If you run a business, paperwork (whether digital or actual paper) is a necessary evil. Even if you just complete a personal tax return for your own affairs, it can still time-consuming if you are not prepared. So here are 3 easy tips to help you:
Little and often:
The best tip we can give is to organise your paperwork often, in small chunks of time. If you do your own book-keeping, be sure to set aside time each day to do this. We’d recommend spending 15-30 mins a day – depending on how complex your affairs might be.
Even if you don’t do your book-keeping, supplying your book-keeper or accountant with all the information they need requires some organisation, which is best done daily. We know, even tasks like opening the post can eat time (it’s probably the reason over the years we’ve opened so much of our client’s post!).
Like many things, if you don’t enjoy this, then doing this first thing every day is best. Think of it like a financial gym! Internally, we call these type of jobs ‘Frog’ jobs.
Various studies have shown over the years that overall working with a tidier workspace leads to higher productivity – an added bonus!
Make it a system:
Figure out exactly what you need to keep and what you don’t – be ruthless and consistent. Once you have that, determine how best you are going to keep them – is it going to be digital, manual or a combination? If it’s digital, where are you going to store it? Do you have a backup?
Digital bank statements and invoices are great for speeding up organising, so it’s worth considering a digital system.
Let technology help you
There are some amazing apps out that can help you with your paperwork. From the basics of Receipt Bank, Auto Entry & HubDoc to capture your receipts by snapping them with your phone camera, through to full book-keeping packages in the form of Xero, Quickbooks & Freeagent – these can save you tremendous amount of time.
One massive time saving is having your bank transactions sent to any accounting software (the above all do this). This helps you save time in not having to download or drop these into your accountant/book-keeper. If you are book-keeping yourself, it saves having to manually enter transactions into your software.
Our team are experts in the above, so if this is of interest and you need further tips please get in touch.