Spring Cleaning

May 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

Now that tax season is over it’s time for some spring cleaning in my house.  Do you ever feel like your house has “stuff” everywhere?  With two small children at home, I am working on the fact that everything can’t always be in its “home.”  We don’t schedule a day for spring cleaning; it just happens.  I open a closet or drawer, and this turns out to be the day where everything has to go.  This is our spring cleaning day.  It’s time for the “stuff” to find a new home, Goodwill or garbage.  Recently I had to add boxing up items for a younger child to the list.  On these spring cleaning days, my favorite place is the garbage.  I get in the toss mode. It has to leave the house.  I can’t believe the amount of “stuff” we collect over time.

Spring Cleaning-01I know the next place for spring cleaning to hit in my house.  I have been avoiding it… my home office.  During tax season, no personal records seem to get filed or scanned.   I am an over saver when it comes any bill, paperwork or receipt.  My home office filing is much like a business.

At McGowen, Hurst, Clark and Smith, we have general guidelines for your home records and to help build policies for your business.  These guidelines apply to hard-copy and electronic records.


  • Partnership agreement and amendments
  • Operating agreement and amendments

Permanently or for seven years following entity liquidation:

  • Copies of tax returns as filed
  • Tax and legal correspondence
  • Financial statement audit reports
  • General ledger and journals
  • Financial statements
  • Real estate records
  • Corporate stock records and minutes

10 Years after expiration of agreement:

  • Contracts
  • Leases

Seven years:

  • Bank statements
  • Deposit slips
  • Sales records and journals
  • Revenue records
  • Employee expenses reports and records relating to travel and entertainment expenses

Four years:

  • Cancelled checks
  • Paid vendor invoices
  • Employee payroll expense records
  • Inventory records
  • Expense records


  • Capital asset records – tax life of the asset plus three years
  • Personnel and other employment records – seven years following termination

These guidelines will help as I tackle my home office.   I do have to add one personal item to the guidelines: permanent retention of 10-15 coloring/art projects per year.  Any parent knows how these multiply.  My four-year-old “creates” somewhere between 2 to 4 pages per day.  You do the math… they are everywhere.  And don’t get caught putting ANY coloring pages in the garbage.

We wish you the best of luck in your own spring cleaning endeavors.  Please let us know if you have any questions on retention guidelines.

Ashley Mowery, CPA
Ashley Mowery
Manager – McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

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