28 Nov A Document Retention Policy, Moving Boxes and Secure Document Storage. Why Your Kamloops Business Needs Them.
If your Kamloops office is going paperless or running out of space, perhaps it’s time to pack those documents into moving boxes and bring them to a secure, climate-controlled self-storage facility. Valleyview Mini Storage is well set up to handle your document storage. First, you need to know about what can be moved out of your office and moved into storage.
Going Paperless? There Will Always Be Paper Documents
Many businesses are going paperless, but whether your Kamloops business is paperless or not, you will quite likely accumulate paper documents. Over the life of a business, even just a few years, stacks of paper will fill cabinets, boxes and office storage.
The steady, seemingly never-ending accumulation of paper is the main reason businesses move old document archives into storage. Over time, office spaces become cluttered, and documents you never or rarely need take up valuable space.
Why Businesses Keep Paper Documents
Many Kamloops businesses keep all of their documents because it seems like the safest option to do so, but, you don’t have to. Your business can adopt a document retention policy. First, you’ll need to find out how long you must keep documents. You can speak to your bookkeeper, accountant/financial advisor or a records management expert. You may find that the answers aren’t clear, services are costly, or it’s just too much hassle. It’s therefore not surprising that so many businesses keep all documents, pack them into moving boxes and stack them in an office closet, in-office storage, or anywhere else they can find room.
Because many of the documents your business keeps are tax-related financial records, it’s important to know the CRA rules about document retention. By understanding these alone, you can reduce a lot of paper clutter and unnecessary storage.
According to the article “Record Retention Guidelines – Record Keeping in Canada“, Canada Revenue Agency generally requires that businesses keep records “for six years from the end of the tax year which they are referring”, which is the equivalent of 7 years. Records must be stored at your place of business or residence. After that, you are free to move them into secure document storage. Because the legal retention period can vary depending on the situation, see Canada Revenue Agency “Books and Record Retention” rules (available as HTML and PDF) for detailed information.
Learn more about the complicated world of record retention: read “Dispelling Myths About Records Retention in Canada” (PDF) and you’ll see that the rules are far from clear, depend on the type of document, and vary from province to province.
Packing Paper into Moving Boxes for Document Storage
Once you’ve done a little homework, you can pack documents into moving boxes and move them to our secure storage.
Here are some quick tips, taken from our blog post “Business Document Storage Tips“. In that article, you’ll learn the proper way to pack boxes to store and archive your old files.
Here’s are the highlights:
- Organize moving boxes and banker’s boxes by the type of content they contain.
- Always label your boxes. Use a name “Taxes” and a box number (i.e. “5”) so you can easily identify contents within. The second number will be used to help document your archive using a spreadsheet (see below).
- Document your archives in a spreadsheet as you place the contents in the box. The spreadsheet can contain the following columns: Box #, Box Label, Description.
- When moving boxes into your storage unit, think “last in, first out”. The last boxes you move in should contain documents you are most likely to need access to. The first boxes you move in will typically remain toward the back of your storage unit and are harder to access. These should be documents you will rarely or never need.
Disclaimer: Valleyview Mini Storage is not a document retention specialist. Always consult a professional to be certain what business documents you are required to keep on premise, and which can be moved into storage.
Need Document Storage for Your Kamloops Business?
If you need business storage, Valleyview offers secure, climate-controlled storage units in a variety of sizes. Our helpful staff is always happy to answer questions you might have about moving items into storage, and we offer a good selection of moving boxes and packing supplies.