I have a mental block about spending time doing “admin tasks”. The idea of spending my valuable time doing paperwork just doesn’t sit well with me. And I know that there are a lot people like me out there!
For many, expenses are the most obvious (and costly) manifestation of this problem. I know people who have not done their expenses for many, many months. I know one person who submitted two years of expenses in 1 week. It amounted to almost $70,000!!
Up to recently, I used to collect receipts for a period and then when I could muster the energy, I would process them all in one go. And every time I would get frustrated that it took me twice as long as I thought purely due to the process of finding and organizing receipts. I think I’ve found receipts in every pocket of my laptop bag and every slot in my wallet.
So I finally decided to make a change to my process… And it has worked for me. I’ve found that I submit expense reports much more frequently and the pain of creating the reports is now minimal.
I started using an app on my phone called Genius Scan. It allows me to take pictures of receipts and collect them in a PDF document. And I now take pictures of receipts as I collect them. So instead of stuffing them in a pocket I take a photo. This small change results in a huge change in experience for me.
There are a bunch of these apps that allow you to take photos. I recommend that you take a look at them and choose one for you. What I like about Genius Scan is that it is easy to take pictures and collate them in a PDF and have the app send it to me. I also like that it can automatically backup the photos and PDFs to my Dropbox so if I happen to lose my phone, I don’t lose all my receipts.
What similar process do you follow to process expenses that makes you efficient?