How to Create A Paperless System for your Business

November Graphics 2017_blog paperless system.jpg

Pre P.S.: Believe it or now, there are only 50 days left in 2017. My question to you: are you ready for tax season? If not, I have 1 spot remaining for my Shoebox Intervention Service. By the end of 2017 you can have a robust, organizized, paperless and streamlined books to deliver to your accountant for the 2018 tax season. I promise they will thank you! Go ahead, book a 15-minute free call to learn more my Shoebox Intervention Service.

Ok, let’s get to it...

Friends, I have a secret to share…

Piles of paper overwhelm me. 

Files containing paper that haven’t been reviewed in eons overwhelm me. 

Receipts bunched up in my wallet and purse overwhelm me. 

Perhaps it's my type-A personality, but in general, paper clutter to me is like wired hangers to Joan Crawford.


I know, it’s a bit dramatic, but with the technological capabilities available, the mounds of paper are really hindering businesses ability to focus on growth and delivery and mounds of paper prevent financials from being accurate and done in real time.

Let me guess how you are managing your statements and receipts right now…

You toss statements and receipts into a file or envelope and schedule an appointment each month to go through and record those. If you haven’t committed to an accounting software, I’m sure you are using Excel to track your expenses.

All in, I bet you are spending at least 3 hours a month on doing this.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Let’s just agree that technology affords us the amazing opportunity to conquer paper clutter once and for all.

Here’s how:

I’m sure you have a fancy notebook - perhaps a Bullet Journal (my favorite!) - grab it and make a list of everything that you receive via paper. You can also open a Google doc and create the same exact list. Here is a starter list for you:

  • Cell Phone Bill

  • Internet Bill

  • Utilities Bill

  • Credit Card Statements

  • Bank Statements

  • Loan Statements

  • Retirement Statements

  • Purchases/Service Invoices

  • Point of Sale Receipts (urg - these are the worst, right?)

Then ask yourself - can I get paperless statements?

If yes, I want you to logon to each of these accounts and registered for paperless statements. These statements will flow directly into your inbox. If you want Bonus points, I want you to set up a filter so every time one of these statements comes into your inbox, you are sending it into a specific file.

If you use Google Apps, check out this tutorial

If you use Outlook, check out this tutorial

If you already have paperless statements, make sure you are using a filter in your email so everything remains nice and organized.

Those business receipts– grab that fancy smart phone of yours and start taking pictures of your business receipts.

Then go into Google Drive, create a new folder Business Receipts and nest another folder labeled 2017 and move all those receipts into the folder. Then delete those pics off your phone and toss those receipts.

Ok, congratulations, high five you are definitely cutting down on paper.

But honestly, that is easy peasy basic stuff -  if you want to go a step further, (and I know you do!) keep reading.

But before I go further, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to grab my Five Money Managing Apps to Transform your Business! While we are talking about paperless systems, those apps are highly recommended to leverage technology for your business finances and operations.

The app I recommend for keeping all those receipts (and those statements) organized in HubDoc. FYI, I reference HubDoc in the Five Money Managing Apps to Transform your Business report, but let me talk about it a little more here.

HubDoc is pretty incredible as it’s an online file cabinet that keeps all your business paper organized. You upload your receipt via scanner, email or using their app. For $20/month, it's worth every penny!

So let’s say you are traveling and you have a parking receipt, numerous meal receipts and taxi receipts. All you would do is take the receipt, open your HubDoc app, take a picture of the receipt - then throw the receipt in the garbage. Its really that easy. After you upload the receipt to HubDoc, its gets to work extracting the details from the receipt, including, vendor name, amount and date. And that’s it! From there, your bookkeeper can get to work finishing the recording of every transaction and then he/she will publish those receipts to your bookkeeping software of choice. At the time of this writing, HubDoc is compatible with Quickbooks Online, Xero, Sage and Freshbooks.

Imagine: A world when you, savvy business owner no longer deliver a pile of receipts to your bookkeeper...cue electric guitar riff.

Because let me tell you - that is a rockstar business owner move for sure!  

I should also mention that while I recommend HubDoc to all my clients, another app, Receipt Bank is a pretty great app for managing business receipts too. 

What’s great using an app like HubDoc or Receipt Bank gets you on the fast track towards automating your bookkeeping AND audit proofs your business.

Before I sign off, I want to circle back to that whole subtle mention of “audit proof”.

Using a cloud based filing system for all your business documents and receipts is honestly the best way to audit proof your business. If you receive a letter from the IRS and they want to examine your return - you need to provide proof that the amount reported is substantiated and the way you do that is with your receipts. If you are scanning receipts and they are filed in your cloud filing cabinet, the ink is not fading away, it won’t be lost in a random file and it won’t be destroyed via accidental shredding OR worse a fire, flood or some other tragic event. Come tax time, with a cloud based filing cabinet feeding those receipts into your cloud based accounting system, you can feel confident that the numbers you are reporting can be backed up.

If you ask me, that is some pretty awesome peace of mind.

So check out HubDoc and Receipt Bank and conquer that paper clutter!

Thanks for reading. Please keep in mind that The Wellness Bookkeeper, LLC and the information contained herein is not intended to be a source of advice with respect to the material presented, and the information and/or documents contained in this website do not constitute legal advice and is not be held liable.