Spring Cleaning? That’s a laugh, if you’re as busy as we normally are. Off season cleaning is more like it, and for most of us in the portable toilet business, that time was several months ago. That being said, indulging your urge to purge could be the difference between ‘making it through’ the busy season VS staying organized and ahead of the work load. The trick is to purge as much as you can, when you can, to keep your office clean, organized and ready for the busy season.
We thought it might be helpful to give you a list of ‘pinchables’. Too many of us keep more than we’re required to, thinking in terms of must keep, rather than can pinch. You have to admit, a full dumpster out back can put a big smile on your face and give you some breathing room in the office!
Throw it away
According to some of our sources, you are allowed, legally, to dispose of the following documents. Of course, since the word ‘legal’ is used, we absolutely recommend that you confirm with your accountant/lawyers that this list is accurate for your business, your location and for you!
Pitch After 1 Year:
- Bank reconciliations
- Correspondence with customers or vendors (if contracts and no longer in effect)
- Duplicate deposit slips
- Receiving sheets
- Stockroom withdrawal forms
Now… the trash your trying to clean out of your office after 1 year is probably the scariest one. Are you ‘sure’ you can get rid of these files? The key is being on time and on track with your business goals. You obviously can’t throw away receiving sheets or inventory documents if you haven’t accounted for those activities. BUT, if you are staying on top of your business, then after a year, you should be safe.
Pitch After 3 Years:
- General Correspondence (this should include all of those old emails you forgot about)
- Employee personal records (after termination)
- Employment applications (non-hires)
- Internal Reports
- Petty cash vouchers
Some of these are no-brainers, but it’s always good to be reminded. There are probably a lot more loose paper and digital files in your office that are 3 years old, just sitting around, that your company isn’t using or even looking at.
Pitch After 4 Years:
- Accident reports and claims (as long as the cases are settled)
- Accounts payable ledgers and schedules (end of year)
- Cash books
- Cancelled checks (except as noted below)
- Expired contracts and leases
- Depreciation schedules
- Insurance policies (expired)
- Inventories of products, materials and supplies
- Invoices to customers
- Invoices from vendors
- Purchase orders
- Scrap and salvage records (inventories, sales etc…)
Again, you’re going to need to check with your lawyers and/or accounting staff in order to evaluate what you should throw away. This list is a general outline of documents that you should be able to clean up, but it never hurts to check.
Pitch After 7 Years:
- Payroll records and summaries (including payments to top pensioners if applicable)
Additionally, at 7 years, you should be getting rid of lot of old documents and files. Most audits on taxes, finances etc… have a 7 year life span. At this point, you should be safe.
For more info on what kinds of paper work your company can do without, check out this link! www.realcommercial.com
As far as a digital clean up is concerned, check out business2community.com! It can be just as frustrating and time consuming to dig through computer files as it is to do in your paper filing room.
Now, we don’t want you to get crazy and toss out important documents that your business can benefit from. This is a rough list of the items you NEVER want to get rid of.
- Audit reports of accountants
- Cancelled checks for important payments (ie taxes, purchases or property, special contracts)
- Contracts and leases still in effect
- Deed, mortgages and bills of sale
- Financial statements (end-of-year: monthly optional)
- Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies etc…
- Minute books and bylaws of directors and stockholders
- Property appraisals by outside appraisers
- Property records, including costs, depreciation reserves, end-of-year trial balances, depreciation schedules, blueprints and plans
- Tax returns and worksheets, revenue agents reports and other documents relating to determination of income tax liability
The goal with all of this information is NOT to get you to trash all of your files for the sake of cleaning. The big issue is, when we get busy, even a few extra folders, files and/or loose documents floating around our desks is a HUGE distraction. It’s very hard to stay focused and handle the busy season when our offices are filled with (essentially) useless documents. A big part of staying focused is staying organized, and that’s impossible to do if we don’t constantly clean up.
The Take Away
It’s too late in the season for most of you to really worry about this kind of organization. If so, while you’re busy this year, keep these ideas in your mind. What daily or weekly activities could be done more efficiently, if you had extra desk or filing space or an organized desktop? Are you getting frustrated with stacks of paper sitting around, or fumbling through computer files? A little clean up work in the slower season (probably not actually spring) can save you time and stress when you get busy.
While we can’t really help you keep your office organized, we can help you with portable sanitation equipment and our process. If you need help with orders, your purchasing history or any of our other services, let us know! Otherwise, keep it clean and keep your portable toilet/sanitation business running smoothly.
Phone: (706) 864-3776
Toll Free: (800) 241-7951