End tax time panic, update your bookkeeping all year

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Want to end tax time panic? It’s simple, update your bookkeeping weekly all year long.

Tax time comes but once a year. So many handmade business owner scramble to do months worth of bookkeeping tasks to “hurry up” and get ready for tax time, in a relatively short amount of time – hating every second of it.

Leaving the bookkeeping till the last minute is a common mistake that I see a lot of business owners make – so don’t think I’m just pointing my finger at you 🙂

All year long handmade business owners are busy doing what they do best – making stuff, selling stuff, and spending money.

Then BAM, its December (or January) and all of a sudden it hits them ……

woman looking at a huge pile of bookkeeping paperwork feeling tax time panic

Tax time is coming – I’d better get my books in order, and they panic!

I’m seeing a lot of this in Facebook groups. People making the same weekly goal that include getting the last 3, 6, 9, and even 12 months of bookkeeping records updated for tax time.

It’s a common mistake to think that bookkeeping is only important when it’s tax time.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that bookkeeping is important only when it’s tax time.

Handmade business coaches either:

  • hint that keeping good financial records is important, but they don’t really tell you what’s involved or show you how it’s done
  • or, some offer a spreadsheet course, that runs every year from January to the end of April to help you get the previous years data ready for tax time.

But what about the rest of the year? What if you decide to sell on a new platform or add a new product line to your business and you don’t understand all the bookkeeping procedure involved? What then?

Are you just supposed to sit back and wait until January when that course opens again?

When business coaches don’t talk about bookkeeping it leads you to think it’s not important.

The reality is that bookkeeping is a year round task (or it should be) as well as a weekly priority. (Hint – in our software business I update our bookkeeping records EVERY SINGLE DAY!) Did I just hear you groan???

So, let me ask you……..

  • would you rather spend an hour a week,
  • a weekend every month,
  • or a few panicked weeks at the end of the year getting your books in order?

That’s the reality of it.

We all have certain aspects of our businesses that we really dislike:

  • weaving in ends
  • spending HOURS creating images for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc.
  • showing up and doing Instagram or Facebook lives

The point is – we show up and do them even though we really dislike them in order to sell our products.

We need to apply that same just do it mindset to our bookkeeping.

Bookkeeping isn’t something that we do once a year for the tax man. It’s something we need to do all year long (on a regular basis) for our business and for us!

The best way to end tax time panic is to update your bookkeeping all year long!

Set aside an hour EVERY WEEK and enter your transactions while they are still fresh in your mind.

Pick a day (any day), block out the time and just do it.

If you need some help along the way, join the Bookkeeping for your handmade/creative business Facebook group. I’m happy to help.

Make this year the year where you get you bookkeeping under control. Check out these resources:

Your in yarn & numbers, Nancy

About Nancy Smyth, The YarnyBookkeeper

Hi, I'm Nancy. Yarn addict, career bookkeeper, and handmade business owner. I get the same feeling of joy when working with yummy yarns as I do when working with a column of numbers that all add up correctly. Bookkeeping for your handmade or creative business doesn't need to be scary. I can help you learn to handle your bookkeeping and other behind the scenes STUFF with confidence!


  1. Great advice and timely reminder. I will set up a month reminder, as it’s more feasible to update the fees monthly. I’ve been following your great info fir a while now, and am doing much better with bookkeeping. Thanks, Nancy!

    1. Hey Courtney! So happy to see you drop by again 🙂 So glad to hear that you’re doing much better with your bookkeeping (it can be a beastly chore!). You’ll find that updating things at least monthly will help.

  2. This is great advice for not only home based businesses but all small businesses that do their own record keeping. Thanks for all your great advice.

    1. Thanks Martha! I must confess, I always have to wonder if my topics are on target LOL. Thanks for stopping by.

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