In Search of the Elusive Paperless Office
Decades ago, futurists predicted that the availability of inexpensive and powerful digital computers would bring about a paperless office. In 2017, however, the paperless office seems to be as elusive as the personal jet pack and the flying car! Businesses, small and large, continue to generate vast amounts of paper records requiring storage, even if only as a backup for electronic records.
Government agencies, like the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), have varying record-retention requirements, and you should always check with your accountant or with the government agency directly to confirm the requirements as they pertain to your business. Generally speaking, however, the CRA requires that financial records be stored for six years after the last taxation year to which the records relate. Some documents such as minutes, share certificates, and general ledgers, must be retained for the life of the corporation plus two years. If space is at a premium, it is desirable to store these records off-site. If a business has become inactive, records must still be stored even if the office where they were kept has closed. In either case, self-storage is a low-cost and practical solution for storing business records.
When choosing a storage option for your business records, there are a couple of factors to consider:
- Although unheated storage is usually adequate for storing records, many people prefer heated storage.
- If accessing the business records regularly (particularly during those chilly winter months), the small premium charged for heated storage is often worthwhile.
- Conversely, if the business records are being stored exclusively for CRA purposes and are only likely to be accessed in the event of an audit, for example, unheated storage is probably sufficient.
- Another factor in choosing an appropriate storage option for your business records is the size of the unit itself. If you are planning to access your business records regularly, the unit should be large enough to accommodate free-standing shelving with aisles between the shelves for easy access.
- If the business is inactive, or if the records are not going to be accessed regularly, then the unit need only be slightly larger than the volume of the records.
Bluebird Self Storage offers self-storage solutions for individuals and businesses in Edmonton, Red Deer, Cochrane, Sherwood Park, Canmore, and many more locations.