What books and records should my company keep?

This is Information Sheet 76 (INFO 76). It provides guidance on what officeholders need to consider when keeping written financial records of their transactions.

All companies must keep some form of written financial records that:

  • record and explain their financial position and performance, and
  • enable accurate financial statements to be prepared and audited.

This page gives some examples of records that your company should keep.

What is a 'financial record'?

Financial records can include:

  • invoices
  • receipts
  • cheques
  • books of prime entry
  • working papers and other financial documents.

These records can be electronic, but they must be convertible into hard copy (for example: printed as paper copies).

Even if your records are held by someone else (like your accountant or registered agent), you, as a company officeholder, are still responsible for providing copies to auditors or anyone entitled to inspect your records.

Section 286 of the Corporations Act requires financial records to be kept for at least seven years after the transactions covered by the records are complete.

Examples of records your company should keep

Below are some examples of records and documents that your company should have:

Financial statements

This includes things like profit and loss statements, balance sheets, depreciation schedules and taxation returns.

General ledgers and journals

Electronic copies of critical documents

We'd recommend backing up your most critical business documents on a weekly or even daily basis.

Cash records

This includes cash receipts, records of bank deposits, petty cash books, and cheque butts.

Bank statements and loan documents

Sales and debtor records

Invoices and statements received and paid

This can include correspondence, annual returns, wage records, and superannuation records.

Any unpaid invoices

Minutes of members or directors' meetings

Any resolutions passed by directors or members should also be minuted.

Any relevant registers

This can include a register of members, options, debenture holders, assets or any other relevant items.


This can be deeds of trust, debentures, contracts and agreements, or any inter-company transactions.

What else should I consider?

Companies should also consider preparing monthly statements to track financial performance and identify any risks. Some examples include:

A statement of comprehensive income

This provides an overview of the company's revenue and expenses, and the resulting profit/loss.

A statement of financial position

This provides an overview of the company's equity and also any debts it owes.

A statement of cash flows

This summarises any incoming and outgoing cash.

If you have any doubts about the type of records you should keep, we recommend getting advice from an accountant or business professional.

Related links

Important notice

Please note that this information sheet is a summary giving you basic information about a particular topic. It does not cover the whole of the relevant law regarding that topic, and it is not a substitute for professional advice. We encourage you to seek your own professional advice to find out how the applicable laws apply to you, as it is your responsibility to determine your obligations.

You should also note that because this information sheet avoids legal language wherever possible, it might include some generalisations about the application of the law. Some provisions of the law referred to have exceptions or important qualifications. In most cases, your particular circumstances must be taken into account when determining how the law applies to you.

Information sheets provide concise guidance on a specific process or compliance issue or an overview of detailed guidance.

This information sheet was issued in January 2012.

Search our registers

Use our online services

Find a form

Contact us

Last updated: 27/01/2012 12:00