The documentation in your business is effectively the lifeblood of your company. Keeping concise records helps you to monitor the success and progress of your business, prepare any financial payments and statements, identify and monitor employee information and progress, and have all the required client information necessary to provide your business services to them to the best of your ability. In addition to this, there are many documents that are required to be kept on hand at all times for legal reasons. For example, if you have any discrepancies during the financial year-end, you will need to show proof of original tax deductions, invoices and payslips that have been issued.
So how do you know what documents to keep and where to keep them? The first rule of thumb could be to ensure that you keep the relevant documentation until such a time that they no longer serve a useful purpose or until the point when all of their legal requirements have been met. This can often be tricky to determine, here are some tips on what documents to keep and where:
- Auditors’ reports,
- Leases in effect,
- All employees’ contracts ,
- All clients’ contracts,
- All legal documents and correspondence relating to your company, its employees and finances,
- Training manuals , and
- Trademark registrations and copyright registrations.
Although it is imperative that you keep all of the abovementioned documentation for extended periods of time, you do not have to store everything at your offices; particularly as the information may be sensitive. For documentation that you won’t use on a daily basis, you can utilise offsite document storage [Link to http://www.thedocumentwarehouse.com/services/document-archiving] with 24 hour security, theft, fire, water and humidity protection.
Keep for no less than 7 years:
- Bank deposit slips, statements and proof of transactions,
- Expired client and employee contracts,
- Expired leases,
- Invoices, receipts, purchases and so forth,
- Payroll journal,
- General ledger, and
- Subsidiary ledgers.
These documents may be requested at some point or another. Some may be old and outdated but they will be required to be available on hand at a moment’s notice. In this instance, offsite document storage would be your best bet, particularly because you will most likely not need access to the documents very often, if at all. However, when you place the documents into offsite storage, they will be archived, indexed and captured electronically for easy retrieval if ever required.
Deciding which documents to keep that have not been listed in this post may be at your own discretion. For example, all businesses will keep HR documentation, employee contracts, leave forms and payslips on the premises, stored in filing cabinets. Print-outs of status meetings with clients and briefing documents may take up unnecessary space in your office when they will never be needed again – in this instance, it is best to simply destroy this documentation.
Whatever your document management, storage and destruction requirements, we can help you. Contact The Document Warehouse today [Link to: http://www.thedocumentwarehouse.com/contact-the-document-warehouse/contact-details] to find out how we can assist you in creating an effective document storage system, whether it is on your premises, or offsite in one of our secure warehouses.