Here is a sample document illustrating company policy on record retention. You can use this as a starting point in developing your company’s own policy

SAMPLE: Record Retention Policy

This policy pertains to all records, including those stored electronically or physically.   

If you believe, or if the Company informs you, that the following accounting records or other Company records are relevant to litigation or potential litigation, you must preserve those records until the Company has determined that the records no longer need to be preserved.  

ACCOUNTING 

Account applications Permanent 
Accounts payable invoices, ledgers, payment records 7 years 
Accounts receivable invoices, ledgers, deposit records  7 years 
Accountant’s audit reports Permanent 
Bank statement and reconciliations 7 years 
Bank loans 7 years after payoff 
Capital assets ledger 7 years after-sale or disposal of an asset 
Charts of accounts Permanent 
Checks – cancelled (original AR deposit checks)    30 days 
Checks – cancelled (payroll, unimportant purchases) 7 years 
Checks – cancelled (for important purchases such as fixed assets, major items)  Permanent 
Depreciation schedules 3 years afterlife of asset 
Financial statements and reports – annual (includes balance sheets, profit & loss statements) Permanent 
Financial statements and reports – periodic 7 years 
General ledger and journals 7 years 
IRS audit reports, tax bills, statements Permanent 
Petty cash vouchers and receipts 4 years 
Sales commissions reports 3 years 
Vendor agreements and contracts 6 years after termination 

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