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Document Retention: Are You Up to Date?

With all the talk of document shredding and staying safe from identity theft these days, one can be tempted to immediately discard all documents after use. The fact of the matter is that there are some records that need to be kept for one reason or another, for a short time or long time. If you have records to retain, then it is important to know for how long or even how short of a time period you should be keeping them. Below we’ll list out a few examples of different records and their retention periods; see here for a full list.

accounting records

Accounting Records

These may not necessarily apply to individuals, but accountants and businesses will surely be keeping some of these records on hand.

  • Auditor Reports – Indefinitely
  • Bank Statements and Deposit Slips – 3 Years
  • Checks-Canceled-Payroll-Generals – 8 Years
  • Subsidiary Ledgers (including Receivables and Payables) – 6 Years


Personal Records

Personal records can really cover anything an individual deems to be a personal record. Here are some examples of the more common types of records that will fall into the personal category, and how long to hold onto them for.

  • Expired Contracts – 6 Years
  • Disability and Sick Benefit Records – 6 Years
  • Employment Applications – 3 Years
  • Withholding Tax Statements – 6 Years


Corporate Records

  • Patents – Indefinitely
  • Bylaws, Charter, and Minute Books – Indefinitely
  • Mortgages, Notes, and Lease Expired – 8 Years
  • Retirement and Pension Records – Indefinitely


Insurance Records

  • Accident Reports – 6 years
  • Claims-After Settlement – 10 Years
  • Safety Reports – 8 Years
  • Policies – All Types – Expired – 4 Years


Purchasing and Sales

  • Purchase Orders – 3 years
  • Requisitions – 3 Years
  • Sales Contracts – 3 Years
  • Sales Invoices – 3 Years


When it comes to retaining your records, be sure you are storing them securely and keeping them safe from disasters. Retaining documents ends up being pretty pointless if you leave them laying about for anyone to take. Also consider using a secure storage service to keep them off site in case your location suffers some form of disaster.

If you’re ready to use one of these secure document storage services, reach out to U&ME Records


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U & Me Records Management

2626 Electronics Way West Palm Beach, FL 33407 Phone: (561) 832-6156 (ext.3) Fax: (561) 655-6985 Email: Staff@uandmerecords.com

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