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Looking for a little guidance from any of the many professionals out there.

A family member is a professional actress and voiceover performer and coach.
For the tax year she ends up with ~25 W-2’s, 5 1099’s and some cash income from private coaching work.

During a tax year she maintains expense records totaling from $80,000 to $90,000.
Having been audited in years gone by, she is very good about keeping all receipts, including every taxi, toll, parking, gifts, meals, office supplies, postage and some total
of 28 categories. In past years she has kept these receipts in folders by month, with each category being kept together. When available she has used some clerical aid to do this manual assembly work and prepare these monthly folders. At the end of the year, we prepare an Excell spreadsheet for each month with all 29-30 categories, and proceed to enter all the receipts, which of course maintains running totals.
After all 12 months are entered, we summarize again on an Excell format, the same categories on a sheet that gives the final totals for all categories.

At this point, with all the other required end of year statements we are ready to visit with the CPA. He has done her taxes for years, which often require submittal to 4-5 different states, and is very pleased with the detailed summaries we provide.

Now for my request for help.
An accountant who did some work for her suggests she record her expenses directly to a report, maybe using Quicken, and then only organize the receipts if she gets audited. She suggests using credit card whenever possible. We are talking about 600-700 receipts per year, and she always intends to keep up to date but always ends up hiring help to organize and sort the receipts. Of course the help always has trouble sorting the expenses to its proper category.

How do some of you who track detailed expenses handle this chore, and how do some of you Tax preparer like to see the information delivered to you? I have one Business Owner Friend who uses QuickBooks but he uses it for bill pay, and everything for the business, and he says that at Tax time it practically prepares his tax returns. That would be overkill for us, so mainly looking for help in collecting, sorting and recording the many expense receipts.

Thanks for any guidance you may have, or if you can reference any books or articles on the subject, we would be most thankful.
Senior Citizen
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