I'm an IT contractor, small business, few customers, regular invoices. I've had a very paper-heavy workflow for years for home and business finances:
- Print everything - invoices, remittance, receipts, bank statements, bills
- Use filing trays - one for "to pay", one for "business to file", one for "home to file"
- Periodically go through "business to file", enter it all into a spreadsheet for BAS etc, tick the paper items off, file them away
I have an accountant and deal with him via email, so end up scanning some items we receive on paper, add them to electronic documents and send him PDFs and spreadsheets.
Working from home now, I'd like to go paperless for this workflow. A naive translation of my current process would be something like:
- Emailed documents - save bill attachments to "to pay" folder
- Mailed documents - scan, save bills to "to pay" folder"
- Save invoices, remittance, receipts, paid bills in "to file" folder
- Go through "to pay" folder, pay bills, move to "to file" folder
- Go through "to file" folder, enter into spreadsheet, move to "filed" folder
- I work from various devices, save my financial documents on a PC, so not easy to save attachments etc as soon as received, easy to forget/overlook something
- Receiving a mix of paper and electronic documents. (I do have a flatbed scanner, but it's out of the way as it's bulky)
- I rely on marking bills with paid dates and receipt numbers, and ticking off items on bank statements - don't want to miss anything. Harder to do electronically
- What sort of paperless workflow are you using?
- Do you use a separate email account for bills?
- If you scan documents, have you found OCR beneficial?
- What software do you use if not a spreadsheet? Is GNUCash OK?
- What naming convention do you use for documents, if any? Eg currently I save electronic payment receipts as <from_bank_acct> <to_company> <purpose> <amount> <date> - eg, "CMT1 ATO BAS2020Q1 1200 2020-04-01.pdf"