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FAQ

Keeping Information

Many financial professionals often wonder what documents they need to keep and for how long. Certainly you do not want to keep everything; that just makes it more difficult to find something when you do need it. Use the chart below as a quick reference when determining how long to keep your documents.

Category
Time

Accident Reports/Claims (settled)

10 yrs

Accounts Payable & Receivable Ledgers

10 yrs

Audit Reports

10 yrs

Bank Reconciliations

2 yrs

Bank Statements

3 yrs

Capital Stock & Bond Records: Ledgers, Transfer Registers, Stubs Showing Issues, Record of Interest Coupons, Options, etc.

Permanently

Cash Books

Permanently

Chart of Accounts

10 yrs

Checks (canceled)

10 yrs

Checks (canceled - for important payments - i.e. taxes, purchases of property, special contracts, etc - check should be filed with the papers pertaining to the underlying transaction.)

Permanently

Contracts, Mortgages, Notes and leases (expired)

10 yrs

Contracts, Mortgages, Notes and Leases (still in effect)

Permanently

Correspondence (general)

2 yrs

Correspondence (legal & important matters only)

Permanently

Correspondence (routine) with customers and/or vendors

2 yrs

Deeds, Mortgages and Bill of Sale

Permanently

Depreciation Schedules

Permanently

Duplicate deposit slips

2 yrs

Employment Applications

3 yrs

Employment Tax Returns

4 yrs

Expense Analyses/Expense Distribution Schedules

10 yrs

Financial statements (year-end other options)

Permanently

Garnishments

10 yrs

General/Private Ledgers, Year-end Trial Balance

Permanently

Insurance Policies (expired)

3 yrs

Insurance Records, Current Accident Reports, Claims, Policies, etc.

Permanently

Internal Reports (misc)

3 yrs

Inventories of Products, Materials and Supplies

10 yrs

Invoices (to customers, from vendors)

10 yrs

Journals

Permanently

Magnetic Tape and Tab Cards

1 yr

Minute Books of directors, Stockholders, Bylaws and Charter

Permanently

Notes Receivable Ledgers and Schedules

10 yrs

Option Records (expired)

10 yrs

Patents & Related Papers

Permanently

Payroll Records & Summaries

10 yrs

Personnel Files (terminated)

10 yrs

Petty Cash Vouchers

3 yrs

Physical Inventory Tags

3 yrs

Plant Cost Ledgers

10 yrs

Property Appraisals by Outside Appraisers

Permanently

Property records, Including Costs, Depreciation Schedules, blueprints and plans

Permanently

Purchase Orders (except purchasing dept copy)

1 yr

Purchase Orders (purchasing dept. copy)

10 yrs

Receiving Sheets

1 yr

Retirement & Pension Records

1 yr

Requisitions

1 yr

Sales Commission Reports

3 yrs

Sales Records

10 yrs

Scrap & Salvage Records

10 yrs

Stock and Bond Certificates (canceled)

10 yrs

Stockroom Withdrawal Forms

1 yr

Subsidiary Ledgers

10 yrs

Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agents' reports and other documents relating to determination of income tax liability

Permanently

Time books/cards

10 yrs

Trademark Registrations and Copyrights

Permanently

Training manuals

Permanently

Union Agreements

Permanently

Voucher register and schedules

10 yrs

Vouchers for Payments to vendors, employees, etc. (includes allowances and reimbursement of employees, officers, etc for travel and entertainment)

10 yrs

Withholding Tax State

10 yrs