Business documents

The computer era promised us a paperless society. In reality when it comes to business documentation that’s not always the case. It is important to keep records of all your business transactions whether they are a digital or paper copy. You can digitize all your paper documents if you find it handier to retrieve them. Most of all don’t throw the originals away. What does your most important accounts inspector ‘the revenue’ say on the matter. ‘If the original document was created in digital format you can keep it that way. You must hold on to the original if it was created in paper format’.

  • Income Records
  • Expense Records
  • Vehicle Records
  • Property Records
  • Commercial Leases

Income records

You should keep records of all income related to your business, invoices, bank deposit slips and receipt books. If your a retailer using a cash register, it’s important to keep the register tape and Point of Sale reports. Below are examples of the most common Income documents.

Invoices are bills sent with delivered goods or after a service is complete.  For quicker payment discounts can be included, for instance discount of 5% if your customer pays within 30 days. Download here

Pro-forma invoices are temporary invoices. They are used by your customer to purchase your goods or services when funds are being borrowed from financial institutions . They may request a pro forma invoice as proof for their loans.   Download here

When there has been an overcharge on your invoice a Credit note is issued to your customer. They are also issued when goods have been returned because of damage or goods have not received.  Download here

Expense records

You are required by Revenue to keep track of expenses and any supporting documents that relate to purchases by your business. This includes cheques, till receipts, credit card statements, and bank account statements for debit card transactions. You should take notes showing the what the business purpose was as this will help in the case of an audit.

When your customer makes a payment they are given a receipt.  Download here

If there is an undercharge or omission on your invoice a debit note is sent to your customer.  Download here

A statement of accounts is a document from a supplier to a customer. This shows all the transactions carried out over a period of time.  A statement is usually sent monthly. Download here

If you travel for business make sure to keep track of all your travel expenses. Write on the receipts the purpose of the journey.  It’s important if you have employees to keep track of all Payroll records including payroll expense and employer payroll taxes.

Vehicle records

You are allowed by revenue for a reduction of business income for business related vehicle use.  You should keep track of the vehicle use including details like date, distance, and reason for travel. Use a vehicle log book. Download here

Property records

If your business owns property this is considered an asset. You need to keep track of when you purchased it. What the original value was, the business percentage used, the cost of any improvements made, as well as any deductions such as depreciation.

Commercial leases

When you have an existing company lease, it can be valuable in renegotiation efforts. When your terms expire or your shopping for a new lease.

Common business documents

Here are other common business documents

Dealing with stock

When you are selling goods you will need to stock some of these goods for future customer orders. you will need stock cards to keep a record of all goods entering and leaving your stockroom . This will insure that stock levels will not fall below a minimum amount. Download here

The person receiving your goods must sign a delivery note, this is proof that goods were delivered. The customer is also given a copy of the delivery note.  Download here

Agreements & policies

You can decide to go into partnership as two separate sole traders. Under this arrangement your profits can be split and each person pays their own tax liabilities. If your arrangement gets more complicated, it’s best to work out a partnership agreement. Download here

Your business has information that should remain private. This could be your customer lists, financial records, or your ideas for new pricing plans. An Non-Disclosure Agreement is your first line of defense to protecting your information. This legal document creates your confidential relationship between your business and any contractors. Download here

If you gather any information from your customers or website visitors such as email addresses. You are legally required to have a privacy policy that outlines how this information will be used and not used. Download here