Step by Step - Computer Filing System organization
So now we get started.
Keep in mind that the example folders provided here are just that... examples, and there is no restriction to how many folders you can open.
1. The Main Folder
Setup your Main folder. Give it a name, perhaps the name of your business.
To open a new folder, start in your Storage location of choice, right click your mouse and click on New > Folder - then name it.
Double click on your new Main folder to get inside it.
There is a way to change the standard yellow folders into all different colors, or even to have different icons.
Techradar have an article on that here discussing how to do it using Color Marker Free. They have a free version and paid versions.
Here is an example that I did using Color Marker Free.
Inside the Main Folder
Inside the main folder open the following three folders:
- Bookkeeping Documents
1. Inside the Bookkeeping Documents Folder
Inside the Bookkeeping Documents folder open these five folders:-
Inside these five main bookkeeping folders we need to open more folders - starting to dive deep into this filing system now:-
- Bank - for bank statements and reconciliations
- Equipment - for copies of invoices for the purchase of equipment over the value of $500
- Land and Buildings - for any financial documents relating to the purchase of land and buildings
- Inventory - for invoices for the purchase of inventory items using the name of the supplier
- Accounts Receivables - keep copies of unpaid sales invoices here. Once they are paid move them to the Income folder. Another option - you could keep one copy here and one copy in the Income folder and then when paid just delete the one from this accounts receivable folder.
- Loans - keep copies of loan documents and regular loan statements here
- Credit Cards - for your credit card statements
- Tax - for any tax advice notices or other documents relating to the calculation and payment of your business tax
- Accounts Payable - here you can keep copies of your purchase invoices and then when they are paid move them to the relevant expense folder. An alternative, just like accounts receivables is to keep one copy here and one copy in the expense folder, and then when the customer pays remove the copy from the accounts receivable folder.
- Drawings - for receipts or invoices that you paid for with business funds but are for personal use.
- Capital - keep any documentation relating to funds you introduce to the business.
- Tax - for any tax advice notices or other documents relating to the calculation and payment of your personal tax using business funds
- Sales - file each invoice using the name of the customer or the invoice number (or both)
- Misc - for storing any documents relating to miscellaneous income
List folders in alphabetical order – see deductible business expenses for an example listing, and then in those folders file each document using the name of the vendor/supplier.
If you have a big load of expense documents you can manage them more easily by opening files for each month within each expense folder and store the vendor documents in month order.
If you enter invoices into your bookkeeping software using the date of the invoice, file the documents in that same month.
If you enter them into your bookkeeping software at the date you pay them, then enter them into the computer filing system in the month you paid.
2. Inside the Reports Folder
Inside the Reports folder you can open sub-folders for whatever reports you will need – the main ones are:
- Balance Sheet
- Profit and Loss
- Accounts Receivable
- Accounts Payable
- Employee Productivity
- ...and more
3. Inside the General Folder
In the General folder you could have folders where you keep:
- Account applications
- Loan applications and loan documents
- Marketing plans
- Virtual assistant agreements
- Social media tracking
- Property title deeds
….. whatever relates to your business that does not directly affect your financial data (meaning whatever is not entered into the bookkeeping software).
Now, Go get Organized!
Now your computer filing system is ready.
What remains is for you to
move your scanned or emailed documents into the folders after you have
entered the necessary information into the bookkeeping software.
A computer filing system makes it very quick and easy to search for a document you need.
You simply enter the name of the document you require into the search bar and hit enter on the keyboard.
Your results window should be populated with a list of similar named
documents for you to choose from.
As long as you have filed each
document with an appropriate name, you will find what you need a lot
faster than rifling through a physical/paper business filing system.
You can also check out our business filing system tips for more information on filing papers.