As an accounting/bookkeeping provider, I’m frequently met with people frantically trying to pull together receipts and find missing papers to take to their bookkeeper or accountant – often in the last days of the tax season.
I can hear you thinking it now… “Yeah yeah, I know what you’re going to say. Keep your banking accounts separate, keep your receipts organized, blah blah blah”. I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’m with you. I roll my eyes every time I see those tips and tricks or “helpful” advice given out by a bookkeeper. Of course we all know we should keep our receipts. Of course we all know to track our mileage, never use our personal credit card for business expenses… and vice versa. Then real life sets in – and that’s not always as easy as it seems. Like most people, I like easy – and so do my clients. So here are a few easy ways to keep yourself organized with minimal effort and no stress.
Find an app like Receiptbank and buy a subscription. Yes, it’s a few extra dollars a month – but the time, hassle and headache it saves you will more than make up for it. Once Receiptbank is downloaded to your phone, you can snap pictures of receipts on the fly as you go about your day. Bought coffee for the office? Snap. Submit it to Receiptbank. Oops – paid for your groceries with the company card? No worries… snap and upload it. You can code it to owner’s draws. That meal with the client at the restaurant… take a picture. No worries about losing a piece of paper, either. CRA will accept digital copies of your receipts, so no more worrying about dropping or losing the receipt. Additionally, Receiptbook comes with its own email that can be provided to vendors to allow them to email invoices directly into Receiptbank. From Receiptbank, invoices and receipts can be coded and posted to your cloud based accounting system with the click of a button. Receiptbank isn’t the only option. There will be others available depending on your needs.
The bane of proprietors, salespeople, and employees everywhere. The dread mileage log. Hop in the car. Write down the mileage. Is this business or personal? Arrive at destination and record mileage. No wonder so many people just… don’t… do it. I don’t either. However, Intuit has recently added a new function to their Quickbooks Online app – automatic mileage tracking. Just… get in your vehicle and drive. When you arrive, you should probably pull out your phone, click the app, and swipe right for personal or left for business so it’s fresh in your mind, but you can do it later if you like. And that’s it! Mileage tracked!
Bank, Credit Card, Payment Processor Statements
While most small business accounting packages will link directly to your bank account and download transactions and match them up, some will link to your bank account and pull the statements as well – although the banks they work with are limited, and they don’t seem to work with the payment processors (like Stripe or Paypal). However, there are other apps on the market that will do that as well – Hubdocs, for example, will link to your bank accounts, your Paypal accounts, Stripe, and many other payment providers to download your transactions and statements for you – the catch being that you do have to set them up for e-statements for it to work.
With cloud based accounting and the range of business applications providing affordable services, remaining organized is not only possible, but even the busiest of us can do so with ease as we go about our daily lives.