One of the benefits of being a small business owner is having the luxury of deducting company expenses from your tax return. How good does it feel to be able to write off that trip to Miami for a summer trade show or that swanky three-course dinner that you used to broker a new partnership? Unfortunately, many of us, especially in our personal lives, are in the habit of saying “no” when the cashier asks if we want our receipts. Let’s be honest, who really needs another slip of paper stuffed into their wallet? Even if you do stick around the checkout line long enough to get that maligned slip of paper, chances are it ends up in the bottom of the shopping bag, forgotten and wholly undocumented.
With the advent of smartphones, it is easier than ever to document your receipts electronically and there are dozens of apps that can put you on your way. OneReceipt makes use of Cloud technology to tackle this problem. Their motto, “Keep the purchase, lose the receipt,” reminds users the importance of maintaining expense documentation in an efficient manner. You don’t need a smartphone to use the app; it easily links up with a dedicated e-mail account. Tech company Proximiant offers a similar app solution and has versions for a variety of Apple and Android devices. You can also download Shoeboxed Receipt and Mileage Tracker and snap a quick picture to start your digital expense library.
Receipt logging is an understandably tedious task, but, like most things, it is more manageable when handled in small increments. It is also a good idea to pair this with another business habit: avoid using cash for business-related purposes. Instead, dedicate a single credit card for business transactions, which will provide an additional paper trail of purchases. By practicing good habits throughout the year, tax season will be low-stress and anxiety over an audit nonexistent.