Being self employed or having a small business means taking up many roles all on your own.  Financial management could be neglected due to time limitations as you focus on developing your existing customers and searching for new ones. 

This blog will help you understand the importance of record keeping as a self employed or small business and what’s the best way to do it. So by the end of the blog, you’ll be able to tackle your financial dealings easily and quickly!

Refer to the Table of Contents below for points you want to learn more about.



1. Why to keep records as a self employed/small business?

Although you’re not formally required to keep records, it is better to maintain your business records as it helps you answer all IRAS queries.

2. Which documents are required for record keeping

You need documents called source documents to maintain your financial records. Refer to the list below for list of documents required

So gather all your business documents now and get on to the next steps where we talk about how to manage them.

3. Resources and reference materials

If you are new to record keeping, you can refer to many trusted sources to get samples, templates and guidelines to ensure you’re keeping records properly such as official website of IRAS where you can find lots of information.

4. How to keep records - Traditional and Modern methods


Traditional record keeping means writing all transactions, for example in a book. These transactions are supported by source documents like invoices, receipts from suppliers and receipts issued to customers. For legibility, maintain photocopies of these receipts before they fade. 

Here’s a quick tip : 


The modern method uses technology to keep records digitally in a computer or an accounting software which is generally accepted to be the more convenient and efficient method. 


5. Best practices for record keeping

You must follow good record keeping habits on a regular basis to avoid last minute hassle. Here are some key points to keep in mind while keeping your records – whether manually or digitally – 

6. Common mistakes in record keeping

As a self employed or small business, it is easy to make mistakes due to lack of awareness. We will discuss some common mistakes that you can avoid in your financial record keeping to maintain accuracy and transparency in records. 

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It is best to have basic knowledge about business finance management but if you find it difficult or time consuming to do all these tasks yourself, it is suggested that you take professional help. 

In the end, now that you have learned the different methods of record keeping, the tips to keep in mind, and common mistakes to avoid, gather your documents and start organizing now!

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