The Documents You Should Be Shredding, and Why
March 28, 2018
Your business needs a document retention policy to make sure it complies with state and federal regulations. But don’t make the mistake of holding onto documents longer than necessary. You could expose your customers and employees to identity theft. Here’s a list of documents you should be shredding.
Financial records make up the broadest category of documents you should shred. They include tax-related documents which can be destroyed after seven years. However, this rule doesn’t apply to every financial document; many financial records can be destroyed within one to three years. Because of these varied retention requirements, check with your accountant to see when you can safely destroy the following records:
- Expense reports
- Credit memos
- Bank statements
- Corporate credit card statements
- Petty cash reports
- Purchase orders
In the meantime, if you have a pile of obsolete financial documents, use a one-time purge shredding service to purge them securely.
Every healthcare provider has an obligation to destroy expired protected health information (PHI) under the Health Information and Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Failure to apply destruction policies in accordance with these laws can result in heavy fines.
Lately, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has stepped up HIPAA and HITECH enforcement. So whether you’re a large hospital or small private practice, it’s important to have a secure scheduled shredding solution.
From job applications to health insurance forms, every business collects sensitive information from its employees. You have an ethical and legal responsibility to dispose of it securely. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) states, “any employer whose action or inaction results in the loss of employee information can be fined by federal and state government, and sued in civil court.” As a result, the following personnel documents should be shredded when they’re no longer needed:
- Pre-employment files
- Payroll documents
- 1-9 forms
Hire a document destruction partner to ensure prompt shredding of employee records once they exceed their retention period.
This is not an exhaustive list of documents to shred, but it will get you started on the right path. For further document destruction guidance, please call us at 314-729-9200 or complete the form on the page.