What to do w/receipts

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tomoaktree, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087


    How are you keeping books right now? Have you ever looked into some affordable software like QuickBooks? It would help you out a lot I think. Very easily organizes all the info you would need to pull up for various reasons.
  2. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Tom, you make it sound like the shoe box method is "wheel spinning". I thought the original request (post) asked about a place to keep the RECEIPTS. Believe me, the shoe box or bankers box works great.

    However, that is AFTER the receipts have been entered into my accounting software. It automatically categorizes the expenses. We use Peachtree Complete, but QuickBooks is great too. Don't do double work, use your accounting software to it's full potential. You can create reports telling you how much gas truck #5 used in January of 1999 if you want.

    Of course this is all provided that the information was entered correctly initially. Noone can really help with that!

    Don't make a program (spreadsheet) that you don't need. Enter the info ONE TIME and then it will always be there to retrieve in many forms.
  3. tomoaktree

    tomoaktree LawnSite Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 114

    Thanks Guys,

    I just bought QB along with my first computer this year. Aparrently , I still haven't figured it all out yet.
    I write all my checks associated w/bus in QB. I do make alot of purchases outside of QB that need to be recorded. eg. home depoe , gas , nurseries etc.
    I bought a new powerwasher at Home depoe that needed repair. I went nuts trying to find the receipt for the warranty work.
    Every year I'm stuck with a pile of receipts and have to sort through them. I realize this is not a good way to conduct business and am trying to find a system I can stick to throughout the year to make it easier come tax time and also to become as organized as possible.
    I'm also going to look into getting that Standardized Chart of Accounts , Guido was talking about.
  4. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 961

    I use manilla envelopes for every two months, "Jan/Feb 01",.. "March/April 01",... ect. I lay all the receiptrs for the week on my computer desk, at the end of the week , usually Sunday morning, I enter them into a weekly organizer/planner (manually), any checks are entered into Quicken. Then I file 'em.

    I only use cash on gas, and anything under $5.00.
  5. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    My process.

    1. Pay for item with family GM card ( 5% off next truck)
    2. Put receipt on desk.
    3. End of month enter all CC receipts in Quickbooks Pro
    4. Put receipts in envelope marked (month/year)
    5. Pay for business items GM card with check from QBs (we send two checks 1 bus 1 personal every month. (Always pay full amount).
    6. Put monthly envelopes in shoe box.

    Any time you need a specific receipt you go to QBs and do history on vendor or expense acct. find month and year of purchase and go to that envelope and get receipt. Works fine and is simple.
  6. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    I forgot this. I believe it is in repressed memory. But several years ago I took part 1 of accounting class. Its boring, confusing, and very anal. You will forget most of it. All that being said, It kind of left me with an understanding of why this $#!t is important. When I talk to my accountant I am still confused for several moments and then the bell rings. Believe me you don't want to be payin these guys $60-$120 / Hr. To explain simple stuff to you. It was worth the money and pain. My 2 cents.:cool:
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    For years the lower left drawn of my desk has every manual etc. of every piece of equip I buy along with the recept. If it breaks I know right where to find what ever I need 800#'s repair info etc.

    Each landscape job has it own file folder with all recepts from that job along with the proposal and a copy of the final bill-bills.

    Every thing else is filed by ventors but recorded in QB by Item. ExSample would be a Lesco bill for $100.00 is filed in Lesco file but entered in QB as $10.00 mower gas&oil $60.00 fertilizer expense. $30.00 pesticide. This gives me the ablity to know how much I spend with Lesco each year so I can get a better price next year. And also I know how much I spend on gas & oil each month from all suppliers. I have 3 trucks and a car. Each has it own gas & oil account as does the mowning Equipment. QB can print you a P & L at any time. The bigger you are the more control you must have. The truth be known as a one man shoe box operation I kept more money. Growth is expensive and how much control you have will help you deside if growth is profitable.

    I am posting back to you because I am making the jump from shoe box to file cabinets this year and will install more controls Jan. 2002. In my earlier post I said I have a partner and this is his end of the bus. He makes me account for every penny I spend and jumps on me real hard if I forget a dime. But this is his job and business is business. Those who get a head are cold hearted and by the numbers. This is a lot work and only you and your Account can deside how much control you need.

    Good Luck

    P.S. I can't spelllll But 2+2=5
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    All of your business tracking should be done by software. The physical receipt is only needed by you until you have properly entered it into your own software for accounting purposes.

    Of course, you must organize your accounting software to record data properly. Then you will be able to retrieve any possible data from software only. e.g., a $100 Lesco purchase includes $25 of mower parts, $50 of fertilizer & $25 of weedkiller. Even in a simple program like Quicken, you can record the payee as Lesco, and split the amounts into appropriate categories. If you want to know how much you spent at Lesco last year, you just do a payee report. The receipts themselves are not now necessary at all for you to organize your business.

    However, you must hold justification for your expenses for several years (varies sometimes from state to state) in case you are audited on a state or federal level for various activities (taxes, pesticide useage, RUP detail recording, etc.) In this respect, the storage of your receipts is just whatever you feel fits your needs. I would hate to spend days organizing a boxful of receipts, from all of 1999, to meet with an IRS auditor on my 1999 tax reports. I will (staple, bundle, box) all receipts for a month together, then all the months for the tax year are stored together in a (bundle, box, other container). That way any receipt(s) can be found, if needed, in the future with minimal searching; but I am not wasting time keeping a finely organized receipt filing system. If a receipt is needed for a warranty claim, the purchase date is found within 5 seconds by a software search, the the paper receipt can then be pulled from that month's bundle.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I like file by ventor because you can go back and see what you paid for a product last month or last year. I know what I am paying for my everday products but not the once in a while stuff. Yes QB will break out each ventor and you could even do each product I am sure but it is easier to just keep a ventor file. Gas and other misc. is still the shoe box concept. If I have a one time or irregular ventor I will file them in a Like ventor file.

    I can't spellllll but 2+2=5
  10. tomoaktree

    tomoaktree LawnSite Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 114


    I think I'm starting to get a good idea of what you are talking about. I need to go into my Chart of accounts and type in a whole bunch of new items (other than what qb came with). Is that what you did or do you write memos to itemize everything?
    It sounds like a very good way to be organized so I can find things easy!

    Thanks for all the input , I can't wait to get started!

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