Do you know which business documents you should be shredding once you no longer need them? It’s important to train your employees to protect your business’s safety by responsibly shredding the right documents. Here are some examples of the top five documents your employees should be shredding to keep your business information safe.
Credit & Bank Statements
Credit statements and any type of bank records should be handled carefully due to their highly confidential nature. Banking records may have account numbers, card information, and more on them, so you should prioritize shredding these documents when you’re done with them. You may be able to find this information in your virtual banking account, so you won’t need to hang onto them for more than a year for tax purposes (or however long your bank recommends).
Tax forms also contain extremely sensitive information, though when you should shred these documents varies. You can shred employee I-9 forms after one year of the employee’s termination. On the other hand, keep your W-2 and W-4 forms for four years. Tax returns are also important to shred, though you should hold onto these forms for three years in case of amendments.
Employee records encompass everything from payroll records to applications and resumes. These documents contain sensitive employee information, and you must shred them accordingly. However, for legal purposes, you should preserve employee personnel files for six years before shredding them.
Another one of the top five documents your employees should be shredding is invoices. Set aside invoices and receipts for any products your business sells. The IRS recommends keeping these records for at least three years for tax purposes and deductions, though you could save them for up to seven years, depending on your business’s need.
A good rule of thumb is to shred anything that contains contact information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, or email addresses. You’ll often find this sensitive information on the documents above, though you should be shredding anything else that contains this information as well, especially your employee’s information or business information.
Make sure that your employees understand the importance of these documents, especially those who handle many of these important documents daily, such as your HR department, managers, etc. Shredding these sensitive documents once you no longer need them is critical to keeping your business and employees’ information safe. You can make the shredding routine faster and easier with NSA-approved under-desk paper shredders for your office.