Archiving administrative records

Each entrepreneur is required by law to keep his administrative records for seven years (fiscal retention duty). Have you outsourced (part of) your administrative duties to a computer or payroll service firm? The data carriers of these service firms that contain data about your company are also governed by the fiscal retention duty.

Administrative records

All data about your company captured on paper or in an electronic format are part of your administrative records. Examples are:

  • cash administration (including draft nodes) and receipts;
  • financial notes, such as the procurement and sales ledger;
  • interim audit calculations;
  • invoices received and copies of sent invoices;
  • bank statements;
  • contracts, agreements, and other arrangements;
  • agendas and appointment records;
  • correspondence;
  • software and data files.

Many of the data needed to operate a company are first only recorded in an electronic format. These are not only financial administration files. Examples are also the corporate agenda on your mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Or the sales details you register in a check-out system, a simple cash register, or a Point of Sale system.

Many check-out systems do not meet our requirements. Be sure to seek proper advice when purchasing a check-out system. An increasing number of administrative record systems, as well as parts of the operational processes (such as sales through a web store), take place over the Internet. These data are also part of your administrative records!

Even if you print data onto paper, immediately or at a later time, you must retain these data in an electronic format.

You can set up and keep your administrative system in a manner which suits your company. You must keep in mind that your returns are based on your administrative records. If your administrative records are incomplete and cannot be checked within a reasonable period, or if you fail to keep your administrative records for the required period, this may have bad consequences. We will unable to determine your turnover and profits and calculate your taxes.

The operational processes must be captured in a complete and reasonably detailed manner. If you capture the data in an electronic format, you must keep them in an electronic format. This must take place for the applicable retention period of seven years. You may only keep the data on paper if you have a small administrative system and if these data can be checked within a reasonable period.