If you haven't done any bookkeeping for last year is it time to panic? Not necessarily, but you do have to act now. You have an entire year of bookkeeping to do in order to file taxes on time, which is no easy task. Here is a guide on getting your bookkeeping done in an efficient manner.
Determine if you are handling the bookkeeping or outsourcing it
This is a crucial step. Do you have the time, desire and skill set to take on the task of an entire year of bookkeeping? Would it benefit you and your business to outsource your bookkeeping to a professional? If you are going to hire a bookkeeping service or individual tap your business network to find a competent individual or service.
Find a great CPA and hire them
Having a good CPA on your side will be advantageous. A good CPA will professionally prepare your taxes and give you ongoing tax advice. They are worth every penny they charge you. Your trusted business colleagues or bookkeeper should be able to make a few good CPA referrals for you.
There is a lot to do right now so you are going to have to prioritize. Work with your CPA and bookkeeper to figure out what the most important tasks are and create a timeline of what order you need to do things in. There may be incredibly important tasks such as overdue tax filings that need to be done now before anything else
Come up with a bookkeeping game plan and act
Talk with your CPA, bookkeeper or other business owners to find out how to get going with your bookkeeping task. Here is a guide I wrote to help you through the process of "do it yourself bookkeeping." Long story short you need to enter all banking transactions, credit card transactions, loans etc and reconcile them to your year end balances. Useful tip: if you are not sure of what account to code a transaction to don't let it stop you from completing your bookkeeping. Set up an account called "To Review" or "Ask My Accountant" and code any questionable transactions to it. Then you can get all your transactions entered, reconcile all your account and just review all your questions at once with your CPA or bookkeeping consultant.
Just because you have not done any bookkeeping does not mean you can't get it done. You need to come up with a plan and act on it. The tax deadline this year is Tuesday April 17, 2012...best of luck.