Create a system for next year! Start a record-keeping program so you can keep on top of it next year. The hardest part is starting! Stephen Covey reminds us that forming habits is not always a bad thing—learn to start and keep GOOD habits, like keeping your receipts that you need.
It doesn’t have to be a perfect system, there’s nothing that says you have to do it a certain way—an imperfect system is better than none at all.
And there’s no rule that says that your receipts have to be in the original, physical form. A scanned receipt should be sufficient, as long as it’s traceable and retrievable. Why not scan your receipts and keep them digitally by using some of the new tools out there?
There are desktop scanners, but there’s also several smartphone apps out there that make scanning your receipts simple, even while you’re on the go. These are perfect for “road warriors” who travel constantly and have to put together expense reports. Who hasn’t lost a receipt? No more:
- Smartphone apps:
We would still recommend that you write on the receipt before you scan it—log the client it was for, and if it was a meal or entertainment receipt, make sure you write down the topic you discussed to make it a business expense. We remind our clients to do this all the time, but they rarely remember to do so.
As for a system to prepare for year-end, why not try the following:
- Print out your bank and credit card statements at the end of the month and match up the receipts to each entry. Staple the receipts to the statements before filing. Don’t forget to write the client information on it before you file them!
- For now, start sifting through your physical receipts or even the online receipts you may have kept, and print those out. It may not seem eco-friendly, but you’ll need to produce those if you’re audited. And remember, you may be audited in two to three years’ time for this year, and who knows where those emailed receipts will be? And P.S., to cut down on paper usage, print one receipt on each side.
If you’re still scared of that box of receipts you’ve hidden in the bottom of your closet, never fear. Call us at Simons Accountancy to make an appointment so we can help tame that paper monster and create an organized, timely tax return for you. (714) 637-4552 or use our online form.