Frequently asked questions:

“Do I still need to keep all my receipts and invoices if I record them with bank transactions?”

Yes. Under Tax Law you may need to keep the original documents for up to seven years. We suggest that you check and safely file away every invoice and receipt as you write the details against your bank transactions. If a document is missing please write “NO INVOICE” in the description line so that we can identify these transactions and advise you. The Tax Office can penalise you for claiming a deduction which you cannot substantiate.

 

“How do I export the transactions once I’ve logged into my online banking?”

Most financial institutions enable their online customers to export account transactions for use in various software applications and to CSV and QIF file formats. Follow the instructions on your bank’s website - select the account, select a file format and date range, and save the file to the desired location.

 

“Should I bother doing this if I don’t even carry on a business?”

Yes, definitely. Your bank statements are a great way to track all your outgoings. This is especially true if:

  • You have an investment property and want to record the rental income and expenses from banking and loan statements.
  • You pay electronically for many work related expenses throughout the year and want to maintain a list in Excel to keep track of your deductions and not forget any at tax time.
  • You travel overseas for business and use a credit card for hotels, transport and meals. The foreign currency amounts will be converted to AUD on your statements.
  • You want to track other non-deductible and domestic expenses for personal and household budgeting purposes.

 

“What if I am not very confident using Excel?”

That shouldn’t stop you from downloading and saving your bank statements. That part is easy, and it may be all you need to do. You can look at an Excel spread sheet as a simple piece of paper with grid lines printed on it, much like a paper cash book ledger, with column headings and separate fields (called cells in Excel) for typing words and numbers. The golden rule with Excel is to always keep the words and numbers in separate cells so that, when necessary, we can automatically sort your data by words A-Z and calculate the numbers. If you’d like to watch some free tutorials for Excel beginners, we recommend The Smart Method:

http://www.learnmicrosoftexcel.com/free_tutorials/free_tutorials_with_video.htm

 

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