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Keeping Up With Bookkeeping

Keeping Up With Bookkeeping - records — receipts, proofs, documents, etc. — have to be carefully stored for up to seven years as per NZ law.

What kinds of records do I need to reserve for bookkeeping?

For any business-starter, this is the most important point. These records — receipts, proofs, documents, etc. — have to be carefully stored for up to seven years as per NZ law. Here is a summarised list of the types of record-keeping you should be aware of:

 ⇒  Income Records — These include credit card sales, vouchers and voucher schedules, debit notes, credit notes, and cash register tapes (from cash sales). 

 ⇒  Tax Invoices — This is a document which includes the name and registration number of the supplier, name, and address of the recipient, date the tax invoice is being issued, a description of the good and services supplied, the quantity or volume of the goods and services supplied and the total amount of tax charged.

 ⇒  Financial Reports — Usually, small companies are not required to prepare financial accounts if they are not part of a group of companies, and haven't derived income in excess of $30,000, and haven't incurred expenditure in excess of $30,000. These reports are generally only applicable to companies with an annual revenue of $30 million or less, and assets of $60 million or less.

 ⇒  Wage Books — Your wage book should contain details such as total gross earnings, the amount before PAYE is deducted, the amount of PAYE deducted, any payroll giving donations and tax credits for them, any child support allowances, any student loan repayments, any KiwiSaver employee deductions, any KiwiSaver employer contributions, any net KiwiSaver employer contributions, any ESCT, and value of tax-free reimbursing allowances. A summary of the wag book will also be required to be made separately.

 ⇒  Audit Records — These include accounting records, general ledgers, journals, subsidiary account books, charts and codes of accounts, accounting instruction manuals, and system and program documentation that describe your accounting system. These records can either be kept in written format or electronically stored. Either way, it is best to keep both the old and new records.

 ⇒  Deposit Books — You can get these from the banks, they provide large deposit books with carbonized copies so you can keep a copy for yourself. They usually include the date of deposit, the payer's name (the person you got the funds from), the amount of each deposit, columns for whether the deposit is a cheque, credit card or cash.

 ⇒  Cashbooks — These are used to record all money that your business pays and receives, including cheque, direct credit, internet and telephone banking, and automatic teller machines. You also record all sales and purchases related to your business each month.

 ⇒  Banking Records — Cheque books - record the full details on the cheque-book as you write out each cheque.

 ⇒  Deposit Books — These include bank statements from your business and private accounts. You can make an arrangement with your bank to issue your statement. Ensure that you clearly identify money you withdraw from your business account for personal use as "personal drawings", and any money you introduce to the business from your own personal funds as "personal funds introduced".

 ⇒  Expense Records — These include invoices for purchases of more than $50, which you must receive when you buy goods or services on credit for the business, evidence of payment for purchases of $50 or less, evidence of credit card purchases, including credit card vouchers, payment receipts, and monthly statements. Also, keep the invoice issued at the time of purchase.

 ⇒  Petty Cash Books — This is generally maintained to reduce the burden of 'Main Cash Book', where only petty (small) expenses are recorded. No receipt (except the Chief Cashier), however small it may be, is recorded in it.

Nowadays, most information can be safely stored on a computer or an online cloud. If you already have cloud access or accounting software like Xero, where you store and calculate your accounts, well and good. If not, we can help guide you through it. Just sign up with us.

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How do I make bookkeeping easier?

We know all that information seems a little too much, so many records to keep, the nitty-gritty of it all can be a little hectic. But, by law, every business is required to do so. Here is what you can do to simplify it:

  1. Set a time each week only for bookkeeping. This not only helps you stay on top of things but it will also show you know how your business is doing and where it is heading - thus controlling your cash flow.

  2. Keep a separate bank account purely for your business - earnings and expenses. This keeps you from mixing up your private transactions with your business transactions.

  3. Get all your tax and compliance obligations right, again, this is something we can guide you with. Do it right the first time and you're settled.

  4. Always, always keep your receipts so you can claim expenses.

  5. If you employ staff, you must register for PAYE Withholding Tax.

  6. Pay your bills on time — we advise you to club this with your weekly bookkeeping session so you do not fall prey to debt.

  7. Go paperless. It'll not only save you physical space but you'll also end up with online filing which is super easy to use and readily available everywhere and on every device.

  8. Don’t over-categorize, don’t get caught up with too many details such as staplers, printer ink, coffee all - simply label these as “office items”. But at the same time, don’t under-categorize - don't dump all expenses into “general”, or “miscellaneous”.

  9. Set up your Xero accounting software (we can help you with this). The key benefit to this is that you can access your financial records anywhere, anytime. Plus, your files will automatically be backed up regularly in the cloud.

We hope you find some gold-worthy tip there; if not, and you have doubts or questions, talk to us!

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I am new and glad I picked Accounting4Me as my accountants and in handling my taxes. I have never had any bad experiences so far.

Maia Koa

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Auckland, New Zealand


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