Tools for Organizing Credit Card Receipts

GreenButterflySwirlsAs a bookkeeper, the question I am most commonly asked is in reference to credit card receipts. Gone are the days when I would receive them crumbled together in a manila envelope – my clients have evolved as I have evolved. We have both learned that credit card receipts are those items of most daily nuisance and of greatest value during an audit. We need to keep any receipts related to business expenditures to prove to the IRS (or to the 990 Auditor for non-profits) that the business expenses are truthful.

I found that even as a bookkeeper, my receipts from time to time would end up in a bunched or folded stack in my wallet. What works best for me when this happens is to empty my wallet of receipts every time I get the mail. I can include the receipts with the newly arrived bills (or checks) which go directly to the office ‘in box’ to pay (or to record). It is an easy solution which seems to work really well. When I sit down to pay bills or record deposits, I sort out the receipts for personal and business by writing on them directly. If the receipt is for business, I write a quick category, such as business meal with prospective client, J. Smith.

I recommend to my clients who utilize the ‘class’ function in QuickBooks, to write out short descriptions and to also include which class each receipt goes to. That way we can track each expense according to job, event, etc.

Once I receive the receipts from my clients, or if I’m entering them for my business, I organize them via date and paperclip them together in the stack they arrived in. I then put them in the appropriate file folder for the credit card month. (Oh yes! You have to set up monthly folders ahead of time!) When the statement arrives, the receipts should be organized in the file folder. Recording the information on the receipts is a quick process and reconciling is so much easier. This also saves time (and money for the client) if the receipts are organized ahead of time – no more back and forth with categories.

How do you organize your credit card receipts and what system works best for you?

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