Keeping good business records is important for a number of reasons. It assists you to:
Broadly, the ATO requires that:
you keep most records for five years from when you obtained the records, or completed the transactions or acts that they relate to – whichever is the later
you be able to show the ATO your records if they ask for them
your records must be in English or be able to be easily converted to English.
The ATO is reminding business owners that you can keep your records (paper/hard copies) digitally. The ATO accepts images of business paper records saved on a digital storage medium, provided the digital copies are true and clear reproductions of the original paper records and meet the standard record keeping requirements.
Once you have saved an image of your original paper records, you don’t have to keep the paper records unless a particular law or regulation requires you to.
However, if you enter information (for example, supplier information, date, amount and GST) from digital or paper records into your accounting software, you still need to keep a copy of the actual record, either digitally or on paper. Some accounting software packages may do both your accounting as well as your record keeping.
f you use cloud storage, either through your accounting software or through a separate service provider, eg, Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive or Dropbox, ensure:
Regardless of your E-Invoicing software or system, your business is responsible for determining the best option for storing business transaction data. You should:
As the ATO point out, there are many advantages to keeping your records digitally. If, for example, you use a commercially-available software package, it may help you: