Singapore is one of those nations that are recognized for the lenience it extends for supporting new business startups in the form of tax exemptions and other associated benefits. What it does not tolerate however, is the lenience in the part of these business entities when it comes to maintaining their records. While it is true that the effort that goes behind maintenance of records especially for a developing business can be herculean, failing to meet with this critical requirement is sure to meet severe consequences.
So, if you are a new startup in Singapore, it will be mandatory for your existent and operational corporate / business enterprise to maintain complete records of all business transactions that have taken place over the past 5 years. And NO! You cannot get away with blurry records like those displaying ‘approximate’ values in place of ‘exact values’.
These half hearted efforts are never accepted by Singapore authorities. The providers of accounting services Singapore are too cautious about maintaining the books because the penalties that accompany non-compliance are usually hefty.
Nature of penalties you can expect: A fine of amount not exceeding S$1,000 along with imprisonment of 6 month term (or lesser) should inspire you to do all that it takes to be in the good books of the authorities. A clean and clear organizational setup usually aids the process of successful record maintenance. What also matters equally is the information on what records to maintain and what can be taken lightly.
Here is a list of the records that you must maintain to perfection irrespective of the type of enterprise you run…
- Sales Records: This includes the maintenance of Cash registers, issued receipts, issued invoices, annual monthly commission for agents etc.
- Purchase Records: This includes invoices received, description of products / services, obtained receipts with details like date, name of supplier, amount paid etc.
- Banking Records: Maintenance of banking records includes record of personal bank account and those opened for business purposes separately and comprehensively, maintenance of updated passbooks, encouragement of transactions made by cheque.
- Business Expenses Record: This is more like an all inclusive record of every penny spent to support the core and the peripheral requirements of the concerned business. Inclusion of staff remuneration, transport and traveling expenses, entertainment expenses and payment for individual services are made in this section.
Developing good record keeping practices is the key to nurturing a healthy business environment not just in Singapore but in any nation whatsoever. In fact, looking through these records at regular intervals time can help you open your eyes to thefts and leakages that may be going on behind your back. It is also great for incorporating critical decision making and planning improvements.