One of the many, many things on my big to do (or rather Teux Deux) list is "work out how the heck to file those precious receipts". The whole tax-deductible assault course ahead of me is rather daunting, and I want to make it as easy for myself as possible by getting a sensible, simple system in place to keep track of my expenses. I asked in twitter what other freelancers do, and got a rather varied response:
@bojkowski: Spike file. Seriously. Spike files are ace. Here's some nice ones …
@Fountainjohn: Plastic see-through sleeve stuffed behind computer. Inside - balls of fluff wrapped with petrol bills, and bills from Rymans.
@edwardlamb: A4 envelope! … and Excel spreadsheet (with note saying whether it was paid for personally or through business account).
@lukejonesme: I document the expense in FreeAgent and put them in one of those accordion file things along with anything else.
@ein_ah: mine isn't much more organised. The monkey keeps me from throwing everything in the top drawer!
@DavidHAllison: I have a 2 tier system: 1. Leave on desk on big pile for at least 3 mths 2. Then throw guiltily in no order into box file. GENIUS!
It seems there are as many methods as there are freelancers! I rather like the spike file/needle idea – it's the kind of organised chaos I like, and a black one would look daahling on my desk alongside House Bird and the ol' Anglepoise (although I fear it would contribute to the new paranoia I've developed since working at home on my own: everything, absolutely everything, looks like a potential Final Desitination/Mousetrap deathrap-in-waiting … having a massive impaly spike on my desk is just going to put me into a constant state of anxiety).
So, how do you file your receipts?