Organising Business Records

When you are running your small business, one of the most confusing and tedious tasks is keeping your files completely organised and trying not to end up with a mountain of paper in your store room. Knowing what to do with different types of records is something which you will learn throughout your career and it will depend on your business, however here are some ideas to get you started and help you organise your records.

Keep Forever

Rather than using a storage room at the back of the office for these records you can use a document storage service company to keep anything which you need to store indefinitely. The type of items you will want to keep for this chunk of time are things like cash books, auditors reports, financial statements, deeds, mortgages and charts of accounts. Ideally you will also want to keep the details of any insurance you have for the business too.

Save For Seven Years

Things which you need to keep for a decent length of time but not forever include invoices, vouchers for payment, delivery notes, accident reports, legal cases and details. After seven years or so you can throw these things away by shredding the paper or layering it in a compost bin to be a bit more eco-friendly.

Save For Three Years

There are some types of records which you only need to keep for a few years as a reference for your staff to be able to look at the draw ideas from. These will include your sales records, cash vouchers and buying records. You will also be able to throw away the personal details of anyone who has left the company or has been fired.

Save For One Year

Finally, the records which you only need to keep for a year or so are things such as bank reconciliations, purchase orders and receiving sheets because you will have already completed your audit for the year so these will no longer be relevant.

Save For The IRS

The IRS is the company which handles all of your tax as a business, and because of this you will need to save certain records to give to them as evidence of income. You will want to be saving all of your financial records which show your business income for the year, as well as the information of yourself and your employees so that they can put them in the correct tax bracket for the next year. You may have given some members of staff a pay rise and this will mean they are put on a higher tax bracket by the IRS.

What To Throw

There are plenty of items which we print during our working week which we simply do not need. Once you have categorised all of the other types of file above, you will see the items which can be immediately shredded and recycled. It might be worth trying to cut down printer usage in the workplace to negate the need for throwing lots of paper away each week.

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