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Record keeping course

What to do if you are required to complete a record keeping course as part of a review or audit of your business.

Last updated 29 January 2024

What is good record keeping

Record keeping is an essential part of running a business. Keeping accurate and complete records for all your business transactions will help you stay on top of your cash flow and legal requirements.

If you are subject to a review and we determine you have not kept accurate and complete records, the Commissioner of Taxation can direct you to complete an approved record keeping course or impose a financial penalty.

A record keeping course will help you understand your obligations and get back on track. It is your choice whether you accept a direction to undertake a record keeping course or a financial penalty.

About the record keeping course

After an audit or review of your business, we may identify that your record keeping is not accurate and complete, and we will direct you to complete a record keeping courseExternal Link.

You will have 28 days to complete this course. We understand running your business is your priority, so if you are unable to complete the course during this time, you will need to contact us prior to the due date of the course.

The course will be available online and can be completed at a time that is convenient for you. It includes topics such as:

  • what records you need to keep, and for how long
  • the best ways to keep records
  • the benefits of keeping accurate and complete records
  • how to keep records secure.

Completing the course

As the business owner, you are accountable for understanding and meeting your record keeping obligations even if you use a registered tax or BAS agent to manage your records.

The person who is responsible for your business record keeping should complete the record keeping course:

  • if the entity is a sole trader – the individual
  • if the entity is a business – the individual who makes, or participates in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business. For example, if the entity is a company, a director or public officer of the company; or if the entity is a partnership, a partner in the partnership.

If you disagree with our decision to direct you to complete an approved record keeping course, you may be eligible to lodge an objection. If you choose to lodge an objection, you need to lodge your objection before the due date of the course or, if we have previously allowed you an extension of time to complete the course, then before the extended due date. We will advise you of the outcome of your objection.

If you still do not meet your record keeping obligations in the future and have previously completed the course, we will take this into account in any future reviews of your business. You may be directed to complete the record keeping course again or receive a penalty.