As many companies and people turn to digital documents to optimize their storage system, it’s a good idea to keep paper documents at an offsite record storage facility.
Digital records are beneficial for those filing, managing, and organizing a large amount of data. At the same time, it’s often necessary to use paper documents, making it important to think about storing such documents, which might contain confidential information. For example, original copies of contracts, files, and financial data are usually in paper format.
Offsite record storage offers several benefits, including secure protection, freeing up office space, and reducing costs. There are also many legal obligations regarding document management that state an industry must keep the original hard copies of certain documents.
Some documents must also be kept permanently, which include:
- Annual tax returns and audits
- Certificates of stocks and bonds
- Health records
- Records of powers of attorney or wills
- Family birth certificates, adoption and custody records as well as copies of death certificates
- Titles and Deeds, Employment/Personnel Files
- Tax Forms, Employee Tax Records, and Employment Applications
Many other documents must be kept permanently at an offsite record storage facility depending on the specific industry. However, all industries need to keep important financial, client, and employee information. Items that are kept for longer periods prove ownership, titles and deeds, as well as files relating to taxes or employment, which are required to be kept by federal and state laws.
Some documents must be kept temporarily and can be securely disposed of later on, including:
- Paycheck stubs for one year and until W-2 forms or 1099 forms are received.
- W-2 forms or 1099s for seven years.
- House bills for one year.
- Businesses or business-related bills for seven years
- All mortgage statements for up to one year.
- Mutual funds statement until the end of the year when they can be verified and reconciled.
- Bank statements and credit card statements for one year
- Tax-deductible expense receipts for seven years
Again, there may be more documents that should be kept at an offsite record storage facility depending on the industry. Items with a shorter life span may include unsold projects. To be safe, it is always better to keep confidential data longer than the suggested timeframe.
When disposing of documents, make sure they are securely destroyed. Shredding old records prevents sensitive data, client information, insurance data, and other confidential information from getting into the wrong hands. Record shredding services can help facilities reduce liability, increase productivity, while also helping the environment and saving your organization money.
Some documents can be destroyed right away, including:
- Receipts of everyday purchases that are not tax-deductible
- Warranties that have expired
- Basic paperwork, such as instructions and manuals to items that a person no longer uses or owns
- Verified ATM slips, bank-deposit slips and credit card receipts
Salumatics offers many professional packages at an affordable rate. Our team uses the most advanced technologies and logistics expertise to track, monitor, climate-control, and fully secure your documents. If you need interactive file access, our team can scan and store each file and make document access and retrieval fully available online. Click here or get a free quote to start your offsite record storage project.