by Lauren Morris of Stamp 48
Most individuals have completed their taxes in the US by that dreaded deadline of April 15. But as a small business owner, you know that taxes are due throughout the year. You also know that you need to keep receipts. But as the receipts pile up into a big massive heap on your desk, kitchen table, entry table, and stuck into the secret hidden pockets of your wallet, they can quickly spiral out of control and give you the feeling that you’ll never be able to get organized.
But fear not! There are ways that you can recover from this situation and begin to stay on top of your receipt organization so that paying taxes is as pain-free as a manicure.
1. Have a central location for keeping receipts.
Stop sticking them all over your house or office. While tempting to get it out of your wallet, leaving it on the kitchen counter to accidentally get drenched by a spilled glass of lemonade is obviously not good in the long run. One way to be able to do this is to designate a collection point that is beautiful to you. If I had this baby from conceptfurnishings in my office, I would love to use it as a collection point and probably be a little more motivated to keep everything together:
2. Categorize each receipt based on your needs.
Barbara Boone from Smart Woman suggests the following categories: “Advertising/Marketing, Cell Phone, Credit Card, Donations, Insurance, Office Expenses, Books/Magazines, Professional Services, Professional Dues, Training/Seminars, Travel, and Taxes. I also include a compartment for Mileage and Income” However, these may differ based on your needs, so be sure to check with your accountant. Try to set aside a time every 2 weeks or maybe once a month, to really sit down and organize these. By putting it on your calendar, you are more apt to make it a priority, which it should be. Do pretty things motivate you? Try using these receipt-sized file folders by SaraNicoleDesigns:
3. Archive your reciepts
Have you ever noticed that receipts tend to fade over time? It can be a huge problem. If you’re ready to take your organization to the next level, try using Shoeboxed. With this awesome service, you get prepaid envelopes a la Netflix to stuff with your receipts (and business cards!). You can even skip step #2. Send everything into Shoeboxed and they scan it and upload it for you. You can retrieve your data in a wide variety of formats to do with it at you please and keep everything organized online. You can even import your receipts straight into your accounting software. Brilliant! No more faded receipts and paper to clutter up your desk.