Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)
Small business-what books and records should my company keep
correctly record and explain its transactions and financial position and performance, and
enable true and fair financial statements to be prepared and audited.
'Financial records' include invoices, receipts, cheques, working papers and other documents needed to explain the methods by which your financial reports are prepared. Financial records must be kept for seven years.
financial statements (not required for small proprietary companies but recommended) – for example, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets, depreciation schedules and taxation returns
general ledger and general journal
computer back-up discs – suggested frequency is at least monthly
cash records – for example, cash receipts journal, bank deposit books, cash payments journal, cheque butts and petty cash books
bank account statements, bank reconciliations and bank loan documents
sales/debtor records – for example, sales journal, debtors ledger, list of debtors, invoices and statements issued, and delivery dockets
creditors records – for example, invoices and statements received and paid, creditors ledger and unpaid invoices
all correspondence, annual returns and ASIC forms
wages and superannuation records
registers of members (where applicable), options, debenture holders, prescribed interests, charges and unclaimed property
minutes of meetings of directors and/or members, and
deeds (where applicable) – for example, for trusts, debentures, contracts and agreements, such as hire purchase and leases, and inter-company transactions, including guarantees.
Financial records may be kept electronically, but must be convertible into hard copy. Even when records are kept on a third party's computer, such as your accountant's computer, you must provide a hard copy to a person entitled to inspect the records.
Seek professional advice if you have any doubt about which financial records should be prepared and kept.
Knowing your legal requirements - companies
Knowing your legal requirements - business names
Directors and financial reporting
Companies that must lodge financial reports with ASIC
Keeping your company details up to date
Changing a company type
Changing a company name
Ensuring your company is solvent
Annual statements and late fees
How to lodge documents and avoid late fees
Waiving a late lodgement fee
Illegal phoenix activity
Your obligation as a company director
Directors and financial reporting - INFO 183
What books and records should my company keep? - INFO 76
Your company and the law - INFO 79