Dear FileSlinger clients, colleagues, and friends:
Before you go out to ring in the New Year, take some time to prepare your year-end backups.
Why do you need a year-end backup? Primarily for tax purposes. Just in case you’re faced with the dreaded audit, you want all your financial information readily available. (The more organized you are, the faster the IRS will go away.)
So the first candidate for a year-end backup is your accounting or personal finance software. Quicken has a built-in feature for making year-end copies. (Go to File|File Operations|Year-End Copy and follow the instructions.) If you use a different finance program, check the help file. At the very least you should be able to export a certain date-range.
Other candidates for year-end copies are any bills, receipts, or invoices that come to you in electronic form. If they arrive by e-mail, you can either save them as individual text files or make a special mailbox (Eudora) or archive .pst file (Outlook) for them.
You should also save any invoices that you send to your own clients. In fact, you may want to make a special copy of all your client files for the year. If you have clients who span several years, creating subfolders for each year within the client’s folder can help make finding your current documents easier.
Once you’ve selected the files that need backing up, copy them onto a CD or DVD and put them with your tax files for 2004 or in your safe-deposit box. (If you want to know more about creating yearly tax archive files, check out the Organizer Extraordinaire‘s Tax Time Tune-Up tips in her book, How to Do Space age Work with a Stone Age Brain™.
And don’t forget to make your regular weekly backups, as well.
Happy New Year to all, and may 2005 be a year of no data loss.
Remember, if are getting rid of an old computer and want to deduct it from your 2004 taxes, you need to drop it off by the end of the day today. The Alameda County Computer Recycling Center is open until 5 PM.