The Ultimate Guide To Proper Business Record Disposal This Holiday Season

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The holidays are a time for family, friends, and festivities. But they can also be when your business needs to dispose of records properly. Many companies have schedules for record retention and disposal, but the actual disposal of documents should have specific procedures in place – especially if they contain personally identifiable information (PII).

If your company is held to regulatory statutes requiring record disposal, a plan should be in place to maintain compliance. Below is the ultimate guide to proper business record disposal this holiday season.

Importance Of Record Disposal

Record disposal is essential for businesses of all sizes. Not only does it help to protect the privacy of customers and employees, but it can also help to prevent identity theft and fraud. Disposing of records correctly can also be helpful if your business is ever audited.

What Records Need To Be Shredded?

The records that should be disposed of will depend on your business and the information. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. For example, any records that contain personally identifiable information (PII) should be given special attention. It includes social security numbers, driver’s licenses, credit card numbers, and account passwords.

Any records no longer needed for business purposes can be disposed of, including old financial records, customer lists, employee files, and marketing materials. If you are unsure whether or not a document should be disposed of, err on the side of caution and keep it until you are confident.

How To Dispose Of Records

The most reliable and quick option is to dispose of records by shredding them. It can be done by hiring a professional shredding service, who will come to your office and shred the documents on-site.

Remember, electronic records can be disposed of, not just paper records. Any electronic documents containing PII should be destroyed using a data shredding program, which will destroy the information on the hard drive and make it unrecoverable. Once again, for any records you are unsure of, it is better to err on the side of caution and keep them until you are confident.

When disposing of records, it is essential to have a plan in place. Having a plan will ensure that all documents are dealt with promptly and consistently. It can also help to prevent any accidental disposal of records that should be kept.

When To Dispose Of Records

The timing of record disposal will depend on your business and the type of records being disposed of. Generally, it is best to dispose of documents as soon as they are no longer needed. Record shredding will help to keep your office organized and prevent the accumulation of unnecessary paper or electronic files.

IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) record retention mandates vary between two and six years, depending on the document. Regardless, maintain all business records for at least seven years. Some business records, like a nonprofit’s tax-exempt certificates or a business tax ID, never become irrelevant, so always keep them close at hand. IRS retention rules apply to records that help you calculate or justify business income, tax deductions, or tax credits. The DOL requires that you keep any documents that help you do payroll. Different States can also have specific document retention rules, so check your state treasury department’s website for more detailed information.

Comply With Regulatory Requirements

  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions to protect the confidentiality of customer information. Financial institutions must protect against unauthorized access to information when disposing of documents, including shredding customer information records.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the second regulatory requirement. This act requires businesses that handle protected health information (PHI) to take steps to keep this information secure. When disposing of records that contain PHI, companies must shred or destroy them so that they are unreadable and cannot be reconstructed.
  • The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) is the third regulatory requirement. This act requires businesses to take reasonable measures to protect consumer information.

Document Shredding In Wisconsin

When choosing a shredding service in Wisconsin, Choose Abraham’s On-Site Shredding Service. We have provided on-site document destruction services in Southeastern Wisconsin and Northeastern Illinois since 1999. We aim to provide quality on-site document destruction services for your needs. Our services are geared toward both commercial and residential needs to ensure that your information is protected and your security is safe.

This holiday season, make sure you properly dispose of your business records. Abraham’s On-Site Shredding Service is available to help you destroy your documents. Choose a shredding service that is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Call (262) 877-8878