Drowning in paper? Or is entirely paperless not working for you? We share the options, and our own preferences, for dealing with receipts and other paperwork in your massage business.
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Michael Reynolds Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I am Michael Reynolds.
Allissa Haines And I’m Allissa Haines.
MR And we’re your hosts. Glad you joined us today. Welcome, welcome, everybody. Allissa — just a head’s up, Allissa’s still sick. Her head’s still full of snot, so you’ll have to bear with us here.
AH But (indiscernible).
MR You sound good, though. You sound good.
AH I’m feeling better. But also I do have a new windscreen thingy for my headset microphone. And I actually superglued it on so it wouldn’t slide off an get lost.
MR (Laughter) Nice.
AH However, it has already fallen off once since the superglue. But I have a new little — or I found a little, like, bag — a little sack/satchel thing that the headphones fit in. So I’m now storing them in a particular sack, so even if the little wind-thingamabob falls off, it’s contained in the little thing, in the bag. And so — just tech update. I’m doing the best I can so you’re not hearing me breathing and stuff.
MR Only the best equipment here at Massage Business Blueprint.
AH I’m going to do my best to pop my P’s and not [hiss sound] my S’s.
MR As long as there’s no heavy breathing that’s all right.
AH Yeah, no.
AH We wouldn’t want that. How are you today, Michael?
MR (Laughter) Doing great, thank you.
MR Nothing much to report except we were talking before we hit record that a couple of big milestones and performances and speaking engagements are kind of behind me so I can focus and relax on more stuff. We’ve got World Massage Festival coming up, so that’s fun.
AH I’m so excited about that. Yeah. I feel like we really — we were both just so overloaded with work and stuff for like — the whole first quarter of this year was just, like, massive stuff and change and exciting things. But like even good stress is stress, right? So —
AH And I feel like coming out of March and being in April — I’m just so happy. (Laughter) I feel so — I’m looking forward to stuff instead of feeling overwhelmed and dreading everything.
MR I’m ready for a productive Q2.
AH Yeah. We’re dorky. Okay.
MR That’s second quarter for all you non-business-speak folks out there.
AH Oh, gosh.
MR So let’s talk about receipts. Today’s topic is how to deal with receipts in your massage business.
AH Yeah, because, you know, what do Michael and Allissa —
MR Sorry. Go ahead.
AH No, that’s okay. What do Michael and Allissa like to do when they’re in a great mood? Talked about taxes and receipts and stuff. Woo-woo.
MR Hey, why not. We’re recording on tax day, so it’s appropriate.
AH Oh, that’s right, we are. So yeah, happy Monday tax day. Although for me in Massachusetts it’s tomorrow because we celebrate Patriot’s Day here, so we have an extra day.
AH So yeah.
MR Well, okay.
AH Yeah. Also it’s marathon day, which means that I will not go online or turn a TV on or anything because — yeah, I just hate marathon day. (Laughter) So I am purposely going underground for the next day or two. So let’s talk about how to deal with receipts and what we need to keep and why. And I’m going to totally, sporadically, without warning him ask Michael lots of questions throughout this.
MR I figured as much.
AH Yeah, well, you know. So just the basics. And you can find this all over the irs.gov website, especially — and I’ll put some links in the show notes. But there’s tons of information there for small businesses and self-employed people on what kinds of records you should keep and for how long. But the rough overall is seven years. You just want to keep all of your tax returns, all of your corroborating information that goes along with it for seven years. There’s some situations where it — where they can — they only need you to keep four years, but then they have up to six years to come after you if they think that you haven’t recorded up to 25 percent of your gross income. So like blah, blah, blah. But you really — roughly seven years is the safest rule. And frankly, I actually keep — I don’t keep all of the supporting documentation, but I have my tax return from every year that I filed for the last fourteen years of my business. Michael, do you get rid of your tax returns after seven years?
MR No — I just — I mean, I keep them all digitally, so I don’t see a reason to get rid of them. I mean, they don’t really take up more than like a little, tiny bit of disk space. So no. I just hang onto them.
AH Yeah, and I have my — I have the paper returns, but they’re really small. It’s this tiny little stack for each year. And every couple of years I go through and I get rid of any of the extra stuff that’s not the actual tax return itself. And so my tax returns only take up, like, a big chunky file in one box. So —
MR What’s this paper of which you speak?
AH I know, well, see, I — yeah. I just — I have always gotten a paper copy of my return. This is actually — this past year is the first year that I scanned it all and also have a virtual copy. So I’ll probably get rid of that paper return. Yeah, I don’t know why. And I guess I could just take the time to scan them. But yeah. And I think my CPA offered me the — I think it was one or the other. He’s like yeah, do you want a paper return or do you want me to just email you the file? But there are many ways in which I am still a paper person. And also I need to make copies of certain parts of my return for my health insurance stuff and all kind of things like that. And it’s just easier for me to have a paper copy. So yeah, I have paper, and I don’t — I know that you’re like totally non-paper —
MR I’m allergic to paper.
AH I know it. But I’m cool with one file cabinet. And I have that — like I have one small file cabinet with one drawer. And that is all I need for all of my personal and business files. So I feel like that’s fair. Also I use it as a coffee table in my little outside back office. So it works for me. Anyhow, that was — so seven years is what you want to keep.
But we’re specifically going to talk about receipts today and how you keep them. And again, I’m sometimes a paper person, so I’m not going to say you have to go paperless although we will give tips for that. But the first thing I want you to know before we dive into how to keep them is what you need to make note of on a receipt. So even if you’re going to keep the paper receipt, great. And if you’re going to scan it — and we’ll talk about those options in a minute — great. But sometimes there are notations you need to make on a paper receipt before you do anything with it. And specifically, things that you’ll want to note to jog your memory if the receipt itself isn’t super specific.
So if I go to Target and I buy some lightbulbs and some Kleenex and some pens and file things for the office and — sometimes you — just having that receipt is great, in one form or another. But sometimes the receipt is not as specific as you might need it to be. And if you’re like me and have a terrible memory from day to day, that can be a problem because sometimes — this happened to me the other day and it was literally a Target receipt. And I think it was something like lightbulbs and it just said, like, “household good.” That’s not enough for me and that may not be enough for an auditor should I get audited by the IRS. So I looked at that receipt — I gave it a quick look — and I was like, yeah household goods, that’s not good enough for me. And I just made a little notation and it said like, “GE lightbulbs for office bathroom.” And that was it. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t — I just literally made a little notation on the side in the margin and that clarified it.
The IRS is also getting a little persnickety about business meals, and you will definitely want to, on any business meal receipt — and this might be something somebody taught you in massage school too — you want to make a note about who you had that business meal or coffee with and what you discussed. And this is really important because sometimes there’s a lot of crossover. Our business contacts are also our friends. So I might go and have breakfast with my friend Karleen, which is totally going to happen next week, and it could be a personal meal. It could be a meal where we just catch up on stuff and don’t talk about anything related to business. And if that’s the case, it’s not a business write-off. But if it’s one of our business lunches where I’m like, Karleen, I need to talk to you about what you’re doing with craniosacral and how it’s helping people with migraine and I think maybe I need to review the workbook of when we took that craniosacral class together years ago and we have a whole conversation about that, and then Karleen talks to me about oh, hey, I’ve been sending my email newsletter but it’s not getting a lot of opens, what should I do about that, then this is a business meal. It is a legitimate, honest-to-goodness, business meal, which means a portion of that is deductible on my Schedule C tax return.
MR Actually, I think unless something has changed again, I believe business meals are no longer deductible.
AH Oh, crap, really?
MR They were 50 percent deductible, but then in recent — I think last year is when it changed to no longer be deductible.
AH Not at all?
MR No, not at all. The rules got kind of weird. But basically it was 50 percent, and then now with business meals, if you go out to lunch with somebody and it’s a business meal, that’s not deductible. But if you bring lunch into your office for your team, that’s called a team building meal and that is partially deductible. So the rules changed to be kind of weird lately.
MR So check with your tax preparer to be certain of your situation. Of course, this is not tax advice. But my CPA made note of that — I think it was either a couple years ago or last year it changed.
AH Okay, all right. And I’m reading some stuff. I’m looking it up and yeah, it looks like there’s some interim guidelines in place and there’s more clarification. So here’s the thing, people. You want to make these notations anyway regardless and then talk to your tax preparer and keep updated. Because there are things that could change — for example, there was a thing that changed in 2018, and it changed in the middle of 2018 but had to do with your 2018 filings that were going to happen in 2019. So you want to keep these kinds of records and you want to keep them carefully so that next year at this time when you’re going through your receipts and the IRS has finally clarified this business meal deduction, you’re going to know which ones may be legitimate based on the updated rules.
So this is — and this like a beautiful example of why you want to make notations on receipts because you want to be super clear about what things are because the rules are just going to keep changing, and you’re going to want to be able to go back and reference them properly. So talk to your tax preparer about business meals and maybe just use my lightbulb example as why you should make notes on a receipt. (Laughter)
MR Well, now I’m doing some research while you were talking and now it looks like maybe it’s changed again or —
MR — (indiscernible) gray area. All I know is that some meals that were deductible before are no longer deductible.
AH And there’s no entertainment expense anymore.
MR Correct. Yeah.
AH So —
MR It used to be called meals and entertainment, but now that’s not one category anymore. It’s, like, different.
AH Yeah, so this is a beautiful example of gray area, varying opinions, wanting to do what your CPA says, but you’re not going to know what your CPA says until next January when you’re presenting all of your stuff and your reports. But the better your documentation is, the more you’re going to be able to make educated decisions and also take advantage of the tax code to the best and most legal options here. So anything that could possibly be unclear you want to jot a note down on that receipt, period.
We’re going to talk about ways to handle your receipts and perhaps some systems to keep you organized, but we’re going to do that after our halftime sponsor. Michael, who is our halftime sponsor?
MR Oh, wait, let me pull my head out of the IRS website for a minute.
MR Our halftime sponsor is our friends at Acuity, our favorite scheduling software and online booking software in the world. Thanks, Acuity.
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AH I’m going to take a sip of my coffee and jump back in.
MR That’s okay. I’m back in the IRS website now because — (laughter) — because I’m just, like, I really wanted to get the definitive answer, and now I’m finding some more conflicting things —
AH I know.
MR — like if a meal is —
AH And it’s going to change.
MR Yeah, yeah. If a meal is considered an entertainment meal, then it’s not deductible, but what does that mean? So anyhow — it’s all very — very in-depth here, so.
AH It really is. And this is like all the more that you want to be making notes so that when the law has changed five more times, next January, February, you can look back and be like, oh, okay, so this wasn’t just an entertainment meal, we actually did speak about this, this, and this, to this end.
Anyhow, there’s a couple ways you can handle your paper receipts. And you — there — here’s the first and probably the most common one — you can put your paper receipts in an envelope and forget about them entirely. You can shove them in a shoebox or a drawer and forget about them entirely. And then if you get email receipts, you can go all in on the paper thing and you can print out your email receipts and put them in the same place that you’ve put all your other store and restaurant receipts and just kind of forget they exist until you need to go through them for something. You could store that envelope or file or shoebox with your taxes — with your finished tax form that you want to keep, again, for seven years, and that’s it. The downside of this is that it can be hard to find what you’re looking for if you need to go back and track something down because you’ve got to go through this very rough, uneven, squirrely, kind of, stack of papers. Some receipts because of the way they’re printed and the print that they use will — the print fades pretty quick, so the integrity of the receipt is not great and you end up with this little blank piece of paper after a couple of years, which can be a problem.
You can upgrade this paper filing system a little bit by storing them chronologically. You could use one of those file folders that’s got 12 pockets. We used to call them, like, coupon holders, or you can use a large file size, like, a full paper sheet file size. And this is what I used to do, and it worked pretty well. It was just, like, this plastic file folder with 12 pockets, and I just had one month and I would just shove all of January into January’s file pocket, and that totally worked and it was fine. You can also use a binder. I actually used a binder for hanging on to my paper receipts for a couple of years when I was running the larger wellness center because I needed to be able to reference stuff. So I would gather a — usually I did it a week at a time, and I would just punch a hole — one or two holes in the stack of receipts from that week or checks that I needed to save for a certain amount of time because I deposited them through the app but you need to save them for 30 or 90 days. I would do a hole-punch, I would put them in the binder chronologically, and it was very easy to flip back and find a receipt or a check or whatever and then to destroy the checks every 30 or 90 days as needed. It was really easy. At the end of the year, I just rubber-banded it all together and filed it with my tax return. So that’s the kind of of an upgrade, a little bit easier to flip through than just a pocket folder.
And at the same time, you can archive email receipts. You can print them out or you can just archive them into a certain folder in your email box, or just you could archive them in general to the mass archive and forget about them entirely, and then you can just search for them. If you’re like oh, I need my phone bill receipt for that month, you can just search in our email box for AT&T and look for the one for that month and that’s fine. I don’t love doing one thing with paper and one thing with virtual receipts. I don’t like having things in two different places, that stresses me out a little bit. So that didn’t really work well for me, but it might work for you.
Anything — again, I’m going to go through this list of options. Figuring out what works for you is best. So you could do what Michael and I actually do and scan and store things. And we have different systems, he and I, but we — it’s fairly similar in theory. So if I get a paper receipt, I immediately scan it with an app on my phone. And I use the Scannable app, which I think is only available for iPhones, but there are scanning apps for non-iPhones. And I immediately upload it to Google Drive. Now, you don’t have to upload it to a Google Drive if you don’t use Google Drive. You could use a program like Evernote, which is okay. It’s a little clunky nowadays. You could email that receipt to yourself and immediately slide it onto a folder on your computer. You could totally do that. And if you back up your computer regularly, that is fine. You could totally just have a folder on your hard drive of all of these receipt images, and then when you get an email, you can save that email as a PDF and, again, slide it over to Google Drive or Evernote or a folder on your computer. Whatever works for you.
You could also look at systems you already have in place. Your accounting software may well have a feature to upload images. So certain QuickBooks versions have that option. The Wave app has that option. It’s a little bit fiddly; I’ve still been playing with it. It works really well for Walt, but I have found that I don’t love it for me, so I’m still using Google Drive. But whatever software — whatever accounting software or recordkeeping you’re using, look at it. It might have a very easy option for attaching an image of a receipt or an invoice to a transaction and that would make things super easy. You’d never have to shuffle around looking for a receipt, physically or virtually.
But the moral of this story is to find the system that works for you. Maybe that means putting paper receipts in a certain spot until you reconcile weekly or monthly and then you scan and upload right — all at once as you check all of your accounting weekly or monthly. Maybe it — if your system is straight-up paper, it doesn’t matter. Whatever you do is okay as long as you are consistent and it becomes a habit and you’re able to find things when you look for them. There’s no — there’s no magic solution for any one person. Michael and I argue about this kind of crap all the time because he’s allergic to paper and I’m not. What I do is put everything in my desk drawer at my office, and weekly or sometimes biweekly depending on my Monday schedule, I go through and I scan everything real quick. It’s so easy. I quickly upload it to my Google Drive file, and I reconcile everything every week or two. I found if I wait to do it monthly, it’s too much work and I’ll blow it off and then it becomes a whole situation in January, February where I haven’t reconciled the entire year. And by reconcile, I mean making sure that every transaction is categorized properly.
I have a friend that does this every single day. She does not leave her office on a work day until every single transaction for that day is properly recorded in her software and every receipt is properly stored the way she wants it to be. That’s awesome. It doesn’t work for me because at the end of my work day, I’m blown out and my brain is fried, I cannot do think-y work, and I’m not going to stay at the office until 9:30 at night to do this. So I do it in the morning. I do it on Monday mornings before I see clients. I have that worked into my schedule. And if for some reason it gets blown off on one Monday morning, I do it the next one and then I always kick myself because — and it’s two weeks of work. So you got to figure out what works for you to make that all happen.
And I’m just going to do a little schtick here, and then I’ll let Michael take over about what he does. My favorite option is to put everything in an envelope all week and then on Mondays I reconcile it all, make sure everything’s categorized, and I make sure all of my receipts from the past seven days are uploaded into Google Drive. I prefer Google Drive because then everything is one place, not just my receipts, but all of my business operating documents. I like having one solution. I like having a folder with all of my licenses and permits and insurance stuff. I like having a folder with all of my warranties for my big equipment. I like having a folder that — for every thing. And my receipts folders I divide by month, although, I’ve been watching how Michael handles our Blueprint receipts and he just has one Google Drive folder for the year, and I’m kind of liking that; it’s a little easier. So I might actually switch to that and merge all my months together. But I prefer using Google Drive because it can do all the things and not just my receipts. I can — contracts and everything just — and it’s easily searchable, and I can easily access it from every device. So when my laptop blew out several months ago, it wasn’t a big deal for me to start using a different laptop, log in to my Google accounts, and have everything handy right there without having to worry about restoring from a backup or any of that crap. I like web-based for that reason. So that’s what I do. But you might want to do what works differently and better for you. Michael, take it on.
MR (Laughter) I’m pretty similar to what you do. So a couple differences, and let me explain the year thing versus months. So I think the reason a year — a folder for each year works for us is because we don’t have a ton of transactions. I mean, we buy maybe like three or four things a month, most of it’s just recurring software. So in any given month, there’s not going to be a ton of stuff, and so if we had to go find something from 2018, there’s not going to be like 1000 receipts. There’ll be, like, maybe 50. So we can pretty easily find stuff. If you have a lot of transactions in a month, it might make sense to categorize them by month because you want to be able to kind of isolate where things go because you have so many transactions to sort through. So that’s just kind of a caveat there.
So I do something — mine’s very Mac specific, so if you’re on a Mac, this will work for you. I’m sure there are Windows-y equivalents that can do this as well. But what I do is I use Scannable — just like you do, Allissa. I use Scannable, and every time I get a receipt — like if I’m out at a meal and I want to snap that receipt, I’ll just scan the receipt — I’ll leave the receipt there because, again, I’m allergic to paper; I don’t want to touch the paper, so I just leave it there. So every receipt I need to scan, I scan via Scannable. If it’s an email receipt, I just save it. And everything goes into folders on my Desktop first. So I’ve got basically a folder on my Desktop called “receipts.” Within those folders — the reason I do this process is because I have multiple businesses. So this will work for one business, but if you have more than one business, I think it’s a good system because if you have multiple businesses and multiple Google Drive accounts, you’re going to have to be switching back and forth on Google Drive, on Scannable, to put things in there and it’s going to be too much time to spend on your phone. So basically what I do is I scan the receipt, and then my iCloud Desktop is pulled into my phone because Apple’s iCloud syncs up with your phone. So basically I just select that folder called receipts and then select the subfolder of Massage Business Blueprint or whatever my business is, drop it in there. And then then every month or so, I’ll go on my Desktop and I’ll just open up that receipts folder and I’ll drag — I’ll do a mass drag of all the receipts from a given business into the equivalent Google Drive folder in Google Drive.
AH I —
MR So I basically just —
AH — I totally wondered. I remember looking at our file — our receipts file for Blueprint, and I was like, wow, he uploaded a whole bunch of receipts on like February 19.
AH But I didn’t realize you were doing like a mass move-over like that.
MR Yeah, I try to batch the efficiency context, so to speak. So basically, I don’t want to be, you know, fiddling with what Google Drive account I’m putting stuff in on my phone. I just want to dump it into a folder with a click, and then I can do the more detailed work of picking the folder and moving stuff over on my computer later. So I kind of batch it and schedule it later.
AH But that’s a little more, you know — that’s necessary if you have multiple things going on like that. I have three businesses and three business Google accounts, and it’s actually not that hard to switch between them —
MR It’s not.
AH — but, yeah, if I was Michael, I would totally do that. (Laughter) I would totally batch it too.
MR Yeah, I mean — you’re right. It’s not that hard. I mean, I could just take an extra couple seconds and switch to the right Google Drive from Scannable and that’d be fine, but —
AH But you found what works for you.
MR It takes me more clicks to do that. So I’m opting for fewer clicks on my phone. That’s really all I’m doing.
AH Sweet. And I would absolutely mess up the whole iCloud integration and stuff, so that would just end up being a debacle for me.
AH So you know.
MR It does it automatically, so. Yeah.
AH You find what works for you —
AH — and then you roll with it.
MR I also want to say that there’s some services out there that work really well. One is called Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed, I think, has gotten better. It used to kind of be glitchy, but I think it’s gotten better. So Shoeboxed.com is a good service if you want to just like have a site that does all your receipt organizing and searching and everything. QuickBooks, like — you mentioned QuickBooks already. QuickBooks receipt scanning is built in, so if you’re already using QuickBooks, I mean, use that. If you’ve got one business and one QuickBooks account, I mean, just go ahead and start using that. It’s built in.
AH Yeah. And I’m just going to note that I hate Shoeboxed. I did a free trial; it didn’t work for me. And also it’s kind of expensive. So —
MR Yeah, it’s 29 bucks a month.
AH And that’s for 25 documents, which I would totally like blow through. So nope.
AH Veto. Ignore Michael on that.
MR Just be aware it’s an option out there.
AH It is. It is.
MR And there’s other option — there’s other receipt software out there. Just google “receipt scanning software” and you’ll find a bunch.
AH Yeah. And I like Google Docs because it’s pretty much free. Or I’m already paying for a professional account so I can have a HIPAA compliant Google form and all that stuff. And I’ve never run out of space in my massage business Google account. I’ve never had to upgrade for more space, and I got several years’ worth of information on there and a crap ton of big stock photo files. So yeah, it’s totally worth the 5 or 6 bucks a month I pay for it for the whole Google Drive account — the Google My Business — the Google Business thingamabob. The suite. And, you know what, there was one more thing I wanted to mention, but I don’t remember what it is, so carry on.
MR (Laughter) I think that’s it. Any other tools you can think of? I like Google Drive, too. I think Google Drive’s pretty much the way to go.
AH I wanted to ask you about searchability in Google Drive. So when I upload a receipt to Google Drive, like, when I do that weekly reconcile, I make sure — I very quickly rename the file to be super easy. So like when I upload the copy of my electric bill, I put National Grid, January 2019. And I’ve noticed that you don’t. You leave the generic filename that the scanning app gives it.
MR That’s true.
AH So talk to me about how things are searchable in Google Drive even if you don’t do the filename.
MR I don’t think they are, actually.
AH They kind of are.
MR They kind of are? You know what? I’ve never actually had to search that much, so I’m actually testing it. And you’re right. It actually does recognize the — now, if it’s from an email receipt where it’s got a PDF attached and the text is actually part of the PDF, then it will search it. I’m actually doing a search right now, and it’s pulling up the receipts that I have in there already. So yeah, it does find them.
AH Yep. It’s not foolproof, but it’s pretty good. So I wanted to make sure people knew that you can even take the easy way out, like Michael does, and not name your files. I’m totally making fun of him. It’s total — he does the efficient thing and it works.
MR Well, I’ve got a reason, but I’ll explain why. But go ahead.
AH And they’re searchable. So they’re pretty — it’s pretty easy to find what you’re looking for even if you don’t rename the filename. I do. I take the second to rename the filename because it just makes me feel better. So even if that filename is just “Target receipt March 3rd” — and it’s in the 2019 file so I don’t even have to put the year name. And it totally works. But it works either way.
MR Yeah. Now, one thing to note — actually, you know what, it’s funny. I was going to say that if you’re scanning a paper document, it’s probably not going to index that, but it actually did. Like I typed in a — word in a document that was scanned from a piece of paper. And it was actually badly scanned. It’s at an angle; it’s not even really clear. And it found it. It actually found a word in that particular document.
MR So Google’s OCR, which is optical character recognition, is actually pretty darn good.
AH It really is. And I know this because I had to find — I had to find like an electric bill from a certain month. And I had — my office, when it expanded, it stayed two separate office spaces, so I would get two electric bills and two gas bills every month. And I just scanned them and uploaded them and I didn’t do filenames and stuff then. But it was super easy because when I needed to find that certain electric bill because I just googled National Grid May 2018 and it brought up both of those — both of those bills for that month for both parts of the office, and I was able to choose the one I wanted. And then one time, I needed to find one and I was like, oh, why I don’t I just google — why don’t I just search in my Google Drive for the last four digits of that account number — because that’s how I kept them in my head, separate. And I did, and the right set of bills came up from that part of the office. It was really cool. And I was like, wow, this is way more searchable than I would have expected.
MR Yeah, I made a couple more notes here.
AH So head’s up.
MR Yeah, a couple more notes. So one is I want to add — so my thinking on — by the way, this really don’t matter because apparently Google does index text really well. But my thinking on not renaming stuff is first — I’m not challenging the universe by the way, so let me put that out there. But my thinking is if you keep clean records, if you run a clean business, if you do a good job of everything, the chances of you being audited are not super high, I don’t think. And even if you are, I mean, if the IRS asks for your receipts for something, I mean, you give them a zip file full of your 2019 receipts and say, hey, it’s in here, go get it. And I’ve always been told by CPAs, it’s their responsibility to find what they need based on your files. So I figure that’s good enough. If I don’t rename everything exactly, I think it’s good enough.
AH And really just knowing that I have everything in that file takes so much of this weird invisible weight off of me because I pretty much assume that I’m going to be audited at some point. I might not be. Great. But I might be. But it’s so — it’s such a relief for me to know — and I think of this — when want to blow off my recordkeeping, I remind myself when you get all of these things — when you get all of this information documented in an easy way, you don’t have to worry. Because if I get audited for 2018, I literally download all of these things as a zip file and hand them over. I’ve got — my mileage is tracked by an app with a report that’s easily, you know — that’s already generated at the end of each year and put into my 2018 file. And it’s all there. It’s so nice. It is such — it is taken away a huge fear, and it really — there’s so much stress in running a business. This doesn’t need to be one of those stressors because it’s so easily handled once you get your crap together. And it took me years to get my crap together.
AH It was a huge sense of relief for me when I saw that there’s like — the IRS can only audit you however many years back. And I thought thank God I am far enough into my business where the first couple of years that I was a total crap show can no longer be audited. That was such a sense of relief. And that relief, I was like, oh, I can feel like this all the time if I just do a few simple things. And that’s been really, really good. So know that.
MR Can I add a semi-related bonus tip?
MR It’s only semi-related. So Google Drive — we both love Google Drive, we know this. So I sometimes come across people that aren’t comfortable with Google Drive because they’re like, well, it’s in the Cloud. I don’t know where the Cloud is; what if something happens to the Cloud, and what if Google goes down? Okay, that’s fine. Google does go down sometimes, but I don’t think they ever lost any of my data. They’re pretty reliable. But I actually do use this for one of my business, and there’s a service called Backupify. And it actually backs up your Google Drive. So you’ve got redundancy there. You’ve got an extra layer of backup and protection. So it’s like $5 a month for a single G Suite account, and it will connect to your Google Drive, and it will back up all of your Google Drive documents in your Backupify account. So if for some weird reason your account with Google gets destroyed, you’ve got your Google Drive backup in Backupify as a separate backup. So that, I think, is a nice feature for some people that might want a little extra layer of being at ease with okay, my data is backed up somewhere else besides just this Cloud out there, not on my computer.
AH That is really good to know. Thanks, Michael.
MR And if you don’t want to pay for Backupify, if you want to schedule something for once a month or even once a year or something or once a quarter, you can actually go into your Google account and simply click “make a backup” and you can download an entire zip file of your Google Drive account onto your local computer too, onto your laptop or whatever.
MR So a couple options there. Yeah.
AH I didn’t know that. I think I’m going to put that on my quarterly to dos.
MR There you go. I told you it was a semi-related bonus tip.
AH That is beautiful. All right, we have beat this horse dead.
MR I think so. We’re done.
AH Wrap it — take it home.
MR (Laughter) We out of here. All right, if you’ve stuck with us this long, thank you. We appreciate you being with us for today’s episode. Reminder our website is massagebusinessblueprint.com. If you have a question, a comment, a topic for us, anything you want to give us a shout out about or a comment about, just email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we would love to hear from you.
And also we love, love, love all the iTunes reviews we are receiving. I think — we didn’t make time today, but we’ll — maybe next week — remember to hit up some of those new reviews and give a shout-out to our reviewers. That’s hard to say. [Re-view-er]. (Laughter) Our listeners.
AH Our people who want to complain about us.
MR People who want to complain about us. Those too. So thank you for all those. And we love iTunes reviews, so please tell your friends about us. Thanks again for joining us this week, and we’ll see you next time.