If you run, manage or own a business in the Philippines, did you know that you can register your accounting books with the BIR as Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts – enabling you to run your accounting books through an accounting system? This is just one of the key areas that our accounting teams will advise upon when we first start working with a new business!
If your PH business is already registered for Loose-Leaf Books, are you prepared for the filing of your Loose-Leaf Books in early 2024?
In this article, we dive deep into the reasons why a company should register for Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts. We also explain how to apply for a Permit To Use, or a PTU, as well as outline the various compliance requirements that arise once a company has registered for Loose-Leaf Books.
Check out the full explainer below!
Why Does a Company Need to Keep Books of Accounts?
First off – Why does a business even have to keep Books of Accounts?
Good question! There are three primary reasons:
1. Compliance: Any corporation, company, sole proprietorship, partnership, or individual required to pay tax in the Philippines must maintain books of accounts under Philippine law. The BIR can investigate a company at any stage and for any reason. One of the key areas that BIR officers will want to examine first is the Books of Account of the company it is investigating. If a business is not properly maintaining Books of Accounts, financial penalties can be imposed by the BIR!
2. Audited Financial Statements (AFS): Every year, businesses in the Philippines are required to submit financial statements relating to the previous year’s financials. The financial statements must be audited by an auditor before submission. If a company is not maintaining books of accounts during the year, it will be very difficult to complete the audit process!
Have you started preparing for the 2023 audit in the Philippines? If not, check out our explainer on all you need to know about filing the Audited Financial Statement.
3. Robust Finance Management: In short, it will be quite challenging to understand the true financial performance of your business if you are not keeping your accounts and books properly updated throughout the financial year. Without accounting books, it will be difficult to track sales margins, monitor operating costs, determine the true value of your assets and liabilities, and crucially, understand if the business is making money! Finally, it will be very hard to generate financial reports and get real financial intelligence about your business.
Types of Books of Accounts in the Philippines
In a previous Explainer on Books of Accounts, we outlined the differences between the various types of Books of Accounts that businesses in the Philippines can register for and use to perform their accounting and bookkeeping requirements.
While you can feel free to check out that Explainer for a more in-depth review (see above), for ease, below is a short recap:
- Manual Books of Accounts: The company uses BIR-approved/stamped hard-copy ledgers and journals. This requires accounting transactions to be encoded entirely by hand by the company’s bookkeeper.
- Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts: See below for a detailed description.
- Computerized Accounting System (CAS): This is where the books/accounts are generated by a computer system. Transactions are recorded, reports are generated and receipts/invoices are issued using a digital or computerized accounting system. However, the actual computerized accounting system must first be reviewed and approved by the BIR (after in-depth examination) before it can be used (although, the CAS is undergoing certain changes to make the registration process more efficient in light of COVID-19 and the greater emphasis on digital solutions).
What Is Loose-Leaf Books of Account?
Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts are one of three BIR-approved systems for maintaining a company’s accounting books. It is a type of hybrid system for maintaining accounting books which lies between the Manual Books and the CAS (see above).
What does that mean? It means that Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts must be maintained via a process that combines digital systems and manual submissions – a mix of both!
Business transactions can be recorded and encoded using a digital or computer-based accounting system during the financial year. Then, at the end of every year, the company must print out the ledgers and books from the accounting system based on BIR-approved format, have them bound together, and submit the bound books physically to the BIR.
According to the BIR, Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts are still technically a “manual” form of maintaining company books in the Philippines.
Accounting Systems for Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts
So what kind of accounting systems can be leveraged by a company registered for Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts?
In short, while there is no mandatory requirement to register the specific accounting system with the BIR, it should be an accounting system that has the functions and facilities to record and track bookkeeping transactions and importantly, can be set up and aligned with the local Philippine tax and compliance framework.
When companies are transitioning to a digital accounting system to manage their finances, we would always recommend using a cloud-based accounting solution. Cloud accounting systems are now being used, to great benefit, by Startups and SMEs across the Philippines!
QuickBooks and Xero are just two of the accounting solutions that CloudCfo recommends and uses with our clients. Check out one of our previous articles for more information on the benefits of using a cloud accounting solution!
Finally and as mentioned briefly above, in contrast to the CAS Books of Accounts, for Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts, the specific accounting solution does not have to be examined by or registered with the BIR (although the format and templates for the printed books do have to be registered). This a big advantage of Loose-Leaf Books as the BIR approval system for accounting solutions can be quite extensive.
Permit To Use Loose-Leaf Books – The PTU
To be able to use Loose-Leaf Books of Account, a business must first apply to their local BIR Revenue District Office, or RDO, for permission. The permission, if approved, comes in the form of a Permit to Use Loose-Leaf Books.
The application for the Permit To Use Loose-Leaf Books of Accounts will require, at a minimum, the following documents:
- BIR Form1900 (in duplicate original)
- Sample format and print-out template which the company intends to use.
- Sworn Statement of the company specifying the type of books that will be used and submitted.
- Sworn Statement of the company confirming their intention and commitment to file the required books with the BIR within 15 days after the end of each taxable year or upon termination of its use.
- If the filing is being submitted by an Authorized Representative of the company, a Board Resolution nominating the representative to file must be submitted. This could also be in the form of a Secretary’s Certificate. This should also be accompanied by a Government ID of the Authorized Representative.
- Payment or confirmation of payment of the company 0605 Annual Registration Fee (PHP500).
Before commencing the registration process for Loose-Leafs, it will be advisable to check the specific registration requirements with the BIR’s Regional District Office, or RDO, in the area in which the business is registered. This will enable a company to understand exactly what documents and information are required in advance – meaning the registration process should go a lot smoother!
Annual BIR Compliance Requirements
Where a company has applied to the BIR to use Loose-Leaf Books of Account and where they have received their Permit to Use, the company must adhere to specific annual compliance requirements.
Companies are required to print out their books/accounts from the accounting system using the BIR-approved format, bind them, and then submit them to the BIR within 15 days of the end of the taxable year. For most Philippine companies with a taxable year ending December 31 and are registered for Loose-Leaf Books, the requirement for submission is no later than 15 January 2024!
Under the Loose-Leaf Registration, the following are the specific books that are required to be printed out, bound, and filed with the BIR each year:
- General Journal
- General Ledger
- Sales Book
- Purchase Book
- Cash Disbursement Book
- Cash Receipt Book
While the requirements for submission can sometimes change across Municipalities and RDOs, there are a few additional general requirements that must be submitted at the time of filing including:
- The Company’s Permit To Use Loose-Leaf
- A Certificate under Oath from the Company confirming the accuracy of the information included in the submitted Loose-Leaf Books and confirming the name and type of each of the books being submitted as well as the number of pages in each book.
- A Secretary’s Certificate confirming that the company has approved an Authorized Representative to submit the Loose-Leaf Books on behalf of the company (if required).
CloudCfo – Outsourced Accounting and Bookkeeping Services in Manila and the Philippines
Our goal is to increase efficiency, automation, and transparency across the finance function of our clients. The result? Our clients receive accurate financial data regularly which they can rely on to make important commercial decisions about their business!
If you want to move your company’s finance function online, contact our Team of Expert Accountants and Bookkeepers directly via email@example.com or visit www.cloudcfo.ph to learn more about how CloudCfo’s accounting services can support your PH business!