It doesn’t take running a business for too long to realize that you’ll be buried in paper if you don’t figure something out quickly. The other day, an employee was asking me where to find a previous invoice for one of our customers. Luckily, I knew just where that invoice was stored, and I was able to help her find it in our online network. Here are a few tips to keep your financial records like invoices and receipts nice and tidy.
You Can Reduce Paper by Storing Files Electronically
At eFileCabinet, this is what we do. We help free up your office of unnecessary paper and store those documents digitally or in the Cloud. One other big thing to keep in mind is that the IRS will usually accept electronic records, if they are ever in need of them. If you have any kind of special circumstance with the IRS, it may be in your best interest (or it may be required) to keep paper records. Otherwise, the digital documents will do just fine.
Set Up a Filing System
Or simply organize. There’s no real right or wrong way to do it. Just pick a system that works for you and those you work with, and stick to it religiously. Nobody likes having to search for misfiled invoices or receipts, so the better you stick to the system, the easier it will be on everyone.
File Receipts and Invoices As Soon as Possible
There’s never any shortage of work to do in a small business. As tough as it may seem, getting into the habit of filing receipts and invoices immediately will make a huge improvement in your overall organization. If you’re in and out of the office too much for immediate filing an option, at least go through all of your receipts once every day or every other day to make sure everything finds the right place.
Note Exactly What Each Receipt is for
When it comes to managing receipts, the biggest mistake many people make is just keeping the receipts. This works well when you have receipts for tangible items you purchased. When it comes to meals or entertainment, be sure to note on each receipt who you met and why. In the event of an audit, this information will become your biggest ally.