Accounting records

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Accounting Operations

Accounting records are all sources of information and evidence that are used in preparing, verifying and or auditing financial statements. Accounting records also includes documentation to prove ownership of assets creation of liabilities and evidence of monetary and non monetary transactions.

Accounting records can take on many forms and include:

  • Ledgers;
  • Journals;
  • Bank statements;
  • Contracts and agreements;
  • Verification statements;
  • Transportation receipts;
  • Invoices;
  • Vouchers, etc.

Accounting records can be in physical or electronic formats.

In many countries the accounting bodies prescribes rules on dealing with accounting records from a presentation of financial statements and/or auditing perspective. The rules vary in different countries and different industries may have specific record-keeping requirements.

Accounting records are important for all types of accounting including financial accounting, cost accounting as well as for different types of organizations corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and for not for profits or for profits.


In the US the IRS prescribes the duration for which the accounting records need to be maintained and provides records retention guidelines in Code Section 6001 and Publication 583. Some records such as CPA/auditors statements are considered permanent records while some such as accounts payables list or applications for employment may be kept for seven or three years respectively.


The companies in the soda ash industry in India are required to follow guidelines [1] prescribed by the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI)[2].


In Canada the State Administrative Manual [3] provides guidelines to state organizations on the accounting records that must be maintained.