Q. (cont.) We now have large amounts of paperwork containing banking detail information lying around. The information has already been scanned into our system. What is the best practice for storing/destroying this information? Do we have to store it and for how long?
A. In most cases an electronic copy is acceptable documentation as long as it is readable, has the substance of the transaction and adequate safeguards to prevent unauthorized access and alteration. Some companies like Johnson & Johnson scan all invoices and other supporting documentation upon receipt, save it for some period of time, maybe a few days, and then destroy it. Other companies may keep it longer so that there is adequate time for its technology services group to perform backup archives on electronic data, so that they are sure a copy has been archived in case of a system crash. The timing depends on your organization's backup routine.
You can also refer to the record retention guide found in AR O2C's Resources suite.