Keeping good business records

Now you've decided to go into business, it's vital that you keep accurate records.

It makes it easier to keep track of your income and expenses and will assist you with budgeting and management decisions. There is also a legal requirement to keep accurate records.

There are a few basic rules for effective record keeping:

  • Keep all records for at least 7 years.
  • Electronic records are OK, but please remember to back up your information on a regular basis.
  • Keep receipts for all transactions, even those under $50.
  • Keep copies of any records that might fade like EFTPOS receipts.
  • Staple small receipts to an A4 sheet to avoid losing them.
  • All records must be in English (unless you have approval from us to use a different language).
  • If you haven't already opened bank accounts for your business and another account where you deposit enough money for your tax payments you should do so now.
  • There are some specific rules around cloud computing and tax records. Find out more in our Revenue Alert on "cloud computing" and tax records.
  • There are some useful resources to assist you with effective record keeping.

Business.govt.nz has some great tips on:

You'll find some useful tools on our website:

Decide on a record keeping system that suits you, e.g. you may choose to use a cashbook or an accounting software programme.