The specific information that appears on a business records retention schedule generally includes a series of dates and guidelines for when a particular company may safely dispose of its paper documentation. Some such schedules also feature specific instructions on how to dispose of the documents in a safe and secure manner.
A business records retention schedule typically outlines a company's policy for keeping physical copies of its records and important documents, such as tax forms, vendor bills, employee pay stubs or state licenses. Each business usually creates its own schedule, as every industry has different recommendations for the length of time to keep copies of different types of documents. In many cases, the schedule begins by explaining the purpose of the document, such as the retention periods for a specific type of document or documents within a certain department or branch of the company, followed by the timetables for different items.
Some schedules may organize the information to include a section for each type of record, displaying the minimum or maximum period for which the company must keep the copy intact. Others may outline specific dates on which the employees need to check the documents and shred or discard old copies. In the case of sensitive materials, the schedule may also reference a specific method to destroy the files or a company to contact to handle the procedure.