One of the key responsibilities of a business owner is to keep accurate records and to ensure that your files and documents are all updated – not only for tax time but also for the longer term in case of an audit, and also for compliance.
When you keep good records, you can monitor how your business is performing, and you won’t have to worry when the EOFY rolls around. It’s pretty simple, really, and yet there are so many business owners who come to us worried about how their records are incomplete! Running a business means you have a whole lot of other things to think about – not just record keeping – and we wanted to help you make this process easier.
At Go Figured, we are in the business of helping your business to perform in the best possible way that it can – which is why we wrote this short piece to explain some of the ways to keep accurate records for your business.
Read on for some handy tips and then call us for record keeping made simple. You can reach us on (07) 3608 4206 or get in touch with us online, and we will get back to you to help you with your bookkeeping.
What do you need to keep a record of?
Before we get into the how, we thought we’d go over the what. Here’s a list of the critical stuff you need to keep track of in your business:
- Your business records. This includes income, expenses, bank statements, GST information and any other expenses for a minimum of five years — but some records will need to be retained for longer. Note that the information you keep must be sufficiently detailed to be able to calculate and support any claimed amounts on tax returns.
- Information about cash and online/EFTPOS transactions. This information must also be kept for a minimum of five years.
- Valid GST purchase information.
- Private purchase information. This information is relevant to working out when you have used business funds which can be claimed. If you have a business card which is used for some personal purchases, then highlight and keep these records.
Depending on your industry, there may also be extra information which you need to record for compliance and record-keeping. At Go Figured we can assist you in understanding what this information is.
How to keep better records
One of the biggest bugbears for business owners is keeping accurate records and having everything accessible and easy to find. We make record keeping simple at Go Figured because we manage everything on your behalf, but we also wanted to share some simple tips in the hopes it helps you streamline things.
- Use a form of accounting/record keeping app or software which allows you to take a picture of receipts and store this information securely online. After all, one big issue is that receipts fade over time which can lead to dramas with claiming and reimbursing.
- Store all of your records electronically and ensure that you have a backup in place. It’s a good idea to store your document and records in the cloud either through your accounting software/application or with something like Google Docs.
- Work with a bookkeeper who takes care of your record keeping for you! We make storing, accessing, and reporting on your documents simple and free your time to focus on things that are more important.
The bottom line is that record keeping isn’t simple; as a business, you have a lot of expenses and until some incredibly sophisticated record-keeping technology comes into play where business and personal expenses are all records and instantly updated to the ATO, we all have to do our bit to keep track of things. But if you’re finding that you’re spending too much time on recording expenses or if you’re just sick of having to do the work – contact us and let us take care of it for you.