Record Retention

Generally accepted, reasonable time periods recommended for retaining business records

Type of Document How Long?
Accident reports and claims (settled cases) 7 years
Accounts payable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Accounts receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Audit reports of accountants Indefinitely
Bank reconciliations 1 year
Bank statements 7 years
Cash books Indefinitely
Chart of accounts Indefinitely
Checks (canceled, see exceptions below) 7 years
Checks (canceled for important payments, taxes, purchase of property, special contracts) Indefinitely
Construction documents Indefinitely
Contracts and leases (expired) 7 years
Contracts and leases still in effect Expiration + 7 years
Correspondences (general) 3 years
Correspondences (important) Indefinitely
Deeds, mortgages, bills of sale, titles Indefinitely
Depreciation schedules Indefinitely
Duplicate deposit slips 1 year
Electronic fund transfer documents 7 years
Employee personnel records (after termination) 7 years
Employment applications 3 years
Expense analyses and expense distribution schedules 7 years
Financial statements (end-of-year) Indefinitely
General ledgers (and end-of-year trial balance) Indefinitely
I-9 (after termination) 1 year
Insurance policies (expired) 3 years
Inventories of products, material, supplies 7 years
Invoices to customers 7 years
Invoices from vendors 7 years
Leases Indefinitely
Loan documents, notes Indefinitely
Minute books of directors and stockholders, including by-laws and charter Indefinitely
Notes receivable ledgers and schedules 7 years
OSHA logs 5 years
Payroll records and summaries, pensions, payroll taxes 7 years
Petty cash vouchers 3 years
Property appraisals by outside appraisers Indefinitely
Property records including costs, depreciation schedules, blueprints & plans Indefinitely
Purchase orders (purchasing department copy) 7 years
Receiving sheets 1 year
Sales records 7 years
Scrap and salvage records (inventories, sales, etc) 7 years
Subsidiary ledgers 7 years
Tax returns and worksheets, agents’ reports, any documents re: income tax liability Indefinitely
Time book/cards 7 years
Trade mark registrations Indefinitely
Voucher register and schedules 7 years
Voucher for payments to vendors, employees, etc ( including allowances and reimbursement of employees, officers, etc., for travel and entertainment expenses) 7 years
W-4 forms 4 years
Workers’ comp. documents 11 years