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within the last year i went from one guy with a truck to 4 guys and couple vans. at first putting everything into one folder with a month attached to it seemed to work just fine. now that i am getting bigger this is no where near efficient, its difficult to find things like a permit that im not sure when i pulled it out...sooo.... i got a bunch of color folders and set about it a different way. taking some notes from pcplumbers handbook.

just curious about some tips or handy notes to get my filing cabinet running up to par.
 

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I divide my filing into three groups.

1. ACCOUNTING FILES - (All files and receipts that have to do with money coming in and going out along with tax filings. Every year, they are cleaned out and filed with the tax files. New folders are made up for the current year.) Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Tax Filings (Fed., State, Unemployment etc.), Paid Bills (filed alphabetically), 401 K Plan Contributions etc.

2. GENERAL FILES - (All files that are not needed on a regular basis, but information you need to keep on an ongoing basis). Advertising, Computer Software info., Office Equipment, Office Space Leases, Insurance (Gen. Liab. & Work Comp. etc), Automobile repair & maintenance log etc.

3. SALES / ESTIMATES - Job folders (permit would go in here as well as a copy in the paid bills file) - can be broken down into Jobs in progress, completed jobs etc., Estimate files, Vendor pricing/quotes etc.

In my office - I have access to all three. If I had a receptionist, she would only have access to the general files. The estimator would have access to the General files and Sales/Estimates, but not accounting. Segregating means I can keep financial info. out of view of prying eyes.

Hope this helps.

Cat :)
 

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How do you find a record in your archives?

I divide my filing into three groups.

1. ACCOUNTING FILES - (All files and receipts that have to do with money coming in and going out along with tax filings. Every year, they are cleaned out and filed with the tax files. New folders are made up for the current year.) Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Tax Filings (Fed., State, Unemployment etc.), Paid Bills (filed alphabetically), 401 K Plan Contributions etc.

2. GENERAL FILES - (All files that are not needed on a regular basis, but information you need to keep on an ongoing basis). Advertising, Computer Software info., Office Equipment, Office Space Leases, Insurance (Gen. Liab. & Work Comp. etc), Automobile repair & maintenance log etc.

3. SALES / ESTIMATES - Job folders (permit would go in here as well as a copy in the paid bills file) - can be broken down into Jobs in progress, completed jobs etc., Estimate files, Vendor pricing/quotes etc.

In my office - I have access to all three. If I had a receptionist, she would only have access to the general files. The estimator would have access to the General files and Sales/Estimates, but not accounting. Segregating means I can keep financial info. out of view of prying eyes.

Hope this helps.

Cat :)
When a customer calls, several years later, and asks for a copy of their contract how do you locate the contract? I think your system is very difficult and slow. With our system, every contract, invoice, and permit goes in a folder with a 'Month Number' the job was done. The 'Month Number' is entered in the database when the contract is recorded. We can search for the contract by name, address, data range, street, phone, city, or zip. Suppose we get a copy of a permit or a letter from the customer three months after the job is completed. We can put the record in a folder with a different 'Month Number' and enter the location in the database that, for example, contract is in the folder for Month Number 301, and the permit is in the folder with Month Number 305.
 

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When a customer calls, several years later, and asks for a copy of their contract how do you locate the contract? I think your system is very difficult and slow. With our system, every contract, invoice, and permit goes in a folder with a 'Month Number' the job was done. The 'Month Number' is entered in the database when the contract is recorded. We can search for the contract by name, address, data range, street, phone, city, or zip. Suppose we get a copy of a permit or a letter from the customer three months after the job is completed. We can put the record in a folder with a different 'Month Number' and enter the location in the database that, for example, contract is in the folder for Month Number 301, and the permit is in the folder with Month Number 305.
Well, you obviously didn't understand my post. I was referring to the 'paper trail' and filing of such.

If a customer called about a contract, invoice, question about materials on the job, I can track it through our accounting records. All records can be searched by name, address, data range, street, phone, city, zip as you stated etc. Completed jobs would be filed by month/year in which they were completed. Any correspondence that would come in relating to that job, even months after closing would be put in the original file. Why would I want to go through several files to find all pertinent info. on a particular job? - your system seems like a way of keeping a database manager busy keeping track of crap all over the place. Ex. - Customer Joe Jones calls and thinks we did a main line replacement 2-3 years ago. Run a search in my accounting and see the job was completed April 2004 (it's always longer ago than they remember). Go to completed Jobs file April 2004. Not only is his original contract there - I see that he sent a wonderful thank you note to us on May 21, 2004 with his payment check. What else do I see? September 2004 he called because he thought he had a warranty issue. Result, water main break on the counties side of meter. October 2004, I can see he referred us to his neighbor Mary Smith. A complete record all in one place. Works for me! :yes:
 

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Yes!

Well, you obviously didn't understand my post. I was referring to the 'paper trail' and filing of such.

If a customer called about a contract, invoice, question about materials on the job, I can track it through our accounting records. All records can be searched by name, address, data range, street, phone, city, zip as you stated etc. Completed jobs would be filed by month/year in which they were completed. Any correspondence that would come in relating to that job, even months after closing would be put in the original file. Why would I want to go through several files to find all pertinent info. on a particular job? - your system seems like a way of keeping a database manager busy keeping track of crap all over the place. Ex. - Customer Joe Jones calls and thinks we did a main line replacement 2-3 years ago. Run a search in my accounting and see the job was completed April 2004 (it's always longer ago than they remember). Go to completed Jobs file April 2004. Not only is his original contract there - I see that he sent a wonderful thank you note to us on May 21, 2004 with his payment check. What else do I see? September 2004 he called because he thought he had a warranty issue. Result, water main break on the counties side of meter. October 2004, I can see he referred us to his neighbor Mary Smith. A complete record all in one place. Works for me! :yes:
"I see" said the blind man!
 

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When a customer calls, several years later, and asks for a copy of their contract how do you locate the contract? I think your system is very difficult and slow. With our system, every contract, invoice, and permit goes in a folder with a 'Month Number' the job was done. The 'Month Number' is entered in the database when the contract is recorded. We can search for the contract by name, address, data range, street, phone, city, or zip. Suppose we get a copy of a permit or a letter from the customer three months after the job is completed. We can put the record in a folder with a different 'Month Number' and enter the location in the database that, for example, contract is in the folder for Month Number 301, and the permit is in the folder with Month Number 305.
If I have a customer call me "several years later" asking questions they better be able to TELL ME what month and what year!
I can't remember YESTERDAY let alone several years ago and my filing system consists of file boxes stored in the basement with a Year on the outside! I went from being a one man shop to a good sized shop with four other plumbers (in Ca.) and now back to me and a helper here in Mn. I like things just the way they are right now. My filing system has worked for 20 years, don't see any reason to change it, even if it does suck! :thumbup:
 

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If you start doing well to the point you have one or more office employees, watch your back.

A local cabinet/woodworking shop, must have been a very nice little business....just found out that their office accountant had swiped over $9 million dollars, over several years. She had a gambling and bling habit, and would write herself a check for $25 K every Monday. Business must have been doing quite nicely not to miss that much money. They were not doing proper independent audits, and just loved and trusted this woman. Now, of course, she is in jail, and the business went under. She spent the dough, so although they will be awarded restitution, they will never see much of it.

As Ronnie said, trust but verify.
 

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If you start doing well to the point you have one or more office employees, watch your back.

A local cabinet/woodworking shop, must have been a very nice little business....just found out that their office accountant had swiped over $9 million dollars, over several years. She had a gambling and bling habit, and would write herself a check for $25 K every Monday. Business must have been doing quite nicely not to miss that much money. They were not doing proper independent audits, and just loved and trusted this woman. Now, of course, she is in jail, and the business went under. She spent the dough, so although they will be awarded restitution, they will never see much of it.

As Ronnie said, trust but verify.

That happened to a plumbing company in my area years ago.

The secretary and one of the top dogs in the service/remodel division were two in one working together in the deceptive scam.


The plumber slash remodeler would draw a salary weekly from the plumbing company

He was always working on "jobs" but the jobs were his jobs where he was collecting the money personally, doing the work as well

The guy was using the plumbing companies credit cards and paying for all the materials

So, the plumber/remodeler was getting a weekly check, doing jobs that paid him directly and the materials covered by the company he worked for, because the secretary would instantly pay out on these bills and destroy the receipts


9 people were fired,


2 million dollars "that he knew of" was taken from him. The owner of the company couldn't prove it, and the lawyer he attained told him it would cost 50,000 to fight along with an extensive outlay of all the information of records.


What's another 50 grand at this point? It's the massive paperwork trail that was what he didn't want to get into, along with the fact that he'd probably find more deception.

How good can you have it getting paid twice, someone else paying for your materials? Talk about living in the lap of luxury. DAMN

And they got away with it. :blink:
 
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