Keeping a clear record of your business transactions, isn’t just good sense, it’s a legal requirement. This means looking after your receipts.
Have you tried storing your receipts electronically?
Knowing that a large proportion of businesses store their receipts in envelopes or in big files bursting full of bank statements, invoices and purchase orders, it might be worth adopting a new process – by storing them electronically.
By this, we mean scanning receipts and storing them electronically as PDF files or JPEGs.
Space saving and easier to find, there are many advantages of storing them online.
How to start organising electronically
You could scan them into the computer using a scanner or you could take pictures of them via your smart phone/ iphone or camera. The latter has the extra benefit of being able to geo-tag, so you can easily identify where the receipt from.
By doing this, it means that the receipts are automatically organised by date, and therefore can be found easily and quickly.
However, even if you keep electronic receipts, you must organise them, or you’ll have a mess of files somewhere, and might not be able to access a receipt if and when you need it. So, decide on a consistent naming format and filing structure and stick to it!
We would recommend giving each receipt a name, which includes the supplier or service product and date, for example:
Just for your own piece of mind, make sure you highlight which items you purchased.
If you do decide to keep electronic copies of your receipts, it doesn’t mean you can shred the originals. We recommend keeping hard copies for at least six years and if you are VAT registered, then you are legally obliged to keep them for at least six years.
Obviously hard copies can take up a lot of room, so having a scanned, electronic copy on your server and your paper originals stored securely off site could be a way of saving time and space as well as improving you filing system.
What do you think? Could electronic filing make your life easier?
For help with your bookkeeping, call us on 01327 811164.