If you’re like most other business owners, you are inundated with copious amount of financial paperwork—anything from vehicle operating and maintenance to payroll taxes and title papers. Depending on the size of your business, you may have a lot more paperwork than a smaller “mom and pop shop.” The biggest question is not what to store, but how long to store all these different forms and paperwork.
The record retention requirements vary depending on the type of paperwork and industry. There is no cut and dry blanket answer for all the different types of paperwork that a business will accumulate. But having the paperwork your business is required to keep organized and under control is highly advisable. Because your retention system will be unique to your own business, it is imperative that you seek advice from your accountant, who knows your industry and state laws, and will be able to advise you with specific recommendations on how to organize and store your records. Another option is to invest in a software and consulting resource for records retention.
The time required to keep documents can vary widely. Some documents may need to be kept two to seven years while permanent records are to be kept forever. But how do you know which records can be destroyed after a few years and which records need to be kept long term?
As a general rule, most documents that pertain to the creation of the corporation need to be kept as part of your permanent records. These files might include:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Board of Directors-Committee
- Partnership Agreement
- Financial Statements
Other documents that aren’t required to be stored and kept permanently might include:
- Safety Reports
- Personnel files—after termination
- Employment application—not hired
- Attendance records
Information Requirements Clearinghouse (IRCH) offers a cost-effective alternative to the traditional methods of storing documents—document retention software. By implementing a document retention software, will eliminate the need to have a separate storage location for all your business forms, or an administrative member tasked to keep the paper records organized.
A document retention software method eliminates the time wasted by searching for documents, making copies, and traveling to and from the storage facility. Another benefit of using a software retentionmethod is that there is less risk of destroying or losing records that are meant to be kept as part of your business’s permanent records. So let IRCH take the stress and worry out of your record retention requirements for you! Contact IRCH today and see how they can help your business save time and money through excellent organization and accessibility.
- How Long Do You Need to Keep Records After a Business Closes?
- What Is the Purpose of Having Document Retention Guidelines?
- How to Create a Data Retention Policy Template
- Reasons Why You Should Hire Professionals to Help Establish Your Retention Policy
- What You Need to Know About Destroying Old Documents