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Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter
52 WEEKS TO FINANCIAL ORGANIZATION - #40: Administrative Files

One of the things they never taught me in MBA school was how to be a master of my own business administration. I started to learn what I hadn't learned when I was several months into running my business.  I couldn't work at my desk.  It was covered with paperwork:  office equipment manuals, business plans, and various other papers presumably related to the business.
I remember thinking that, if I was going to put myself out there as an organizing expert, I had better get my own stuff in order first.  The result became the first drawer of the first Absolutely Organized file cabinet. 
Those papers on my desk were all related to the administration of the business.  A good way to think of "administrative" paperwork is to think about what it is NOT.  It is not paperwork related to particular clients.  It is not paperwork related to vendors, the people who sell you services and things.  And it is not paperwork related to employees or other personnel.  Administrative paperwork, then, is all other paperwork related to the operation of your business that does not fall into one of the other categories. 
Here is a list of my administrative files:
         ACT! Training
         Business License
         Business Plan
         Business Practices
         Client Surveys
         Insurance Policies
         Legal Documents
         Local Tax Rates
         Media Contacts
         New Hire Registry Forms
         Notary Public
         Press Releases
         Resources for Clients
         Sales & Use Tax Permit
         Silent Auctions
         Speaking Engagement Contracts
         Strategic Planning
         Surety Bond
         Trade Name Registration
You may not have all of these categories.  You may have additional categories.  You can always add categories as you need them.
Set up parallel sets of electronic file folders to file your electronic documents and e-mails.  This will enable you to store your documents in an organized fashion without having to print them.
Your Homework for This Week:  Set up your administrative file structure for paper, e-mails, and other electronic documents.  File your administrative documents in their appropriate file folders.

posted on: 11/15/2009 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
category: Finances

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Discuss This Post

by Andrew on 12/12/2009 3:09:04 PM:

This series is incredibly helpful because of its simplicity and clarity. I've got two questions you'll probably have no trouble with: 1. Would speaking engagement contracts go under customers/clients, since you are making money from them, instead of admin? 2. What do you do if you have one company that is both vendor and customer (or, for that matter, any time an item could go in two categories)? Thanks so much for taking the time to write these clear and helpful posts!

by Katherine Trezise on 1/14/2010 4:12:49 PM:

Andrew, thank you for your comments. Question #1: Yes, I would put speaking engagement contracts under customers for the reason you said. #2: Unless your transactions with that company are so intertwined that you can't easily separate them, I would suggest having a vendor file and a customer file for that company. Hope this helps.

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Minimizing Financial Clutter

by Katherine Trezise

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About Katherine:

Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, based in Baltimore, MD. She is president-elect of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Katherine holds a masters degree in business administration, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®. Absolutely Organized specializes in helping people organize their homes, paperwork and financial records to make room in their lives for the things, people and activities that are most important to them.

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