Image: Marks & Spencer
If piles of paperwork are overwhelming your office space it might be time to go digital, and free-up your desk. You will, however, need to keep some stuff on good old-fashioned paper.
Here’s how to get started …
• There are some things that you will need to keep hard copies of. These include personal documents such as birth and marriage certificates; deeds; loan and mortgage documents; warranties; pay, P60 and P45 slips.
• Request PDF versions of insurance certificates and ask for paperless billing on your household bills so you can view them online rather than having them posted. You can also request to view your bank statements online, unless you need to complete a tax return, for which you will need hard copies.
• Set up a filing system on your computer for bills, statements and certificates, with different folders for each type of document, as you would have done with your paper versions. Then within each folder create another for the year, or even the month. It will make it much easier when it comes to locating them.
• Unless you need to complete a tax return, keep a year’s worth of bank statements, bills and payslips (until you receive your next P60). If you are self-employed then you should keep them for longer. Mortgage and any pension or investment documents should be kept indefinitely, as should P60 and P45 slips. Once you’ve sold a car and it’s in the new owner’s name, then you can destroy any servicing details and MOT certificates. Likewise, once an insurance policy has been terminated, or a switch is fully completed, then you can destroy the documents.
• Always backup your computer files to an external hard drive in case anything should go wrong with your computer or laptop.
Feature Laura Higgins