It’s January which means that many questions are being asked among the question of what to do with your receipts. It surprises me how many people still tell me they keep their receipts in shoebox. In fact just today I was talking with a client about the video I recorded discussing what I do with my receipts and he too told me he keeps his receipts in a shoe box. The thing is that with my receipts in a shoebox it could take hours potentially to find a particular receipt if and when I am asked to provide it as proof of my purchase. Even more scary is if I have to produce a receipt to prove an expense to an IRS agent as part of a tax audit. Oops! Let me pull out my shoebox Mr. IRS Agent. Just bare with me for 3 hours while I look. This will cost you hours and it will irritate the IRS agent who really just wants to get your audit finished so (s)he can move on to the next one.
Would you keep cash in a shoebox? Of course not.
Well keeping receipts in a shoebox may very well prove to be the same thing the minute that for any reason you need to find one particular receipt. The time it costs you to find that receipt is money. If it were time consuming to keep them organized then I would say the payoff of not taking time to organize them may be worth it, but the fact is that it does not take any time to organize them. Not with the 2 methods for organizing and tracking your receipts that I am about to show you.
Method 1 for organizing and tracking your receipts:
If the receipt represents a transaction on a date in January 2011, then this is the envelope where it will be found. So later when I need to find it, I can search in QuickBooks for the transaction. As soon as I find it then the date tells me where I will find the receipt.
Method 2 for organizing and tracking your receipts:
This is a service where you can send in your receipts in a postage paid envelope that they provide you with and they will scan and keep them for you. These scans are accepted by the IRS in an audit. The service will e-mail you when they receive your receipts and they will also e-mail you once they are scanned. At that time you can log into your account online and see what you’ve got. Shoeboxed.com will organize what they can for you and for the rest you can go in and organize them as to spending category and anything else.
Now that you have your receipts organized and tracked you have some additional options;
- Leave them there and refer back to them when you need.
- Export them:
- MS Excel
- PDF Formatted
Shoeboxed is rich with other features too! You can send in business cards from your networking events and they will organize them into a nice CSV which you can download and then easily import into your MS Outlook, Google Contacts, or whatever you use.
- Watch my screencast (below) on How to Organize and Track Your Receipts.
- You will see step by step how to do the QuickBooks import.
- Then if you choose to stick around I also show you how to archive them with Evernote.
Don’t know what Evernote is? It’s an amazing program that lets you organize and track any information you need to from phone calls to meetings and even store important documents.