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Business record-keeping systems – digital or manual

ATO information for businesses about choosing between a digital and manual record-keeping system.

Last updated 14 March 2021

Your business record-keeping system can be digital or manual. We are progressively moving towards digital reporting for tax, super and employer obligations. Where possible, we recommend businesses use digital record keeping.

The same record-keeping principles and practices apply, regardless of the system you use.

Keeping your records digitally should make some tasks easier and save you time once you have your system set up. It will also make it easier and cheaper to store your records. You can claim a tax deduction for some digital record-keeping expenses, for example:

  • capital expenses, such as computers. If you're an eligible business, you may be able to claim the business portion of the expense of the asset in the same year you buy it, under the instant asset write-off rules
  • expenses of commercial off-the-shelf record-keeping software you use in your business, including subscription fees.

If you intend to use a registered tax or BAS agent, get their advice about the best system for you.

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Digital record-keeping packages can help businesses meet their tax, super and employer obligations.

ATO information about manual or paper-based record-keeping for businesses with less complex business affairs.