When it comes to disposing of important business documents, shredding them in an approved paper shredder is an ideal strategy. Using a paper shredder is the most efficient and convenient way to dispose of sensitive documents and keep your information safe. But which documents should you shred when you finish using them? Find out which business documents you should always shred before disposing of them.
Bank and Credit Statements
Most banking establishments recommend keeping your bank and credit card statements for at least one year. This is for easy accessibility and reference. You should also note that most banks are making the move to paperless banking. This system allows you to reference current and past bank statements online, so you don’t need to shred them. When you’re ready to dispose of your paper bank statements, make sure you shred them with an NSA-approved shredder for maximum security.
Your business should keep employee records for your own reference and for your employees to have access to upon request. These materials usually include tax records, medical information, insurance, and more. The standard for keeping employee records is about four years. This allows you, as a previous employer, to reference these documents. Old employees can also see them if needed.
Human Resources Documents
Your human resources department is the primary hub of employee and business documents. Because HR handles such a wide range of documentation, it’s challenging to list every kind of document and how long to keep it. But know that you don’t want to dispose of any HR documents before three years, and you want to hold onto some up to seven years later, especially employee contracts. When it comes to disposing of employee records and HR documents, a shredder is necessary for proper safety measures.
The IRS recommends keeping your business’s tax reports and returns for up to seven years. Even then, they only recommend shredding supporting tax documents and keeping your official documents permanently in case of a need for future reference. You may require these documents to compare with other tax returns or for other purposes. If you have this information available digitally, make sure you’re careful and shred all tax information you don’t need.
Every business will contain confidential information. But you don’t need to keep everything forever. Shredding these documents is the only way to ensure you dispose of them safely. Now that you know which business documents you should always shred, you can clear out some of the old documents you may have been hanging onto unnecessarily.