Record retention

Discussion in 'Lets talk Business!' started by darcie smith, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. darcie smith
    darcie smith

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    433
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    Name:
    darcie smith
    How long do you keep paperwork accessible? (Old invoices, receipts, taxes, etc?) My filing cabinet holds 2005-present, but next year some of the old stuff will probably end up in a box in the basement. At what point can it be shredded? Scott was talking about scanning all the old stuff in, backing it up, and getting rid of the paper. Is 7 years the guideline for keeping things?
  2. Mikey P
    Mikey P

    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    Messages:
    70,730
    Location:
    The High Chapperal
    Name:
    Mike Pay-oh-tay
    I think every state may vary so contact your tax professional
    Angie Aztec and darcie smith like this.
  3. Lee Stockwell
    Lee Stockwell

    FOJL

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    14,109
    Location:
    Benton KY USA
    Name:
    Lee Stockwell
    Every paper should have a "destroy date" says my wife the office systems grad.

    I tend to keep too much too long. I cried when daughter in law dumpstered most of my "office" 15 years ago. Precious papers going back to the early 1970s. I had titles to several vans that had already been crushed and invoices for long dead customers.

    Please simplify your life, it will be more fun.
    darcie smith likes this.
  4. Derrick T.
    Derrick T.

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    1,694
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    Name:
    Derrick Andrew Trulson
    In Nevada, i believe its seven years.
  5. Papa John
    Papa John

    Lifetime Supportive Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,623
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA.
    Name:
    John Stewart
    IRS recommends you keep records for 7 years unless there's issues of fraud.:headscratch:
    So is Keeping records longer then 7 years an admission of guilt? :eekk: :lol:
    Nomad74 likes this.
  6. scottw
    scottw

    Supportive Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,612
    Location:
    West Jordan, UT
    Name:
    Scott Warrington
    IRS actually only requests records of income be available for 3 years prior after the filing deadline for the tax year. All records used to file 2017 taxes must be available until April 15 of 2021 - 3 years later. They can request records for up to 7 years if they suspect fraud. But those records would still be available even if kept in a box in the basement.

    Records of purchase of equipment, property, buildings, etc. would need to be kept for 3 or 7 years after it was disposed of.

    For business purposes, I would want some record of my customers going back as far as possible to establish patterns of how frequently they clean, what they have cleaned, kids names, pets names and whatever else is on those documents. A computer date base would be my preference over a box in the basement.
    darcie smith likes this.
  7. ruff
    ruff

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    9,128
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Name:
    Ofer Kolton
    Every time i get rid off old time clients' receipts they call me the day after. So I guess it's good for business.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    scottw and Old Coastie like this.
  8. Joe Appleby
    Joe Appleby

    Supportive Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    Danville, CA
    Name:
    Joe Appleby
    “Google It”
    As my teenage daughters tell me,
    “Dad, the answers are easy, it’s the questions that take thought”.
    The Great Oz and Lee Stockwell like this.
  9. Beeks
    Beeks

    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Orlando
    Name:
    J.R.
    side question to one of your responses...is it common to gather pet names and kids names? I can see how it would be a very positive personable reply if you had those at your fingertips. Is this happening in home or on the phone?
  10. ruff
    ruff

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    9,128
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Name:
    Ofer Kolton
    You have a very smart daughter, Joe.

    Are you the father? :winky:
  11. scottw
    scottw

    Supportive Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,612
    Location:
    West Jordan, UT
    Name:
    Scott Warrington
    I always kept such notes. I did not ask customer the kids names and such, but if I learned them, I did jot it down on my copy of the invoice. Always a good reminder when making follow-up calls, later marketing or just to have in the pop-up notes when they call to book work the next year. "Mrs Jones, has Fluffy been a good girl or will be including some urine decontamination with this cleaning?" (Referencing the dog, not the child.)
    The Great Oz, Beeks and PrimaDonna like this.
  12. The Great Oz
    The Great Oz

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    3,598
    Location:
    seattle
    Name:
    bryan
    There are some employment records that need to be kept forever, and maybe paper is best for those records. Almost all other records can be kept electronically though, so you can keep them as long as you want and skip the boxes.

    An office tenant recently moved out of their space after 11 years, taking their desks and bookcases, but leaving behind over 50 filing cabinets they no longer use. We've retired ours from the office to the shop to use as parts storage drawers.
  13. Jim Martin
    Jim Martin

    Supportive Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,514
    Location:
    Arizona
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    If you ask my wife........


Share This Page