There is so much paperwork these days! It gets out of control so easily. But some of it is important and therefore requires being stored correctly so you can access it when and if you need it.
Are we at June 30 already?
June seems to arrive early every year. And when the end of financial year does arrive, it really helps to have your paperwork handy so you can lodge your tax return for that much needed refund (fingers crossed!) Maybe you have your heart set on a little family getaway somewhere warm? But without getting your financials to your accountant you can forget about cocktails by the pool.
Find a system that works for you.
Once you know what paperwork you need to keep (it’s a good idea to check with your accountant) then a filing system that works for you is simple to create. Those who really do dread the traditional filing process can use some basic manila folders, binder folder or document tray instead – then just place the relevant paperwork on top. This will automatically create a filing system that is in order of date, providing it gets filed straight away. Remember: once you have the paperwork in your hand, if it’s an invoice that’s been paid or something you need to keep, filing it straight away will save you time and avoid double handling. For the paperwork you no longer need, make sure it’s disposed of correctly to avoid your sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.
Using a ‘current’ filing system for the financial year means those items on June 30 are easily accessible. Then these can be placed in an archive box or plastic tub to be filed away (or shredded if no longer needed) and the new financial year becomes the ‘current’ year. Labelling your files is a must though. Although your paperwork may be filed, if it’s not labelled you will waste your time searching through piles of folders to find what you’re after.
Some popular filing categories:
An example of regular incoming paperwork:
Bank Statements – savings, credit cards, home loan,
Utilities – gas, electricity, phone, mobile,
Insurance – car, home, health, life,
Taxation – invoices, donations
Home – rates, repairs
Auto – rego, repairs
An example of the important paperwork to keep:
Medical, Birth Certificates, Passports, Will’s, Contracts.
Other filing you should keep are product manuals and warranties. Especially while you still have these items.
For my paperwork, I prefer to store them in lever arch folders with dividers. The prettier the colour, the better for me and I just love fancy labels. I feel this really adds some interest to my office. But having a filing system that works for you and is what you will use is most important. Then ensuring you make the effort to file regularly will keep your office and mind clutter free.
See you next time!
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