Keeping track of your business expenses month over month can be a challenge for any organization, large or small. Our bookkeeping team provides expert advice for businesses and our clients know that we are here to answer their questions anytime. Here are a few of the more common questions that may help your business with bookkeeping management.
FAQ #1: How long do I need to keep my customer’s original credit card receipts that they signed for a purchase or service?
Answer: Customers have as long as 18 months to dispute charges on their credit card bills. If you don’t keep the original credit card receipts for the disputed charge, your business could be forced to return the money to the customer’s credit card company.
Advanced Advice: Keep them for two years. It’s easier to dispose of financial records BY YEAR, so keeping them for two years is a good rule of thumb.
FAQ #2: How should I store my customers’ credit card receipts?
Answer: A safe method of storing your receipts is essential to protecting your customers’ personal information. The receipt should only contain the last 4 digits of their credit card number and they should be stored in a locked room or file cabinet. This limits the number of employees who have access to the information. If you keep digital copies, they should be encrypted, along with any other information containing the customer’s identity.
Advanced Advice: Your company files should be accessible by a limited number of people. We recommend having a good lock on a storage room where previous years’ files are kept. Remember, limit the access to only two key employees to maintain secure storage.
FAQ #3: How should I destroy credit card receipts?
Answer: The Federal Trade Commission’s Disposal Rule recommends disposing of the receipts to ensure that all the information on the receipt are beyond recognition after destruction.
Advanced Advice: Most shredding companies are bonded and insured, but make sure you get a receipt of destruction from them when they pick up your documents for shredding. Shredding service options can include document shredding on your premises utilizing their equipment so you can be sure all records are destroyed. A better solution would be to burn the receipts, but this is not always an option where you work or live.