Canadian Tax Team Books and Records - what do you use?

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Original Post

Let's share what we do to keep our records organized and what we use to track our figures.

Since I am a Chartered Accountant, I know enough about excel that I maintain a set of manual books in a spreadsheet. This is the *exact same concept and layout* as the manual ledgers you can buy at any office supply store. The only difference for using excel is that I don't have to do the sums myself. I can use a formula for various adds.

For records, I have some info electronically in PDFs and some in paper form. I keep a backup of my electronic stuff on a USB memory stick. The paper stuff, during the year, I keep in a file folder. After I do bookkeeping for a particular month, I put the papers in 6x9 envelopes. I put as many months as will fit in the envelopes and then label the envelopes for what months are included. When a year is complete, I move all those envelopes to a storage box.

What do you do?

Posted at 1:08pm Jun 9, 2012 EDT


I'm not quite as organized as I'd like to be, but it's been getting better over time.

I use excel to keep my records. I scan all my thermal receipts and turn them into pdfs, then print a copy. I store all my receipts in a binder for that particular year. For my major suppliers they are organized by suppliers then by date. Each major supplier has its own envelope for storing the thermal receipts. For my miscellaneous suppliers, they are still filed alphabetically, but I put all the thermals in a miscellaneous envelope. I name the pdfs with the supplier name and the date (or date range) of the receipts.

I like your idea for the USB stick for a backup. I should do that.

Posted at 9:24pm Jun 9, 2012 EDT

K - I'm sharing, but please sympathize with LOL.

I have never been what one would call a computer whiz kid. I'm neither a whiz nor a kid LOL. So all my records are done by hand. I don't want to put a lot of money into accounting programs, they can be costly. Especially for what is involved with my business.

Unlike Lisa, I am not a chartered accountant, just worked for them for many, many years. And again, I was much more proficient at accounting and taxation than I was on the computer :(

Posted at 8:11pm Jun 12, 2012 EDT

Christmasangel, you could use Excel. Mine is set up just like an old school general ledger book with all the columns and rows on the graph-like paper. Excel can be laid out just the same. My books at manual data entry except the sums. I make Excel compute the sums for me.

What about how you organize your papers? Do you have a system?

Posted at 10:04pm Jun 12, 2012 EDT

Hi Lisa :) I have used Excel in the past, but it was so very long ago. I got out of accounting in 2001 and it was quite a few years prior to that that I was using it. If I were to start to use it again, I would have to ask you mega questions LOL. And I would have to have some time to do it, something that I don't have a lot of right now :(

As to paper, it's the usual paper file LOL. And like expenses get filed together. Some I don't have to worry about as they are already here and there is no paper involved, ie Etsy fees, Paypal fees.

Posted at 4:44am Jun 13, 2012 EDT