5 Effective Ways to Use Gmail Labels for Finance

Manage your Finance Operations from inside Gmail

Request a Demo

Table of contents

5 Effective Ways to Use Gmail Labels for Finance

Feb 12, 2024
6 min read

Table of contents

Remember the days when grandparents were rummaging through folders and trunks to find important documents? Their desk would be strewn with all sorts of important papers, and if they were lucky, they’d find what they were looking for within the hour.   

Generations later, we’re still scrounging for important documents in the 11th hour of a deadline – except they’re now stored as emails and PDFs. 

Almost all receipts, invoices, and other financial statements are digitized. And if you’re a business, it’s always a good practice to categorize finance-related emails at source – makes it easier to find them later.

Manage your Finance Operations from GmailTry Hiver for Free

So, if you’re working on Gmail and if your goal is to streamline financial workflows, track important information, and improve visibility into tasks, consider using Gmail labels.

Table of Contents

How to set up Gmail Labels?

To set up a Gmail label, follow these steps:

Open your Gmail account in a web browser and sign in if prompted.

  1. On the left side of the Gmail interface, you’ll see a list of labels or folders. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and click on the “More” option. If you don’t see the “More” option, hover over the existing labels to reveal it.
  1. At the bottom of the expanded list, click on the “Create new label” option.
  1. A dialog box will appear. Enter a name for your new label in the “Please enter a new label name” field. Make sure to choose a descriptive name that reflects the purpose of the label.
  1. Optionally, you can nest the new label under an existing label by selecting the “Nest label under” option and choosing the desired parent label. This helps in organizing your labels hierarchically.
  1. Click on the “Create” button to create the label. The label will now appear in the left sidebar, and you can start using it to organize your emails.
  1. To apply the label to an email, select the email by checking the box next to it or open the email you want to label. Then click on the “Label” icon (represented by a tag) above the email or in the toolbar. Select the desired label from the list, and the email will be labeled accordingly.

You can also apply labels automatically using filters. 

  1. To do so, go to Gmail Settings by clicking on the gear icon in the top-right corner.
  1. Select “See all settings” and go to the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab. 
  1. From there, you can create filters to automatically apply labels based on specific criteria.

That’s it! You’ve successfully set up a Gmail label and learned how to apply it to your emails manually or automatically.

How to use Gmail Labels for Finance (with examples)

So can we use these labels to streamline your company’s financial operations? Here are 5 Gmail labeling strategies that can help you gain better visibility into conversations on cashflows, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. 

1. Categorizing and Tracking Expenses

Source: Giphy

Gmail labels provide a systematic approach to categorize and track company expenses. This helps you gain a comprehensive overview of your financial transactions. For instance:

  • Marketing Campaigns: Create a Gmail label for marketing campaigns. Assign the label to emails related to marketing expenses, advertising costs, or campaign invoices. Track costs, compare budget to actual expenses, and assess campaign effectiveness.
  • Research and Development: Establish a Gmail label for R&D expenses. Assign it to emails about project costs, prototype development, or research expenses. Monitor finances, analyze spending patterns, and evaluate ROI for research initiatives.
  • Office Supplies: Implement a Gmail label for office supply expenses. Apply it to emails about supply orders, invoices, or reimbursement requests. Track expenses, monitor trends, and optimize procurement processes.
  • Travel Expenses: Create a Gmail label for travel expenses like “Business Travel.” Assign it to emails on bookings, accommodations, or reimbursement requests. Track, analyze, and identify cost-saving opportunities.
  • Cost Centers: Use Gmail labels to categorize expenses by department. Create labels like “Sales,” “Operations,” “Finance,” or “HR.” Assign labels to gain insights into every department’s expenses and find opportunities to optimize cost savings, monitor budgets, and facilitate cross-department financial analysis.

Track your payments and accelerate cash collection from Gmail

2. Priority and Urgency Management

Source: Giphy

By implementing labels for urgent financial tasks or time-sensitive projects, you can effectively prioritize and manage your financial activities. 

  • Priority Payments: Assign the “Priority Payments” label to urgent payment-related emails like invoices with imminent due dates. This will help you prioritize these emails and ensure timely payments.
  • Critical Reports: Establish a label for important financial reports like monthly statements or tax documents. Apply the “Critical Reports” label to locate and review these important emails quickly.
  • Deadline Approaching: Create a label for emails related to projects or tasks with approaching deadlines. Label them as “Deadline Approaching” to stay focused and ensure timely completion.
  • Investor Communications: Utilize a label for investor relations emails or shareholder updates. Assign the “Investor Communications” label to prioritize and track these important communications.
  • Budget Reviews: Implement a label for emails concerning budget reviews or variance analyses. Use the “Budget Reviews” label to easily identify and review these emails for accurate financial planning and decision-making.
  • Priority Revenue Collection: Create a Gmail label for urgent revenue collection. Apply the “Priority Revenue Collection” label to invoices and payment reminders. Quickly identify and prioritize emails requiring immediate attention to ensure timely revenue collection, reduce payment delays, and maintain a healthy cash flow.

Use these 11 email templates to collect payments from your customers

3. Track your revenue sources

Source: Giphy

Gmail labels can significantly enhance your budgeting and planning processes, providing greater visibility into your financial goals and progress. Consider the following examples:

  • Product Sales: Label emails to track product sales revenue. Assess individual product performance, identify top-sellers, and make informed decisions on pricing, inventory, and marketing.
  • Service Sales: Use labels to monitor revenue from service sales. Analyze service profitability, identify improvement areas, and allocate resources for enhanced quality and expanded offerings.
  • Subscription Revenue: Create labels for tracking subscription revenue. Monitor subscriber growth, analyze churn rates, and evaluate overall performance. Optimize pricing, improve retention strategies, and enhance value for subscribers.

4. Analyzing Financial Data

Source: Giphy

Gmail labels enable efficient analysis of your finances, providing valuable insights for decision-making. Here are some labels you can create for the same:

  • Online Sales: Create a label for online sales transactions. Apply the “Online Sales” label to track revenue from e-commerce or online marketplaces. Analyze performance and improve your online sales strategy.
  • Retail Store Sales: Use a label for emails related to sales in retail stores. Apply the “Retail Store Sales” label to track revenue from physical locations. Monitor performance and assess the impact of promotions.
  • Wholesale Orders: Label emails for wholesale orders. Apply the “Wholesale Orders” label to track revenue from B2B clients. Evaluate profitability and identify key partners.

Compare revenue across labeled sales channels. Review emails under each category to identify top-performing channels and allocate resources effectively. Analyze insights from labeled emails to make informed decisions. Adjust marketing, focus on growth channels, and explore new opportunities for revenue expansion.

5. Compliance and Auditing

Source: Giphy

Gmail labels simplify compliance and auditing processes, ensuring accurate financial reporting. Here are a few examples:

  • SOX Compliance: Create a label for SOX compliance. Assign the “SOX Compliance” label to relevant emails and documents for easy identification during audits.
  • HIPAA Compliance: Establish a label for HIPAA compliance. Apply the “HIPAA Compliance” label to sensitive healthcare-related items for quick tracking during audits.
  • PCI-DSS Compliance: Implement a label for PCI-DSS compliance. Assign the “PCI-DSS Compliance” label to transactions involving credit card data to ensure easy review during audits.
  • Regulatory Frameworks: Expand labels to cover other industry-specific regulations. Create labels like “GDPR Compliance,” “FDA Regulations,” or “SEC Reporting” for effective auditing.

With shared labels for compliance, streamline the audit process. Quickly access labeled items during audits, focusing on necessary areas and addressing compliance issues promptly.

Consequences of Inconsistent Gmail Labeling in Finance

Without proper Gmail labeling:

  • Finding financial information becomes difficult, leading to cluttered inboxes and delays in locating important documents.
  • Important emails and financial opportunities may be overlooked, potentially impacting financial gains or savings
  • Financial reporting and analysis may lead to incomplete or misleading insights.
  • It may be difficult to establish a clear audit trail and meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

It is crucial to establish consistent and effective labeling habits to mitigate these consequences.

And if you want access to more advanced capabilities to help you ensure timely payment and accelerate cash collections – without leaving Gmail, consider using Hiver for your financial operations.

Shobhana has been recognized as a 'Top Customer Support Voice' by LinkedIn. Her expertise lies in creating well-researched and actionable content for Customer Experience (CX) professionals. As an active member of popular CX communities such as CX Accelerator and Support Driven, she helps professionals evaluate tools for their support team and keeps a keen eye on emerging industry trends.

Deliver stellar customer support right from Gmail

* 7-day free trial | No credit card required
CTA image