Receipt management should begin with committed efforts to ensure all documents are accurate and complete. Then, a decision should be made as to where the records will be kept. Once there is a designated area for the receipts, they should be sorted into major categories and subcategories. To simplify the process, individuals may want to consider converting paper records into digital files.
Individuals should realize how important receipt management is and how costly it can be if the task is neglected. Considering this importance, the first step in managing receipts is to make sure that they are complete and accurate. This is especially important when the documents are handwritten. Tax authorities and employers tend to require detailed information if a record is to be considered valid.
Receipt management is different from keeping receipts. When a person merely has a habit of keeping these documents, she may carelessly place some in one location and others in different locations and only round them up when necessary. Managing receipts means that the documents are kept in organized fashion in a single location.
One of the initial recommendations for organizing receipts is to separate documents according their relevance. For example, a person may need to keep receipts for personal transactions, work expenditures, and her own small business expenses. In cases such as this, she should maintain three different files. To simplify matters, as records are added to each file they should be placed into subcategories. For instance, fuel receipts and entertainment receipts should be kept separate.
One way to drastically simplify receipt management is by scanning them into a computer and maintaining digital records. Doing this on a regular basis makes it a much less arduous task than it will be if a stack of documents are accumulated and must be scanned at once. Another benefit of digital management is that each record can be given tags, which will make referencing them much easier. Since there is always the possibility that something could happen to a person's computer, it is best to make sure that these files are backed up.
Individuals without the time, knowledge, or patience to convert their paper receipts into digital records may want to consider document management services. This type of service provider generally accepts receipts in several formats and they will scan and organize them for their clients. Before paying for this type of service, however, it is best to make sure that the parties that the records need to be shared with will accept them in this format.