Document Retention Guide

These retention periods are offered as a guideline and guideposts. Have your company attorney approve your records retention timetable.

Accident reports/claims (settled cases) 7 years
Accounts payable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Audit reports Permanent
Bank reconciliations 2 years
Bank statements 3 years
Capital stock and bond records, ledgers, transfer registers, stubs, etc. Permanent
Cash books Permanent
Charts of accounts Permanent
Checks, cancelled (for important payments) taxes, purchases of property, special contracts, etc. Permanent
Checks, cancelled 7 years
Contracts, mortgages, notes, leases - expired 7 years
Contracts, mortgages, notes, leases - active Permanent
Correspondence - general 2 years
Correspondence - legal and important Permanent
Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale Permanent
Depreciation schedules Permanent
Deposit slips, duplicates 2 years
Employment applications 3 years
Expense analysis/expense distribution schedules 7 years
Financial statements Permanent
Garnishments 7 years
General/private ledgers, year-end trial balance Permanent
Insurance policies - expired 3 years
Insurance records - current, accident reports, claims, policies Permanent
Internal audit reports 3 years
Internal reports - general 3 years
Inventories 7 years
Invoices 7 years
Journals Permanent
Magnetic tape and tab cards 1 year
Minute books of directors, stockholders, bylaws, charter Permanent
Notes receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Option records - expired 7 years
Patents and related papers Permanent
Payroll records and summaries 7 years
Personnel files - terminated 7 years
Petty cash vouchers 3 years
Physical inventory tags 3 years
Plant cost ledgers 7 years
Property appraisals by outside appraisers Permanent
Property records (costs, depreciation reserves, year-end trial balances, blueprints, etc.) Permanent
Purchase orders - except purchasing department copy 1 year
Purchase orders - purchasing department copy 7 years
Receiving sheets 1 year
Requisitions 1 year
Retirement and pension records Permanent
Sales commision reports 3 years
Sales records 7 years
Scrap and salvage records 7 years
Stenographers' notebooks 1 year
Stock and bond certificates - cancelled 7 years
Subsidiary ledgers 7 years
Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agents' reports, etc. Permanent
Time books/cards 7 years
Trademark registrations and copyrights Permanent
Training manuals Permanent
Union agreements Permanent
Vouchers for payments 7 years
Withholding tax statements 7 years

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