Record Keeping – death by a thousand (paper) cuts

LORKS… an epidemic!

Over-paying suppliers, doubling up on data entry and piles of documents in the in-tray are all symptomatic of having LORKS, Lack of an Organised Records Keeping System.

According to the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”), one of the leading causes of a business folding is poor record keeping. Not only businesses are succumbing to this office epidemic, but millions of dollars of potential tax deductions are lost each year for Joe Taxpayer due to not keeping track of work-related expenses.


Hold the phone

We have spoken about keeping track of your potential tax receipts using your mobile phone and email, start good habits now.

That’s all fine and dandy for Joe, but how can a business keep track with all the in’s and out’s of income and expenses?

Well, you will need to set up pretty much the same system, but on a larger scale. We will describe a very basic system that any business or home can implement.

Firstly, you will need to determine if you and your business can handle an electronic filing system or prefer the old fashioned lever-arch files.

Overcoming LORKS

We all have bills, so whether you are comfortable with an electronic system or hard copies, the next step in the treatment of LORKS is to set up folders to store the inevitable paperwork (or email attachments) that occur with being a bill-paying grown up.

For most people and businesses, you will need to include the following folders:

  • To be paid
    • Keep all incoming bills that are not yet paid, file in order of payment due date
  • Paid
    • When bills are paid, note details of the payment – when & how – then file in alphabetical order of supplier e.g. T = Telstra, then in date order e.g. February bill is filed on top of January bill
  • Bank
    • Filed in account order e.g. cheque account, BAS/GST Account, Savings Account, Loan Account
  • Important aka ‘in case of fire, please smash glass and take’ folder
    • This file is for the important things in our lives and should include birth certificates, insurance details, superannuation details, car registration details, passwords and bank account details (encrypted, so evil eyes cannot guess and access your information), and any other precious and difficult to replace documents.
    • For a business this would include most of the above, plus Corporate documents like Australian Business Number, Corporate Compliance documents, Company Constitutions and Trust Deeds,


In a Nutshell,

LORKS is a curable office illness, maintaining treatment can lead to a fulfilling life with less stress over bill payments and where to store the bill.

Just take it one day at a time – or one pile of emails or paperwork at a time.

You will be surprised how much more work you can get done when your desk is cleared from paperwork.

Start today!

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