Welcome back, mamas! As small business owners and gals that are constantly on the go, record keeping can be a headache we all want to avoid. What’s even worse is filing and organizing all of those papers!
Through my personal experience as a small business owner, influencer, and mama, I feel your pain, sister! But, because of all of the records I had to keep, I knew I needed to find a better way to manage my business records. I soon realized the beauty of electronic record keeping! Let me tell you, ladies, it is time to ditch the old filing cabinet or thick, clunky portfolio and get digital.
I remind you all of the wonderful blessing that is accounting software to streamline bookkeeping to make it so much more efficient, especially when keeping records electronically. I also explain how accounting software and electronic record keeping go hand in hand to make you and your business more efficient.
I walk through the different aspects of electronic record keeping and what aspects of keeping records, in general, are important to implement to stay organized and cut down on the paper. I go through the how, where, and why of record keeping to help you become a master and cover all of your bases!
Today we’re going to talk about record keeping what documents do you really need to keep? If you are like me, you sometimes feel like you are drowning in paper. I do not like filling up my banker’s box with paper and tucking it a way, it drives me crazy. I’m here with some good news and that is electronic copies of paperwork are good. Just as good as paper. We’re going to talk about the things that you need to keep and I’m here to tell you that you can electronically retain these documents to make your life paper-free. Can I get a hallelujah for that before we start?! I’m going to go back to how I feel about accounting software versus an Excel spreadsheet, because I’m about to tell you all the things that you have to keep for your business records. I’m going to tell you that if you have an accounting software, that software is going to have the ability to retain a lot of these documents electronically while the Excel file will not. So hear me say it again. I am a huge advocate for having an accounting software. There are so many choices out there today. There are some free options. As you know, as I’ve said, I’m a QuickBooks fan and I will stay true to that right now. They have wonderful options in QuickBooks. Things you can do to streamline your record keeping and so if you have not invested in a software or even attempted to look at the free options, I highly recommend you do that as step one.
The fun stuff, income, hopefully you are bringing in some income right now. You will have invoices that you will be sending to your clients or customers. Make sure you have a record of those. Hopefully you’re doing this through a software and those are being saved in that software. Keep copies of the invoices you sent. Then when you receive payment, if it’s via a check and you deposit that check, they’re going to give you a deposit slip. That deposit slip is something you’re going to want to also keep. If you electronically submit your deposit, you do not need to keep a copy of the actual check. You do not need to keep the physical check. I do recommend you keep that physical check at least a week or two so that you know that it was deposited correctly, but you do not need to keep the deposited check. Hopefully you will get an electronic deposit slip, so you can choose to keep that electronically in your files. A lot of times the bank statements will also give you those images. So if you’re keeping an electronic version of your bank statement that should suffice, you just want to have something that shows what you charged to your client or customer, and then a copy of the received payment. In this case deposit slip, make sure you keep these records to prove your income.
I mentioned bank statements a lot of times, and if you are like me again, I don’t want the paper. So I set up on e-statements. What I do is I go in each month to my bank account and I save a PDF copy of that bank statement to my One Drive or to my computer. I recommend doing this because your bank is only going to keep so many months of electronic statements in your account before they archive them. So you’ll want to do this each month, save an electronic copy of your statement. Like I mentioned, some banks include images of all of your checks that you have written or that you’ve received deposits so depending on your bank, you may not have to duplicate some of this, but for my sake, my bank does not give me those images so I have to make sure that I am putting all these images onto my computer and saving them. This goes the same for credit card statements. Do the same thing here, make sure each month you’re going and saving the electronic version of your statement so that you have that backup detail.
Receipts, we’re going to expenses now and receipts, depending on your business can be a lot. I have had clients that have tons of receipts. Tupperware’s filled with receipts that need to be recorded. This is where software comes in super handy and because I know QuickBooks, I’m going to talk on QuickBooks. QuickBooks allows you to take a picture of your receipt. It then puts it into the software and when that transaction pulls through your bank account, it will match each other. So not only will it enter into your expense category, but you will have a backup image of the receipt right there in one place in your software.
Therefore I love accounting software. So now that Tupperware that was once filled with receipts is now all in the cloud or in Quickbooks for the day that someone may come and want to look at it. You may also receive invoices that will need your payment. It’s always best to keep a copy of the invoice that was submitted to you as well for backup. Now, all of these things that we’ve talked about, I think that covers most anything that may flow through your business, but all of these things must be kept for three years. And that three year starts when you file your tax return. This is why I love the idea of electronic record keeping. Can you imagine some of these paper heavy businesses that have boxes upon boxes of paper, receipts, and invoices? I know they exist. I’ve seen it.
I was once an auditor. I had to sort through those papers. I love that we are now allowed to progress through time and go electronic. So I highly recommend that if you are someone who has a lot of paperwork in your business to go ahead and look into an accounting software to help you manage it. If you are still on the fence about that, make sure that you start getting organized electronically just on your desktop, create a folder, perhaps maybe a folder by month. It would have your bank statement, your credit card statements. It would have a sub folder that would have all of your receipt copies, maybe another sub folder that would have any invoices, another sub folder with deposit slips, whatever you are doing monthly and your business, have it organized because there’s always that chance that someone’s going to come and want to look through your stuff.
It’s going to be so much easier on you and your business. If you have already set up that process, we are almost halfway through the year. So if this is something that you have not been doing and you feel very overwhelmed about the thought of scanning in all of this stuff, I will just let you know that recently I scanned in almost 200 receipts and it took me 30 minutes. If you have a software or even a scanner, you can get this done quickly. So just make it happen. Set aside a little time to get this done. You will thank yourself as we get closer to the end of the year, this will help streamline your bookkeeping process. And so I hope you found this helpful today as always. I welcome you to come join our Facebook group, Business Minded Mama, where I will share additional tips about bookkeeping, influencing and small businesses. Really, it’s just a great place for us all to connect and grow together. I also wanted to mention that on my website, www.businessmindedmama.com, I will have everything I talked about today in written form. So if you’re someone that needs to see all of this written down, please come over there and check it out. I know sometimes that visual instruction helps me so I’m going to have all that information for you there. So please come connect with me. I’d love to meet you. And I will see you all here on the podcast again, next week.