Why You Need To Keep Accurate Records
If you have a BOP, you clearly understand the value of preparing yourself for the unexpected. However, regardless of whether you already have a policy or not, you may not be able to process an insurance claim if you do not keep accurate records. But how can you organize all of your documents in a safe and efficient way? Let’s look at some methods.
What Kinds of Documents You Should Keep
Some documents may be more important than others for legal and insurance reasons. Documents you definitely need to keep and track include:
• Annual statements
• Inventory reports
• Insurance records
• Sales records
• Property records
• Tax returns
• Employee withholding
To be able to save these files digitally, you may have to scan them. Most printers these days have a copier/scanner included, so you don't necessarily have to buy a printer and a scanner separately. It is extremely useful to have a digital copy of these documents to avoid having to fumble through paper stacks and folders.
How To Organize Your Documents
You never know when your computer is going to crash. You need to save your files somewhere that you can access on different devices. These days, there are many ways to save digital copies of your business documents. It is a good idea to save a digital and physical copy of all documents.
Several different companies have developed online or cloud file storing options, some of which are free or have a free version. A few of the most popular include Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud.
For example, Dropbox provides up to 2TB (2048 GB) of storage for a fee, but you can use 2 GB of storage for free. If you decide to purchase the membership, expect to pay $12.50 per month per user.
Another option is Google Drive, which is free up to 15 GB shared across your Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. For $1.99 per month, you can have 100 GB of storage or $9.99 for 1TB (1000 GB). The unique part about Google Drive is your ability to easily share documents with other people in your business. Also, if you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google Drive account. If you would like to know more about how to use Google Drive for your business, check out this guide.
Lastly, you might want to use iCloud to store your documents. Just remember that iCloud is designed to work most smoothly with Apple products. If you use an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook regularly to run your business, you may want to look into storing your documents in iCloud. You automatically get 5GB of storage, but you can purchase 50GB for $0.99 per month, 200GB for $2.99 per month or 2TB for $9.99 per month. Like Google Drive, you can save and access your iCloud Drive files on any of your Apple devices. To learn more about pricing and how to set up your Drive, click here.
After you have saved your file digitally, put the hard copy in a safe place. You can buy a small filing cabinet with dividers at most office supply stores. Be advised that all features and pricing referenced in this article were current at the time of writing. Check for any changes before making your decision to go with one provider over another.
If You Need To File a Claim
In case your business suffers a loss like theft or natural disaster, you will have to file a claim with your insurance company. Hopefully, you have done the paperwork beforehand. Specific documents your insurance company might need include:
• Tax statements
• Statements of losses and profits
• Bank statements
• Canceled checks
• Payroll records
• Utility bills
• Monthly income records
Having these documents ready in case you need to show them will save you time and stress.
Make sure you have a team of agents by your side to protect you and your business. Call an Infinity agent today at 1-800-INFINITY to look into a Business Owner’s Policy or get a quote online.
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