One of the most frequent questions we have from our clients is “How long do we need to keep our accounting records for?”
You must normally retain your company or organisation’s business and accounting records for at least six years from the end of your Corporation Tax accounting period. For example, if your accounting period ends on 31 March 2013, you’ll need to keep the records for that period until at least 31 March 2019.
But there are certain records that you must keep in their original form. These include:
- dividend vouchers
- bank interest certificates
The good news is that you can store your documents in an electronic format such as a scanned pdf document, or files saved onto a CD/DVD. You need to scan in both sides of a document if appropriate (for example some purchase invoices have the T&C’s on the reverse side).
For those fiddly little receipts for train fares, milk and the office window cleaner, take a photo with your mobile and discard the receipt. Make sure the text is clear and legible.
Freeagent users can use the Mobileagent app to record expenses while on the move.
Similar apps are available for Xero users, such as Abukai
Above all, keep your records (paper or digital) well organised by year, quarter and month. This makes it far less stressful if you get a visit from HMRC or need to double check something from last year.