As a business owner, you’re required by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to keep records for a minimum of five years, in plain English, and in a way the ATO can access if they need it.

Find out what records you should keep, and evaluate how well your business is keeping records by using the ATO’s record keeping evaluation tool.  

Keep track of your procedures

Make note of the procedure you use for filing your records – so if someone has to do it for you they know what to do. And as your business grows, this is a job you could give someone else to do

Financial record keeping

For any transaction that has a financial element, the ATO requires you to keep:

  • copies of invoices and receipts you provide for goods sold or services rendered
  • invoices for goods or services you purchase, or bills you pay such as rent, rates, insurance, licence fees
  • payments to employees and to other organisations on behalf of employees, such as super funds, and PAYG tax
  • financial statements including profit and loss statement and balance sheet
  • tax return information
  • bank account and credit card statements
  • end of year stocktake records, assets register.

Good practice records management should include preparing and using both the profit and loss budget and cash flow forecast.

Business record keeping

In addition to your ATO financial records requirements, other government departments require you to keep records relating to your business and employees.

When setting up your record keeping system, keep:

  • contracts, insurance agreements and other legal documents
  • your lease – if you’re renting
  • licences and permits
  • employee records – including time sheets, copies of pay slips 
  • safety records, such as risk assessment for occupational health and safety
  • any other records which are ‘business activity’ specific and required by law for the operation of your business, for example a food safety plan for a café owner.

Why not take advantage of a no cost, obligation free consultation with the team at Business Wise to discuss how we can help. Contact us now to get started!

Business Wise
The team at Business Wise don't just do bookkeeping and accounting - we believe that successful businesses are those that are informed, proactive and open to change, and we want to help you on your journey to success.