We’ve written before about the benefits of going paperless. All you need is a scanner, and a way to store the information. There are some great tools out there for keeping your records, Evernote is one of the best. Evernote is a freemium web service that allows users to store notes (text, audio, photos, PDFs, emails, word docs and many other formats) on the internet. Notes can be created, or accessed from any internet connected PC, phone or device. I use evernote every day and think it’s brilliant for almost everything in life, including keeping accounting records.
Key features that make it perfect for accounting records include:
- Lots of ways to send in records: email, scan, upload, screen capture, web-clipping, phone camera and more
- Tags and notebooks provide flexible options for storing and sorting
- Sharing features allow controlled access for team members and collaborators
- Accessing records from (almost) any connected device: PC, Mac, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, Palm, iPhone and iPad
- Easy local back-up
- Powerful record searching with ‘in-image’ text, and handwriting recognition
- Store any type of file: emails, PDFs, Word and Excel files, video, audio (Premium accounts only)
If you’re thinking of setting it up for your record keeping, here are some tips:
- regardless of whether you already have an Evernote account, you’ll probably want to create a new one for your business with its own unique email-in address
- use the “created” field for the date of an invoice, and tags for the supplier, to easily find records by either (if you don’t have vast volumes, you could rely on the system generated date the note is created to sort by approximate date and save the time of editing the created field)
- Save your email-in Evernote address in your contacts to quickly forward email receipts
- Set up your scanner to send to a watch folder that automatically uploads any documents to Evernote
- Take up a premium account at US$5/month if you want others to send in or edit records
- Photograph receipts with Evernote on your phone, then bin them!
- Create a separate “Inbox” notebook to receive all notes by default, then move them out to other notebooks once processed or actioned.
We could go on! There are lots of ways you can customise it for your business. We continually think of better ways to use it so please give us a call if you’re thinking of setting up Evernote, we’d love to share our ideas, and learn from yours.