Whether it’s preparing for tax season or just clearing the clutter from your desk and briefcase, having a system in place to help process receipts is essential. Not only can they pile up, but it’s so easy to misplace an important receipt and that can really come back to haunt you later on. A system for handling receipts as they come into the office is what is essential. Here are some paper organizing strategies from your NYC Professional Office Organizer.
Be Critical About Each Receipt
The truth is… not every receipt needs to be saved in the first place! Receipts for consumable purchases that you paid for with cash, like your morning coffee and newspaper, don’t need to be saved. These types of receipts have no identifying information and aren’t typically going to be used as deductions, so don’t bother saving them. Trash them immediately or better yet don’t even accept them when paying so that you don’t create unnecessary clutter!
Handle Business Receipts Right Away
When you have receipts for business expenses, here’s the strategy for handling them. Start by touching base with your accountant and asking them what they require from you in terms of receipts. Find out which types of receipts can be submitted digitally, if there are any types that still need to be in hard copy. Be sure that all receipts that will be kept contain a clear explanation of the expense incurred. If not, be sure to note additional information on the receipt. In most cases, a digital receipt will be fine, so recycle or shred the paper after scanning.
Use Tech Tools to Stay Organized
One simple method is to take pictures of your receipts with your cell phone and then upload them to your computer. However, there are tech tools that are specifically designed for this very purpose! There are many receipt scanning apps on the market which quickly scan your receipt into a program that will also keep them organized for you. Once scanned, you no longer need that paper receipt cluttering up your desk or briefcase! You can try apps like Receipts by Wave or NeatReceipts. There are many options out there, with different price points and for different devices, so find the app that works best for you.
Don’t Print Your Receipts
When you make a purchase online, avoid adding to the paper clutter on your desk by not printing the receipt. Instead, save a digital copy of the receipt and file it away in the appropriate computer file for the tax year. You can print them later on for tax purposes if really necessary.
When you organize paperwork, especially receipts, the key is consistency and timeliness. Instead of waiting for the receipts to pile up, process them as they come in, or schedule time once a week to process them in bulk. Be consistent regarding how you name and file digital receipts as well as how you file the paper copies that you need to save.
For more strategies and hands on support organizing paperwork in your office, reach out to this NYC Professional Office Organizer today.