How to handle your receipts?
Let’s get your receipts sorted so you can start the new year on the right foot.
There are two reasons to be up top of your bookkeeping and keeping good records or your receipts:
- the IRS/taxes – this needs to happen and you know that right!
- to have the information you need to make decisions in your business (equally important and also incredibly empowering)
We’re going to look at managing your receipts from both of those perspectives so that you can clarify the best way to manage your receipts and what systems or tools you might need to help you.
To help you make the best decision for your business you need to know what information you need from your reporting etc.
Always start with by determining the criteria:
- what do you need from a receipts system?
- are you submitting them for reimbursement of costs to your clients?
- do you need to keep your receipts handy for returns or warranties?
Our general suggestion to our clients is to ensure;
- you have the receipts you need to back up all of your tax filings and
- you can easily access information that gives you clear business reporting so you can make smart decisions going forward.
For tax preparations and to make sure you’re covered in an audit, we recommend that you create simple 1-12 (as in January through December) physical files for each bank account and credit card that you have, plus one file for all of your cash receipts.
File your receipts by month under the bank or credit account (see example below).
These should be cross checked with your statements to make sure that you have every receipt for your statement. Literally, work your way down the transaction list on the statement and check off each transaction so that you know that you have it and that it’s sorted in the right file.
This ensures that in case of an audit you have all of your document and you can easily put your hand on them!
And once your books are closed for the year, you’re good to go!
Sound like a lot of work?
Your bookkeeper can do this for you – and more! If you don’t have a bookkeeper we can do this for you! Book a free chat today if you are ready to sort this out!
There is, however a flaw in this system. And that is that receipts fade and sometimes get lost before they can get filed. Especially with folks who are traveling or a little scattered at times (most entrepreneurs) – or just have other priorities (all entrepreneurs).
Filing your receipts electronically can have a huge impact on the time it takes but also in ensuring things get saved in the first place and that they are stored in the right place.
We generally recommend either HubDoc or Shoeboxed for handling receipts. There a lot of options out there. And if you’re up for it, you can go through and find something else. We recommend these two because we have used them, we know they are reliable and because they integrate with QuickBooks Online the other systems we use.
In other words, that make our lives easier!
Both of these systems have ways of either emailing receipts and/or taking a photo from an app on your phone. With Shoeboxed you have the additional possibility of mailing physical receipts for them to scan, tag, and have sent back to you.
If you capture all of your receipts and get them into an electronic system, it also makes it easier to get our team or your bookkeeper to cross check them for you – saving your lots of time!
For Your Reporting
We’ve talked about what to do about taxes.
The other question is what do you need know about these receipts to empower your business decision making?
Again let’s think about the criteria as it won’t be the same for everyone.
The common ones are that you want to:
- report project costs
- get reimbursed from clients
- understand if your project was profitable
- adjust rates going forward
- make adjustments to your business model
For each of these there is not a one size fits all process.
Our best advice is to reach out to us so we can work together to set up a system where your receipts get tagged onto your invoices and coded by client and project so that you can pull reports in QuickBooks Online for every project and client quickly and easily.
To ensure you choose the right system for you and your needs we suggest that you talk to someone about a detailed solution. You want something that integrates your receipt tracking and scanning with your accounting program and reconciliation.
You can certainly do your own research on this but we are happy to have a chat with you and discuss options as well.
We have a lot of experience with businesses across industries and ranging in size and scale so we can help you find the right solution for your situation.
By the way…
If you sign up for Shoeboxed we both get a discount. If you sign up for bookkeeping with us, you get a discount on HubDoc as well as a substantial discount on QuickBooks Online (it changes depending on their promotions, but averages about 25%) as well as discounts on payroll.