Record keeping for small businesses

Record keeping for small businesses


Businesses that fail to keep accurate records may struggle to remain compliant at tax time and incur financial penalties from the ATO.

Follow the ATO’s record keeping guidelines to stay organised.

Basic organisation tips:

  • Keep records electronically (if possible)
  • Keep evidence of all transactions
  • Take photos of paper receipts to avoid faded records
  • Keep all business records including income, expenses and bank records- you generally need to keep them for five years
  • Keep your business records separate from your personal records

Financial tips:

  • Make sure business records include cash, online, EFTPOS, bank statements, credit and debit card transactions
  • Records should be kept of sales and other business income and business expenses which can be claimed as a deduction
  • Keep records showing when you use business purchases for private purposes, which will help you work out the business portion you can claim as a deduction
  • Use the ATO record keeping evaluation tool to review your record-keeping practices from time to time and see if you’re still on the right track
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If you believe the matters discussed above are relevant to your business, please contact Darren Smith of our office to discuss further.


Darren is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience, including working in the big 4 and medium sized firms before becoming a partner of a city based firm in 2000.

He has gained much experience and has extensive knowledge in providing business and taxation advice, superannuation planning, negotiation of sales and acquisitions of businesses and property development. His client base covers a wide range of industry groups.

Darren works with business owners to grow their businesses and create personal wealth within and outside of their business.


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