By Spencer Jenkins

The April 15th tax deadline is quickly approaching and small businesses have a lot of paperwork to process with minimal time to do so. At Nitro, we work with a lot of companies, from one-person home businesses to large corporations. Each has their own unique challenges related to taxes, although smaller companies usually don’t have the access to armies of accountants and tax attorneys. But having the right technology on hand can make filing taxes a snap for anyone.

Whether you have an external accountant or plan to handle filing taxes internally, one of the easiest (and most overlooked) ways to organize your financial statements, receipts, and government forms is with the trusty PDF. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of five PDF tips that will make filing tax documents easier, faster and cheaper, so you can focus on the business at hand.

  1. Create PDF files from receipts. Small businesses don’t have access to the massive accounting departments larger enterprises enjoy, so staying organized can seem daunting – particularly in terms of keeping track of receipts. PDFs give you the power to streamline the process in an efficient and cost effective way; just scan and organize your receipts all within one file. This way, if the IRS comes knocking, you’ll be ready.
  2. Complete government forms. Filling out government forms can be a huge hassle, especially if you’re doing it by hand. PDF forms not only allow you to go back and fix a typo, but also are capable of processing mathematical calculations automatically. No more wasting time working out 8.5% of box B divided by the sum of boxes A, C, and D, raised to the power of E=MC2.
  3. Combine PDF Files. Combine all of your past year’s financial statements into one easy-to-manage document that you can send without risking paper cuts.
  4. QuickSign/Digital Signatures. Bypass the print, sign, scan, send tedium to save major time securely signing paperwork while keeping everything all on your desktop – no file folders or couriers required.
  5. Redaction. Every company has sensitive, material information that needs to stay within the organization. If you’re using an external accountant to keep the books, companies such as Nitro provide PDF redaction features that keep your private information, well, private.

This year, while filing your 2012 tax returns, don’t be afraid to get creative – use the PDF to your benefit, and make tax season pain-free.

Spencer Jenkins is Marketing Manager at Nitro.