Ahhh the end of January: the completion of the first month of the new year, and the smell of tax season.
When I first started my business, my bookkeeping system for saving receipts and tracking expenses looked a lot like this:
I mean, I knew it was an important task to handle, but I honestly didn’t have a clue how to do it in an organized way. It seemed so complicated. 😅
So, as hard as I tried to be organized and set up physical folders, label them with what I thought my expenses should be categorized as, and throw a few receipts in there once in a while, by the end of the year I’d get anxious because I knew tax season was around the corner and my invoices were basically just floating around in internet-land waiting to be rescued (aka my Amazon “view orders” link might as well have been bookmarked under “most visited pages” this time of year…among several other websites). Yikes.
This year, I switched up the game. 😏
I’ve finally got this whole shiz simplified for both of us.
And by shiz, I mean this whole “saving business receipts” thing – the easy way.
Also, this is an important step to cover before we get to tracking your expenses the easy way (hello tax season and the new happy face on your accountant)…coming to a blog post near you very soon. (;
By the end of this post, you’ll be crystal clear on:
…and get 10+ hours of your life back, keep those pesky gray hairs at bay, and snuggle up with a few more glasses of wine – sans stress – because if Mr Tax Auditor comes a-knocking, you know you’ve got your buns covered. #BOOM
Ya ready sista girl?
Let’s do this. 😎
By the way, I’m not a tax professional, I’m simply sharing what helps me stay organized and I think you’ll find it incredibly helpful. Research requirements for what you need to keep on file for your business and consult with a tax and/or legal professional.
Digitally? Physically? In multiple places? And what about in-store paper receipts?
In a quick nutshell: store them all in one place.
All my business receipts/expenses now get stored digitally and I like to store them this way for three reasons:
I save PDFs of receipts to my Google Drive and store them in an expense folder for the year.
This is where Google Drive becomes your business bestie. If you aren’t using this free tool to organize your biz, this one tip alone will take your business from overwhelmed to overjoyed.
Google drive is an amazing file organization tool and it houses anything I write when it comes to my business…which is pretty much my entire business. It helps me stay organized, productive, and efficient. I can access (and edit) my files from any device at any time, anywhere. I can also share files with someone, who can view/edit/comment on them, and I can see the changes in real time (meaning, we could both be in a document at the same time and I can see what they’re typing as they’re typing it…even if they’re across the country).
Kind of a perfect solution for an online entrepreneur who’s constantly on the go, yes?
All you need to use Google Drive is a Google account (which is free) and you don’t necessarily have to create a Gmail account if you don’t want to.
You know that feeling when you search for your fav pen and you look in 7 different bags, 5 different drawers, 20 different times and you still can’t find it?
That feeling is the WORST.
That’s how I felt looking for a file I saved and, 20 minutes later, still couldn’t find it.
It takes 2 seconds. Okay, maybe not, but it only takes a minute or so. That’s because of the little system I’ve built. Let’s walk through it together.
For 2020, I committed to saving every invoice as a PDF when the transaction occurs. No more scrambling and stressing the heck out at the and of the year (or possibly missing expenses that could have been deducted). You’ll be SO grateful you did! Make it a habit to make it a part of your routine, so you won’t even have to think twice about it anymore. Hope you found this helpful!