Which business records do I need to keep for my company?

Good record keeping is an essential part of financial management. You can think of an efficient filing system as akin to an insurance policy; should you ever need to provide additional information for your tax return or you become involved in a legal dispute, having the pertinent information to hand will prove invaluable.

HMRC insists that you must keep records for your company for at least six years. This is because they may need to see the information you used to complete your company tax return, and if you're not able to produce it, you may have to pay a fine. You may need to keep records for considerably longer to calculate capital gains or losses on assets such as land, shares, or other valuable items.

Hard copy or digital?

It's a good idea to have both a hard copy file and a digital copy stored either on physical drives or in cloud storage. This is to ensure against the possible loss of records. However, some records must exist in hard copy forms, such as documents bearing an original signature or those which have been notarised or contain a raised seal. Others may only need to be kept digitally; your accountant or lawyer can advise on the most appropriate methods of storage.

Common records to keep

Not every company is required to keep exactly the same type of records, but here are some typical examples of documents that must be retained.

  • Pay As You Earn records
  • Sales and takings
  • Purchases and expenses
  • Assets, liabilities, income and expenditure
  • VAT records
  • CIS records
  • Benefits records

Keeping and maintaining detailed records for extended periods of time may seem time-consuming. However, sophisticated accounting software can help monitor and retrieve information when required, making the task easier and letting you get on with running the business.

Take expenses, for example. With employees booking their own travel and hotels, clocking up mileage and fuel, and entertaining clients, it isn't easy to keep control of company spending or approve expenses before they've happened. The Soldo prepaid business cards and admin dashboard allows your finance team to customise rules and limits for each individual card. Our mobile apps allow employees to photograph and send copies of their receipts for approval as they travel, allowing expense approval to occur in real time.

The result is a time-saving system which creates digital records of all employee expenses, which have been automatically filed and are ready to be used for presenting a company tax return.

The benefits of using our expense monitoring system are not restricted to financial record keeping. Employees no longer have to wait for reimbursement after filing their expense claim. In fact, they don't even need to save the receipts and compile the claim; the app can have everything submitted before they even return from their trip.

The prepaid element to the card gives them the freedom to go out and do business without the worry of being out of pocket while allowing you to exercise precise control over the amount they spend and the nature of their purchases. The dashboard gives your finance team better insight into patterns and trends as to how and where the company's expenses are incurred.

Most importantly, our software is compatible with major expense management platforms, such as Xero, Sage and Quickbooks to name but a few. Integration into other software applications means that all your records truly are at your fingertips, ready to retrieve whenever you need them.

Visit us here and take a look at how our smart spending solution can help you organise your expense record keeping.

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