Improve your bookkeeping ahead of BRC

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
Sift Media
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Following the recent re-launch of HMRC Business Record Checks (BRC), the ICAEW has provided tips on effective bookkeeping to help you ensure you’re prepared for a check.

HMRC will sending out letters over the next few months to small businesses it thinks may be at risk of keeping inadequate records.

Even if you already consider your record-keeping skills to be in good shape, the following advice will help you improve:

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  • Get an adequate system
  • Keep the right information
  • Make regular updates 
  • Don't throw records away
  • Paper or online?

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21st Nov 2012 19:17

HMRC do accept digital versions of records


This is a good article with good advice but I think it creates some unnecessary doubt on HMRC's position with regard to storing electronic records and discarding the paper originals. HMRC's position has been stated as:

“Records may be preserved on optical imaging systems, and the originals discarded, provided that what is retained in digital form represents a complete and unaltered image of the underlying paper document.”

This means that scanned documents, or indeed documents produced electronically (such as pdf invoices) are sufficient. For more information:



Michael Wood

Receipt Bank



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21st Nov 2012 20:08

HMRC do accept digital versions of records

Good post Rachael, but also thanks to Michael for assisting with the clarity on paperless systems.  I am on a paperless quest and am constantly asked by clients for confirmation that a receipt can be binned after being scanned.


Marion Thomson

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22nd Nov 2012 12:39

HMRC'S position can change very quickly....

... to state the opposite; it is part of the great hypocrisy.

You only need to search this website, which I won't redact, for all the comments about the problems with digital copying of invoices to know that such is not perfect. For the vast majority of businesses they should keep the actual paper document as actual evidence.

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