HOW DO YOU ARCHIVE FILES?
Archiving and storing files can be a long and arduous process. Many companies even collect their data for several decades. Schedule enough time for archiving work so that no information is lost.
Step 1: In the first step, organize your data according to type and relevance. This is best done in analogue form, using a felt-tip pen and a sticky note.
Step 2: Sort out the kind of files that have not become irrelevant. Feel free to use a shredder for this.
Step 3: Now that you have sorted out outdated information, you can start labeling. The clearest way to do this step is to sort the files not only by subject, but also by quarter and calendar year. Be sure to keep a red thread when labeling to maintain an overview.
Step 4: In this step, it’s the turn of the existing files to be digitized. Thus, you secure all the information from environmental impact or damage, such as from a fire.
Step 5: Once all data has been backed up, you can now store the files. In doing so, you should observe special storage conditions:
- Protection from daylight
- Room temperature between 18 and 20 degrees
- Humidity between 25% and 50%
Now that you have completed all 5 steps and found a suitable space for your sensitive information and data, it is important to inquire about retention periods to build a solid archive system.
Accounting documents, as well as receipts and invoices, must be kept for 7 years, and documents relating to real estate in accordance with the VAT Act, must be archived for as long as 22 years. Documents relating to electronic services provided to non-entrepreneurs in EU member states must also be archived for 10 years. This refers to documents that were provided electronically, either via telecommunications, radio, or television.