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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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10–15. Move Records Off-Site

A controller can have an exceedingly inefficient accounting operation for no other reason than the presence of an immense amount of records in the accounting area, which makes it difficult to find a sufficient amount of operating space and renders it difficult to find the most current information. Frequently, these records are kept near the accounting staff on the erroneous grounds that there will be times when they are needed and that it will be an exceptional hassle to recover them if they are stored elsewhere. This is a particularly difficult problem if the accounting staff has been in place for many years and is accustomed to having records kept close at hand.

The solution is to review the dates of the records and move the oldest items to a secondary location. The cut-off date for which records will be moved is usually for anything that is not in the current year of operations. There may be a few cases where additional records should be kept, such as records from the previous year that the auditors might request during their annual audit. However, in general, these records can be moved out with minimal impact on current operations.

The main objectors to this approach will be those staff members who have grown accustomed to keeping files close at hand, but this objection will usually recede over time, especially if a good index clearly identifies which storage box contains which records, so that retrieving paperwork is an easy affair. The resulting ...

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