In this electronic age, one may wonder about the necessity of storing paper documents. The fact is that hard copies are reliable and they do not vanish when hard drives crash. Furthermore, federal and state laws instruct us to keep the business documents safe for a specific time. Nevertheless, the problem persists as paper documents can pile up and keep asking for the space even after you fill cabinets and closets. In that case, it’s quite suitable to rent a self-storage unit.
What is the suitable option for storing documents?
While renting the self-storage unit for documents, make sure that you are going only for climate controlled storage. This storage option provides extra protection to the important business documents that you don’t want to get ruined. One thing worth mentioning is that you may need extra security like video surveillance, computerized gates and secure business access facility if you are going to store the sensitive business documents. To further secure the documents, you can get sturdy cardboard boxes from shipping companies. Remember, packing supplies are always required no matter how secure self-storage option you are availing. If space in the box is not fully utilized, fill it with the packing material but don’t let the room created in the box. You can also add filing cabinets and shelving units in the storage if you are going to store the documents for a longer period of time.
The types of papers that you need to keep
Although, it’s entirely up to you what documents you want to store but for smart utilization of space, it would be worth mentioning the type of documents that are generally considered as important. These are the documents that companies should preserve whether on-site or off-site.
- Records related to accounting: cash slips, payroll tax returns, financial statements, bank deposits, documents related to income tax, and accounts payable and receivable records.
- Corporate records: property appraisals and internal audit records, Fixed Asset Reports and plans and blueprints.
- Documents related to human resource: Worker’s Compensation benefits, Employee W-2 Forms, medical benefits, attendance records, payroll records, personnel records and payroll checks.
Time limit until the documents should be preserved
The documents mentioned above should be stored securely by every business but one may wonder about the time limit until these documents should be kept. According to laws by federal and state governments, there are some documents that need to be stored on permanent basis. Losing such documents means you should now be ready to receive a major blow. However, there are some documents that need to be safely kept no more than 2 years. The fixed asset and corporate records should be stored and protected permanently. Some accounting records such as check registers, financial statements and general ledgers are also needed to be stored on permanent basis. Some documents such as cash slips, bank statements, expense reports and accounts payable or receivables can be discarded after seven years.