What is rescue bookkeeping and why you might need it

Your business is doing well, and you’ve hit the RRP (reasonable and responsible trader) standard for your industry. However, it would help if you had a way to improve compliance with regulations and identify issues early before they become serious problems.

  This is where rescue bookkeeping comes in and can provide assistance by:

  • stabilizing the business
  • meeting your obligations with ASIC and other governing bodies
  • improving your systems, accounting & compliance.

Rescue bookkeeping is for businesses who were previously getting by on their own but need an expert’s eye to help them properly manage their records. The issues range from simple mistakes, poor or non-existent record keeping, to an outright lack of business record keeping. This bookkeeping is vital so that you can identify any potential risk areas before they become serious problems.

Stabilizing your financial situation means clear records of all transactions, and it’s easier to handle the company’s ownership structure. This is particularly important if you’re a sole trader and need to transition the business into an official company.

What does rescue bookkeeping look like?

Rescue bookkeeping can range from simple once-off (called ‘recovery’) where someone helps you catch up with your record keeping to ongoing assistance (called ‘remediation’). You may need some bookkeeping assistance to recover your records if they are incomplete or there is no financial reporting. You might have a terrible handle on your business expenses, which means you’re at a higher risk of being audited by the ATO.

The solution to this problem would be to re-structure your entire system, which would involve spending more time on task-based bookkeeping. This is where someone manually enters all the transactions into a computer accounting software package so that you can adequately monitor them and keep an accurate financial record of your business.

This form of rescue bookkeeping takes longer than most, with fixed costs for each month depending on how much time the bookkeeper needs to spend on your business. It can range from a few hundred dollars every month to several thousand, but it’s cheaper than being audited by the ATO and having to pay fines for poor financial record keeping.

   Remediation is most familiar with smaller businesses that have recently started or need help keeping track of their VAT returns. There are many moving parts, and it isn’t easy to keep everything in order without an expert’s help.

  Remediation means that someone works with you every month, looks over your books and gives you tips for doing things better or more efficiently. For example, if you’re struggling with tax time, a rescue bookkeeper would come in and do all the data entry for you so that you have a relatively quick turnaround time when it comes to sending in your taxes.


Rescue bookkeeping is for businesses who need help with their financial records and better handle all of their tasks. This service can be helpful, whether it’s having someone come in and do data entry or look over your books each month. However, this form of bookkeeping isn’t the best way to manage your business if you’re struggling with tax time and need someone to do all the preparation for you.


Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.