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Record Retention – Business Documents

Record Keeping is important for every small business owner. It financial-record-retentionhelps to have records easily found when filing papers for licenses, completing insurance audit forms, completing paperwork for human resource or payroll issues. You will save time and money if you have your records in order. Fines and penalties can be a costly incentive to realize that stack of papers that you haven’t had time to deal with filing may be more important than you thought.

Keep in mind, in today’s electronic workforce, your records may not all be printed on paper. Records may also include email, cloud software, your accounting system, Point of Sale system, and Merchant Account records for credit cards.

To Keep For 1 Year

  • Correspondence with Customers and Vendors
  • Deposit Slips
  • Purchase Orders
  • Receiving Sheets

To Keep For 3 Years

  • Employee Personnel Records (after termination)
  • Employment Applications
  • Expired Insurance Policies
  • General Correspondence
  • Internal Audit Reports
  • Petty Cash
  • Physical Inventory Tags
  • Savings Bond Registration Records of Employees
  • Time Cards For Hourly Employees

To Keep For 7 Years

  • Accident Reports, Claims
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Bank Statements /Reconciliations
  • Employment Tax Records
  • Expired Contracts, Leases
  • Inventories of Products
  • Invoices to Customers
  • Notes Receivable
  • Payroll Records
  • Purchasing Records
  • Travel and Entertainment Records

To Keep Permanently

  • Audit Reports from CPAs/Accountants
  • Cancelled Checks for Important Payments (especially tax payments)
  • Charts of Accounts
  • Contracts, Leases Currently in Effect
  • Corporate Documents (incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.)
  • Documents substantiating fixed asset additions
  • Deeds
  • Depreciation Schedules
  • Financial Statements (Year End)
  • General and Private Ledgers, Year End Trial Balances
  • Insurance Records, Current Accident Reports, Claims, Policies
  • Investment Trade Confirmations
  • IRS Revenue Agents. Reports
  • Legal Records, Correspondence and Other Important Matters
  • Minutes Books of Directors and Stockholders
  • Mortgages, Bills of Sale
  • Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers
  • Property Records
  • Trademark and Patent Registrations



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