5 Effective Ways To Store Your Business Cards

Contact information is fundamental to networking and business communications. However, most business people collect hundreds, if not thousands, of business cards every year, and storing these business cards can seem like a daunting task. If you are struggling to find the best way to store business cards, let’s take a look at five effective ways to do it in this article. Depending on how tech-savvy you are, you can choose between several options for the best business card storage. 

1. Several quick tips to organize business cards

Ultimately, keeping your business cards organized is the way to keep all your contact information in line. Organizing your business cards in a particular system saves you from losing touch with new leads, important partners, or forgetting which supplier is potential for your business. 

Writing down important information, keeping your business cards safe in one place, and uploading them to your database, you will be able to build your networks and connect with many people in your industry. 

So before jumping to the best way to store your business cards, let’s see some tips to keep your cards neat and organized:

  • The order of the business cards

The most common order when organizing business cards is by name. Some people order them by industry, company name, job position, or even location. How you order your business cards entirely depends on how you need to access your contacts. 

The order you choose to organize your cards should be the way that works best for you. People think in different ways, so you should stick to whichever way helps you remember the information, position, or company name!

  • Take time to re-organize your business cards

Keeping old and stale contacts might be a good idea at first, but it can cause frustration when you are trying to find a business card. You need to ensure spending some time every now and then cleaning up the contacts. Ideally, you can set aside time every month or quarter to go through your contacts. By that, you can see if there are any contacts you need to get rid of or any you should get in touch with. This action helps keep the size of your contacts at a manageable level. It also makes searching much easier, especially if you are keeping physical business cards. 

Here are some ideas to remove unnecessary cards: 

  • Contacts that you never heard from again; 
  • Suppliers you didn’t end up choosing; 
  • Companies that are no longer in business.

2. Five effective ways to store your business cards

  • Use a business card book

If you’d like to keep physical business cards, using a business card book (or a card binder) is a great choice. This is a bit of an old-fashioned way to organize business cards, but it is still a good choice if you don’t have too many of them to store. 

Business card books are specially designed books to store business cards. The books include several pages of clear plastic sleeves that have individual slots for cards. You just need to slip business cards into the sleeves with your order. With a business card book, you can easily access groups of similar cards together on a single page or set of pages. Business card books are quite handy when you need to reference cards at the turn of a page. They also keep your cards protected from dirt and moisture. The problem with the business card book (or card binder) is that you either have to bring them to every business event or remember to put your collected cards in there afterward. This can cause a huge hassle for many people. 

  • Use a rotary business card file

Like a business card book, a rotary business card file (also called rolodex) simply sorts your business cards in a rolling cylinder. Cards are organized in sections from A-Z, which allows you to find the contact information at once. The upside is that it can sit on your desk, and you can roll through your cards at ease. The drawback is that it looks a bit old school and outdated. However, if you are of a certain age or fond of the traditional ways, a rotary is a good alternative to a business card book. 

The good news about rotary card filing systems is that they are still available. These file systems are also considered one best way to store business cards and keep them organized. You only need to take a business card, tape it, staple it to a blank rotary card and file it under the appropriate alphabet letter. 

  • Store business cards in a box

This method is similar to storing recipe cards in a cardboard box. If you are too busy to find the best way to store business cards, this method can still help. You can tie all your business cards together, organize them from A to Z, and place them directly into a business card file box. You can purchase a designed business card file box, but any long, narrow box or container with a lid will also work. For example, a narrow plastic storage container or even use any cardboard business card box in your office. This method can somewhat work if you prefer remembering people by the color of their business cards. However, it may be best to at least try using other ways before sorting with “the box method.” 

  • Keep photos of business cards on your smartphone

Carrying physical business cards can sometimes cause inconvenience. To avoid this, you can simply take photos of business cards and store them in a separate album in your gallery. That way, you will be able to find them if needed. 

Don’t forget to capture both the front and back of the business cards to avoid missing important details. However, you might need to name each file to organize them, and this action can take several minutes per card. Although this is probably not the best way to store business cards, it still works for some people. And most importantly, it is 100% free. 

  • Download a business cards scanner app

If you live with your smartphone by your side and need to organize your business cards in a particular order, using a business cards scanner app would be the best way to store business cards. 

There are various business card scanning apps available, and many of them are even free. Most of them will scan your business cards and convert them into a digital format automatically. This means you will be able to save them as contacts directly from your phone. You can also find the original business card by the image of the card that you scanned. Many apps will also allow you to export contacts into Outlook and many other platforms. 

Let’s take an example with Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed is the business card management app that allows you to create an online database of your contacts and get rid of business card piles. Shoeboxed not only allows you to track your business receipts, expenses, and mileage logs, but it also enables you to manage all your contacts, complete with all the traditional information on a business card.

After downloading the Shoeboxed app, you can take a picture of your business card, enter the basic information. Otherwise, you can simply put them in your Shoeboxed envelopes and mail them to us. We will then scan them and enter the data on your business cards. You can view them online and import all your contacts, with all the information on the card, to any digital contact list: Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, LinkedIn, etc. From the first name, last name, address, phone number, email address, company name, and position, you will have all the contact information from your colleagues, partners, and suppliers without having to scan a single thing or enter any data yourself. 

See also: Get Accurate Information from Your Business Card Scans

So, suppose you met a lot of people at a conference that you recently attended. With Shoeboxed, you will be able to have all their contact information in one place, within a 3-minute process, from beginning to end. This is by far the best way to store business cards in the modern age. 

Final thoughts

Now you have several options to decide which is the best way to store business cards. We’d love to hear your opinion. Let us know by dropping a comment!

Don’t forget that the Shoeboxed app is now available for iOS and Android. Download now to store your business cards efficiently and free with Shoeboxed. 

What Are The Differences Between A Bookkeeper And An Accountant?

Regardless of your business’s industry, size, and model, bookkeeping and accounting professionals play an essential role in the financial health of your business. While many people know that a bookkeeper is not the same as an accountant, they can’t put their finger on what exactly differentiates a bookkeeper vs accountant. 

In this guide, you’ll learn what separates an accountant from a bookkeeper, which your business should hire and when to employ them. 

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: An overview 

A bookkeeper starts and an accountant finishes. In other words, a bookkeeper handles the initial stage of an accounting process which is recording and organizing daily financial transactions. An accountant takes up the work done by a bookkeeper and carries on the remaining tasks of the accounting cycle. Accountants are then responsible for analyzing and interpreting data gathered by bookkeepers, consulting with business owners, and preparing financial reports. 

To look at the differences in detail, we will compare bookkeeper vs accountant in two major aspects: job description and required credentials.  

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: Job description 

Duties of a bookkeeper:

The practice of bookkeeping is far from new to the human race. Bookkeeping may have existed as early as around 2600 B.C. A bookkeeper’s core duty is to maintain complete and accurate records of the money coming in and out of business in a general ledger. Bookkeepers keep track of daily transactions in a consistent, systematic way, and their records allow the accountants to perform their jobs. 

Apart from the primary task of managing accounting ledgers, there are many other responsibilities that a company would ask from a bookkeeper.

A bookkeeper’s job description typically includes: 

  • Entering and correcting Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable
  • Reconciling accounts and matching bank transactions
  • Issuing invoices and processing payments 
  • Managing expense reports 
  • Processing payroll 
  • Adjusting entries where necessary and as instructed by the accountant

Besides the above-mentioned typical responsibilities of bookkeepers, their duties vary depending on the industrial environment and business nature. For example, if you own a cannabis business, you may want to look for someone who can use seed-to-sale software (Biotrack, MJ Freeway, METRC, etc.) Or a bookkeeper who knows how to deal with IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) will be an ideal choice for trucking businesses. 

Duties of an accountant: 

 An accountant analyzes the financial data collected by the bookkeeper to provide vital business insights and financial advice to the business owner. Accountants look at the big picture, putting key components of your business’s finances together and presenting them via financial statements. Such reports offer you a clear view of where your finances stand and what they imply, as well as what you can and should do about them and where you may anticipate your company will go in the near future.

The following are a few examples of typical requirements in an accounting job description: 

  • Preparing accounts and tax returns
  • Monitoring business spending and budgets
  • Auditing and analyzing financial performance
  • Administering payroll
  • Compiling and presenting financial and budget reports
  • Providing tax planning services 
  • Providing timely forecasts and important insights for future growth

Accounting work is often office-based, with usual 9 to 5 working hours. However, the workload typically becomes much greater during peak seasons like the tax period and the end of a fiscal year.   

In small businesses, an accountant may undertake all of the activities associated with the accounting process, but in larger businesses, various accountants are often in charge of different accounting areas. This might cover both financial and managerial accounting.

Bookkeeper vs. Accountant: Credentials and licensing 

Requirements of a bookkeeper:

In most cases, bookkeepers don’t need to acquire any certificates to handle the books. Businesses or employers usually only require their bookkeepers to have a high school degree providing basic math, communication, and computer skills. Other necessary skills like time management, organization, and multitasking can also be gained in high school.

While bookkeeping is not a licensed profession, businesses sometimes ask for a certification as proof of expertise. Many big organizations offer accreditation and licensing to bookkeepers, such as the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) and the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB).

Software companies for bookkeeping and accounting such as QuickBooks, Excel, Xero offer certifications to highlight bookkeepers’ skills and abilities using these software products. So if your accounting system is heavily dependent on software, a bookkeeper with a sophisticated understanding of accounting-support programs should be your best option. That’s when these software certifications can help you. 

Requirements of an accountant:

Although not always mandatory, an accountant needs to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or related fields like business, economics, finance, or management. 

In addition to a university degree, an accountant can earn advanced accounting certificates to demonstrate their competency, such as a CPA certificate. A CPA is a “certified public accountant” who has satisfied the state’s standards and passed the Uniform CPA test. They must also meet continuing education criteria to keep their certification. 

When interviewing for a CPA, seek someone knowledgeable about tax law, proficient in accounting software and with excellent communication skills. They should be familiar with your sector as well as the unique demands and expectations of small enterprises.

When to hire a bookkeeper vs. an accountant

If your business is still in the early stages and you feel confident managing all the receipts and recording transactions, you may not need a bookkeeper yet. Do your own bookkeeping and hire a part-time accountant as a financial consultant.

However, when your business starts growing you’ll soon be overwhelmed by the paperwork. Then, it’s the right time to get a full-time bookkeeper to record daily data and keep your finances organized. Plus, an accountant at this point can help you create a long-term business plan, handle taxes neatly or advise you on the legal structure. 

Before you finally decide between a bookkeeper vs accountant, consider not only their credentials and expertise but also their cost, reputation, and their experience working in your industry. 

Try Shoeboxed today!

Whether you do your own bookkeeping or hire a professional, receipts managing and organizing still causes a lot of headaches. Shoeboxed can help you digitize every receipt, automatically extract data and categorize them for you within seconds. With Shoeboxed your receipts are stored safely in the cloud, fully searchable and well-organized. 

Get started with Shoeboxed for free! 

Business Transaction: Definition, Types, And Examples

Business transactions are a crucial aspect of every business. Without it, a business may not know its position at a particular period of time. This article will give you a formal definition of a business transaction, its different types, and examples of typical business transactions. 

1. What is a business transaction?

In accounting, a business transaction (also known as a financial transaction) is an event that must be measurable in terms of money and impacts the business’s financial position. It can also be defined as any monetary activity that occurs in a business. All business transactions must be accompanied by a source document. 

For instance, if you run a merchandising business and sell goods to a customer for $1000 cash, you can measure this event in terms of money and impact to your business’s financial position. So it’s a valid business transaction. Similarly, suppose you pay $500 in cash to your salesman as his pay. In that case, this event is also a transaction because it has a monetary value of $500, making a financial impact on your business. Only those events that can be measured in monetary terms are included in the business’ accounting records. 

There are numerous events related to a business to which we can’t reliably assign a monetary value. Such events can’t be called business transactions or financial transactions. For example, when a company CEO delivers a motivational speech to the employees, though this event may be of great benefit to the business, we can’t assign a monetary value to it. So it isn’t a business transaction and can’t become a part of accounting records.  

Each business transaction must be recorded by making a journal entry by the bookkeeper or accountant. Since each transaction impacts the business’s financial position, the bookkeeper or accountant must make sure that a responsible person has authorized it. 

See also: Bookkeeping For Entrepreneurs Best Practices.

One or more source documents must support a valid business transaction before being recorded to the journal. Typical examples of source documents are sales invoices, purchase invoices, cash receipts, payment vouchers, statement of accounts, bills of exchange, promissory notes. Basically, any other document containing the basic transaction details can be presented as proof of valid transaction.

2. Characteristics of a business transaction

A business transaction can be an exchange transaction (which involves physical value exchange such as purchase, payment, etc.) or a non-exchange transaction (which does not involve physical exchange, such as fire loss, flood loss, internal production, depreciation, etc.). A business transaction can be as simple as a cash purchase or as complex as a long-term service contract. However, a business transaction must include the following characteristics: 

  • The transaction must be for a certain sum of money
  • The transaction occurs between two parties
  • The transaction is on behalf of the business entity
  • The transaction isn’t for any individual person’s purpose
  • The transaction must be supported by authorized legitimate documents (sales invoice, official receipt, disbursement voucher, remittance advice, etc.)
  • The transaction must have a two-fold effect on the elements of accounting.

3. Main types of business transactions

In accounting, there are two ways to classify business transactions: cash and credit transactions or internal and external transactions. 

Cash and credit transactions

Cash transaction: In a cash transaction, the payment was paid or received in cash at the time the transaction occurred. For example, suppose you purchase a new shirt from a store and pay at checkout, a cash transaction happens between you and the store. Even if you made the payment with a credit card, as long as it was a payment in-full at the time of purchase, it is still considered a cash transaction because the payment is made when the transaction occurs. In the modern business world today, cash transactions are not limited to currency notes for making or receiving payments. All transactions made using debit or credit issued by financial institutions are also categorized as cash transactions.

Credit transaction: A transaction is classified as a credit transaction when the payment is made after a set period of time, also called the credit period. In other words, the payment is received or paid at a future date. For example, when you purchase a couch from a furniture store, the store allows you to pay within the next 30 days instead of paying at the time of the transaction. Though cash isn’t involved at the time of sale, you will need to pay to the couch after a set period of 30 days. In the business world today, goods are mostly purchased and sold on credit. 

Internal and external transactions

Internal transaction: When there is no external party involved in a business transaction, it’s classified as an internal transaction. Even though there is no value exchange with a third party, a monetary event has taken place that impacts the business’s accounting. An internal transaction can be in the form of depreciation on a fixed asset or loss of assets. The internal transaction is also known as a non-exchange transaction.  

External Transaction: An external transaction is sometimes called an exchange transaction. This transaction occurs when two or more parties are involved in the transaction. These are daily occurring transactions such as purchasing goods, paying rent or utilities, or paying employees. Normally, a large portion of business transactions consists of external transactions. 

4. Examples of business transactions

Let’s take a look at some common business transactions: 

  • Sales of goods and services (either for cash or credit);
  • Purchasing of goods and materials (either in cash or credit);
  • Purchasing services (such as equipment repair, advertising, printing costs);
  • Investment of cash on other assets by the business owners;
  • Borrowing of cash for business purposes from other entities;
  • Withdrawal of cash or other assets, and distribution of dividends; 
  • Paying wages and salaries;
  • Accounting for and paying tax;
  • Collection of receivables from customers and other entities;
  • Payment of payables to the supplier or other entities;
  • Consumption or expiration of assets (e.g., the use of office supplies, the expiration of insurance, expiration of rent, depreciation of equipment, etc.);
  • Movements of cash in the bank account (which usually arise from the transactions above). 

Final thoughts

It’s important to understand your company’s role in a transaction. It affects everything from how you provide services to your customers to marketing, pricing, and more. Understanding thoroughly about these types of business transactions helps you make more informed decisions about the business. 

In most cases, companies have to work with multiple types of business transactions, and they need to keep track of them with numerous paperwork like invoices, receipts, and expense reports. If this sounds familiar to you, then you can consider digitizing your paper receipts and getting them into action. 

Shoeboxed is an outsourced receipt-scanning service that converts paper receipts into organized digital copies on your company’s behalf. You can scan your receipts with a single smartphone or mail them to any Shoeboxed facility to have them scanned and organized. Shoeboxed is the simplest way to keep track of your business transactions by turning your receipts into data. Get paper off your desks and keep your vital documents in a logical sequence for years with Shoeboxed!

Try Shoeboxed for free with our 1-month trial!