Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Photo Galleries
Toy Fair surfaces holograms, robotic animals, dolls for boys The Toy Industry Association's annual fair revealed countless tech-enabled toys -- and some fresh takes on old classics. More
Super Bowl bound? Things to do in Houston besides the big game If you're one of the thousands of fans are headed to Houston for the Super Bowl Sunday, here are five things to do when you're not at the stadium. More
Sneak peek at Super Bowl 51 ads The ghost of Spuds MacKenzie and an ad about immigration steal the show in the swell of upcoming Super Bowl ads. Advertisers are paying, on average, $5 million for 30-second spots during Sunday's game on Fox. But if you want to watch something other than commercials, the New England Patriots happen to be playing the Atlanta Falcons. More
Special Offer
3 of 5
BACK NEXT
Organization Pays Off
A few years back, the IRS - under congressional scrutiny for overzealousness - trimmed its collection activities. Now the pendulum has swung back. Small businesses are notoriously sloppy record keepers, say accountants, making them easy marks for the IRS.

Neil Mammen (pictured at right), founder of Tentmaker Systems, had a brush with the IRS that served as a wake-up call. In 2006 the agency contacted him about $30,000 worth of receipts. They assured him that this was not an audit ... yet. They just wanted clarification.

As a typical disorganized entrepreneur, Mammen found that he was woefully underprepared. Some of the receipts in question he found stuffed in a shoebox (no kidding). For others, he had to call vendors and ask for invoices. "It was scary, a nightmare, and it ate up a lot of my time," says Mammen.

Mammen has since found record-keeping religion. He uses a device called Neat Receipts to scan receipts directly into his PC. There he organizes them according to standard categories such as meals and office supplies. Then he backs the whole thing up in triplicate. After getting more organized, Mammen says, he was able to increase his deductions by about 20% this past year.

NEXT: Timing Tricks

Last updated February 25 2008: 11:17 AM ET