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Business Record Retention Guidelines

Business Records To Keep For One Year

  • Correspondence with Customers and Vendors

  • Duplicate Deposit Slips

  • Purchase Orders (other than Purchasing Department copy)

  • Receiving Sheets

  • Requisitions

Business Records To Keep For Three Years

  • Employee Personnel Records (after termination)

  • Employment Applications

  • Expired Insurance Policies

  • General Correspondence

  • Internal Audit Reports

  • Internal Reports

  • Petty Cash Vouchers

  • Physical Inventory Tags

  • Time Cards For Hourly Employees

Business Records To Keep For Seven Years

  • Accident Reports, Claims

  • Accounts Payable Ledgers and Schedules

  • Accounts Receivable Ledgers and Schedules

  • Bank Statements, Reconciliations, Deposit Slips

  • Cancelled Checks

  • Cancelled Stock and Bond Certificates

  • Electronic Payment Records

  • Employee Expense Reports

  • Employment Tax Records

  • Employment Agreements

  • Expense Analysis and Expense Distribution Schedules

  • Expired Contracts, Leases

  • Expired Option Records

  • Inventories of Products, Materials, Supplies

  • Invoices to Customers

  • Notes Receivable Ledgers, Schedules

  • Payroll Records and Summaries, including payment to pensioners

  • Plant Cost Ledgers

  • Purchasing Department Copies of Purchase Orders

  • Sales Records

  • Subsidiary Ledgers

  • Travel and Entertainment Records

  • Vouchers for Payments to Vendors, Employees, etc.

  • Voucher Register, Schedules

Business Records To Keep Forever

While federal guidelines do not require you to keep tax records “forever,” in many cases there will be other reasons you’ll want to retain these records indefinitely.

  • Audit Reports from CPA/Accountant

  • Cancelled Checks for Income Taxes

  • Cash Books, Charts of Accounts

  • Contracts, Leases Currently in Effect

  • Corporate Documents (incorporation, charter, by-laws, etc.)

  • Deeds, Mortgages, Bills of Sale

  • Depreciation Schedules

  • Financial Statements (Year End)

  • Fixed Asset Records - Invoices and Cancelled Checks

  • General Ledgers, Journals, 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

  • Partnership Agreements

  • Patent/Trademark and related papers

  • Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers

  • Property Records

  • Retirement and Pension Records

  • Stock Certificates, Ledgers

  • Tax Returns and Worksheets

  • Trademark and Patent Registrations

  • Training Manuals




Please note this table should only be used as a guide.  You should consult with your attorney and insurance carrier when establishing a record retention policy.  It is also recommended reviewing your record retention policy annually and updating it as necessary considering governmental changes and professional requirements.

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