How to Organize Your Bookkeeping Records Efficiently



Organizing Your Bookkeeping, Paperwork & Filing Systems Properly Helps in Running a Successful Small Business in South Surrey BC


Dealing with paperwork and staying organized is a large (and sometimes daunting) part of running a small business. Everything you do in your business generates a trail of paperwork that can easily become overwhelming when it’s not kept at bay. Keeping this side of your small business organized is critical to efficient and accurate bookkeeping.


If you’ve jumped into the digital world and you have computerized your paperwork you may not need to keep as much paper but you still need some sort of paper trail in case something happens to your computer records or you need to back something up at a later date.


What Does Your Filing System Look Like?

Organizing Your Bookkeeping, Paperwork and Filing Systems Properly Helps in Running a Successful Small Business - Green Quarter ConsultingHere are a few suggestions for how to organize those pieces of paper and separate them into a logical and efficient format. This can be in old fashioned folders in a filing cabinet or folders on your computer (or both).


  • Accounting Records (see more details below)
  • Bank Records/Statements
  • Contracts
  • Corporate Records
  • Important Correspondence
  • Employee Records
  • Permits and Licenses
  • Stock/Investment Records
  • Tax Records


You may want to get even more organized with your hard copy Bookkeeping Records for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable:

  • Accounts Receivable:
  • Keep Sales Invoices in numerical order, keeping unpaid invoices at the top of the folder. This allows for quick and regular review of what is outstanding.
  • After Deposits have been entered, attach the cheque stub to the back of the invoice and file in numerical or alphabetical order.


  • Accounts Payable:
  • Keep a folder for each active vendor/supplier (one-time suppliers can be filed in Miscellaneous – and we recommend in alphabetical order).
  • Keep Government items together, i.e. PST, GST, etc.
  • Employee reimbursements for expenses, travel etc.
  • It may be easier to have a folder of outstanding invoices in order of when they are due.
  • Keep cheque stubs together in numerical order (including ones that have been voided)


Note: It is advised to keep payroll and personnel files locked or at the very least, not in a place that is accessible by others.


How Long Is Too Long?

One of the most popular questions we get is: How long do I have to keep my tax returns and other business related documents?


Answer: Tax returns and receipts, in case you are audited, must be kept for the current year and six past years. In other words...

  • Currently you would keep all your 2017 records, as well as from 2011 to 2016.
  • Anything from 2010 and prior can be tossed!
  • Pay stubs - once you receive and agree to your annual T4, there is no need to keep them any longer.
  • If you are incurring home and car expenses, the same six years plus the current year rule applies.
  • For personal items, ie appliances, etc, keep receipts until you either dispose of the item, or the warranty runs out.


Tip of the Day!


Always keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. Don't give the tax auditor a reason to audit both.


Organized, accurate bookkeeping is crucial for any business. You must keep a complete record of all your income and expenses. We can help you maintain your financial records and keep you organized – let us deal with the stress!


If you haven’t moved “up to the cloud”, we can help you organize all your records digitally. Call us for a free consultation…


If you love technology and have everything on your computer – we can help you get your bookkeeping and accounting done efficiently and accurately.



At Green Quarter Consulting - Accounting and Bookkeeping Services for White Rock, South Surrey, Langley and Surrey BC, we are here to help. We can assist with guiding you through some of the Triggers and Red Flags that can bring about a CRA Tax Audit.


Contact us today at 778-791-2864 or 604-970-0658, let’s talk, or send us an email here and we will be in touch very shortly.










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