For large and small companies alike, recording meeting minutes may be more important than you think, especially when it comes to tax planning.
Why are meeting minutes important?
Many different things can be covered in one meeting alone, and while you might feel good and motivated after a seemingly productive session, a few hours later that feeling will likely fade with clarity for what is going on in all of your assigned projects moving forward.
This doesn’t need to be complicated. Recording meeting minutes about basic important things like key decisions and assignments is really all that needs to be done. If you’re selected for the task, make sure you won’t be a major contributor to that particular meeting so you don’t miss anything important.
- Date, time
- Purpose of meeting
- Meeting lead’s name
- Assigned action items
- Decisions made
Make sure you collect as much of this before the meeting so you are as far up to speed as you can be before things start happening. What’s the best way for you to take notes? Are you good with pen and paper, or would typing be more legible/faster? Maybe using a tape recorder as well would be a good idea in case you miss something and need to go back.
Make a list of the attendees and check them off as they arrive. This is important not only for tax purposes but also for correctly recording assigned tasks.
Once again, only record important decisions made, assignments, who does what, and the due dates. No need to say who said what. If you’re unsure about a point, have the meeting lead clarify right after while everything is fresh in their mind.
Number your pages so you don’t get confused later, but when you’re typing them out don’t necessarily go in order – create a flow of topics that makes the most sense.
Type your notes in a template you ideally created beforehand so everything is clear to all the meeting participants. Don’t include comments with your opinions or your own observations. Keep things simple, to the point. The duller the better.
Doing these things for every meeting ensures that the time spent in each will result in positive action, not wasted on forgotten decisions, and you’ll have a record for tax season (especially if you provided a meal or other tax deductible items)!