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OT one of the greatest feelings in the world

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Just filled up three 94 gallon trash bins that are going off to the shredder.

Each January 1st for the next 3 years I have about 50 lbs of paper that will need to be shredded and then I'm all done. Everything will be online or on a travel drive.

 

Such a wonderful feeling.

 

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Weird feeling, isn't it?  I did that about 10 years or so ago when I spun off my business clients.  I don't think I had anywhere near your total but it was probably 150-200 pounds.  I took it to  a licensed shredding business to get the document certifying it.  Then about 5 years ago I did it again when my biggest paper producing client group (7 trusts) finally were over with assets all distributed.  That was probably about 200 pounds.  I'm down to maybe 25 pounds total now.  It is such a good feeling to not have all that paper.

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LIBERATING, isn't it? I know @RitaB would be terrified! 

LOL 

I started doing that about 5 years ago, and wrapped it up 2 years ago. I have a very small office and no room for all the paper. It was so free-ing. 

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Before.......giphy.gif

 

During................................giphy.gif

 

After.......................................................giphy.gif

 

..............................What a Relief.....................

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The only paper we keep is signed efile signature forms and POAs. Any misprints or copies of documents the client doesn't want, get shredded every other month. We use a mobile shredder service and you can watch it being dumped into the shredder.

The shred size is nowhere near the required tiny size, but most documents, including the copy of returns that we print, have masked ID #s anyway.

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None of this was tax information for our tax prep business. I did all that last summer when we had some time on our hands. I'm almost completely digital on that side of the business - even signature authorization. I scan them all when tax season is over to keep just a digital copy. I scanned every client file and destroyed it as I went.

This was 100% securities / investment sales. Everything on that side of the business is now digital going forward (pretty much) but we have to wait for holding periods to expire on the old stuff before destroying it.

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man, I have a short semi full of papers from 24 years ago.. i keep all my files -

People ask but the last time - they did not want to pay the $100 to retrieve the info..

We do go back to 2011 and sometimes further back many times..

How do you keep files digitally?

I have 2 servers for ATX and I cannot keep my photos on them as they are full?

Where do I keep photos?

(I know personal...  - so where should I keep them? )

D

 

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Well, my pc is custom built by my IT person so has no extra stuff (games, etc.) on it.  The ss drive is 450 GB and I still have 25 GB free which reminds me time to delete old webinar pdf's etc.  My files go back to 1996.  But my client list has never been more than 100 or so.

 

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My first drive (C) is an SSD, 500gb.  I have a 2nd internal drive (E), 3t.  All programs on C drive and I let ATX put backup and files on its default method, which is the c drive.  I put all my docs (pdf) on my 2nd drive.  Plenty of room.  I also have two alternating external HDs for backup, 4t each.

 

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17 hours ago, Margaret CPA in OH said:

Well, my pc is custom built by my IT person so has no extra stuff (games, etc.) on it.  The ss drive is 450 GB and I still have 25 GB free which reminds me time to delete old webinar pdf's etc.  My files go back to 1996.  But my client list has never been more than 100 or so.

 

Yikes! That's 94% full. I suppose SSDs don't slow down as much as HDs when almost full, but still. I'd have your IT guy swap in a 2TB SSD as soon as possible. And put in a 2nd drive that you clone to every night.

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19 hours ago, Margaret CPA in OH said:

 My files go back to 1996.

 

Why?  WHY?!  Is this for all of your clients? 

Last time I looked, the AICPA said seven years, but I'd suggest that you make sure to hold them for the statute of limitation for any jurisdiction you've prepared returns for or your state requirements, if any of those are more than seven years. You should also have a written record retention policy. 

I'd get rid of any beyond whatever period you decide is required for your firm because any records older that that can still be subpoenaed.

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Every time I consider deleting all returns older than 7 years, I remember those (admittedly few) times I needed those older returns to see energy credits, education credits or various state credits or deductions that have limits, or ??? ... and so I don't delete. But I should probably delete all returns older than 15 years, at least.

 

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Files are digital and I just haven't deleted them all yet.  Good thought, though, and I have to say it's hard to document and follow a policy for just me.  I do have the security policy but guess I had best get a record retention policy in place before I retire in 2 years.

Abby, I recall when the drive space was measured in MB so 25 GB seems a lot to me.  I think the majority is program files like QB, Adobe Pro, the Microsoft suite and 4 years of ATX which seem to take up more and more space with every iteration.  My entire client file is 22.7 GB.  I suppose pruning would make a difference.

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I go into the ATX server backup folder and delete many GBs of Payers backups and Companies backups. I've already done an interim cleanup a few weeks ago and Payers had almost 5,000 backups! I've asked ATX to fix this but it's never been done. Just leave the last 5 backups, because you'll have hundreds more soon enough!

FYI: When you delete the older backups, the ones that are left are the highest numbers, and ATX will start numbering them at 1 again. So go back into that folder in a few weeks and delete those high numbered ones, after checking that you have at least several lower numbered backups.

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Abby, I did this deletion exercise.  It was a bit scary and some years seemed to be in different places.  Alas, it didn't free up that much space but when I spoke about the YIKES! 95% full issue, he got in and removed a bunch of stuff, primarily the 'old' folder.  He always puts nearly everything from my previous computer into this folder for a while in case I might need something.  And this has saved my bacon more than once.  But after several months, unless things are funky, it can go.  And, of course, every upgrade (he's built my last 5 or 6 computers) has a substantial drive size increase.  Anyway I now have 94 GB free.  Thanks for yanking my chain!

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I purge my old paper files every year, but I never felt comfortable "sending them off to the shredder."  I always have them come to the office and shred on site in the truck with the TV while I watch them transfer into confetti.  Found a good one who charges $10 per (10-ream-size) box of papers.  And its a lot in one box.  No minimum. 

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I was going to have my very, very part-time employee help me box up old files when she was due to come just before everything shut down. I'd bought a bunch of bankers boxes. But, even though this was before the stay-at-home suggestions and even though I have a home office so knew how it would be cleaned, before and after, I was uncomfortable having anyone come into my home. And, she was relieved when I postponed her work. (I paid her.) So, I'd been piling current files on top of my file cabinets as I used/referred to the files, because the cabinets were too stuffed and I expected to box up the no longer needed files way back in March. I'm continuing to pile files for current clients on top, in alphabetical order, but tall piles that I'm afraid will slide to the floor and spill their contents! When I get through 2019 returns, I'll box up the old folders to empty out my file cabinets and refile my current clients. Current files are mostly thin folders; although, many long-term clients still have paper I've not scanned. I have two small, matching wooden cabinets (sturdy and attractive, but bought at a good price on Craig's list) and refuse to add more paper than they can hold. I'm looking forward to that shredding truck!

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