Using digital documents can help make preparing your small business taxes easier.

As a business owner, you’re no stranger to making decisions. But deciding whether to go totally digital with your bank statements may be a choice you’ve been delaying. You might like the feeling of having paper documents in hand to review or perhaps you don’t want to rock the boat if you’ve always received your statements in the mail.

This may be a great year to reconsider online statements1 and digital documents, because a growing number of accountants and tax professionals are asking for digital copies of financial statements. Using online documents of your Wells Fargo bank statements can make this process easier. Not only does this option come with online banking at no cost, you may find the benefits extend beyond tax season. But let’s start there.

Getting ready for tax season

Even if you keep your books in great shape throughout the year, there’s usually a last-minute push to categorize or review expenses, and make sure your business is maximizing its deductions. This process can be made easier if you access your online documents and/or download your account activity through Wells Fargo Online® Banking.

Doing so means your bank statements will be available as soon as Wells Fargo is done processing them. You can start reviewing or categorizing expenses before they would arrive via mail, giving you extra prep time throughout the year. You can also share digital documents with accountants or third-party teams without having to scan paper files. With Account Access Manager, you also have the ability to provide your accountant access to pull down these documents themselves, saving you time.

Finally, experts recommend keeping seven years of tax returns and supporting documents on hand in case of an audit. This can get to be quite cumbersome if you’re keeping stacks and stacks of paper documents. (If you’ve switched to a home office setup during the COVID-19 pandemic, mounds of paper may be even more unwieldy.)

With digital documents, Wells Fargo stores up to seven years of deposit statements online, so you have easy access to these files if you ever need them.

Get information faster

Of course, taxes are only a small part of your business (even if they feel like the only thing in the world from February through April). So it’s important for you to realize that if you sign up for digital documents, you’ll experience benefits the rest of the year, too.

For instance, your statements are available each month as soon as they’re processed. If you opt for paper statements, these documents must be printed and mailed, which may add several days between the date the statement is processed and when you receive it. You also have fast access to past statements — no need to dig through file folders to find them.

If you’re concerned about cash flow (and what business isn’t?), the quick access to online statements and balances can help you stay on top of your business account(s). In fact, you may be able to sign up for alerts that notify you when your statement is ready.2

Delegate better

Opting for online statements can also help you tackle one of the biggest issues business owners face: delegating tasks. It can be tempting to want to handle everything yourself. And if you’re the only one with access to bank statements that are mailed directly to you, it can reinforce the feeling that you have to handle accounting issues on your own.

With digital statements, you can instantly share important documents with relevant employees or even approved third parties. You can determine who’s able to access statements via your Wells Fargo Account Access Manager. And you can store digital files in a secure location on your computer or company intranet.

Imagine this scenario: Through Account Access Manager, a trusted employee downloads bank statements and shares them securely with your third-party accounting firm or tax specialist. That specialist then comes to you only when there’s a clear picture of cash flow, P&L, or taxes due. Your time is now free to focus on your strategy for 2021 and beyond.

Plus, it’s important to remember that signing up for online statements doesn’t mean you have to give up paper statements completely. While opting for digital means you won’t receive copies by mail from Wells Fargo, you can still print the PDFs and review them on paper. This approach may still save you time and give you more immediate access to your financials.

Learn more about digital banking with Wells Fargo Small Business, including online statements.

Sources: DSJCPA, Microsoft

1 Online Statements require Adobe® Acrobat® PDF reader. The length of time Online Statements are available to view and download varies depending on the product: up to 2 years for credit cards, student loans, home equity lines of credit, and personal loans and lines of credit; and up to 7 years for deposit accounts, home mortgage accounts, and trust and managed investment accounts. The length of time the specific product statements are available online can be found in Wells Fargo Online® in Statements & Documents. Availability may be affected by your mobile carrier’s coverage area. Your mobile carrier’s message and data rates may apply.

2 Sign-up may be required. Availability may be affected by your mobile carrier’s coverage area. Your mobile carrier’s message and data rates may apply