Filing is not a task I enjoy. Guess what? I've figured out how to avoid it without paying someone else to do it and want to share that with you today. If you want your records organized automatically for you, backed up forever, and available on any device... keep reading.
Are you like me and jealous of all those perfectly organized people? Do you wish you could be more like them, but you are just more naturally disorganized or have so many demands on your time is feels impossible? Well, we've figured out a way to get bills, receipts, and bank & credit card statements under control in a really easy way (hint technology is your friend). We've been testing it, and the only things it seems to rely on to work well is:
1) The ability to email a photo from your phone (best if you do it as you make the purchase);
2) You take a few minutes to setup up some automation; and
3) You don't mind spending $25/month CAD to have use of the technology (way cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you) (we actually include this in our packages for most clients--because it makes everyone's lives easier).
I've seen a lot of people talk about Hubdoc, and how amazing it can be to auto pull statements for their bookkeeper or accountant without having to do it themselves or [cough, cough] share their bank login. But what I don't hear a lot of people talking about is that it uses technology to read and correctly file the receipt, bill, or statement. All you have to do is make sure it's getting sent in.
We use Hubdoc with many of our clients that it's the right fit for. But most recently, I've been testing Hubdoc with a traditional paper-based contractor. Think handwritten invoices on sales slips ordered from the copy and print shop, receipts tossed in the truck or wallet until they are moved to a box in the house and not the kind of person to sit down for long. He has a lot of demands on his time and if he gets a spare moment it isn't to sit in front of a computer and organize receipts! (We're not judging him, we've seen way worse and we aren't judge-y people here.)
But, with the new technology out there, he is starting to become more organized. There was a backlog of receipts that had to be scanned in, it's true. But now as purchases are made the receipts can have a photo taken and emailed into Hubdoc in the moment it happens. Bills and statements (for most of the more common companies) can be set up to be auto pulled, or can easily be emailed in. Hubdoc auto sorts them for you, and as you send it more receipts, it learns more and needs less help to know what different things are. If you have a higher volume of receipts, there are even scanners you can program to auto-send in receipts with the push of a button.
Pro Tip: Scan in one or two of each store’s receipt and then either you or your bookkeeper go in and categorize them (enter the date, etc.). Then scan in the rest of the receipts. The machine learning will be applied to all your future incoming scans and you won't have to do much at all.
And here's an amazing tip for contractors: Home Depot can even be set up to automatically email into Hubdoc, and Hubdoc can forward a copy to another email address or storage location you tell it so you still get it stored elsewhere if you want it. Imagine that! It's a beautiful thing.
Some of the other advantages:
If you have all that data organized and sitting in Hubdoc, you can integrate it with your accounting software and have real-time data, to make decisions today based on what's happening now. Not on the last time you had someone go through your box and figure out if you've made money or not!
Receipts won't fade in the sun. Or if there is a flood or fire (although we really, really hope that never happens to you), you still have all your records if the CRA comes a-knocking.
Your bookkeeper/accountant will be a lot less annoying because they can focus their time on helping you understand your financial situation instead of chasing you for documentation so you can meet the deadline without paying penalties or interest.
You can set it up so when it pulls a bill, it will send you a reminder via email when it should be paid.
I'm not a huge fan of a ton of apps. I think we pay for apps and don't always recoup the benefits for the cost. The cost of this app for me, feels like good value. It's way cheaper than paying someone to sit go through it all. But only if you modify your behaviours and actually use the technology.
Also starting in mid-March 2020, Xero (accounting software with the largest market share in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand that is really starting to be known in Canada) is going to be including Hubdoc in the pricing for Xero software. Now that's a win-win. Included in the price of the software already and integrates so well.
Well, we hope that gives you an idea of the power of adapting to using Hubdoc, and even if you don't want to get the software through us (which you totally can). Take the time to go check it out.
On a side note: please, please, please never share your bank login with your bookkeeper even if you trust them! There are so many reasons not to, and many perfectly good ways to get around it without assuming that risk.