When we talk about organizing your business documents and files, it doesn’t just mean the act of neatening the stacks of paper or creating folders for the digital copies of the documents. This is more than just decluttering. An organized business involves creating a process and system that will make you more productive and profitable. Learning how to organize your business’ files—whether in paper form or digital—will go a long way toward easing processes and procedures.
If you have not digitized your files yet, it is time to look into cloud file sync services so that you can back up your data in digital form. While paper documents are the biggest culprit for having a disorganized office, some small businesses still rely heavily on paper receipts, invoices, and other documents that should be easily accessible.
Keep Troubles at Bay During Tax Season
The IRS mostly accepts digital files of cash receipts, canceled checks, bank statements, credit card payments, and pay stubs. However, they may still demand to see the original copy of these documents. You should check the tax law in your state to make sure that you have the necessary documents to file your income tax return.
In most countries, you only have to keep a copy of your income tax return for three years. That’s the same period that the IRS can call upon you for a review of your past returns. Once that period has elapsed, you can throw away the paper copies of the returns—but try to keep a digital copy of all your income tax returns.
Face Legal Issues That May Arise
Depending on the type of products and services that you sell, you may face legal cases in certain situations. No matter if these legal cases have merit or not, you will be better off having the necessary documents to defend your case. As much as possible, you need to store copies of the receipts and other documents about a sale to a customer. You can archive these documents so that they don’t take much of your allowable digital storage space.
Improve Productivity and Profitability
Do you know what happens when you accidentally tell a client that a product they’re interested in is still available when it’s not? You will not only annoy your customers, but you will also set a bad reputation that your company cannot be trusted. That will create a bad precedent, and this customer—and even his friends and family—may never do business with you again.
Making the office documents easily accessible to the right people will make office processes seamless. When the inventory is properly accounted for, businesses can better gauge the profitability of every transaction that it enters into with a client.
Your organizational system doesn’t need to be complicated or even expensive. You don’t need much technical know-how to keep your digital and paper files organized. All you need to do is to create a system, a habit that everyone in the office will be committed to. It can be as simple as filing paperwork based on a certain category such as the customer’s name.