• Ashton Corporate Services

Accounting Records Keeping - A Mandatory Requirement in Malaysia

Maintaining a good set of accounts enables firms to know exactly where money is coming from and where it is going. Understanding how cash flow is operating on a day-to-day basis can make the difference between profitability and bankruptcy in any business.


Accurate accounting can also help firms save money. Daily or weekly cash-flow reports provide managers with up-to-date information on the financial health of their companies. The reports can also uncover disbursements for services that may be tax deductible.

But firstly, how do you maintain a good set of accounts?

Companies must keep a record of all its accounting records. Accounting records are all of the documentation and books involved in the preparation of financial statements or records relevant to audits and financial reviews. Accounting records include records of assets and liabilities, monetary transactions, ledgers, journals, and any supporting documents such as checks and invoices. Is there any law governing how accounting records should be kept?

As per Section 82(9) of the Income Tax Act, 1967, Public Ruling No.:4/2000 (revised) & Companies Act 2016, a company should keep "records" & "sufficient records" which includse;

  • books of accounts

  • invoices, bank statements, cheque butts, receipts for payments, payroll records, copies of receipts issued, vouchers

  • other documents necessary to verify entries in any books of accounts

  • sales and purchases ledger, general ledger

  • A valuation of the stock in trade should be made at the end of the accounting period and the appropriate records maintained.

Are there any important Characteristics such "records"?

Definitely! Some brief examples below:-

  • Receipts issued should be serially numbered

  • Accounting entries for each transaction should be recorded not later than 60 days after the transaction

  • Records and books of accounts should be written in the national language or in English language

  • Source documents, accounting documents, in manual or electronic form should be sufficient to explain each business transaction

  • Where the original documents are in electronic form, the documents can be retained in such form

Other Requirements of taxpayers & Company Directors in Malaysia - As per Section 82 of the Income Tax Act, 1967 and Section 245 of the Companies Act, 2016

  • Taxpayers and Company Directors are required to keep sufficient records for a period of 7 years

  • All records relating to business in Malaysia must be kept and retained in Malaysia

  • Records and books of accounts should be kept at the registered office or the business premises in Malaysia

  • If the records and books of accounts for operations outside Malaysia are kept outside Malaysia, the records and books of accounts should be produced at the registered office or the business premises

What are the consequences of failing to keep sufficient records?

  • The chargeable income of the taxpayer may be determined according to the best judgement of the Director General of LHDN (DG) and an assessment made accordingly.

  • The taxpayer and Company Directors may be prosecuted and, on conviction, may be liable to a fine or to imprisonment or both.


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