Good business recordkeeping is as important in Australia as it is anywherec for so many reasons: it can help you manage costs for legal, tax and regulatory reasons; and it can also help your business grow and improve.
If you are just starting up your business in Australia, you might not think about record-keeping first, but it's important. When you start with good record-keeping habits, you have a strong foundation to build upon.
Here is everything you need to know about the records to keep for your business.
What Is Recordkeeping?
Recordkeeping is the systematic and methodical collection, management and retention of legally, ethically and appropriately captured information. There is no one right way to do it, which means that you are free to determine the exact method of recordkeeping that works best for your business.
For new business owners, it's important to know that recordkeeping is not just about having documents. It's about having a complete set of documents.
This way, you have all the information you need to make any kind of business decision when you need it.
Why Should You Keep Records?
1) Legal Compliance
As an eCommerce business, you might be thinking that you don't need to create the same kinds of records that a brick and mortar store would.
However, your business is still subject to the same laws and regulations as a traditional business. For example, if you are selling products in Australia and you are using a website to sell items, you will be subject to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and the Australian GST.
The ACL legally requires you to have records to ensure that you are meeting your legal responsibilities.
2) Efficient Tax Payment
Keeping good business records can also help you pay the right amount of tax on time. By keeping the right kinds of records, you can help the ATO to make sure that you are meeting your tax payment obligations.
You will also be able to use your business records to help you manage your business overall. This can help you to save on tax as well because you can take advantage of tax deductions.
3) Theft Prevention
Good business recordkeeping is also crucial to theft prevention. If your staff members have access to customer information and to customer funds, you need to be able to filter and monitor their access.
Without good records, you won’t be able to tell when something is being tampered with or misused.
What Records Should You Keep?
Make sure to keep track of all your accounting records and contracts. For contracts especially, this includes signed contracts, contracts that you have signed electronically, and even email exchanges that indicate you are in a legally binding agreement.
You should also maintain any customer records, including copies of agreements (including the original signed agreements), and information about orders.
If you have just started your own eCommerce business, it might not seem like keeping business records is something that you have to do. However, it is still something that you will want to start right away so that you can make the most of your business.
To keep track of your most important financial records, you will need the help of an accountant for eCommerce. The ECommerce Accountant offers bookkeeping and accounting services to help you build the foundation for your new business. Contact us today to get started.