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Massage Today
July, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 07

Paperwork Success for Your Practice

By Amber Grady

Does your financial paperwork flow smoothly through well-defined channels, or do receipts and bills flutter around in a state of acute disorganization, with bouts of congestion or blockage?

A healthy filing system for your paperwork will contribute to the health and well-being of your practice.

A good system will increase the control you hold over your business, finances and environment, and it will add to your peace of mind.

Feng shui experts teach that clutter-free living reduces stress and helps bring money through the door. A well-designed system also prevents the frustration and wasted time you experience when you can't find things.

The following techniques can help bring new vitality and life to those stuffy, cramped areas of your practice:

  1. Use one basket to collect only financial paperwork that needs to be filed, such as paid bills, invoices and receipts. A basket for this sole purpose prevents items from floating around the office and getting lost. Choose two days each month to file these papers - the first and the 15th of each month work well, which is also an ideal time to pay the bills. This practice eliminates needless paper-shuffling and unnecessary worry; it also helps you take charge of your paperwork.
  2. Sort what you need for paying your bills in a small portable filing case: checkbooks; stamps; envelopes; address labels; bills; bank statements; and bank slips. This keeps everything together so you don't need to rummage through piles to find what you need.
  3. File your paid bills and reconciled bank statements (attached with bank slips and canceled checks) in a monthly filing system. Label the files with the days of the month. When tax time arrives, you'll have everything you need in one place.
  4. Organize your permanent records in a separate, long-term holder. Permanent records include telephone, vendor and utilities agreements (not bills). This keeps papers out of the way, but still accessible.
  5. Keep other important papers, such as credit card and insurance agreements, in a firebox.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, a famous American statistician, reports that 94 percent of failure is not due to people's unwillingness to work, but the lack of an effective system for the job. Developing a filing system that works for you will increase your effectiveness and your success!


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