• melinarousselle

Simple Tips on Gathering and Sorting Accounting Receipts

Updated: Jul 13


The first step in getting your bookkeeping documents organized is by gathering all of your receipts and putting them in to one place. Here are some quick and simple tips for gathering and sorting paper receipts, emailed receipts and online receipts.

Paper Receipts


Gathering Documents


If you don’t currently have a process for storing paper receipts, go through all of the spaces receipts are kept and put them in one place. Areas you may find receipts are:

  • Wallet / purse

  • Vehicle

  • Clip boards

  • Business briefcase

  • Desk

  • Bookshelf, etc.


Tip: If there are paper receipts missing, make a list of what is missing and provide this information to your bookkeeper. If the bookkeeping is completed in-house, double check these items are on your bank statements or credit card statements and include them in the year-end data entry process. If they aren’t showing on your credit card statement or bank statement, find the source of the purchase to confirm the transaction was processed and paid for before entering.


See Top 10 Tips For Do It Yourself Bookkeeping for more information



Sorting Documents


Once you have gathered all of your receipts, they can be sorted in a variety of ways:

  • Keep them in one folder / box

  • Separate them by month

  • Divide them by purchase type (debit card, credit card, personal funds)

  • Divide them by purchase type (debit card, credit card, personal funds) and then divide them by month


You can keep your receipts in:

  • A box

  • Envelopes

  • Folders

  • Plastic dividers

  • Binders

  • A 12-slot accordion folder


Advanced step: These receipts can be scanned and saved to your computer. For more information, see 5 Tips on Becoming a Paperless Company.


Tip: The more organized your receipts are at year-end, the faster and cheaper your year-end process will be.



Setting-Up A Paper Receipt Tracking System


1. Car storage - if you drive for work, keep a storage unit in your car (an envelope, a plastic bag, an accordion file). If you put receipts in your wallet, ensure they are not getting mixed up with personal / non-business receipts.


2. In your office, keep all of your receipts in one place before they are processed, keep them in a place that makes sense for you.

  • On top of your desk

  • On a shelf

  • In a drawer

  • In a filing cabinet


It should be a place that is convenient and accessible


Tip: Write the description of your expense on your receipt (ex. lunch meeting guests) right away for easier data-entry.

Emailed Receipts



Gathering Documents


Go through all email folders where bookkeeping related emails are stored and sort them in to specific folders as per the sorting solutions below. If there are bookkeeping related emails in multiple email accounts, do this for each email account.



Sorting Documents


Basic

  1. Create a folder called bookkeeping

  2. Create Two Subfolders

  • a. Title the first subfolder “Accounts Payable” (for invoices and receipts that need to be paid or have been paid)

  • b. Title the second subfolder “Accounts Receivable” (for any information regarding receipt of payment from clients and customers

3. File all of your bookkeeping related emails accordingly


Advanced

  1. Create a folder called bookkeeping

  2. Create Two Subfolders

  • a. Title the first subfolder “Accounts Payable” (for invoices and receipts that need to be paid or have been paid)

  • b. Create additional subfolders under “Accounts Payable” for each month of the year and file emails per month. You can create an additional folder titled “unpaid” so you have one place for emails that need to be followed-up on or processed.

  • c. Title the second subfolder “Accounts Receivable” (for any information regarding receipt of payment from clients and customers)

  • d. Create additional subfolders under “Accounts Receivable” for each month of the year and file emails per month

3. File all of your bookkeeping related emails accordingly



Setting-Up an Email Receipt Tracking System


Ensure that you are tracking which emails you have responded to and completed tasks for and which emails still need to be processed. This could be as simple as keeping unprocessed emails marked as unread, flagging them or keeping them in a separate folder.

Online Invoices


Gathering Documents

  1. Create a list of all your online accounts including the website address and log-in details

  2. Log-in to each account to ensure your access is working and double check your invoices are accessible

  3. Make a note of which online accounts limit how far back you can access your invoices and which accounts keep the entire invoice history


Sorting Documents

  1. For the online accounts that have a limited history, download those receipts and store them on your computer

  2. For the online accounts that keep a complete history of your invoices, create a time once a month to log-in to these accounts and complete the data entry for these receipts.


Tip: If you download receipts on to your computer, you can store them on shared drives like Evernote, Dropbox or Google Drive. This will make it easier to share this information with your bookkeeper or accountant.



Setting-Up Receipt Tracking Systems

Continue to update your online account list as needed so keeping track of your receipts and completing your data-entry is straight forward and simple.

129 views0 comments