“Who cares about good record keeping anyway?” says the frustrated business owner, struggling to handle the myriad of tasks on the daily To Do list. The short answer: the government cares, your bank cares, your employees care, and underneath that pile of paper – you care.
All business owners, from start-up companies to well-established ones face challenges with the blizzard of paper and the lengthy list of legal requirements, so you’re not alone when you feel overwhelmed!
Let’s talk about three tips that will help make your record-keeping easier:
- Install Workable Record-Keeping Systems
If you’re a small company just starting out, your systems will be simple. Consider doing the following:
- Whether you pay by cash or a credit card, keep receipts for everything to do with your business – yes, meals with clients and your gas, too. (Remember to write the name of the client on your receipt.)
- Keep your receipts either in a monthly envelope or a monthly file folder. When your credit card statement arrives, simply match the receipts to the statement and staple them together. (Your bookkeeper will love you when you do this!)
- File customer invoices by the invoice number and keep them in sequential order – even the voided invoices.
- To save time when looking for information, file your vendor invoices by the vendor’s name and keep them in alphabetical order.
As your company grows, you’ll need to take time to evaluate current systems, and if necessary, update or replace them.
- Keep Track of Important Filing Dates
If you’ve ever been stung by a late filing penalty or interest charges, you know the importance of paying attention to dates for items such as GST filing, monthly source deductions, and bill payments.
So how will you keep track of those dates throughout the year? We recommend the paper method. Purchase a weekly planner and write in all the dates for the whole year.
Yes, we know you’re joined at the hip by your electronic devices. But tasks on systems like Outlook can be easily dismissed, then forgotten. A paper entry has to be physically re-written if it’s not checked off, so it stays on your mind until it’s done.
- Be Consistent
Once you’ve installed your record-keeping systems, consistency is the key. Remember that old saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place”? Once you’re organized, be consistent by following your systems each and every time. Not only will it reduce your stress level, it will save you precious time and money!
Feel free to share our blog with others who will find it useful. If you have a tip you’d like to share, please comment below.