Accounting records are key sources of information and evidence used to prepare, verify and/or audit the financial statements. They also include documentation to prove asset ownership for creation of liabilities and proof of monetary and non monetary transactions.
Accounting records can take on many forms and include (among other camps):
- Bank statements
- Contracts and agreements
- Verification statements
- Transportation receipts
Accounting records can be in physical or electronic formats.
In some states, accounting bodies set rules on dealing with records from a presentation of financial statements or auditing perspective. Rules vary in different countries and different industries 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 U.S., 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 CPAs' and auditors' statements are considered permanent records, while some such as a list of accounts payable and employment applications are generally only required to be kept for seven or three years respectively.