We live in an age of data overload! Cloud-based technology with the help of the internet has helped to store a huge amount of data that can be accessed from anywhere — those days of rummaging through the old records store to pick out the monthly financial statement previous year. The introduction of AI interface will help you to sift for specific records and even remember your preference to make searching smoother next time. With advanced tools such as MS office at your disposal, you can work out complex budgetary calculations by spooling data from previous records with ease.
What to keep and what to throw:
No matter how much technology you incorporate, you still have to use your reasoning! When it comes to deciding the best business records retention schedule, you will frequently come across the prodigal question, what data needs to be kept and what needs to be discarded? Always check with your company’s financial controller and legal attorney before you carry out your yearly file filtration. Your company should have clear-cut guidelines as to what is the timeline for maintaining records in various departments. Those documents for which a replacement will be hard to procure should never be discarded. These ‘permanent records’ should be laminated and stored in a secure container. Generally, Income tax returns, legal documents, retirement and pension records, audit reports come under this category. Everyday paperwork generally needs to be kept for three years: credit card statements, utility bill records, employment applications, medical reimbursements. There is also a category of records that does not seem to be fitting into any of the categories mentioned before. This miscellaneous set of documents should be disposed of as per individual subject requirements. For instance, car records should be kept till the car is being used; credit card receipts can be kept till the next reconciliation.