File management may be one of the most mundane tasks when it comes to administrative duties, but properly organizing and storing documents and files will save a lot of time and manpower in the workplace. Occasionally you may need to retrieve a large number of files to check back on records if problems come up or to file a tax return, and being able to locate those files as soon as possible will help you to complete the task quickly and easily. The following tips will help you to effectively manage your files.
1) Keep Personal Expense Accounts Separate from Business Accounts
Personal expenses are not currently tax deductible, so you can save yourself time in the future if you keep all personal expense records separate. What exactly constitutes as a personal expense can sometimes fall into a grey zone, but an accountant should be able to help you out with extra advice.
2) Keep a Record Of All Expenses
Make a habit of asking for a receipt for every purchase you make, and l label the receipts so you know exactly what was purchased. You can keep different types of receipts separate sections in a concertina folder to begin with. As the compartments start to gather numerous receipts, you can then transfer the different compartments to individual folders once a month or quarter.
3) Open a Bank Account for Your Business
Using a business account will help you keep your personal expenses separate from any business related payments, and will assist you in keeping track of your expenses.
4) Get a Credit Card to Pay for Business Expenses
Not only does a business credit card look more professional, it helps with keeping business expenses separate, and will ensure that you have receipts for all your purchases. You can compare business credit cards and find the right one for your business at Red Flag Deals.
5) Keep Track Of All Business Related Travel with Receipts
Whether travelling by plane or car, trying to estimate the amount of mileage you have at the end of the business year is a difficult task, and most tax offices require fuel receipts to include mileage as a deductible business expense.
6) Store Your Records for Each Year Separately
Simply throwing all your documents from several years together will make it more difficult to locate specific files in the future, and storing them chronologically takes only a few extra moments but will save a lot of time later on.
7) Keep All Records For As Long As Required
If you have limited storage space, scanning and saving files digitally, such as in a cloud server, offers an effective document management solution. There are various cloud service providers such as Amazon Cloud Drive and Rackspace. All of your invoices and receipts can be scanned and stored electronically using a service such as scanning services Vancouver, and can be retrieved in seconds using a keyword search. Some documents may have to be stored for long periods of time, and the Canadian Records Agency requires that all tax related documents be kept for a minimum of 6 years after the tax return was filed.
Effective document management is an essential part of ensuring your business runs smoothly, and will increase productivity in the workplace by freeing up a lot of time. By following these simple steps, you will make file retrieval a quick and painless process, and have all the necessary documentation to hand whenever it is required.
John Hoskins is always looking for innovative methods to manage files in his office. A passionate blogger, you can find his helpful articles on various business and technology websites.