Tips on How to Store Your Financial Documents Safely Back
In both business and personal life, there are a range of financial documents which should be stored and retained correctly and safely. Including anything from tax returns, invoices, and credit agreements, it’s understandable that organisations can sometimes slip.
Yet, storing documentation of this nature is essential to avoid fraudulent activity, protect personal liabilities, adhere to data protection standards, and maintain financial forecasts, especially in business.
Knowing which documents to store and how to maintain their footprint safely is therefore very important. There’s now the option to store and retain financial documents through tangible and digital means, offering more convenience and reassurance. Yet, it’s necessary to be aware and prepared to benefit from a streamlined process through such options.
Instead of relying on a cardboard box hidden under your bed or an overflowing in-house filing cabinet, here are some tips on safely storing your financial documents. At Secure Storage Services, we offer a range of solutions across document storage, retrieval, scanning and shredding, providing an organised, confidential, and reassuring timeline.
Reach out to store your financial documents with confidence.
Which documents should you store?
Depending on your personal circumstances or professional industry, a wide variety of financial documents will need to be kept. Yet, for the average person/business, some indefinite documents must be stored and saved for several years. They include:
- Tax returns: Long-term storage of all supportive documents and returns
- Credit agreements and accounts: Monthly for personal use, yearly for business use
- Proof of investments: Store year-end statements for up to 6 years
- Income records: Depending on employment. Self-employed individuals should keep records for 7 years
- Purchases: Personal purchases for 1 month/warranty timeline, business purchases, to be recorded across expenses
- Savings accounts: Maintain year-end statements for 6 years
- Financial documents should be stored safely and available for retrieval to support personal/business liabilities. Although timelines can differ, depending on the document type, it’s advised to keep most original documents for up to 6 years, with an end date for disposal.
Where should you keep physical, financial documents?
Physical, financial documents should be stored with confidence in mind. Through a robust and confidential solution, the risks of fraud and exposure can be significantly lower.
It’s also vital for documents to be stored with the capabilities of retrieval. Financial audits can unexpectedly take place, which will require your input. Producing supportive documentation will be a personal duty to be responsible for all statements and accounts. Physical storage should therefore be secure yet organised, offered through a fireproof safe or our storage services.
Financial documents can also be safely stored through digital platforms, encrypted, and protected by the cloud. Cloud storage allows documents to be confidentially homed whilst protected through secure data storage standards, again suitable for organisation and retrieval.
It’s always recommended to have both tangible and digital versions of important documents. We offer a supportive timeline, from document storage and scanning to confidential shredding.
Here are some tips on how to store your financial documents safely through both tangible and digital formats.
Tips on how to store your financial documents safely.
Follow recommended timelines
To maintain full accountability across financial documents, following recommended timelines for both storage and disposal is essential. In most cases, documents should be stored for 7 years and then imminently disposed of through a certified shredding service.
Keeping organised can help with retrieval. Yet can also make sure that you have all documents to hand for safety purposes. It may feel like a big ask to store your financial documents with organisation in mind. Yet, there are solutions in place to support you with this.
Making copies and inadequately storing them will be disastrous. Yet making copies and maintaining organisation will make sure that information can be sourced. In the event of an accident or misplaced data, copies will be invaluable. It’s very important to maintain the protection of each copy to store all confidential information safely.
Select a safe storage solution
One of the greatest tips on storing your financial documents safely is to select a storage solution. Services like ours can help complete all of the above whilst moving your documents through a streamlined process, up until disposal.
Safe storage solutions will provide constant peace of mind that financial documents are secure and kept in the right hands.
Digitalise your documents
Both tangible and digital document storage options will be beneficial. Digital solutions can feel risker, down to the complexity of cyber security. Yet through secure data storage and encrypted solutions, digital storage can be a safer option nowadays.
Backup digital documents
To ensure that digitalisation is beneficial, it’s always wise to back up digital documents. A physical backup strategy will be recommended, such as a memory card, along with cloud-based storage.
Dispose of correctly
Storing your financial documents safely is paramount. Yet disposal is just as important, as this is the moment that fraud can take place. It’s also vital to follow environmental and data protection regulations by safely and sustainably disposing of tangible documents. Confidential shredding services will be recommended to dispose of documents once their purpose has expired within the timeline.
Moving through a streamlined timeline, from scanning and storing documents to their disposal, will ensure that information can be organised and retrieved whilst safely maintained.
Our storage solutions at Secure Storage Services
At Secure Storage Services, we serve the financial sector and other industries, offering a streamlined solution.
We run a protected off-site service of document storage and scanning to maintain and backup all information safely. Through our digitalised services, information can be retrieved and ready for disposal following a sustainable timeline. Our safe facilities also home our shredding services, ensuring that the disposal of your financial documents follows data protection regulations and environmental laws.
For more tips on storing your financial documents safely or for information on our services, reach out. A solid, safe paper trail can be experienced through off-site storage solutions.