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How To: Organize Your Financial Records

Updated: Aug 15, 2021

Overwhelmed with financial documents? Are they just piling up around you? Don’t stress too much about it and know that you’re not alone. At Raleigh Bookkeeping, we’ve seen it happen plenty of times.

The first thing we recommend doing is to get those records organized, and here are some simple tips on how to get started:

1. Designate a specific record keeping location: This can be a file cabinet, a desk drawer, a bookshelf with binders, etc. Whatever works best for you, set it up and use it strictly for that purpose.

2. Get some supplies: It is important to buy supplies such as manila folders, hanging file folders, labels, sheet protectors, envelopes, binders, and more. All of these can be purchased from any local office supply vendor.

3. Categorize: Look at all the records and place them into categories. Are they active records or archived? Then, break them down by bank statements, insurance policies, tax information, real estate, etc. Inside of that, categorize them by date or company name—whatever applies to those documents. Label each folder appropriately.

4. Protect the irreplaceable: Any documents that are irreplaceable (birth and marriage certificates and adoption papers) or difficult to replace (titles, stock and bond certificates, diplomas, and wills) should be stored in a safe deposit box or fireproof safe.

5. Know what to dispose of: Any documents that are no longer needed and can be disposed should be done so properly. Shredding them is the best option to protect yourself from dumpster divers trying to steal your information.

6. Back up electronic files: Never just save important documents on a PC. Find a secured, cloud-based storage service and back those files up there. Dropbox gives customers a free account for up to 2 GB of storage.

For more tips and tricks, contact us today at Raleigh Bookkeeping. We are able to assist you from start to finish and can even help you build a bookkeeping system from scratch

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