15 Tips to Make Your Bookkeeping Paperwork Easier To Manage

Whether you do some, all or none of your own bookkeeping tasks, accuracy depends on maintaining detailed records. Misfiled and lost transaction records can cost you money because (a) legitimate expenses incurred may not be rightfully claimed or (b) you or someone else has to spend time (money) tracking them down. How can you reduce that risk? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Keep monthly papers (such as invoices and statements) organized per month.
  2. Use a cloud solution to backup all paperwork. Share this with your bookkeeper!
  3. Organize receipts based on how they were paid and if they were business or personal expenses.
  4. Ask your vendors to send you electronic copies of your bills and store them as .pdf docs in the cloud.
  5. Scan receipts directly to either your bookkeeping software or online storage so you can shred and get rid of the paper.
  6. Keep a firebox or safe handy for legal and other important documents.
  7. Always download your bank and credit card statements each month and save them in your cloud backup. Many don’t realize that if you cancel or close an account at the bank, you no longer have access to the “last 17 months” of statements.
  8. Shred all documents older than 7 years. There is no point keeping boxes or space in the cloud for stuff you are only required to keep for 7 years (CRA rules).
  9. If you purchase larger items (over $1,000), such as computers, furniture, tools, and so on, make sure you keep a copy of the paperwork for these items in a special place as they are generally considered assets that depreciate each year.
  10. Sign up for your online CRA My Account so you can see if you are on track with HST, taxes and payroll deductions. It also makes it easier to make payments online.
  11. Ensure you have a separate set of papers for those items you may be able to claim as your personal expenses. Examples are medical, dental, insurance, and home office expenses, and vehicle mileage.
  12. If your business is able to have expenses reimbursed, remember to save all receipts and identify which ones are reimbursable. Valuable information for the bookkeeper.
  13. When you make payments online via your bank, save a copy of the confirmation receipt by PDF and put it in your cloud storage.
  14. Never store personal information, such as social insurance numbers, birth dates, or security passwords in your cloud backup. Although cloud backups have been made secure for the most part, someone could steal your identity if the platform were to be hacked.
  15. If you are not outsourcing your bookkeeping and don’t have an online bookkeeping software, ALWAYS do a backup each time you log out from making changes. Keep these backups either in your firebox/safe or in your cloud backup.