Use help systems

It is often necessary and mandatory to use various help systems. Both in order to provide customers with a good service and to maintain a good relationship with important business partners and the public sector administration. For example, it would harm a doctor's business if he was unable to keep to his appointments, or if a tradesman did not manage his jobs well. In the event of a complaint, it is important to have an overview of what has been agreed and, for example, the number of hours that have been spent on a job.

Withdrawals and sales to owners and partners
The Bookkeeping Act requires withdrawals to owners, partners and your own business to be specified. The same applies to sales to owners and partners in enterprises with fewer than 10 owners or partners. Withdrawals and purchases must be specified per owner or partner or under your own enterprise in an ordered sequence with a documentation date and documentation references. Withdrawals must be specified at fair value.

Sales must be documented in accordance with the general rules that apply concerning the information that must be provided on sales documents. In the case of withdrawals, these rules must be applied insofar as they are applicable.

Documentation of time spent
Those who are required to keep accounts and who provide services where the price is based on time spent must document hours spent for each owner and employee. You must specify the hours per day broken down between internal time and time spent on individual customers/assignments. The provisions also apply in cases where a fixed price is agreed, but not to owners and employees who only perform internal administrative tasks. The documentation must be retained for at least three years and six months after the end of the financial year.

Salary documentation
Documentation of salary payments must be prepared for each individual employee. For employees who are paid an hourly wage in part or in full, the following information must be documented:
a) date on which the work was performed
b) number of hours for the relevant date
c) total hours for the period concerned

This documentation must be retained in Norway for at least three years and six months after the end of the financial year.

Time-based orders
Those who are required to keep accounts and who provide services according to time-based orders must document their time-based orders by specifying a time for provision of the service and the name of the customer. The documentation must specify which hours were not worked. If a cancelled time-based order is replaced by a new order, this must be documented. The documentation must be retained for five years.

Agreements
Agreement and ordering systems may be necessary if you have individual deliveries. Both sales and significant purchases should be registered in such a system. If you buy and sell expensive consumables, orders and agreements concerning deliveries should be registered as soon as the order is placed. Such a system may include:

  • Agreement date
  • The parties to the agreement
  • What is to be delivered (nature and quantity)
  • Agreed price
  • Date for delivery
  • Reference to documentation

If you prepare written agreements with customers, these can be stored alphabetically under customer name. You will then have a register of agreements and will not need to make any further records.

Project accounts
If you carry out assignments in the construction and engineering industry with a value of more NOK 300,000, you must keep project accounts. Project accounts are a list of incomes and costs per assignment. You can ask your accountant to prepare these accounts. However, your accountant will need you to provide them with an overview of the projects you are working on at any one time, and to mark vouchers with the projects that they concern.

Payment of bills
Systems for the payment of bills are important for maintaining an overview of the bills that must be paid at any one time.

Sales on credit
A system for following up sales made on credit is important to ensure that you collect the money you are entitled to as quickly as possible.

Stockkeeping systems
Production companies which process/refine goods and some enterprises that sell products which are subject to excise duties must have a stockkeeping system. Such systems are also useful for other trading companies. A stockkeeping system will provide you with an overview of how far in the production process goods have come and can include the following information:

  • Acquisitions, disposals and stocks of finished goods, any raw materials and semi-finished goods
  • Nature of the goods
  • Quantity (with a clear statement of measuring unit)
  • Value of each item

It must be possible to specify stocks per product group. It must also be possible to distinguish goods which are exempt from value added tax and to present them as a separate group. Obsolete goods must be presented as a separate group.

Stock lists
Stock lists must be prepared annually. Stocks of goods must be counted and grouped. Stock lists must contain the following information:

  • Nature of the goods
  • Quantity (with a clear statement of measuring unit)
  • Value of each item

It should be possible to specify stocks per product group. It must also be possible to distinguish goods which are exempt from value added tax and to present them as a separate group. Obsolete goods must be presented as a separate group.