top of page
Vertical File Cabinet


Good record keeping can cut your taxes and make your financial life easier. 

In business, good record keeping is essential not only for tax reporting purposes but also for the success of the company. The guidelines below give retention periods for the most common business records. Call us if you’d like more information or assistance with your record retention program.

Accounting Records

  • Accounts payable 7 years

  • Accounts receivable 7 years

  • Audit reports permanent

  • Chart of accounts permanent

  • Depreciation schedules permanent

  • Expense records 7 years

  • Financial statements (annual) permanent

  • Fixed asset purchases permanent

  • General ledger permanent

  • Inventory records 7 years or permanent for LIFO system

  • Loan payment schedules 7 years

  • Purchase orders (1 copy) 7 years

  • Sales records 7 years

  • Tax returns permanent

Company Records

  • Board minutes permanent

  • Bylaws permanent

  • Business licenses permanent

  • Contracts (major) permanent

  • Contracts (minor) life + 4 years

  • Insurance policies life + 3 years. Check with your agent. Liability for prior years can vary.

  • Leases/mortgages permanent

  • Patents/trademarks permanent

  • Leasehold improvements permanent

  • Stock registers permanent

  • Stock transactions permanent

Real Property Records

  • Construction records permanent

  • Leasehold improvements permanent

  • Lease payment records life + 4 years

  • Real estate purchases permanent

Bank Records

  • Bank reconciliations 2 years

  • Bank statements 7 years

  • Canceled checks 7 years or permanent for purchases

  • Electronic payment records 7 years

Employee Records

  • Benefit plans permanent

  • Employee files (ex-employees) 7 years or statute of limitations for employee lawsuits

  • Employment applications 3 years

  • Employment taxes 7 years

  • Payroll records 7 years

  • Pension/profit sharing plans permanent

All records must be retained for at least the minimum period as stated in an applicable state statute or federal law or regulation. State laws may vary dramatically. Accordingly, your individual situation should not be relied on or used as a substitute for professional or legal research, advice or analysis. In no event should this handout be construed as the rendering of advice or services by Bauman Associates CPAs & Advisors.

bottom of page