skip to Main Content

Today, more than ever, business owners suffer from document overload. The two questions we hear over and over are: “Which records should I keep?” and Which records can I destroy?”

A well defined program is an important part of your record keeping system. Factors to consider when establishing a record retention program include federal and state tax laws, labor laws, government regulations, statutes of limitation on litigation that may affect your business and the general information retrieval needs of your business.

We have prepared these guidelines to assist you in developing your record retention program. Should a question arise about whether important records or documents can be destroyed, please contact us.


One Year

  • Purchase orders (except purchasing department copy)
  • Personnel employment applications
  • Stenographers’ notebooks
  • Stockroom withdrawal forms


Three Years

  • Bank reconciliations
  • General correspondence
  • Duplicate deposit slips
  • Expired insurance policies
  • Internal audit reports and working papers
  • Miscellaneous internal reports
  • Petty cash vouchers
  • Physical inventory tags


Seven Years

  • Accident reports and claims for settled cases
  • Accounts payable ledgers (computer runs)
  • Accounts receivable ledgers (computer runs)
  • Automobile logs
  • Bank statements
  • Bills of lading
  • Cash books
  • Canceled checks (see exception under “Permanently”)
  • Commission records
  • Expired contracts and leases
  • Employee personnel records after termination
  • Expense reports
  • General journals
  • Information returns
  • Inventory records
  • Invoices to customers and from vendors
  • Notes receivable ledgers (computer runs)
  • Notes payable ledgers (computer runs)
  • Purchase orders
  • Sales tax returns



  • Articles of incorporation and bylaws
  • Audit reports of public accountants
  • Capital stock and bond records (ledgers, transfer registers, etc.) — retain with related papers
  • Legal and other important correspondence
  • Deeds and mortgages
  • Copyright and trademarks
  • Depreciation schedules
  • Employee benefit plan documents and amendments, including accounting records and participants’ allocation schedules
  • Year end financial statements (other months optional)
  • General ledgers
  • Licenses and permits
  • Minute books
  • Patents
  • Property appraisals by outside appraisers
  • Property records (costs, blueprints and plans)
  • Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agents’ reports and other documents relating to determination of tax liability.
Back To Top