5 Ways To Organize Your Business Receipts (Efficiently)
Keeping your expense related paperwork is important for many reasons. You may need to reference business receipts for tax documents, expense reports, and more.
Whether you’re saving receipts for your gas mileage, travel expenses, or meals, organizing and storing your business expense documents can be quite the undertaking.
You’ve got to find a way to save space, save time, and ultimately, save money.
So how exactly can you effectively organize your business receipts?
That’s what this article is all about.
Here are 5 ways to effectively integrate efficient and practical receipt storage and organization solutions into your daily life.
1. Use a Receipt Scanner
A tried and true receipt management solution, dedicated receipt scanners have various benefits that people tracking their business expenses will be able to easily take advantage of.
Investing in a receipt scanner is probably the easiest and most effective way to store and manage your business receipts.
Using a dedicated scanner to organize your receipts can save you time, energy, and money in the long run. A receipt scanner will let you keep receipts stored safely on your computer and sometimes also will make receipts easily accessible on your mobile devices.
Most scanners also come with some kind of specialized organization and sharing software.
This receipt scanning software makes receipts easily accessible in many different formats.
You’ll be able to pull up receipts whenever you like and send them wherever they need to go.
This means that you don’t have to hold on to the paper copies if you need to save space in your office.
Here are few of the benefits offered by modern dedicated receipt scanners:
• Reliability –
Receipt scanners are in many ways more reliable than mobile applications. They’re the classic office go-to for business receipt storage and tracking.
You can depend on your scanner to do its job well. This is because scanners come with warranties, integrated software, customer service, and many features that you have actually paid for.
Since a company has designed and manufactured a receipt scanner for public sale, they have to stand by their product and ensure that it really works.
Unlike a downloaded mobile app, you’ll have access to customer support and return policies. You’re likely to be able to use it constantly for years.
• Document scanning –
Receipt scanners let you scan and store documents of many different sizes.
This is important for many reasons. For instance, if your job pays for vehicle expenses like tire services and oil changes, you’re not usually going to get a receipt with a barcode and defined structure.
You’ll probably get a printed document with multiple pages and a diagnostic report. Your scanner will be able to digitize documents like this and store them for later reference.
• Simplicity –
Dedicated receipt scanners are simpler to use than any other receipt tracking and storage method.
They often connect to your computer automatically and in many cases, have internal memory storage.
• Better resolution –
Your receipt scanner is going to give you better overall image resolution. Plus, you’ll be able to scan both the front and the back of a receipt in one move.
This means that you’ll be able to access every part of a receipt and read it easily later without having to hang on to the paper copy.
• Versatility –
Once a receipt is scanned and transferred to your computer, you’ll be able to access it quickly and change its format.
This means you can send out JPEGs, PDFs, and more with receipts attached. This can give you more options when it comes to internal digital storage and sharing.
There are many different types of receipt scanners, but most of these modern devices work in a similar way. They scan in physical receipts and digitize them so they can be recalled and organized efficiently.
Many receipt scanners will also be able to scan large documents and other kinds of important financial paperwork.
Some scanners even can be used on the road and will plug into different devices with a USB cable.
Receipt scanners are the fastest way to get quality digital copies of your receipts in a very reliable manner. Most scanners ensure that digital information can be sent via Bluetooth or a wired connection straight to your computer.
There, you can sort receipts however you like with few limitations.
To get high-quality digital copies of business receipts and other important financial documentation that can be used in multiple ways, a receipt scanner is the best way to go.
Pros of a receipt scanner:
• Can be used for many documents
• Reduce paper receipt build-up
• Digitize and store information
• Great for business people
Cons of a receipt scanner:
• Must be connected to WiFi or use a wired connection
2. Consider Downloading a Good App
Similar to receipt scanners, receipt tracking mobile applications can help you eliminate the bulk that you may accrue from multiple physical paper receipts.
You scan in your paper receipts, and they are sent to a cloud storage service.
Depending on the app that you go with, your business receipts can be accessed and shared in various ways.
There are a few great receipts and expense tracking mobile applications out there, but these apps aren’t always the best option for business expenses.
Many receipt scanning apps are designed to be used for business and personal expenses. This can lead to various advantages and disadvantages.
Essentially, your best option is to use a dedicated receipt scanner in correlation with a mobile application. Still, as a backup method, a mobile financial tracking app can be pretty helpful for keeping track of business expenses on-the-go.
3. Immediately Handle Receipts
Apart from investing in software and devices to help you scan and digitize your business receipts, the way that you handle your receipts as soon as they’re handed to you can impact many organization factors.
What we mean is if you store or scan in your paper receipts right away, you won’t have to spend as much time searching for them, deciphering them, and sorting them out later.
Additionally, you won’t run the risk of losing important receipts. After all, nothing is more annoying than having a legitimate business expense claim denied.
This can cost you quite a bit financially over the course of time. You should anticipate the fact that when you’re on the job, you’re going to be busy and sometimes distracted.
Knowing this you can set up a system to collect receipts if you can’t immediately get them digitized. When you’re focusing on work, it can be hard to prioritize expense and financial matters.
Imagine having lunch with a client and getting wrapped up in a business-related conversation. Your conversation totally derails you from putting your lunch receipt where it needs to go.
You hastily stuff it in your pocket and move on with your day. The next week when it comes time to file your expense report, you can’t remember what happened to your lunch receipt.
Does this sound familiar? It’s a lot more common than you’d think.
Our best advice to solve this problem is to immediately scan in and/or put away your receipts as soon as you get them. You can do this by:
• Immediately scanning in receipts with a mobile rechargeable scanner or smartphone app
• Having a storage bin in your car for receipts that you can’t immediately get to
• Storing receipts in an envelope in your bag or briefcase
• Handling your receipts by filing them, scanning them, or adding them to your expense report as soon as you reasonably are able to
4. Gather Old Receipts and Sort Them
You probably already have a few receipts sitting around that you haven’t handled yet. This is totally understandable. Don’t procrastinate any longer.
Go gather up all of your stray receipts and start organizing them. it’s a good idea to organize your business receipts first by date, then by type, them by amount.
You can use envelopes to keep receipts crisp and easy to read until you can get to them later.
As soon as you have decided on the receipt scanner that you’re going to use, take a day to scan and organize all of your receipts.
Moving forward, don’t just stick receipts in your wallet or bag. Keep them in a designated place until you can scan them in. Better yet, go back to tip 3 and start scanning them in as soon as you can.
This will help you effectively build an organization system that you can stick to.
5. Change Your Habits
Proper organization habits lead to a more organized way of living. Good storage and organization habits can ultimately help you improve your financial wellbeing.
To build better habits, make sure you really take the time to store and save documents properly. Over time, it will become second nature to put your business receipts where they need to go.
The next time you’re in a hurry or distracted by a business lunch, you’ll have built habits that are now second nature and are less likely to misplace business receipts or other financial documents for that matter.
We hope that you’ve found the 5 tips helpful.
Remember, with the right tools and the right mindset, you can get your messy pile of business expense receipts efficiently stored and organized in no time. Then, it’s just a matter of building up good organizational habits.
We want to know how you store and manage your business receipts. Are there any useful methods that we’ve left off of our list? What receipt scanner brands or applications do you recommend? Feel free to leave us your comments and let us know what you think!