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Keeping business records - electronic-only

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cattleherder
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Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby cattleherder » Mon, 27 Nov 2017 10:25 am

OK, it's a simple one.

As my business is starting to take off, so is the number of receipts and invoices. It's XXI century obviously, and most of the paperwork has no actual paper involved, but there is still some. The accounting software has the option to keep electronic attachments which I use to religiously observe the record-keeping duty.

The question is, though, do I need to keep these few paper receipts physically? My guess is no, but I was surprised a couple of years ago when the top accountant in the Irish branch of a multinational insisted on paper records because supposedly it was a requirement of their taxation authorities. I am wondering how it goes in Singapore, considering that things like a company seal are still in use.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 27 Nov 2017 1:07 pm

I believe, according to our auditors, they have to be kept for 7 years.

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Strong Eagle
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Re: Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 27 Nov 2017 1:17 pm

When my CPA audited my books, she always filed an exception... that I only had scanned PDF's of paper receipts and not the receipts themselves... even though things like taxi receipts fade away to nothing in 3 or 4 weeks.

I didn't care... I had records that I judge would stand up to audit. So, if you want, buy a couple of bankers boxes. Scan and save your receipts, then toss them all in the bankers boxes. Problem solved.

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Re: Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby cattleherder » Mon, 27 Nov 2017 2:48 pm

Darn. I wonder what purpose it accomplishes.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 27 Nov 2017 3:24 pm

Proof. Don't forget, scanned files have a creation date as well as last modified dates, etc. computer forensics can verify the dates of the scans and anybody who would start fudging documents 6 or 7 years before you plan one filing a bogus set of books seems a bit farfetched to me. ;-)

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Re: Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby cattleherder » Mon, 27 Nov 2017 3:27 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Proof. Don't forget, scanned files have a creation date as well as last modified dates, etc. computer forensics can verify the dates of the scans and anybody who would start fudging documents 6 or 7 years before you plan one filing a bogus set of books seems a bit farfetched to me. ;-)

That's what I mean, if the electronic files can provide a complete proof, why do they force us to bother with the paper?

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Re: Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 27 Nov 2017 3:34 pm

This is a funny country. You still need two deposit slips to deposit Cash and cheques at the same time. You still cannot list your cheques total them up and withdraw a sum of cash at the bottom of the deposit slip. We could do that in the US 50 years ago, but still, what's one to do? It's their ball, their court and their rules. I gave up trying to second guess them 3 decades ago. :-k

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Re: Keeping business records - electronic-only

Postby johnkcp » Sun, 03 Dec 2017 4:48 pm

Hi Cattleherder,

Under Singapore Company Act, statutory records need to be kept for 7 years. But it does not specify clearly whether it's in electronic forms or physical forms. But personally, i think electronic forms will be sufficient as most of the receipts now are issued in electronic form and they are acceptable by auditors.

Regards,
John


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