Wouldn’t it be nice not to have piles of paper in heaps, in files, covering your desk, on your kitchen table? Weren’t we promised paperless offices years ago. Except for some very determined and organized people, few have been able to accomplish this.
Banks, credit card companies, online storage companies all encourage us to save trees, take advantage of the technology available, opt for ebills and actually establish paperless offices.
It is important to make a commitment to a paperless office. Then systematically one needs to opt for ebills. Some online paying systems make this very easy and painless. Once you’ve switched to ebills, it also helps to sign on for alerts by email. This can be customized so that you’re alerted as soon as your ebill is available, 5 or 9 days (say) before the due date or if the bill has not been paid online by the due date; and of course all of the above, if you choose. There is then the task of creating electronic folders on your computer for all your payees. The ebills can then go into the respective folders, all organized for the taxman. Many businesses that provide ebills have not yet furnished a means by which individuals can mark their ebills as paid. Ebills may be available in PDF form but anything you might want to add to it cannot then be saved unless you have the appropriate Adobe software yourself. You can usually take a snapshot of whatever you have filled in and paste it and save it in Word.
It would be wonderful to eliminate all tax forms: income, business, employer…….all! But we’re not there yet. Fortunately it’s coming. Even the IRS promises to have everything in electronic form soon.
Once we’ve made the commitment to ourselves to do this it will need a concerted effort to make sure paper is not generated for anything. All invoices would have to be sent via email. If you have a business, eventually you would need to roll out an online service where clients can have accounts and be able to deal with payments etc. online. There might be stray bills that still come via snail mail. But they would be so few and far between, it would become very easy to immediately file away in the appropriately custom label file in those very stylish file drawers that are now available.
Tags: bill pay, digital data, electronic files, Home Organization, labels, organization, paying bills, personal income tax, receipts, stock statements, tax preparation