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New Year Cleanouts: Top Tips for Purging Old Records as a Tampa Business Owner

A light blue file folder with hands removing a piece of paper from it.

Determining when to purge old paper documents is an important part of being a business owner. Old records can take up valuable space in an office, and many managers find that they could use the office capacity for other items. 

However, legal and compliance regulations typically require that a business retain its records for a specific amount of time.

As the New Year approaches, consider these tips for deciding what to purge:

Consider the Legal Requirements for Keeping Documents

While you should consult your legal counsel before deciding what types of documents you can get rid of, there are some basic guidelines:

  • General correspondence – 2 years
  • Bank reconciliations – 3 years
  • Purchase orders – 3 years
  • Safety reports – 5 years
  • Accounting records – 7 years
  • Audit records, financial statements, tax records – Permanent
  • Insurance records and claims – Permanent

You may find that general correspondence or other documentation has taken over multiple boxes or files. The end of the year is a great time to review your files and determine what is no longer useful or required for retention purposes.

Determine Whether You Need to Destroy Any Hard Drives

If you have old computers taking up space in your office, it may be tempting to simply recycle them or sell them. However, before doing either of those activities, you must ensure that any confidential data is properly erased from the hard drive.

There are strict regulations in place that the NSA and DoD abide by when erasing hard drives. It is not enough to simply drill holes in the drive, as hackers may still be able to access confidential data. Instead, a process called degaussing is used. This process involves the placement of magnets around the drive to fully erase any lingering data.

Once this process has been completed, a computer may be recycled without any fear of data compromise.

Consult with a Professional Document Shredding Company

ShredQuick has been assisting Florida businesses in their document retention and shredding processes since 2002. We are known for our competitive prices and commitment to document security. 

We have been awarded the National Association for Information Destruction’s highest information security level of “AAA Certified” every year since the company was founded! 

If you’re ready to clear out your Tampa-area office of old documents, contact us for a fair and competitive price. We stand ready to help you!

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