The end of the year is approaching and you know what that means – tax season is coming up!
It’s time to get your papers in order so that when your accountant asks for your documents you can pass them on easily.
If you aren’t getting all your statements electronically, now’s the time to make the switch. You can download your monthly statement into folders on your computer. I suggest this as your bank may not hold the statements long-term. This is especially important if you have a business.
Downloading statements as you go throughout the year ends up taking less time than trying to find them later. Make sure you save them in easy-to-find ways. I set up naming protocols for all my documents so that if by mistake I put them in the wrong folder I can always do a search and find them.
I try to be as specific as possible with naming so let’s take the electric bill as an example. I include:
- The month of the bill
- Year of the bill
- Address that the bill is associated with
- Type of bill (in this case electric)
For something related to my kids I would include:
- Month of document
- Year of document
- Type of document
- Name of child
For outer folders, I set them up like this:
How you set up your files will be unique to you, but you can follow a similar take.
If you aren’t using a cloud backup like Carbonite or dropbox DropBox you should start. Or you can also buy an external hard drive just remember to back up frequently.
For paper storage, I use a rolling file cube – with hanging file folders You can buy these in legal or letter size. I also like to use these Post-It tabs on the folders as I find them more durable than the ones the folders come with.
For my receipts, which I have to save in hard copy (thanks to the Israeli tax authority) I use accordion folders and separate the receipts by month. (https://amzn.to/3GHcZTq) .
For anything I need to scan in digital format, we use the scan features on our phones or I use my external scanner it’s better than your phone if you have a lot to scan, but doesn’t take up a ton of space.
What are you using to organize your papers? Do you need some help and accountability to get it done? If you do – join a Power Hours session and let me help you get organized!