Organize Your Business Records
By Gina L. Gwozdz, CPA
Originally Published: April 15, 2007
All small business owners must deal with the massive amounts of paperwork. How you organize that
paperwork is totally up to you; however most small business owners would like more guidance. The
following is generally how I advise my new business clients to set up their records:
Purchase three plastic manila folder boxes. Label them as follows:
• Enter into Computer
• To Be Paid
• To Be Filed
Every receipt that your business obtains should first go into the box labeled “Enter into Computer”.
After you have entered the item into your computer, then it either needs “To be Paid” or it needs “To be
When an item needs “To be Paid”, it is placed in that box, filed by the date it is to be paid. After the
item is paid, you should mark on the item the date it was paid and how (what check number or if by
credit card, which card). If you have check stubs, staple the stub to the receipt indicating it was paid.
Then the item is moved to the “To Be Filed” box.
Items in the “To Be Filed” box should be filed at least weekly, if not daily. These items will be filed,
either in the filing cabinet or in a binder.
Purchase a filing cabinet. Filing cabinets can be expensive so if money is tight, look for used ones at
Goodwill, yard sales, etc.
Purchase manila folders, to be placed in the filing cabinet,to hold all your business expense receipts.
The following are examples of how your files may be labeled. Your business may not have all these
expenses – if you don't, then you don't need a folder for it. If your business has an expense category
that isn't listed, just label the folder accordingly. File the folders alphabetically in your filing cabinet.
Inside each folder group your receipts according to vendor (for example, in “Car and Truck Expenses”
you may have receipts from Jiffy Lube, Shell and Tire Max), preferably alphabetically.
• Car and Truck Expenses
• Charitable Contributions
• Commissions & Fees