Over the years I’ve trialled different ways of managing the paper flow in my own office. I’ve found managing invoices to be something that needs extra care.
This process for paying and filing invoices is what works for me. Besides my bookkeeper always tells me how organised I am, so I must be doing something right!
Here’s my tips for managing invoices each quarter.
Invoices come in
Unfortunately they seem to do so unendingly. Those sent via email get printed and filed into the Invoices to be paid folder that sits in my in tray. Those that arrive via snail mail get put in the same file.
Invoices get paid
I’m a big believer in consistency for admin activity, so I schedule invoice payment on a weekly basis. Every Friday lunchtime, I pull out the Invoices to be paid folder. I organise the bills according to due date and decide what is getting paid that week. I then pay them, usually via Internet banking.
Invoices get filed
My filing cabinet has a folder assigned to invoices. That folder contains six manila files:
- One for each of the four bank accounts and credit cards that I use.
- One for invoices relating to my investment property.
- One for cash payments.
Each file is clearly labelled, so that after I’ve paid the invoices on Friday afternoon, I simply stow them in the file they belong to.
Sales invoices I’ve created and bank statements also get filed in the relevant manila folder.
I ensure the paperwork inside the folders is kept in chronological order. Because I devote time to the task each week, it doesn’t become overwhelming.
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Doing the books
The best thing about the system for managing invoices I have developed is when it comes time to send everything off to the bookkeeper, everything is already sorted. Each manila folder already contains all the expense and sale transactions, plus the relevant bank statements for the quarter. I label the contents and mail it all off to my bookkeeper.
Do you follow an organised system for managing invoices or are you a shoebox full of receipts type?