So here it is the final section of our 3 part series on How to make your Business a Lean Mean Fighting Machine. And we think that it is THE biggest backbone area of any business. Get it right first time and you shouldn’t have any problems going forward.
Business Records to Keep
The ATO have a wealth of inofrmation for small business owners. You may find useful the following guide “Business Records to Keep” from the ATO website www.ato.gov.au.
One important area that you would be advised to keep for an undefined period of time is payroll.
Centrelink has the right to ask for details of an ex-employee who used to work for you 30 years ago if you were the last known employer.
So be wary about disposing of those records.
Filing trays can be a useful tool to help you organise your financial paperwork
Generically Filing trays are labelled as:
- Bills to Pay
- Bills paid from Cheque Account
- Credit Card Dockets
- Cash Dockets
- Bank/Credit Card Statements
Lever Arch Folders
A4 Lever Arch folders are recommended for filing processed financial information.
The number of folders varies depending on the number of debtor and creditor invoices to file, but essentially the system is the same if you have 3 hours processing a month up to bookkeeping a day a week.
There are 3 groups of folders for each financial year:
Use manilla dividers to separate the following
- Bank Statements
- Credit Card Statements
- Monthly Reports
- Current year Payroll information (if you have employees)
- Asset Register
Debtors can be included in the Financials folder. If the number of sales invoices are large, in that case, create an additional divider called Debtors.
Otherwise create a separate folder and use A-Z dividers to file from oldest to most recent on top.
Filing by invoice number is also acceptable if you have a system for tracking by number.
File copies of unpaid invoices in the front of the paid Debtors with a copy of the Aged Receivables report on top.
- File all creditor invoices A-Z
- Oldest to most recent on top
Group together according to account number the following suppliers:
- Utilities Suppliers e.g. AGL, TXU, Origin, Water suppliers etc.
Filed in the Filing Tray, or if too many for that you can create another Lever Arch Folder for Unpaid Creditors.
- File A-Z
- File Oldest invoices on top (i.e. invoices that are next due for payment) and most recent invoice behind that.
Technology is moving at a faster pace every year and as such there are now technological advances which could help with the manual filing and archiving of your paperwork saving you even more time and keeping items in the same place for easy retreval.
With the advent of cloud applications and cloud backup like Sharepoint, Google drive – go paperless and store everything digitally – if your computer dies – you still have a recorded backup on an unrelated.
Password vaults are a must – they also help to record and fill passwords to multiple sites so that you don’t have to remember them all.
Receipt Bank, Hub Doc, MYOB Capture (included in your subscription), Deputy, Tradify, Workflow Max, XPM (xero), Quotify, Keypay Workzone, Insightly make it easier, faster and a more time economical way to digitally file and archive your paperwork (goodby to keeping receipts in boxes in the shed for 5 years).
The documents are retrievable whilst you are on the go, keep customer relations, sort your jobs and quote/purchase materials, pay your team and keep tabs on them and organise schedules which can also help with the cost effectiveness and consistency of your back end business.
Apps work with your accounting packages in one form or another, and applications like Tradify for example can sort your workflow, purchasing, payroll, gps tracking, customer relations etc.
There is no need to go out and purchase multiple subscriptions for each area you need sorted.
If you’re not adverse to trying out the technological way by all means contact us to see if this would be right for your business.