My Writing > The Organizational Challenge

15 Jan 2004

The Organizational Challenge

By Eileen Reppenhagen

Feeling organizationally challenged?  What’s in those piles of paper and other items all over your office?  Is there dust on the top of the piles you don’t have time to organize and file away?  Take 10 minutes to consider your system for organizing your books and papers.  What documentation, be it paper, computer or disk, do we keep in our office or home office that is not on the list below?  When was the last time you gave your office organizational system a tune up? 

Can you quickly and easily put your finger on all of the items on this list?  Please let me know if you find something missing from my list.  It's no wonder we have problems coming to grips with what, how and where to organize our documents.   

This list was the result of a mind map using some mind mapping software.  Check out this cool educational software, you can download a free copy for a 30 day trial.   

Accounting for our own business

  1. Bank Statements
  2. Calendars
  3. Ownership papers for Assets and Investments, RRSP’s
  4. Credit Card Statements
  5. Day-timers
  6. Loan and mortgage documents, statements
  7. Employee documentation
  8. Financial Statements
  9. GST returns and documentation
  10. Insurance contracts, life, house, disability, medical
  11. Legal contracts, Wills, Power of Attorney
  12. Minute Books
  13. Monthly Reports from the business
  14. Payroll PD7A’s, T4 Summaries and T4’s
  15. PST reports and calculations
  16. Purchases for business (write-offs) and personal (warranties)
  17. Queries and Notes
  18. Sales invoices
  19. Tax information about Capital Dividend Accounts, T5’s, T3’s, T2’s
  20. Time Sheets
  22. WCB correspondence and reports
  23. Year end reports and tax returns
  24. Km logs
  25. Professional Development Points 

Our files on our clients

  1. Billing
  2. Correspondence
  3. Individual Jobs/Projects
  4. Permanent information
  5. Reports and Job Summaries
  6. Previous Jobs/Projects

Our client’s documentation (we give this back once we’re finished)

  1. Banking
  2. Sales
  3. Purchases
  4. Debts
  5. Tax receipts
  6. Payroll
  7. GST, PST, WCB
  8. Investments
  9. Budgets
  10. Minute books, other


  1. Backups, be it on disk, second hard drive, offsite
  2. Original Programs and documentation

Contact Management System

  1. Offsite copy
  2. Privacy policy and code / commitment to privacy


  1. Government (various)
  2. In-house forms we design and use
  3. Samples of other people’s forms


  1. Foreign exchange rates
  2. Interest rates
  3. Statistics


  1. Contract
  2. Research
  3. Working papers
  4. Client Documents


  1. Banking
  2. Books       
  3. Credit Cards
  4. Critical Items Box
  5. Debts
  6. Investments
  7. Ownership
  8. Photos
  9. Recipes
  10. Reference Books
  11. Retirement
  12. Tax
  13. Collections
  14. Writing
  15. Medical history of family members
  16. Claims yet to be filed for medical insurance
  17. Next year’s tax receipts
  18. Previous year’s tax returns and documentation
  19. Divorce, separation, alimony
  20. Birthdays, anniversaries, special dates 

Records Retention

  1. Policy for retention
  2. Storage organization
  3. Privacy Policy


  1. List of what's on the computer
  2. Box of disks/tapes/CDs/DVDs for Offsite storage for recovery


  1. Subject matter files of interest
  2. Computer folder/file organization systems
  3. Books and resource materials on our shelves


Eileen facilitates a workshop,  Record Keeping Simplified, What you Own and what you Owe.  Book Eileen as the speaker for your next event.  Eileen can be reached at 604-943-7414 or


Eileen Reppenhagen




Copyright 2003-2018  Eileen Reppenhagen   Site Accessibility    Privacy policy    More legal stuff    Contact

Disclaimer: This website does not research or endorse any product or service appearing in links or advertisements anywhere on this site. 

I consider requests to update a particular page if there's an error or new information worth adding.

CRA has updated their website. If the link has a note that it's been archived, it's likely in their new Folio's or will be in the Folio's in the future.

If someone were to make an offer to purchase the rights to TaxDetective (Trademarked in Canada), I'm open to offers. 

Please do NOT rely on or use the information on this website as a basis for a course of action without obtaining appropriate professional advice, in writing. 

All Intuit®, QuickBooks® Software,Quicken® Software and Profile® Software trademarks remain the property of their respective holders, and are used only to describe the products discussed on this website.

Any usage of the above-mentioned marks anywhere in this website in no way indicates any relationship, endorsement, or affiliation with the holders of said trademarks other than specifically stated, for example, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor.