Whether a business safe is protecting your cash or keeping crucial documents secure, it can give peace of mind knowing that your things are guarded against theft.
Though standard wall, floor, or even depository safes might be enough for some organizations, many businesses choose the additional support and protection of a fire-resistant safe. It’s entirely possible that an unpredictable fire could destroy many of the things in your safe unless it is fire-resistant. Remember not to let the cost of a safe keep you from getting the protection your business deserves.
Once you’ve invested in the perfect business safe, you’ll still need to determine which items you should or should not store in it. Here are some suggestions for what you should secure in your fireproof commercial vault.
1. Receipts and Tax Records
Whether you’re a small business, a large enterprise, or even a sole trader, the IRS will require documentation for insight into your expenses and earnings. You’ll need documents that support what you’ve reported on your taxes. Instead of this, your fireproof business safe should store copies of:
- Receipts and bank or credit card statements
- Bills and invoices
- Canceled checks
- Proof of payment
- Financial statements from your bookkeeper
- Previous tax returns
- IRS forms
Ultimately, your industry will determine what you need to keep on hand for your business tax returns.
2. Documents Related to Your Business
The paperwork involved with running a business goes beyond receipts and tax records. There are also additional files that you may need on hand for when you’re interacting with contractors, employees, and insurance companies. In your fireproof safe, make sure you have the following:
- Deeds related to the possession of your business premises and company vehicles
- Contract agreements and employment information for staff
- Stock and shareholder information
- Information regarding due dates for upcoming payments or outstanding debts
- Professional appraisals of your business
- Financial and bank account information
- Insurance policies and contact details
3. External Hard-Drives and Backups
In today’s digital world, many organizations keep fewer documents in physical form. Instead, companies store data on thumb drives, external hard-drives, and backup discs. Protect the future of your company by storing:
- External hard-drives with company information
- CDs and discs, including business software
- Data backups for websites and other important systems
- USBs and external hard drives
If your company has a lot of digital data, look for a UL-rated safe capable of withstanding temperatures that would destroy digital media.
4. Back-Up Cash and Earnings
While companies shouldn’t leave too much money on the premises, it’s often difficult to get to the bank during a hectic day. If you choose to keep money at your business, a depository safe can protect you from theft at the point of purchase by allowing employees to drop checks and cash into the safe, which is moved to the bank after a predetermined amount of time.
Aside from money to put into a depository safe, some companies will want to keep additional money on-hand as a rainy-day fund or “float money.” These emergency funds can go into a fireproof safe for protection and easy access.
5. Spare Keys
It’s important to make sure that you can still access all your business resources after a theft, flood, fire, or disaster. With that in mind, it’s worth keeping spare keys in your safe so that you can access them if your original copies go missing. You might consider storing:
- Safety deposit box keys
- Business vehicle keys
- Keys for other company premises
What Not to Store in a Business Safe
As valuable as a safe can be, it’s not the only way to protect your important business assets. There are some items that you may prefer to keep off premises. For instance, it’s a good idea to keep documents you won’t need outside of regular bank hours in a safety deposit box. These might include original copies of employee contracts or other crucial files.
It may also be worth storing the second copy of particularly sensitive computer data that you won’t need immediate access to in a bank. Storing digital copies of data off-site will help to ensure that you always have a backup of important information on an external drive or tape if disaster strikes. This will also reduce your risk of significant losses in a fire or flood.
Talk to the experts at Western Safe today and find out what business safe is best for your industry needs.