Are you a small business, finding it hard to keep track of your records? Do you throw your receipts into a shoebox, filing cabinet or even the bin! Do you get to 30 June and can hardly read your receipts?

Did you know record keeping doesn’t have to be painful, there are many Apps, software programs and cloud base storage facilities that can free up your time and maybe even help you ditch the filing cabinet!

Apps such as the Xero App and Receiptbank are great at capturing and coding expense receipts, Squirrel Street is awesome at digitizing your paper receipts, and cloud based storage solutions like Dropbox and Onedrive offer free storage to keep your records handy and backed up. Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail:

XERO APP

If you’re a Xero user, you should be familiar with the Xero App for IOS or Android. It seamlessly integrates to your Xero file providing you with the information you need on the go right on your phone. Through the App you can reconcile your bank transactions, capture your receipts/expenses on the fly including snapping a photo of the receipt, prepare an invoice before you leave a job (getting you paid faster!), update all your customer details, and manage your employee access all on the fly.

SQUIRREL STREET (new name for Shoeboxed)

Squirrel Street helps digitise the paper receipts and clutter, effectively helping get rid of the old “shoebox of receipts and printouts”. Squirrel Street integrates with a number of other programs including Xero, MYOB, Evernote, Constant Contact, CRM programs and dozens of productivity programs. Here’s how it works:

  • Send in your receipts, quotes, invoices, and documents by post, use the Squirrel Street mobile app, send by email or direct upload.
  • The data is extracted and categorised and uploaded to your secure account online and verified by their staff
  • You have access to export to your accounting platform or leave everything in the Squirrel Street’s cloud storage ready for your accountant. They can even categorise your business cards into a CRM!

RECEIPTBANK

Like Squirrel Street, Receiptbank enables you to digitise all your paper receipts. Simply snap your items with the app, or email them in or upload. You can send in receipts, invoices and more. Their technology scans and extracts the key information and syncs automatically with your accounting software. You can also export to Excel. Receiptbank really cuts down a lot of the data entry and errors that can occur with human data entry.

DROPBOX

Dropbox offers free cloud storage which integrates with your computer. Drag and drop or upload, or use the app to snap and upload information for later. Dropbox offers 2gb of storage for free on a basic account, and there are team and business accounts for low monthly fees starting at $11.95 which give you 1TB of space. There are team and business accounts as well.

ONEDRIVE

OneDrive from Microsoft also offers free cloud storage, the main difference is you get more space free with OneDrive – the free account gives 5gb storage, and 50gb upgrade is just $2 per month. OneDrive integrates seamlessly with Windows, and now comes preinstalled so nothing to download. It works on any device so you can share and access your files, photos and documents on PC, Mac, Android and IOS. You can even collaborate with teams on documents using the Office software suite and the PDF annotation on IOS devices allows you to highlight draw and sign any PDF file in your OneDrive. Team and business accounts offer greater integration and space for low monthly fees.

It is a good idea to set aside time each week to maintain your business records. So let’s look at how long you need to keep records for and what type of records should you keep….

By law small business should be keeping records for at least 5 years. This includes even if you sell your business or cease trading, you are still required to keep your records for the full period before destroying them:

Records to Keep:

1. Income Records
a. Tax invoices
b. Receipt Books
c. Cash Register Tapes
d. Diary of Cash Sales
e. Take a picture of the invoice and add it your app or cloud based storage
f. Wherever possible, email a copy of the receipt to the customer that way you have a record
2. Expenses/Purchases Records
a. Receipts
b. Tax invoices
c. Cheque books
d. Diary of cash purchases
e. Take a picture of the invoice and add it your app or cloud based storage
f. Wherever possible, ask the supplier to email you a copy of the receipt that way you also have a record
g. If you are registered for GST, you must have a tax invoice to claim the input tax credits for anything
over $82.50.
3. Bank records
a. Deposit slips
b. Cheque butts
c. Bank/Loan statements
d. Credit card statements
e. It’s a good idea to request bank statement to be emailed to you electronically rather than paper copy..
This way you have an electronic record

However you choose to keep your records, be consistent and persistent. Remember, it’s not only your obligation as a tax payer and business owner, but it’s the law.

If you struggle to maintain your records, why not hire a professional bookkeeping firm to help keep you up to date. The small monthly fee will be worth avoiding the continual frustrations.

Jodie Thompson

Jodie Thompson

Jodie is a qualified CPA and company director having managed her own accounting and advisory firm for over 10 years. Jodie’s experience in establishing and growing businesses is second to none and her hands on approach and technical expertise is valued by our team and our clients alike.

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