able to meet with brilliant recording artists, entrepreneurs, and small business owners every day. I love being able to talk about what inspired them to do what they are passionate about, and it is fulfilling to be able to offer them solutions to major pain points in growing and running their business. The most stressful element of the job is what any small business owner might say – the importance of clients paying on time is paramount!

SBX: Wow, it sounds like you get to interact with a ton of interesting people. What is it like working with small businesses every day?