A new way to keep your paperwork organized…

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by Tom Watson on October 17, 2012

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not very organized. No correct that, I’m not even remotely close to being organized.

If it weren’t for my partner Sue I’d be in real trouble, probably buried under a pile of paperwork in the corner of my office.

Anyway… I try my best to stay on top of things. Usually I’ll go through my desk in detail at least once per week. That’s normally enough to keep me from getting too far behind the eight ball.

The main issue I always run into is keeping track of all the receipts. Every time I get gas for a vehicle, a new receipt. Every time I order something online, another receipt. Every visit to the supply house to get cleaning supplies results in yet another receipt. You get the idea!

My “receipt bin” is where everything winds up. It’s nothing fancy, just an old plastic bin I keep in the bottom desk drawer. It piles up then I sort through it all, putting the gas receipts together, the supplies receipts together and so on.

It’s not any fun, but it comes with the territory (or so I thought). Anyway, this lead me to begin searching for a solution to this paperwork problem. I needed a solution that was SIMPLE, because they tend to work best.

It didn’t take long for me to find a company called Shoeboxed.com. What’s cool about them is that they scan your receipts into usable data for maximizing tax deductions, expense reports, and for savings on bookkeeping.

It’s a real simple process. After you sign up they send you a postage paid envelope that you stuff all your receipts into and mail back to the company headquarters.

They then scan everything you sent them and make them available in a secure online environment. You can even send them copies of bills and business cards as well. It’s like having a personal assistant, just for a lot less money.

Another thing I like is that in addition to searching for any receipt online, you can download the info into different programs like Quickbooks and Excel. You can even download a receipt as a PDF file.

Now if you don’t like the idea of an “online storage bin” or you just love to sort through receipts, then this may not be for you. I was reluctant at first because I’m kinda old school. I keep EVERYTHING real simple. Believe it or not, I don’t even have a smart phone yet.

But after talking it over with Sue (who is a little biased because she loves having everything online) I plan on signing up for a Shoeboxed.com free trial. I’ve grown tired of sorting through that pile all the time. The way I see it, my time is more valuable trying to get new business than going through last weeks receipts.

On a side note, if you are the type that likes keeping track of all this stuff in your personal life, you could set it up for your household expenses instead. This is a product that works just as well for the home as it does for business.

The cost is affordable after the free trial expires. It’s actually completely free for up to 5 scans a month, $9.95 a month for up to 50 scans per month and $29.95 a month for up to 150 scans per month. After that there is one for $49.95 month that provides up to 500 scans a month. Very few folks would ever need that plan in my opinion.

After the free trial a few folks may get away for free in the beginning because you may not have that many receipts but most will fall into the $9.95 plan. I’ll be in the $29.95 plan in all likelihood. For me that’s well worth it.

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DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase any items through my links odds are I’ll earn a commission of some kind. I only recommend products and services that I have used or think may be useful to those starting or operating a cleaning business.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Clive October 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm

G’day,
thanks for the informative post! Great stuff!

Cheers,
Clive

2 Tom Watson October 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thanks Clive!

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