Staying on top of record keeping

We get it: it’s an arduous process to manage the records, receipts, bills and payments that a business generates, but staying on top of record keeping is vital to the success of your business.

According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the records you must keep and how long you need to retain them depends on the type of designated services you provide.

At North Advisory, we understand that the process of record keeping feels like a ‘micro detail’ when you’re busy reaching for the goals that will help your business to flourish.

You want to focus on connecting with your customers and finding new areas for growth, right?

Our team of Chartered Accountants can manage all your tax and compliance matters so that you can stop stressing and enjoy building your business.

Here are some tips for ensuring your business does its best to maintain good record-keeping to streamline this process.

What is a financial record?

What is a financial record?

ASIC states that financial records can include:

  • invoices
  • receipts
  • cheques
  • books of prime entry
  • working papers and other financial documents.

These records can be electronic, but they must be convertible into hard copy (for example: printed as paper copies). Even if someone else holds your records (like your accountant or registered agent), you, as a company officeholder, are still responsible for providing copies to auditors.

ASIC legislation states: “Section 286 of the Corporations Act requires financial records to be kept for at least seven years after the transactions covered by the records are complete.”

Financial records you should keep

Financial records you should keep

ASIC provides us with a list of vital documents and records that every company should keep, namely:

  • Financial statements
    Including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, depreciation schedules and taxation returns.
  • Electronic copies of critical documents
    Don’t forget to back up your most critical business documents on a weekly or even daily basis.
  • Cash records
    Including cash receipts, records of bank deposits, petty cash books and cheque butts.
  • Bank statements and loan documents
  • Sales and debtor records
  • Invoices and statements received and paid
    Including correspondence, annual returns, wage records and superannuation records.
  • Any unpaid invoices
  • Minutes of members or directors’ meetings
    Details of resolutions passed by directors or members should also be minuted.
  • Any relevant registers
    This may include a register of members, options, debenture holders, assets or any other relevant items.
  • Deeds
    These can be deeds of trust, debentures, contracts and agreements, or any intercompany transactions.

Five tips to stay on top of record-keeping

Effective record-keeping helps ensure information about your business is structured and accessible and goes a long way in paving your path to business growth and success.

Some handy tips for record management include:

1. Establish record-keeping policies and procedures

Define the rules and processes for collating, keeping and storing important records to ensure your business consistently manages them and that each employee understands the expectations for record keeping.

2. Ensure records are easily accessible

While some business records will need to be stored under password protection or lock and key, for the most part, employees in your organisation should be able to easily access the records they require to carry out their roles and assist in ensuring they adhere to record keeping policies and procedures.

Utilise online and offline systems to order and file records in easily accessible ways.

3. Archive when appropriate

Records should be kept as long as the business needs them to adhere to compliance standards, but an effective record-keeping system will have an archiving process to keep things manageable.

Implement a record management timeline as part of your record keeping procedures to ensure files are kept for the appropriate length of time.

4. Seek training

There are software systems that can greatly improve an organisation’s record keeping and it makes sense that staff will need to be trained to use these systems to ensure they can effectively manage record keeping.

Ensure each employee involved in record keeping procedures can confidently manage the software systems you use as part of your records management.

5. Outsource when needed

Depending on the nature of your business, it may be necessary to outsource your record keeping.

At North Advisory, we can help minimise your stress by implementing efficient processes and tailoring our accounting services to meet all your needs.

Accounting services for businesses

Accounting services for businesses

When you engage our tax and compliance services, you will enjoy peace of mind from knowing that all your regulatory needs are met.

We continually monitor your business accounts and financial reports to find any new opportunities that may further promote a beneficial tax position.

Regardless of whether you work in industrial and manufacturing or professional services, we have the resources and the professional capacity to manage complicated processes with ease.

Work with the team at North Advisory, and you can be confident that we’ve covered everything.

If you’d like to discuss your business’s tax and compliance issues with our team, please contact us today.

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