Record keeping electronically(4 Posts)
This might be a silly question
wouldn't be the first time but I do the books for my husbands company and use Xero. When I'm entering a purchase I take a picture of the invoice using the Camscanner app, turn it into a PDF and then attach that to the invoice on Xero.
Do I still need to keep paper copies? In this modern age we're living in I thought it would be ok to keep electronic records but just wanted to check. Could really do without having to store tons and tons of paperwork for years.
So I have the invoices uploaded to Xero and OneDrive so I'm pretty confident that both of those wouldn't disappear should I ever need to recall the invoices.
Images of invoices are absolutely fine and yes you can destroy the original paper version. BUT, you do have to make sure that you have a proper backup in case of computer disaster. You also need to make sure that the quality is good enough to be read properly.
What I would suggest, though, is rather than a photo, that you scan them instead and save as pdfs. Photos are usually larger files, take longer to open and can't be added together to make a file (i.e. all Amazon invoices for the quarter).
As an accountant, invoice images are a pain to look through as they often take a lot of time to open each one and then often need rotating or resizing to read them. If the resolution isn't high, they're often impossible to read when enlarged to full screen size even though they looked ok on a phone or tablet. Scanned to pdfs are a lot quicker, usually don't need rotating and usually fine for enlarging to read. Looking at one invoice takes just a few seconds so the difference between photo and pdf isn't important, but if you're looking at dozens or hundreds, it can add hours to the job for whoever is looking through it (i.e. your accountant or a tax inspector).
Scanners are cheap and easy to use, so I recommend them to all my clients and try to discourage them from using a camera.
Thanks a lot for your reply. The app I use, Camscanner does turn them in to a PDF and then emails them to yourself so I have scanned copies of everything.
But, I don't have an extra backup (external hard drive or something) so thanks for that, I'll get one and make sure it's backed up there as well. I've already got one full filing cabinet so would really like to avoid more!
binning the paper is fine so long as - if requested by your accountant or HMRC - you can produce a good facsimile of it
and backups are ESSENTIAL
grandfather father son
back up everything to a memory stick at least once a month
and keep the memory stick WELL AWAY from your computer
I always suggest having two sticks on rotation
keep one in the glove box of the car (passworded of course)
the other in your handbag
and then the version on your computer
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