Forums / Property Investing / Help Needed! / How do you keep your paper documents organized?

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  • Profile photo of MrLasVegasMrLasVegas
    Participant
    @mrlasvegas
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 39

    Howdy,

    I own two investment properties and I need to put a good system in place to keep my paper documents (bills, notices, etc) organised. My question is two part:

    1. How many properties do you have?
    2. How do you keep your paperwork organised?
    3. How easy does your current setup make tax time, etc?

    Thank you.

    Profile photo of Jamie MooreJamie Moore
    Participant
    @jamie-m
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 5,065

    I have a large plastic folder for each IP. All docs are filed as they come in. I also update a spreadsheet monthly with income/expenses – it makes life a lot easier at tax time, especially for my accountant.

    Jamie Moore | Pass Go Home Loans Pty Ltd
    http://www.passgo.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Mortgage Broker assisting clients Australia wide Email: [email protected]

    Profile photo of MrLasVegasMrLasVegas
    Participant
    @mrlasvegas
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 39

    Thanks Jamie, appreciate it.

    Any other ideas/methods?

    Profile photo of House CallHouse Call
    Member
    @house-call
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 165

    I have a large ring binder for each IP ($1.70 at Big W), then some coloured divders within that.

    Back compartment is purchase documents
    Next one is loan set-up documents.
    next one is ongoing bank statements
    next one is management agreement and management statements/correspondence and also the quantity surveyor's  tax depreciation schedule
    next one is rates/insurance/valuer general statements etc
    last one at the front is anything else, including of interest, eg a newspaper clipping about the area, etc

    tax is fairly easy.  Because GST is not an issue with residential IP's, (Therefore no BAS crap every 3 months) then I give the accountant the management statement (end of financial year), the total interest for the year (also stated on that final June statement), the rates/ins I have paid myself and he already has the quantity survey.

    As my accountant said, if it is in a ring binder, when you drop it you don't end up with 52 card pickup .

    I also do a list of in/out at the end of the Fin Year to cut time for the accountatnt, but he is so quick I think it mainly makes me feel better.

    Profile photo of DWolfeDWolfe
    Participant
    @dwolfe
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 1,253

    Hi everyone, Great thread!

    We have just gone from a giant filing cabinet to black folders and it is so much better.

    We have 2 entities, development invoices etc for 2 different sites, information for 6 properties etc. So there is a lot of paper.

    We have ours sorted into separate properties with the exception of banking, tax etc which are filed into the separate entities.

    I think the filing system always needs tweaking. If you have it one way and it drives you nuts, time to change.

    I have to restructure the computer filing system next as that isn't working at it's best.

    Good luck with it, we have culled a couple of properties now so I'm looking forward to only doing the filing for 3 :)

    Cheers

    D

    DWolfe | www.homestagers.com.au
    http://www.homestagers.com.au
    Email Me

    Profile photo of maree_bradrossmaree_bradross
    Member
    @maree_bradross
    Join Date: 2007
    Post Count: 401

    Kikki K is fantastic for office organisation.

    I scan each document and save onto a USB stick under the FY, then property address, then folders for bank statements, etc etc. I find this is what I refer too rather than the original. I enter the details onto my excel spreadsheet – I try to do this once a week.

    I file them all into an expandable file for that FY, then store them in a storage box

    Profile photo of lbluedentolbluedento
    Participant
    @lbluedento
    Join Date: 2009
    Post Count: 98

    I have a combination of maree_bradross and house call systems. I use a ring binder for each IP with dividers for each category of expense or income. But as our accountant is in NSW and we are now in SA I also scan everything and keep a copy on usb. Come tax time I simply email all the files to the accountant. However, I would prefer a local accountant so if anyone is SA has any recommendations please send them my way.

    cheers

    Ruth

    Profile photo of DerekDerek
    Member
    @derek
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 3,544

    We use lever arch file for each property similar to house call including depreciation report but excluding all other tax papers.

    These are filed in a separate combined file as are related bank statements.

    I employ a MYOB proficient book keeper for electronic records of property transactions. The electronic file is provided to my accountant at tax time.

    Copies of correspondence with property managers, strata managers etc are all filed in a property specific folder on my hard drive. I also have a outlook folder for email communications for each property.

    After tax returns are submitted I then bundle all papers into annual batches and store the annual tax papers in a large plastic storage crate in my shed. When the statute of limitations with respect to tax have expired I dispose of the papers.

    One other comment I would make is stay on top of it. Nothing is more daunting than a pile of papers on the floor, desk, cupboard, filing cabinet etc.

    After all it is a business and requires good business habits.

    Profile photo of MrLasVegasMrLasVegas
    Participant
    @mrlasvegas
    Join Date: 2011
    Post Count: 39

    Derek, how many hours per month does your book keeper work and what exactly does he/she do for you?

    Everyone else – great feedback and ideas. Thank you!

    Profile photo of jacqui_03jacqui_03
    Member
    @jacqui_03
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 142

    MrLasVegas,

    Thanks for starting this thread as I am in the process of organising a better filing system and this has been very helpful.

    Cheers,

    Jacqui

    Profile photo of DerekDerek
    Member
    @derek
    Join Date: 2004
    Post Count: 3,544

    She keeps a MYOB record of all the ins and outs for each of our properties + other investments I have + business accounts. At the end of the financial year she produces a hard & electronic copy of each 'job' (I think that is what they are called in MYOB)

    She also balances the books for me as each bank statement comes in – there are a 'few' and slaps me if pieces of paper are AWOL.

    She does also does a similar job for someone else I know. Additionally she also pays their invoices and files paperwork on their behalf.

    Profile photo of CatalystCatalyst
    Participant
    @catalyst
    Join Date: 2008
    Post Count: 1,404

    When I buy a property I keep all paperwork in a folder (eg, contract, purchase details, lease agreement.

    I put yearly paperwork (for tax purposes) in a folder (one for each property).

    I also have a file for each property to keep electronic files.

    I have an overall spreadsheet detailing costs etc. Also one of my financial position now (property values, loans etc), incomings and outgoings.

    I also have a goal sheet with my projected position so I know where I'm going. .

    Profile photo of Jamie MooreJamie Moore
    Participant
    @jamie-m
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 5,065
    Catalyst wrote:
    I also have a goal sheet with my projected position so I know where I'm going. .

    Yep, same. It’s good to keep track on how things are progressing. It’s also fun to play around with future growth figures…..maybe I could retire 5 years earlier if CG over the next 10 years was x amount……

    Jamie Moore | Pass Go Home Loans Pty Ltd
    http://www.passgo.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Mortgage Broker assisting clients Australia wide Email: [email protected]

    Profile photo of jacqui_03jacqui_03
    Member
    @jacqui_03
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 142

    Catalyst and Jamie,

    Did u create your spreadsheets yourself or did your accountant provide them?

    I’m hopeless creating excel spreadsheets so I was considering buying one off bantac accountants for $50?

    It’s meant to make it easier come tax time and supposely reduce your accounting fees.

    Thoughts?

    Jacqui

    Profile photo of Jamie MooreJamie Moore
    Participant
    @jamie-m
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 5,065

    Hi Jacqui

    I created it (I’m a bit of a spreadsheet nerd). When I get a chance, I’ll tidy it up and send it you. Put that $50 towards your next IP :)

    Cheers

    Jamie

    Jamie Moore | Pass Go Home Loans Pty Ltd
    http://www.passgo.com.au
    Email Me | Phone Me

    Mortgage Broker assisting clients Australia wide Email: [email protected]

    Profile photo of jacqui_03jacqui_03
    Member
    @jacqui_03
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 142

    Haha that’s very nice of you Jamie!

    I look forward to seeing it. I should put the $50 towards a course in excel!

    Thankyou Jamie!!! :)

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