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Record Management

The Information Listed Below Should Only Be Used As Guide to Document Retention.

Retention Schedules May Vary According To Laws Concerning Your Individual Business.

Accident reports/claims (settled cases)

7 years

Accounts payable: invoices, ledgers, and schedules

4 years

Actuarial reports

Permanently

Articles of incorporation

Permanently

Audit reports

Permanently

Bank reconciliations

4 years

Bank statements

4 years

Bills of lading

3 years

Budgets – projections

2 years

Bylaws

Permanently

Capital stock and bond records: ledgers, transfer registers, stubs coupons, options, etc.

Permanently

Cash books

Permanently

Chart of accounts

Permanently

Checks (canceled – see exception below)

4 years

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

Permanently

Contracts, mortgages, notes and leases (expired)

4 years

Copyrights/trademarks

Permanently

Correspondence (general)

2 years

Correspondence (legal and important matters only )

Permanently

Correspondence (routine) with customers and/or vendors

2 years

Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale

Permanently

Depreciation schedules

Permanently

Directives – exclusive

Permanently

Duplicate deposit slips

2 years

Employee expense records

3 years

Employment applications

2 years

Expense analysis/expense distribution schedules

4 years

Expense reports

4 years

Financial statements (year end)

Permanently

Freight bills

3 years

Garnishments

7 years

General/private ledgers, year-end trial balance

Permanently

IRS determination/ approval letters

Permanently

Insurance policies (expired)

3 years

Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc.

Permanently

Internal audit reports (longer retention periods may be desirable)

3 years

Internal reports (miscellaneous)

3 years

Inventories of products, materials and supplies

4 years

Invoices for property

Permanently

Journals – all types

Permanently

Minute books of directors, stockholders, bylaws, and charter

Permanently

Notes receivable ledgers and schedules

4 years

Note register

Permanently

Option records (expired)

7 years

Patents and related papers

Permanently

Payroll records and summaries

7 years

Pension/profit sharing plan/ trust documents

Permanently

Personnel files (terminated)

7 years

Petty cash vouchers

3 years

Plant cost ledgers

4 years

Procedure records

Permanently

Property appraisals by outside appraisers

Permanently

Property records, including costs, depreciation reserves, year-end trial balances, depreciation schedules, blueprints, and plans

Permanently

Purchase invoices

4 years

Purchase orders (except purchasing department copy)

1 year

Purchase orders (purchasing department copy)

4 years

Receiving sheets

1 year

Retirement and pension records

Permanently

Requisitions

1 year

Sales Commission reports

3 years

Sales invoices

4 years

Sales records

4 years

Scrap and salvage records (inventories, sales, etc.)

4 years

Stenographers’ notebooks

1 year

Stockroom withdrawal forms

1 year

Subsidiary ledgers

4 years

System records

4 years

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

Permanently

Time books/cards

7 years

Trademark registrations and copyrights

Permanently

Training manuals

Permanently

Union agreements

Permanently

Voucher register and schedules

4 years

Vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc. (includes allowances and reimbursements)

4 years

Withholding tax statements

7 years