Key Points to Consider When Maintaining Accounting Records in Japan 日本で帳簿を付ける時に気を付けるポイント

【Koshida Accounting Firm Column Date:

Living is an art. It’s not bookkeeping. It takes a lot of rehearsing for a man to get to be himself. – William Saroyan

この世に生きることは演劇のようなものだ。帳簿をつけるのとはわけが違う。だから人が自分らしく生きるためにはたくさんの稽古が必要なんだ。- ウィリアム・サローヤン


a man reading books



Hi, my name is Taisei Koshida, and I am a certified public accountant as well as a tax accountant.

I aim to assist non-Japanese business owners who struggle with reading or writing in Japanese. If you find the Japanese tax return system challenging, I can help you with your tax filings.



When maintaining accounting records in Japan, various details are required to be recorded as per tax laws. If there are omissions or errors in the records, you may face additional taxes during a tax audit. Additionally, these records also serve as important documentation for you as the company president.



I hope this blog helps you maintain your accounting records effectively and accurately.


1.入力の目的 The Purpose of Record-Keeping

(1)経営情報として For Management Information


These records serve as vital information for you, the president. If you wish to have detailed knowledge of past transactions, it’s important to enter descriptions and details meticulously.


(2)税務調査の際の資料として For documents during tax audits


During tax audits, tax officers will examine the accounting records. If the descriptions or summaries are overly simplistic and unclear, they may ask detailed questions and request supporting documents.


2.記載が必要な項目 Required Items

(1)年月日 Date (Year, Month, and Day)


When entering transactions from cash receipts, use the date on the receipts. For transactions from bank statements or similar records, use the date on the statement. When recording monthly sales and purchases in total, use the date at the end of the month.


(2)勘定科目 Accountant Item


You need to appropriately select accounting items from categories such as sales, purchases, rent, and entertainment expenses in the Profit and Loss Statement, as well as from Balance Sheet items like ordinary bank accounts and loans.


(3)摘要 Summary Descriptions


For expenses, it’s necessary to enter the payee’s name and a brief description. However, detailing every small payment, such as those a few thousand yen at convenience stores, is not practical. Entering just the store’s name should suffice.



Regarding whether to include the names of guests in entertainment expenses, if you wish to review this information later, you should include them. If your annual entertainment expenses are substantial, tax officers may want to know the details of the guests during an audit. If you prefer to have this information prepared in advance, include the guests’ names in the summaries. If you plan to provide these details only upon request during a tax audit, then it’s not necessary to include them initially.


(4)消費税区分 The categorization of Consumption Taxes


The categorization of consumption taxes is crucial as it directly influences the amount of consumption tax payable.

①インボイス事業者か否か Determining If They Are Invoice Businesses


It’s essential to verify whether the payees are registered invoice businesses. However, if your business’s taxable sales for consumption tax are less than 100 million yen annually, you’re not required to check each transaction for payments under 10,000 yen, including tax. This is a temporary measure until 2029.


②食品や飲料などの軽減税率 Reduced Tax Rate for Foods and Drinks


Expenditures on food and beverages are taxed at a reduced rate of 8%, different from the standard 10%, so it’s essential to differentiate them clearly. It’s important to note that dining in at restaurants is taxed at 10%, while takeout is taxed at 8%.




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