With another tax season complete, you may have some questions floating through your head. Should you keep all tax documents just to be safe? What’s the best way to get rid of unneeded information? What do you do with sensitive documents until you have time to sort through and dispose of them? Well, to answer these common questions, your business should develop an off site shredding policy.
Ask yourself the following when selecting an off site shredding program:
- Who will have access to sensitive information? It’s crucial to designate one or two key people from the company to handle or have access to certain information. All too often, businesses fall victim to identity theft because an employee has taken and wrongfully utilized the information. Remember, if one of the selected personnel leaves your organization, change passwords and locks immediately.
- Who decides to shred or save? Businesses should choose one person or a small team that can make decisions about what to save or what to shred so they aren’t at risk during a court case or audit. Consult your lawyer, accountant and arecords management expert to make sure you’re making the right decisions about your records.
- What are your shredding options? Most businesses will need to seek out a professional shredding service. Not only will a shredding company save you time, you’ll be given an audit trail, so if an audit did occur you’d have proof of how, when and where the information was destroyed.
- How often will you shred unneeded documents? Because shredding unneeded items on a daily basis isn’t very realistic, develop a schedule that is convenient for your business. If you use the services of a professional records management company, communicate your needs and goals with the company so they can help determine the best solution for you and your business’ schedule.
- How will you store information until it can be shredded? It’s important to decide how sensitive information will be stored. Stacking piles in bins on a desk is not the solution. Lock soon-to-be-shredded documents in a secure room or cabinet and limit access to a specific staff member. For another secure solution, seek out a records management company that can provide your business with locked, secure destruction containers. This solution keeps information secure and also communicates to your team that you take storing sensitive information this way very seriously.
A shredding policy will not only simplify things at your business, it will also protect you. Contact us for ideas to get your program up and running.