Pocket full of receipts
My husband and I established our small painting business in 1999. Sometimes he would come home with pockets full of receipts and other times these receipts would get lost.
Every year I would threaten divorce as I waded through thousands of receipts for incidentals such as paintbrushes, painter’s tape, and roller pans trying to total our annual business expenses. Some transactions were as little as $2.97 some were in the hundreds of dollars, but when added together, they amounted to thousands of dollars in business expenses.
Obtaining a debit card for our small business
Our salvation was the debit card. In 2002, our bank issued us a debit card for our business account, and at first, my husband was reluctant to use it, stating he preferred to pay his cash expenses out of petty cash. Then I explained what a nightmare it was to total all of our business expenses so he agreed to try to use the debit card for all purposes.
Bank statements made documentation easy
Using the business debit card for cash purchases enabled me use our bank statements to tally our business expenses in an easy way. The point of use (POS) locator on our bank statements allowed me to see where we had bought sundries and how much we had paid. Totaling the expenses over a 12-month period took me under an hour to do whereas it had taken me days of aggravation in previous years.
We each had a business debit card so either of us could swing by a store to pick up what we needed. Once we ran out of materials on one of our jobs, and neither of us could get to the store for the next day. We were able to give one of our contractors our card and they were able to buy the necessary material and bring it to the job the next day.
Claiming business expenses
I am absolutely certain we didn’t claim all of our expenses the first few years because the amount of receipts we had was overwhelming- sometimes several slips from a single day. I would find them crumpled up in the laundry room after having been washed- illegible and useless. Or I would find them intermingled in our file cabinet stuck to paperwork from something that was totally unrelated, and of course, I would find them after we had already filed taxes for that year.
Debit card make life easier
While I cannot say that preparing taxes is joyful, I can say that it is much easier to do when you have all the information you need in one bank statement using a small business debit card. As a testament to its usefulness, I can tell you, we’re still in business and I’m still married.