A valuable tool for the average taxpayer to the small business owner that can be surprisingly simple to integrate into your life is scanner. From simple scanners built into your office printer to dedicated document scanners for documents, receipts and business cards, there are a lot of options out there in a variety of price ranges.
Regardless of the scanner you choose to purchase or how much money you spend on it, a scanner is only worthwhile if used consistently and set up properly. Here are some things to remember and rules to follow when you decide to start digitizing your financial documents with a scanner.
Be secure. Make sure you are uploading your documents to a protected folder on a backed up hard drive or a secure cloud based server. You don’t want these documents being lost or corrupted, and you also don’t want them to be accessible to the wrong people.
Set your scanner up to upload your documents directly to a location that is dedicated to financial organization. Having a file full of unorganized documents hidden somewhere on your hard drive is about as useful as having them stuffed away in a drawer or filing cabinet.
File your documents immediately. Don’t let them pile up, if you make this a routine it will be easier and you will see the benefits quickly come tax season or during that surprise audit.
Create a file naming legend and follow it, upload your documents, rename them and file away for later.
Make Your Calendar Work For You
Spending time and money getting your financial documents organized is a great first step. The next step is making the organization work for you. Having all of your financial documents accurately filed away is great, but how can you access those documents when you need them on the go? We’ve already talked about uploading those files to a cloud server such as google drive to make them accessible to you at all times as well as desktop. Another great tool for financial organization is a cloud based calendar.
A cloud based calendar that you synch with all of your devices will keep you on track with all of your financial responsibilities. Because it is stored on the cloud rather than scribbled in a calendar somewhere, you aren’t dependent on having your datebook in hand. Whether it’s your work computer, smartphone, tablet, or even your personal computer at home, you will be kept up to date on what’s going on in your financial universe.
- To begin with, sit down and choose a calendar service, it’s a good idea to choose one that is linked with your email account, if you use Gmail, you might want to go with Google Calendar.
- Start off by going through the big events that you are going to encounter during the next year. These are dates that probably won’t change and that aren’t flexible, such as tax filing dates and lease renewals. Input these events into your calendar and set reminders.
- The next step is recurring reminders, these are events that happen repeatedly over the course of the year. For instance, payroll and recurring bills. You can add all of these at once, or add them as you go through a typical month. Once these events are added into your calendar, your calendar will start working for you, keeping you on top of your financial organization.
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