Are your books and records all in order?  You may not have heard of HM Revenue & Customs Business Records Check initiative, but it has just been relaunched and it could affect you.

So what is the Business Records Check initiative?  Well, it pretty much does what it says on the tin.  HMRC wants Business Records Checksto check that small and medium size enterprises have adequate business records.

If you are selected to be checked, you will receive a letter from HMRC, which will be followed up by a phone call to talk through your business record keeping.  The call should be pretty short – around 10-15 minutes.  Depending on the answers you give on the call, you may be offered some self-help education, or if HMRC think you are at risk of not having adequate records then you may then have a face to face Business Records Check visit.

A face to face visit will be a longer session which will likely take around 2 hours.  HMRC will ask for explanations around how you run your business and will need to see samples of your business records.  If you have an accountant it would be a good idea to get them to be present for the meeting.  If you are viewed to need to improve your business records then a follow up visit will be arranged, and depending on whether you have improved your records you could then become subject to penalties and further visits.

There are a lot of very good reasons to keep on top of your books, and if the Business Records Checks encourages you to do so then that has to be a good thing!