June 10, 2013

I’ve often wondered if keeping your receipts is as easy and simple as it sounds (and looks!). The truth is, yes, it can be easy and convenient. The key is organization.

No one, not even your auditors, wants to dig through a year’s worth of 10-inch stacked barely readable receipts just to find that one receipt for $20.00. How to avoid this? A little time and dedication can help keep track of all those receipts you gather in a year’s worth of time.

Finding a nice home for your receipts is essential. Keep an envelope at your desk or in your briefcase for all your receipts. Don’t let your specified receipt envelope get so heavy and messy that you want to throw it away as soon as you find the nearest trash can. Be sure to document your receipts once a month by using a digital or hard-print spreadsheet where you can write down the nature of the receipt and the amount. Doing this once a month will make you a lot less cluttered, and you are a lot more likely to remember the nature of a particular receipt if it is documented 20 days after the transaction as opposed to 11 months later.

I’ve recently become familiar with writing on my receipts the purpose of the expense as soon as it happens. Trust me, it helps. I’d much prefer not to dig through my oversized messy purse just to find a pen to write down “business lunch with so and so” on a receipt after having a stuffed stomach. The solution? Just take the 10 seconds to find a pen because in the long run this will prove to be very useful when trying to remember exactly what the expense was for.

Don’t forget, keeping a clean and simple record of all your receipts is not only enjoyable for your auditors but also yourself. Taking the time every now and then to get organized (and stay organized) can be very beneficial for all. Try it!