Record Retention

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 Records Retention Schedule

Your circumstances may require that you retain records for a longer period of time than shown below. This is a general schedule. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. Companies should
have record retention policies for their computer files, word processing and e-mail in addition to the healthy and traditional ledger and paper documents. Prior to formalizing a policy, we recommend consulting your attorneys for further information.

Retention Period Retention Period
Accident reports/claims (settled cases) 7 years Minute banks of directors, stockholders, bylaws, and charter Permanently
Accounts payable ledgers and schedule 7 years Notes receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years Option records (expired) 7 years
Audit reports Permanently Patents and related papers Permanently
Bank reconciliations 2 years Payroll records and summaries 7 years
Bank statements 3 years Personnel files (terminated) 7 years
Capital stock and bond records: ledgers, transfer registers,
stubs showing issues, record of interest coupons, options, etc.
Permanently Petty cash vouchers 3 years
Cash books Permanently Physical inventory tags 3 years
Charts of accounts Permanently Plant cost ledgers 7 years
Checks (canceled-see exception below) 7 years Property appraisals by outside appraisers Permanently
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 Property records, including costs, depreciation reserves,
year-end trial balances, depreciation schedules, blueprints, and
Contracts, mortgages, notes, and leases Purchase orders (except purchasing department copy) 1 years
   (expired) 7 years
   (still in effect) Permanently
Correspondence (general) 2 years Purchase orders (purchasing department copy) 7 years
Correspondence (legal and important matters only) Permanently Permanently Receiving sheets 1 year
Correspondence (routine) with customers and/or vendors 2 years Retirement and pension records Permanently
Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale Permanently Requisitions 1 year
Depreciation schedules Permanently Sales commission reports 3 years
Duplicate deposit slips 2 years Sales records 7 years
Employment applications 3 years Scrap and salvage records (inventories, sales, etc.) 7 years
Expense analysis/expense distribution schedules 7 years Stenographers’ notebooks 1 year
Financial statements (year-end, other optional) Permanently  Stock and bond certificates (canceled) 7 years
Garnishments 7 years  Stockroom withdrawal forms 1 year
General/private ledgers, year-end trial balance Permanently Subsidiary ledgers 7 years
Insurance policies (expired) 3 years Tax returns and worksheets, revenue, agents’ reports, and other
documents relating to determination of income tax liability
Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies,
Permanently Time books/cards 7 years
Internal audit reports(longer retention periods may be desirable) 3 years Trademark registrations and copyrights Permanently
Internal reports (miscellaneous) 3 years Training manuals Permanently
Inventories of products, materials, and supplies 7 years Union agreements Permanently
Invoices (to customers, from vendors) 7 years Voucher register and schedules 7 years
Journals Permanently Vouchers for payments to vendors, employees, etc.(includes allowances and reimbursement of employees, officers, etc.,
for travel an entertainment expenses)
7 years
Magnetic tape and tab cards 1 year Withholding tax statements 7 years