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Set Your Office Up Properly, Right From The Start

  Article by Nyall Bakk

While many offices are trying to go paperless, the fact remains that some paperwork is necessary. Many business transactions require the proper paperwork and the IRS is just one organization that may require hard copies rather than electronic copies.  If you have a small office you may find yourself running out of space to put all your
paperwork.  Organizing and properly filing your papers is essential should you ever need to find anything specific.

When faced with the dilemma of what to toss out and what to
keep, business owners panic and keep it all.  Years pass,
until one day the storage room has overflowed.  Documents
are now lost in the massive piles around the office.
Management has the dilemma of organizing paperwork to
prevent low productivity and direct failure of the business.

"Most small businesses don't deal with their papers until
it's too late," said Barbara Hemphill a well-known author
on the subject of office efficiency.  Paperwork piles up
and documents are impossible to locate.  If management and
owners learned more about time management, paperwork would
be in its place.

First Step to Organizing

Set aside a day to commit to organizing your office space.
To eliminate the distraction of customers or phone calls,
schedule it on a Saturday.  But if Saturday doesn't work
well for you, dedicate one day each week as "Office Cleanup
Day."  Then, require all staff members to participate.

Even if you work alone dedicate some time to
cleaning up your office and your paperwork.  Even
though it may seem difficult to take time out now it
will be worth it in the long run.

The easiest way to start is with current paperwork
that's taking up space on your desk.  Sorting by
subject and then by date is a great way to organize
your papers and will make finding what you need
much easier.  You should also get a system of file
folders that you can place your paperwork in to
make it easier to retrieve.

You should also have a separate system for your
accounting and bookkeeping.  Expense reports and
receipts should be carefully filed for later reference.
A good idea is to record your business transactions
into a ledger.  You can either use a ledger book or
one of the many software programs available.

Once you've organized paperwork into file folders, you'll
need to assemble boxes or purchase crates to keep documents
in.  Your filing system will depend on the type of business
you operate.  Some businesses organize their files by the
client's name, while others use job numbers.  No matter what
type of business you operate, you will always file your
accounts receivable and accounts payable the same.  All that
matters is that you have a system to your filing.

Computerized Documentation

You need a contingency plan for all your paperwork
and electronic files.  If there was ever a flood or fire
and your documents were destroyed you need to
have a backup plan.  For your important paperwork
consider getting a scanner and filing backups

Computer documents are easily accessible and easier to file
on a CD or 3.5" floppy.  Of course, if you want to be really
high-tech, you can use an external hard drive to store your
documents.  CD's, floppies, and external hard drives should
be stored in a fire resistant safe, or off the premises.

You may want to consider an automated backup
service for your financial files and records.  For a
reasonable fee you can have all your important
documents stored on an off site server.  This will
keep your files safe give you peace of mind.

"Your ability to accomplish daily tasks is directly related
to your ability to find the right information at the right
time," Hemphill said.  Management strategies are essential
to the livelihood of your office staff and the success of
your business.  Don't wait until the last minute to

About the author:
 Nyall Bakk is the chief writer at <a
href="">Advertising WorldWide
</a>the best place on the internet when you're after
fresh up to date advice and reviews to do with Business.
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