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What accounting records do you need to keep?

By Samantha Garner | November 21, 2020

most important accounting records canada

In Canada, entrepreneurs must keep accurate financial records of all activities for their company for six years.

Along with your financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow forecast), you must keep records for all the individual accounts that make up those statements.

What are the most important accounting records to keep?

In Canada, the major accounting records that you must accurately keep are:

  • Accounts Receivable: Who owes you money, how much do they owe, and for how long have they owed you?
  • Accounts Payable: Who do you owe money to, how much, and for how long?
  • Inventory: How much inventory did you buy, when did you buy, and how much did you pay? How you account for your inventory will affect your cost of goods sold.
  • GST/HST and Provincial Sales Tax: All businesses with an income over $30,000 per year are required to collect and submit on behalf of the federal government a goods and services tax (GST) and, depending where your business operates, provincial sales tax (PST) or harmonized sales tax (HST).
  • Payroll: Total salaries paid to employees, payroll taxes and deductions.
  • Fixed Assets: What you bought, how much you paid, and when you bought, along with depreciation amounts.
  • Cash: Cash inflows and outflows should be recorded to maintain proper control of cash.
  • Other Records: Including insurance, leases, investments.

Looking for a software solution? Ask your accountant for their advice on which program would be best for you and your business. However, keep in mind that outside accounting advice is still important to small business success. Accountants see loads of businesses in different industries and can help you understand and manage the financial health of your company. They also remove some of your own stress by making sure important financial details aren’t overlooked. Win-win!

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