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Author: aacoh One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121144  
Subject: Saving documents on computer Date: 7/28/2003 10:08 PM
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Is it ok to save all work documents on a computer file and throw away the paper documents?

I have a small heating/ac business and I want to scan all my receipts and service orders to my computer and not have to save the paper documents.

I thank you in advance for your time in responding.

Mike
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Author: DWSZ Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66317 of 121144
Subject: Re: Saving documents on computer Date: 7/29/2003 12:57 PM
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Mike,

Let me ask you this, what if your business burns down, lightening strikes your building, you get robbed.....????? There are so many other possibilities that something could affect your computer! Please don't do it!

Keep the paper for now, but make a plan to make a backup of all your computer based business records on a daily / weekly or monthly basis -- it depends on how busy you are. Once you come up with that plan, then you can dump (SHRED!!!!) the paper.

Please visit the HWTSC (Help With This Stupid Computer) board at TMF because there are a lot of knowledgable people over there who know more about this stuff than I do, who can provide with GOOD advice to accomplish what you desire!

HTH!

Best regards,
Duane

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Author: EGruia One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66326 of 121144
Subject: Re: Saving documents on computer Date: 7/30/2003 2:35 PM
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Whenever you keep important information on your computer (business or personal) you should aways have that data backed up. Buy yourself a CD burner if your computer didn't come with one. They're relatively cheap. For businesses it is crucial to keep an off site backup. This means a backup that you keep at another location. This can be your home (if you don't work from home) or a safe deposit box in a bank. If something happens to your office and/or computer, your data will still be safe.

Gina


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Author: wtam Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66327 of 121144
Subject: Re: Saving documents on computer Date: 7/30/2003 2:48 PM
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i think you all are missing the question here. if he computerizes his records, obviously he will need reliable backup and off-site archival.

the question is really, are computerized records acceptable to the IRS? In his specific case, he asks whether scanned images of the original invoice/receipt is adequate documentation during an audit. I would appreciate an answer to this question as well.

On another loosely related question: I heard that a while back the IRS changed the policy to only require physical receipts for expenses over $75, from the previous $25 threshold. This is also the threshold my employer uses...however, I have been unable to find it specifically mentioned in an IRS publication...could someone point me to the proper location? And, for expenses under the $75 threshold, is it acceptable to just have an electronic log of the expense maintained in an excel spreadsheet or in quickbooks/quicken?

thank you.

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Author: Hyperborea Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66332 of 121144
Subject: Re: Saving documents on computer Date: 7/30/2003 8:04 PM
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Whenever you keep important information on your computer (business or personal) you should aways have that data backed up. Buy yourself a CD burner if your computer didn't come with one.

Let me add that if you are storing the data in some proprietary format that you also store some sort of more generic format. That could be plain text, PDFs (proprietary but good stability), comma seperated values (for spreadsheets or similar data), etc. Even if you store an image of the document in some sort of generic format you should be able to read it for a long time too (useful for scanned documents or saving web page images that hold online brokerage info).

This is important if you plan on keeping the data around for archival needs. I just had to dig into some text data from the early 90's at home and my backup in a proprietary format was useless but the raw text versions were still readable.

Hyperborea

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Author: pmarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 66343 of 121144
Subject: Re: Saving documents on computer Date: 8/1/2003 7:48 AM
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Is it ok to save all work documents on a computer file and throw away the paper documents?

I could have sworn that I responded to this before, but I don't see it. I guess it's time to adjust my medications.

This issue has been discussed on Usenet's misc.taxes.moderated, and you should be able to find it through Google. I think the IRS has issued guidance, but I haven't paid any attention to the discussion, so I don't know what they've said.

Phil

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