Record retention

#1
Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Messages
477
Location
Meadville, PA
Credits
307
Points
307
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?
 
#3
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
14,627
Location
Benton KY USA
Credits
1,113
Points
1,113
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.
 
Likes: darcie smith
#6
Supportive Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
2,742
Location
West Jordan, UT
Credits
305
Points
305
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.
 
Likes: darcie smith
#9
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
391
Location
Orlando
Credits
0
Points
0
Name
J.R.
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.
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?
 
#11
Supportive Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
2,742
Location
West Jordan, UT
Credits
305
Points
305
Name
Scott Warrington
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?
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.)
 
#12
Joined
Nov 25, 2006
Messages
3,733
Location
seattle
Credits
230
Points
230
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.
 

Latest posts

Top