The days of paper records and overflowing filing cabinets are in the past. If you still have paper records floating around your office, take some time to digitize those archives. Moving all your records to digital can protect your records from physical threats, such as fire and floods, and it frees up space in your office.
The Canada Revenue Agency requires you to keep most records for six years. If you have older records, you may want to destroy them instead of converting them to digital formats. If you or your clients prefer to keep records for a longer period of time, you may still want to digitize those old records.
Before digitizing your records, review the CRA’s rules and expectations for electronic records. Store the records in a readable format. If you save records on hard drives or USB thumb drives that can be overwritten, make backup copies on an external hard drive or in the cloud. Save accounting records as well as records related to the original transactions. For example, if you’re turning a list of business expenses into a digital file, make digital copies of all the receipts related to those expenses.
You have a few different options for turning paper records into digital archives. You can scan records and save them, but you can also use an app that’s designed to help you organize and track paper receipts.
Digital records can be easier to keep track of than paper records, and if you still have a lot of paper around your office, take steps to convert everything to a digital format. If you’re dealing with your clients’ records, talk with them first to make sure that they know what to expect.