Running your own business means wearing a lot of hats. You have to take care of sales, marketing, HR and that’s before you even take care of your customers. So why do receipts and invoices always take up so much time?
It all comes down to paper.
Let’s say you buy lunch out for you and your business partner. Before you leave the table, you ask for a VAT receipt and stuff it into your pocket. Traditionally, that receipt’s journey may look something like this:
- It lives in your pocket for a couple of days, until you rediscover it and leave it on your desk to sort out later.
- It then gets buried under a pile of more paperwork.
- Your accountant emails asking for this month’s expenses.
- You find it, crumpled and coffee-stained, and send to your accountant along with a shoebox of paperwork.
- The unloved, forgotten receipt is fetched out and read by your accountant.
- They code it, enter it in to your records.
- Then the accountant returns the shoebox back to you, where it sits in your cupboard for an eternity, multiplying each year
You can make your life much easier and more efficient with paperless technology. After all, it’s hard to get much value out of crumpled, coffee-soaked receipt balls.
Don't miss out claiming for your business expenses
If you hold onto a receipt for weeks or months at a time, your books will not be accurate. This lack of real-time data may impact your decision-making and weaken visibility into your finances by:
- Increasing the chances of forgetting the receipt by up to 40%, leaving off potentially claimable items from your accounts.
- And that’s not to mention being incredibly time-consuming for you. You need to manually manage and store paperwork, while your accountant will do a lot of heavy-lifting to turn that into data for a spreadsheet.
The good news is, there is an easy solution, which may well lie in your pocket. With your mobile phone, you can use a digital capture tool such as Receipt Bank to quickly and easy take photos of your receipts and expenses.
The new journey can now look more like this:
- Take a photo of the receipt with your smartphone, using the Receipt Bank mobile app which automatically uploads to Receipt Bank
- Receipt Bank reads your receipt quickly and accurately, sending the data to your accountant
- Your accountant reviews this data and approves it accordingly
- Receipt Bank stores your receipt in the cloud for seven years to ensure compliance and accessibility
This makes keeping your expenses organised quicker and easier than ever. No more paper!
It also means you can keep more accurate data for you and your accountant so they can advise you in a timely fashion. If you or your team frequently travel or work remotely, using a smartphone is perfect to share information within seconds rather than days if sending paper records.
If you’ve been emailed a receipt, you can also forward this to a dedicated Receipt Bank email address for easy processing.
Since all your documents are stored online, your data is exactly where it needs to be when you need it. All this without sitting at your kitchen table on a Saturday morning, exhausted and frustrated by having to go through and sort piles of paper.
We can help
With Making Tax Digital for VAT being introduced in April 2019, there has never been a better time to go digital and remove the paper. If you need more information, call us today on 0800 0523 555 or contact us online here to arrange a free initial consultation.
By Samantha Skyring FCCA
Last updated April 2019
Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.