Secure Document Storage & Management for Accountancy Practices

In dealing with a wide range of Client matters, a lot of documentation is created and required to be stored for compliance and practicality. These days, whilst much of this information is created and stored digitally, some documents (e.g. originals featuring signatures) need to be retained. And what about the legacy archive of paper based documents going back years?

Space constraints in offices, are a consideration for all accountancy firms, as well as the actual frequency and need to retrieve those stored documents, that often sit in half forgotten filing cabinets around the offices.

Add to this the issue of disaster recovery planning and compliance, related to storing files that are not frequently accessed, then moving relevant volumes to an offsite facility (with retrieval options) is a sensible option.

After the initial project of boxing up the relevant files for moving to an off site facility, the ongoing costs are low. This will normally involve a monthly charge for each stored box, and services will include:

  • Secure Storage of documents: Utilising secure, atmosphere controlled storage facilities, palletised to protect documents from environmental damage and unauthorised access.
  • Flexible document retrieval options: Retrieval systems that enable quick and easy access to accountancy firm documents as and when required, using delivery via secure courier services.
    For clients who can provide an audited list of  box content details, a file retrieve and scan option, with secure email, is an option, to avoid the cost, time delays, and carbon footprint related to transport.
  • Confidential Shredding: If identified by client, boxes of files can be noted for future destruction using on site confidential shredding, with certificates of destruction provided.

Other advantages of off-site physical document storage include:

  • By storing original physical documents, you will be protecting information which may have historical significance or have legal importance. This is particularly crucial for documents that are old or irreplaceable, and not suitable for scanning into a digital format.

Accountancy firms often need to store a variety of physical documents to maintain accurate records, comply with legal requirements, and support financial transactions and decisions. The following list highlights the typical documents we regularly manage:

  • Tax Returns and Supporting Documents: Accountants often retain copies of tax returns filed for individuals, businesses, and other entities, along with the documentation that supports the filings, such as receipts, W-2s, 1099s, and other tax forms.

  • Financial Statements: Balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, and statements of shareholders' equity are crucial for understanding the financial position of an entity.

  • Invoices and Receipts: Keeping track of all invoices issued and received, as well as receipts, is essential for accurate record-keeping and financial analysis.

  • Bank Statements and Reconciliation Reports: These documents are vital for verifying the cash balances of accounts and ensuring that all transactions are accurately recorded.

  • Payroll Records: Accountants must maintain detailed records of employee compensation, including salaries, wages, bonuses, deductions, and tax withholdings.

  • Contracts and Agreements: Legal documents such as lease agreements, service contracts, and partnership agreements need to be stored securely for reference and compliance purposes.

  • Expense Reports: Documentation of business expenses, including travel and entertainment expenses, is necessary for budgeting, tax deductions, and financial planning.

  • Investment Records: Records of investments in stocks, bonds, and other securities are important for tracking the performance and value of these assets.

  • Loan Documents and Leases: Documentation related to financing, such as loan agreements, mortgages, and lease agreements for equipment or property, is critical for managing debt and obligations.

  • Audit Reports and Findings: Audits provide critical insights into the financial health and practices of an organisation. Keeping these reports is essential for historical reference and future planning.

  • Insurance Policies: Documentation of insurance policies, including coverage details and claims filed, is important for risk management.

  • Minutes of Board Meetings and Resolutions: For corporations, maintaining records of board meetings and resolutions is a legal requirement and important for corporate governance.

  • Legal Notices and Correspondence: Letters, notices from regulatory bodies, and other legal correspondence need to be stored for legal compliance and reference.

  • Inventory Records: Detailed records of inventory, including purchases, sales, and adjustments, are necessary for managing assets and cost of goods sold.


If you would like further details on The IPC Group’s document storage services, please click here or call us on 08081 45 46 47.