Home – New Forums Get productive Filing Systems

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #963932
    LucidSurf
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi people,

    I have been flying solo for almost 8 years now and still have one area that is far from efficient. Filing. This is especially true when it comes to receipts and invoices. Every year, indeed every quarter, I seem to change the system and then things get lost, messes mount and I get stressed out by something that should be automatic and simple.

    Does anyone have “the ultimate” filing system for receipts and invoices? And what processes do you use to keep it in order?

    I need detail, so, for example: Each quarter I start a new envelope for each bank account / credit card and file receipts in it. Daily I do my filing and enter into MYOB, or perhaps I do this weekly… etc. Do you scan your bank statement and then mark hard copy invoices as they are paid, or do it electronically, or both? Just thinking about this makes me queasy.

    I am much better at thinking about crazy web concepts and business ideas.

    Thanks!

    #1001088
    sam_leader
    Member
    • Total posts: 660
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hello and welcome!

    Have a read of this article by Megan Tough Managing invoices

    Her system is simple yet effective. I reckon it will take you an hour or so to set up a similar system.

    For more on keeping your office in order, check out the articles in our Office Administration section business administration office improve performance

    Will you come back and tell us how you get on? I hope so!

    Sam

    #1001089
    @HeatherSmithAU
    Member
    • Total posts: 525
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Lucid – I have gone almost completely paperless – except for bank statements everything is scanned and kept electronically.

    Here is the link to the article I wrote on this topic :-
    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/p260960075_Practical-tips-for-a-paperless-office.html

    #1001090
    Adam Randall
    Member
    • Total posts: 382
    Up
    0
    ::

    I scan everything too.

    Get yourself a scanner that can take 50 to 100 sheets at a time, you can pick one up thats a colour printer as well for less than 1K. For some reason dedicated scanners are far more expensive. Don’t waste your time with a flat bed.

    As you scan the items make sure you stamp them with a stamp (faxed, paid or similar)

    I then split my year up into 4 quarters and all invoice, purchase orders etc go into the relevant quarter.

    Each quarter I bag up the physical bits of paper and place them into an environmentally unfriendly plastic shopping bag, clearly labeled in big thick texta with the quarter it relates to.

    They then go into a spare cardboard box and at the end of the year I tape it up and put in big black writing “do not throw out” and the year it relates to.

    You can ask me for an invoice from a supplier 3 years ago and if you tell me the month, it will take me less than 30 seconds to retreive online.

    #1001091
    Steven Hudson
    Member
    • Total posts: 122
    Up
    0
    ::

    Lucid

    Mate, if it is not your ideal way of spending your time filing and admin etc. think about hiring a bookkeeper it will take the stress out of the deal. Some people are very efficient in this area, sometimes I am amazed how fast and accurate people can be with admin.

    Successful often people say they spend more time working on the business than in it; this is hard for a Solo Flyer however this is one area you can outsource and you may save some dollars with your accountant when you can present the book in a manner they can reconcile and audit easily.

    Cheers

    #1001092
    Angela communic8 design
    Member
    • Total posts: 18
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Lucid,

    Sounds to me as though you (like me) might be allergic to that sort of thing. My best advice would be to get help. Get a PA or if you can face the scanning and emailing route a VA and make it someone else’s problem.

    I reckon we’ve only got so many things that we’re good at and we should outsource the rest. I find that if I’m procrastinating about something, it’s usually because fundamentally it’s not something I should be doing.

    I’m always looking for ways to do less, in the nicest possible way I mean. I’m really good at helping small business professionals with branding, really crap at filing and paperwork, so I don’t do it.

    #1001093
    ActiveCounselling
    Member
    • Total posts: 38
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi,

    after over 20 years of involvement in a variety of businesses I have come to the conclusion that detailed filing systems are over rated.

    With everything being computerised it is extremely rare that you need to go back to see the original paperwork. So I do the following:
    1. I process purchases invoices as soon as possible into MYOB
    2. If the invoices relate to a problem supplier where you often look back on them then they are the only ones to get their own file, the rest just goes into a single purchases file for each month
    3. Sales invoices are processed each week religiously and copies are not kept as they can be reprinted if needed (and of course I have a good backup for my computer)
    4. All other paperwork is stored in a single file for each month
    5. All paperwork is immediately filed upon data entry into MYOB

    Takes a bit longer to find a certain invoice if you have to flick through a whole months worth from all suppliers but that time is nothing compared with the daily/weekly saving on filing time.

    My current (and most satisfying) venture has very limited filing. Each client has their own folder and I work with the folder when I work with the client so the filing is automatic.

    Hope that helps,

    David

    #1001094
    WLC
    Member
    • Total posts: 15
    Up
    0
    ::

    Ah LucidSurf… Thanks for asking the most current question on my mind (because once I get my new office furniture, I’ll still be an unreformed piler). The responses you’ve gotten are daunting so far… if I can’t file paper in a disciplined manner, how can I possibly have the self discipline to enter the information into MYOB on a regular basis. You people are so efficient. I’m envious.

    I like the outsourcing ideas offered, but the outsourced resource will have to find the right piles to do his/her job effectively.

    I have a feeling I’ll have to be better at filing no matter what. I’m off to read the article Sam mentioned. Maybe that will help. WLC.

    LucidSurf, post: 270 wrote:
    Hi people,

    I have been flying solo for almost 8 years now and still have one area that is far from efficient. Filing. This is especially true when it comes to receipts and invoices. Every year, indeed every quarter, I seem to change the system and then things get lost, messes mount and I get stressed out by something that should be automatic and simple.

    Does anyone have “the ultimate” filing system for receipts and invoices? And what processes do you use to keep it in order?

    I need detail, so, for example: Each quarter I start a new envelope for each bank account / credit card and file receipts in it. Daily I do my filing and enter into MYOB, or perhaps I do this weekly… etc. Do you scan your bank statement and then mark hard copy invoices as they are paid, or do it electronically, or both? Just thinking about this makes me queasy.

    I am much better at thinking about crazy web concepts and business ideas.

    Thanks!

    #1001095
    Darrin Ottaway
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
    Up
    0
    ::

    Greetings,

    Having read this thread, I am more convinced than ever that I was right to start my own business…

    My business is getting other peoples business records and filing done, or gettign them to do it better!

    iamsolutions.net.au is about more that just your finance records. I can help you by taking your records paperless, documenting your workflows and business processes, and giving you back ownership of your business by controlling your information.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions

    Darrin Ottaway
    IAMSolutions

    #1001096
    beanydc
    Member
    • Total posts: 44
    Up
    0
    ::

    For people allergic to systems, the ultimate basic is two piles. Firstly, I’ve got to do something with it, and secondly, I’ve done something with it.

    First pile goes into a shallow tray – if it spills over, you’re overdue on doing the something.
    Second pile goes into an A4 photocopy paper box. That way, it’s kind of in date order, and it’s kind of tidy.

    The problem is never the system – the problem is feeding and watering it each day.

    LucidSurf, post: 270 wrote:
    Hi people,

    I have been flying solo for almost 8 years now and still have one area that is far from efficient. Filing. This is especially true when it comes to receipts and invoices. Every year, indeed every quarter, I seem to change the system and then things get lost, messes mount and I get stressed out by something that should be automatic and simple.

    Does anyone have “the ultimate” filing system for receipts and invoices? And what processes do you use to keep it in order?

    I need detail, so, for example: Each quarter I start a new envelope for each bank account / credit card and file receipts in it. Daily I do my filing and enter into MYOB, or perhaps I do this weekly… etc. Do you scan your bank statement and then mark hard copy invoices as they are paid, or do it electronically, or both? Just thinking about this makes me queasy.

    I am much better at thinking about crazy web concepts and business ideas.

    Thanks!

    #1001097
    Dardee
    Member
    • Total posts: 430
    Up
    0
    ::
    Denise Maffey, post: 5071 wrote:
    The problem is never the system – the problem is feeding and watering it each day.

    That is so true. The best system in the world is worthless if it is not used correctly. The best system is one you are comfortable with, can understand, and fits in with your business. What may be applicable for one business may not be so for another.

    This is an area I have spent some time on in prior roles and one of the areas my business focuses on.

    #1001098
    BMc
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Up
    0
    ::

    I love the idea of the shallow in-tray and ‘done’ pile, Denise!

    The ‘shoebox full of receipts’ is a regular feature for bookkeepers, so they should be used to sorting through them. It makes my job easier if paperwork was marked with when and how they were dealt with, e.g. an ‘entered’ stamp that automatically puts in the date, and a ‘paid’ stamp along similar lines.

    I’m biased, but I would strongly suggest you investigate and trial an outsourcing solution. As others have said, spend your time doing the things you’re good at, and I think you’ll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish without mundane tasks interrupting your flow.

    Whichever option you choose, let us know you go. Good luck!

    Ben.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.